Producer's kit bag

You may need more than one producer’s kit bag.

Video producers have very different needs than videographers, grips, electricians, and other crew, who also have kit bags.

Producers are devoted to organization and economy. The better organized a producer is, the better he or she can keep a production within budget. If you’re a producer, you need a producer’s kit bag. Or several.

Also, I have found that even the best crew needs some support. That’s why you’ll find everything from work gloves to batteries in the list below. If I don’t need them, perhaps someone on your set will. And the faster a need is met … the less time and money you’ve spent.

However, that having been said, every producer’s needs vary greatly depending on production type, scope, production, topic, location, crew, and so forth. The list below isn’t intended to be all-inclusive for every producer — merely a reminder and memory jogger.

For a small crew, you may need to provide food as well as make-up services. Remotely, you may need only the basics. In a corporate location, you will probably want to clean up your client’s tables with Fantastik™ or another cleaner.

Whenever possible, I unpack to a small table so that I and others can reach what we need quickly.

Let me know if you find this list useful, or if you have comments or additions.

Producer’s kit bag contents

Electronics and media (for documenting the shoot or for extra production support)

  • Cell phone(s) + chargers
  • Digital camera + lenses + camera cards + charged batteries
  • Headphones
  • Laptop + charger
  • Polaroid-style camera (if you need instant pictures for script supervision or subject identification)
  • Video camera + media
  • Walkie-talkies + charged batteries

Food/drink (think cleanliness and low environmental footprint)

  • Bagged no-mess candy such as M&Ms, Goobers, or licorice strings
  • Cocoa and marshmallows
  • Crackers (the one-bite, non-crumbly kind)
  • Donuts (the least crumbly that you can find)
  • Energy bars
  • Juice (in individual cans)
  • Pretzels
  • Red Bull (cans)
  • Soda (in individual cans)
  • Starbucks Double Shot Expresso (cans)
  • Trail mix
  • Veggies (baby carrot and, celery, for instance, no dip necessary) or veggie tray
  • Water (large jug if possible)

Food accessories

  • Bag ties
  • Bowls (for holding snacks and food)
  • Can cozies
  • Coffee cups
  • Coffee pot if in a remote or isolated area
  • Coffee, ground
  • Cooler
  • Cotton rags
  • Cups you can mark by name
  • Drinking cups
  • Extra cotton or canvas bags
  • Garbage bags
  • Ice
  • Microwave
  • Napkins
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic food containers for leftovers or wet things
  • Plastic ware — plates
  • Plastic ware — utensil
  • Sanitary hand wipes
  • Surface cleaner such as Fantastik™ or Windex™
  • Ziplock™ bags

Make-up and styling (if not using a stylist)

  • Bobby pins
  • Combs
  • Face powders and other make-up (pay a stylist to outfit you with a variety)
  • Hairbrushes
  • Lint brush
  • Make-up cape
  • Single-use face powder appliers
  • Spray bottle for water

Office

  • 20 lb bond paper for taping notes, receipts, business cards, etc.
  • Binder clips
  • Cash (often faster than credit cards)
  • Cleaning spray (e.g., Fantastik™)
  • Clipboard(s) (usually for subject releases)
  • Extra pair of reading glasses
  • File folders
  • First aid kid (including ice pack)
  • Foam core or poster boards to prompt on-camera speakers
  • Hand soap, antibacterial
  • Index cards
  • Laptop and cable
  • Loose change, particularly quarters (for tightening)
  • Magic tape dispenser w/extra tape
  • Magnifying glass
  • Map of immediate area(s) (hard copy)
  • Monitor cleaning cloth
  • Notepad(s)
  • Paper clips
  • Paper towels
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Perma/magic markers (black and red at least)
  • Pocket timer
  • Scissors
  • Stain stick (e.g., Tide)
  • Stapler w/ extra staples
  • Tampons/sanitary napkins
  • Tape measure
  • Tissues
  • Three-hole punch
  • Thumb drive
  • Transparent sleeves for 3-ring binder
  • Work table (4’ – 6’) (e.g., Lifetime™)
  • Ziplock™ bags

Paperwork

  • 3-ring production binder
    • Script + extra copies
    • Background notes
    • Contact info for everyone involved
    • Call sheets
    • Blank contracts for actors/crew
  • Business cards
  • Daily schedule(s)
  • Location releases
  • Map of locale(s) (hard copy)
  • Subject releases
  • Useful info (e.g., taxi, bus schedule) (hard copy)

Power

  • AA batteries
  • AAA batteries
  • Extension cable(s)
  • Other batteries as necessary: ______________
  • Recharger for headset
  • Recharger for phone (consider a mobile pack)
  • Two-prong adapters
  • Walkie-talkie batteries

Production tools

  • Art-handling (lintless) gloves
  • C-47s (spring-loaded clothes pins)
  • Computer screen-cleaning wipes
  • Dust-Off pressurized air
  • Flashlights
  • Folding or pocket knife with tools
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Heat-resistant work gloves (in the event you’re using hot lights)
  • Production clips (?)
  • Tape (gaffer’s, duct, and electrical)
  • Toolkit
  • Zip ties

Remote locales

  • Air pump
  • Generator + gas
  • Jumper cables

Weather

  • Change of clothes
  • Gloves
  • Heat inserts for gloves and shoes
  • Plastic bags to cover shoes in bad weather
  • Scarf
  • Sun block
  • Sunglasses
  • Tee shirt (XL) in case there’s a spill
  • Thermal gloves
  • Thermal socks
  • Umbrellas
  • Waterproof carrying bags
  • Ziplock™ bags

What’s in a (good) producer’s kit bag?

by susan time to read: 3 min
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