Small cost, big surprise.

It’s quite astounding just how much some of the equipment we use in this industry costs. Even though there are TV Crews and Production Crews all over the world as well as a plethora of Sound Recordists, equipment is often specialized and costly.

The general everyday things, camera, tripod, basic lights and sound, are a given, and as such, some people can bargain or eBay and ether shop to source an item at a reasonable price.

But it’s the supplementary items, the ones you don’t need everyday. They make a distinction, not every time but when you need them………..

Camera Operators are like Bower birds in many ways. I am. If you find a clamp or a piece of tube or something that you know you can make use of, even if it fits in the ‘you never know when this might come in handy one day’ category, you take it.

Going to the Hardware store is no different. I can’t help but wander about and look at items and think, how can I make use of this?

A few weeks ago, I had been pestering my boss for some patterned frames or Gobos. They can be used to attach to lights to create an effect or a pattern on a wall. Many cameramen around the world would have used various items strapped or gaffered or clamped to lights to create an effect.

On this day, I was drawn to the gardening section and at the end of the aisle, hanging on one of those cheap little hooks for quick sale, was a tree guard. It’s a little plastic moulded mat that clips together to go around small trees so your whipper snipper does not eat chunks out of it. It cost me $3.95. Bargain! And it does the job just nicely, until I tire of that pattern.

Who would have thought?