Do you have your own grip-kit? If not, you probably should.
When I first started assisting, it seemed unnatural for me to just show up to a studio, or on location, empty-handed. So, I decided to put some essential tools into a simple fanny-pack.
What should you put in your grip-kit? Here’s a list of what I have in my fanny-pack grip-kit:
• Gaffers tape
• AA batteries
• Silk/microfiber cloth to clean lenses
• Tape measure
• Grip-gloves (for hot-lighs and cold weather)
• Clothes pins/small A-clamps/bull-nose clips
• 2-3 plastic trash bags (to cover packs in foul weather)
• A couple optical slaves
• A couple 3-prong grounding adapters
• A few patches of cinefoil
• A few patches of spun-glass
• Small gray card
• Small bullet level
• Lint roller
• Blue modeling putty
• Velcro cable-ties
• A few band-aids
I consider most of these items essential. But, of course, the contents of the grip-kit can include less, more, and different items based on your needs for a particular shoot. If I know I’m on location, I might bring a power strip, sunscreen, and other important items (warm clothes, towel) that are easily overlooked when packing for a particular trip across town or across country.
Maybe you wonder why you should bring a bunch of these items and tools with you when the photographer probably has all that stuff in their studio. One thing I’ve found is that tools and everyday usage items tend to get strewn about in the studio, on-set. If you haven’t worked at a studio in a while, you might not find everything where you had found it before. Or, maybe you will walk into a job, mid-shoot, after another assistant becomes unavailable on-set. If you’re on location, the answer should be obvious. It’s all about being pro-active and eliminate wasted time and frustrations. It also shows the photographer that you are mindful about being prepared.
What do you have in your grip-kit? Please leave a comment/suggestion about other important items to include in your photo assistant’s grip-kit.