How to Organize Your Filmmaking Gear for Pro Gigs

Over time you will acquire a ton of filmmaking gear. It’s inevitable if you do it for long enough. When you get started a bag or case or two and a closet might be able to do the trick.

But, once you start adding bigger lights, modifiers, stands, tripods, rigs, and all the miscellaneous tools you need to make the most of them you’ll find a proper storage solution is necessary.

Getting your gear properly organized is no small feat and something that will probably take a good while. To get an idea of what an ideal organization system looks like we can check out this video from filmmaker Robert Machado.

Machado is fortunate to have some good space to work with to store his equipment—a two-car garage. While most of us won’t be able to do that you can probably make some of these tips work in your current space.

The initial location is a cart wall. What this really is for him is a space to get his rig built up and then packed and ready to load into his car.

A cart is a great tool if you can get one as it can save you time (and your back) by just wheeling things around while also serving as a great, mobile surface to work on. He has Innovativ Carts for his work.

Innovativ Echo 36 Workstation

Image Credit: Innovativ

A static cart, which could be a table for you, is also where he keeps all his batteries. There are all the chargers neatly organized so he can easily find and power up all his packs. He also has an area for USB devices since there are now a ton of those around today.

He also has some big, portable power banks to keep things juiced up throughout the day.

On top it is is a decent work light so that everything on the surface is clean and easy to work with.

For his laptop, a MacBook Pro, he has a dedicated space next to his work areas. This makes it easy for him to use it for background tasks while working on other items or even to help support your kit by quickly doing firmware updates and the like.

Brother P-Touch Label Maker

Image Credit: Brother

He has a lot of camera gear and has a literal aisle of shelves filled with cases of cameras and related accessories. He keeps these cases labels and sorted with cameras in one area, support equipment in another, and so on.

These are fairly standard shelves, so whatever works for you will do wonders. Keeping like with like is key. And I’ll mention the labels again. Label everything and it makes it easy to find.

He has a bunch of soft cases with all the miscellaneous components he made need.

These ones have hooks and can be hung up with a carabiner so they can attach to all your stuff. It’s good for stuff that doesn’t need to always be on hand but you might need to pull out at some points. Again, label everything.

Lights and grip equipment is its own animal. You may end up acquiring a lot of stuff here that fills up a ton of space. Same principles apply here as the cameras and other gear.

My takeaways:

  • Charging areas are clutch and keep your batteries charged and organized.
  • A home for your laptop keeps it always at the ready.
  • Labels and shelves will make it nice and easy to find anything.

Transporting this gear can be tough when you start adding C-stands and sandbags. A wheeled bin does the job here as it can be loaded right into his van all together. You’ll want something very durable for grip and electric gear as it will get beat up.

Do you have any storage tips and tricks to share? Maybe next time we will find something for people with very limited space.

[source: Robert Machado]

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