Any grip kit you have, whether you are in the photography studio or in the field, needs to have power solutions. You can pick up many of these at your local hardware store. What power solutions do you need? In this movie, author Abba Shapiro demonstrates the importance of including extension cords and stingers in your grip kit.
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- Every grip kit should contain ways to manage power on the set and most of what you need can be found in any hardware store. Extension cords are a must because it's likely that the outlet's over there and your light is over there. When it comes to extension cords keep a few things in mind. First off, do not buy cheap home-use extension cords. Get one that can handle all the power that you might need without getting hot or overloading and make sure it's grounded. You can tell this by the third prong and that shows that this is now a grounded cord.
That's a safety thing. It's important. Visibility is also important. You don't want people tripping over your cables, bright orange or yellow or red are great and don't worry that the cords will be visible in your shot, you can always dress the power cords to hide them. It's better to hide a cable and have people not trip over it than to have a dark cable that people just don't see. Now, you may hear the term stinger used on a set for an extension cord. Well, a stinger is a very specific type of heavy-duty cord.
As a matter of fact, if you really want to impress people, it's a 12/3 Edison extension cord, which means it's a twelve gauge with three wires, one hot, one neutral, and one ground, and designed for a three-pronged plug, but, usually any nice, heavy extension cord will suffice in most instances. Now, another thing to keep in mind is how easy it is for the extension cord to be set up and put away. Either get an extension cord on a reel that you can wrap the cord around or buy any extension cord that has a reel as an all-in-one unit.
So, in this case, I can stretch it out, and when I'm ready to put it away I can simply reel it in and carry it away nice and neatly. Another thing I like with my extension cords is some sort of indicator that I'm getting power, and a lot of these extension cords will have a little light on them and as you can see when this is plugged in I see light so I know I'm getting power to the cord so I don't have to worry that I blew a fuse and I can track down a power problem if there is one.
So, if for some reason a light isn't lighting I can track down whether it's the power cord or whether it's the light that's causing the problem.
- What is a grip kit?
- Organizing and transporting your grip gear
- Using stands and plates
- Mounting equipment with clamps
- Controlling and shaping light
- Powering your shoots
- Staying safe: important safety gear