On the eve of the launch of our third and final Plant a Wish tour, we are realizing that we’ve kind of got this “documentary road trip” thing down to somewhat of a science.
Here are 10 things we absolutely cannot live without while shooting on the road:
1. Camera Kit: This one’s a no-brainer. We travel with the camera, several different microphone set ups, one extra bright space light, flags, one on-camera LED-powered light, a versatile, yet easy to carry tripod, weather gear, batteries, battery charger, etc. We’re shooting on the Panasonic DVX100b for this project, in 24p Advanced mode.
2. GoPro Motorsports Hero Cam: The best way to capture unique perspectives literally FROM the road. We’ll be mounting ours to our tour vehicle, and multiple other places we can’t get to with our camera kit.
3. Smartphone/iPhone/iOS device: There’s no better way to make sure you don’t get lost. AND you can check weather, wind speed, altitude, you name it. We have the iPhone 3GS…holding out for the 5G.
4. Laptop: Obvious reasons. Ours is loaded with the latest Final Cut Pro and the latest Adobe Creative Suite. We bring along several phantom-powered external hard drives for storage, and also use a Mobile Broadband card that plugs in to our USB port to ensure an internet connection wherever there is cellular service. Ours is from Sprint, pictured below.
6. Release Forms: When you’re shooting on-the-go, its important to have easy access to talent release forms, location release forms, and area release forms if you’d like to shoot something on-the fly with little advance warning.
7. Hiking Boots: Because getting the “money shot” might mean hoofing it up a hill. Sara wears the ones above from Keen.
8. Portable File Folders/Organizers: Any good producer knows it’s important to keep organized as productions unfold, especially when you’re on the road. Organize your receipts, signed forms, signage, mailing list sign-ups, you name it, in one of these expandable file folder holders. We use a waterproof plastic model. It’s a deal-breaker if you can’t keep your paper in order.
9. 110 Volt Cigarette Lighter Converter: This handy thing-a-ma-jig will ensure that those batteries are charged, even when you haven’t seen a power outlet in days.
10. Lap Desk: Spending a lot of time on the road using a laptop will teach you to figure out a comfortable solution to working on the computer while sitting in the car. Ours was quite affordable, found at Amazon.com