Video Equipment Checklist

This checklist has helped prevent many of us from having to end a great interview or capture important footage because we didn’t have an extra battery, tapes or film without the microphone on – or a number of other small, but destructive, oversights.

Adapt this comprehensive checklist for your own needs and equipment. And check it twice before you start filming.

 

Essentials of a Camera Kit

  • Camera: Always keep lens cap on when you aren’t using it
  • Tapes: Have extras, and then grab a few more
  • Pre-charged batteries: Bring as many as you have
  • Battery charger: Use as a replacement for batteries, if possible
  • Headphones: What you hear is what you record
  • Microphones: Remember to have charged batteries and keep it off until you film
  • Tripod: Always use a tripod when doing an interview
  • Lens cleaner: Make sure your lens is clean every time you shoot.

 

Tapes (For DV Camcorders)

  • Put stickers on ALL blank tapes and number them immediately
  • Don’t remove a tape until it’s completed or else you’ll have a time code break
  • Remember to always record 10 seconds at the beginning of each tape (or time code break) and 5 seconds afterwards
  • Remember that it’s okay to stop recording on a tape before you’ve recorded 60 minutes worth of footage, particularly if you’re moving locations or have just recorded something very important
  • After you’ve finished recording on a tape, write down what’s on the tape, the date, the location, and the running time
  • Move the red tab from “record” to “save” when you have finished a tape
  • Store all completed tapes in a safe place. Stack them vertically (like books)

 

Related Tips for Your Tapes

  • Label and Log Your Footage: Check out this form and save yourself time
  • Ask interview subjects to identify themselves on camera, and spell their names.
  • Begin each tape with a statement about the situation or events being filmed, including location, date, and purpose.

 

Content adapted from the original guide, which was produced for a WITNESS training in Uganda (July 2005) by Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt.

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