From our ongoing exploration of ways to become a faster and more efficient camera assistant, today’s tip is:
6. Stage Your Equipment Nearby
Having to leave set to go to get a piece of gear from your equipment cases is already a huge time waster. Having to leave and walk for more than minute to get it is outright absurd.
The next time you walk to get something out of a gear case, ask yourself, “Is this too far away for me to reasonably fly-in equipment?”
Ideally, you want to stage your equipment in an area that fulfills these three needs:
- Close to Set – To minimize the time it takes to get there
- Out of All Potential Shot – So you don’t have to move it throughout the day
- Away from Heavy Foot Traffic – As a matter of safety and protection
One of the first things I do when I arrive at a new location is look for a staging area for camera gear. If you are lazy about this, you can bet the grip and electric departments, hair and makeup, and wardrobe, in that order, will take all the good spots.
And once they’ve claimed their “area,” it’ll take a lot of ass-kissing to get them to move — trust me.
So find a good spot that’s nearby, politely ask the assistant director if it’s an OK area to stage, and start hauling in the gear. The last thing you want is to have to walk what seems like miles to get a focus whip.
What considerations do you make when finding a staging area for equipment?