Copyright © WITNESS.ORG. 80 Hanson Place, 5th Floor, Brooklyn, NY, 11217 | Voice: 718.783.2000 | Fax: 718.783.1593
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.