Back to School: 43 Needs and Wants for Film School

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Back to School: 43 Needs and Wants for Film School

Whether it’s a four-year undergraduate program, a two-year graduate school, or a single class, studying film production is different from other fields of study. Film production classes are more like being in a trade school. Students learn and apply work skills, as well as film theory. Most importantly, you will be shooting at least one short film, and to make that film you need equipment, tools, and supplies.

Most film programs provide the cameras, sound equipment, and editing facilities you need, but, to take full advantage of them, some personal tools are necessary. Many of these tools are the same as what professionals like screenwriters, assistant directors, gaffers, and assistant camerapersons use daily.

Film instructors will supply a list of required and optional supplies for their classes, but just in case you lost that list or want another list of supplies to get you started, listed below are some of the tools of the trade that you might need; some are expendables that you will use up and some are items you can use for years to come.

The Essentials

  1. Screenwriting Software

  2. Storyboarding Software

  3. Production Software

Production Software
Production Software
  1. White Balance Cards

  2. ColorChecker Chip Chart

  3. Clapper 

Clapper
Clapper
  1. Insert Slate

  2. Dry Erase Markers

  3. 1-Inch White Gaffer Tape

1-Inch White Gaff Tape
1-Inch White Gaff Tape
  1. Sharpie Pens

  2. Spike Tape

  3. Microfiber Lens Cloth

Microfiber Lens Cloth
Microfiber Lens Cloth
  1. Lens-Cleaning Solution

  2. Mounting Plate Tool

  3. Multi-Tool

Multi-Tool
Multi-Tool
  1. Flashlight

  2. 2-Inch Black Gaffer Tape

  3. Production Clips

Production Clips
Production Clips
  1. Lighting Gels

  2. Gel Roll

  3. Gel Repair Tape

Gel Repair Tape
Gel Repair Tape
  1. AC Belt Pouch

  2. Work Gloves

  3. Reflectors

Reflectors
Reflectors
  1. Blackwrap

  2. Production Bag

  3. External Media Drive for Editing

  4. Closed-Ear Headphones

Closed-Ear Headphones
Closed-Ear Headphones

For Shooting Digital

  1. Memory Cards for the Camera

  2. Memory Card Case

  3. Card Reader

Memory Card Readers
Memory Card Readers
  1. Sensor Scope

  2. Air Blower

  3. Sensor Brush

  4. Sensor Swabs

Sensor Swabs
Sensor Swabs

For Shooting Film

  1. Film

  2. Scissors

  3. Canned Air

Canned Air
Canned Air
  1. Camel Hair Brush

  2. Lighted Magnifier for checking the film gate

  3. Orangewood Sticks Cuticle Pushers* for cleaning the film gate

  4. Light Meter

Light Meter
Light Meter
  1. Film-Changing Tent

*Drugstore Item

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