Production Gear Packing for a Two Day Shoot

Over the last two weekends I have been out in Indiana shooting a music video and a short documentary. I thought I would show you guys what I’m brought and how I packed it. Please excuse the messy studio! I’ve been working on soundproofing and insulating so the floors are a mess.

All production went well and I hope to show you some footage soon.

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Walimex Pro Cage: Great Alternative to the Wooden Camera Cage


I love my Wooden Camera Quick Cage, but the cost of shooting with one is pretty steep. A complete WC cage setup that can be use with or without rods will set you back $839 (cage + extra plate for non-rod use) which is pretty painful.

Recently I discovered the Walimex Pro Cage which I’ll be reviewing in the upcoming weeks. In short, this is a killer, super strong, flexible alternative to the WC cage. For the same setup mentioned above, you’ll pay $608 or $399 for the cage without rod support. You could also pick up an entire shoulder rig system from Walimex Pro for $899 which is close to the price of the WC cage system. Oh, and you can also add on a ton of different accessories from Walimex Pro.

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The Studio Part 2: Grip and Lighting Accessories

This is the second episode in The Studio series of videos I’m doing (watch episode one here). In this edition we are going to take a close look at several grip and lighting tools I use in the studio and on the road. This is the kind of gear that you don’t always think about, but you always end up using.

If you are overwhelmed with all the stuff you feel you need, don’t be. Start with something like the Manfrotto Nano clamp (I swear by that thing) and you can build up your kit from there.

Studio Grip Gear

The Studio Part 1: Light Stands

This is the first installment of a series of studio equipment videos I’ll be posting. In this series I will be showing you gear that I’ve been using at the new studio here in Chicago. Most of the gear in this series also gets used out in the field.

In part one, we look at light stands. I’ve had a couple old trusty stands I’ve been using for years as well as some newer stands B&H has sent me that I’ve been using a ton in the last couple months. Check out the video for my review and recommendations.

Note: Excuse the color changes in the video. FCPX has been giving me quite a lot of uploading issues.

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GH3/GH4 Honu Camera Cage from Kamerar

If you’re looking for an affordable cage for your GH4 stop searching and check out the Honu cage. This thing is one of the cheapest cages out there and sports some great features like a top handle, cold shoe docks, tons of 1/4 20″ taps, an HDMI cable lock and more. For more information check out our video review:

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A Week of Filmmaking Training in Scotland? Yes Please

I’ve followed and respected Jem Schofield’s C47 videos since he started them over 3 years ago. In just a few short weeks Jem is going to be running The Filmmakers Intensive in Scotland for a week. Yeah… Scotland… There you will have an opportunity to learn the craft of lighting and shooting for documentary as well as corporate and narrative filmmaking.

If you’re looking to really dive into film production and want to get your hands dirty, you can’t miss this opportunity. Check out the promo video and visit to learn more. The deadline is July 2014 at 18:00!


Credit: TFMI website

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Essential Video Production Gear for Filmmakers

Cameras and lenses are great, but don’t forget the basics! We can easily overlook some basic production equipment that is crucial to success when on set. In this video I show you a pile of important gear I always have on my shoots. I also share some slate tips.

This is just a few items… I didn’t cover a lot of lighting tools and toys (saving that for another video). What production gear do you swear by on set?

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Brilliant Filter Bag for Shooters with Large Filter Collections

I have a handful of random filters both round and square that are always scattered in my pelican case. Not to mention a mess of random lens and filter tools and cleaners. While searching for an affordable way to pack all this, I found the MindShift Filter bag. For $55 you get a nice protected bag for all of your filters and accessories. Check out my video review for the full lowdown.

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Wooden Camera Nato Handle Kit Review

As you already know, I love Wooden Camera gear, cages and top handles. At NAB 2014 I fell in love with Wooden Camera’s new Nato Handle. They have make some impressive updates to their standard handle including a cold shoe mount, 360 rotatable handle, 15mm rod port and so much more. Check out the full video review to see and learn more about this great little handle. Read More…

Powerful Short Film Shows Us Less is More

Found this incredible short on No Film School and thought I’d share a though with you guys, but first take a look:

While attending Vincent Laforet’s Directing Motion Tour there was one thing Vincent said that I couldn’t forget, “The more subtle you are as a directer the better you’ll be.” Vincent made this statement while showing a war scene that was short and to the point and was better for it without all the extravagance of VFX.

In this short piece, the writers and director could have zoomed out to show a larger picture, but they decided to focus everything on the moments and emotions of a little girl and nothing else.

How can you be more subtle in your next film?

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Half Inch Rails Gear Review

Half Inch Rails manufatures tons of great gear for filmmakers. In today’s review, we are looking at three of their killer tools.

Zip Tie Gears


Not the best solution for all situations, but hands down, the simplest and most affordable way to gear your lenses. You can get these Zip Ties on B&H or at Half Inch Rails.

Shoulder Pads


I hate most shoulder pads as they are bulky and get in the way. Half Inch Rails makes these killer Shoulder Pads that can work with a multitude of rig setups while staying out of the way. You can order the Shoulder Pads through Half Inch Rails.



These little guys keep the ends of your rods nice and neat while keeping all faces safe on set. Can’t have talent getting stabbed in the money maker while on set! You can order Bumpers through Half Inch Rails.

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