What’s in Your Kit: Cinematographer Elle Schneider

For our series What’s in Your Kit, we ask a range of working cinematographers to share the gear they can’t live without.

This week, Elle Schneider (I Am Divine, That Guy Dick Miller; creative director of Digital Bolex) reveals what’s in her kit.


The Kit

A. Digital Bolex D16 cinema camera

B. Schneider Kreuznach ARRI standard mount lens set

C. Lens filters (Pro Mist, Polarizer)

I can’t live without a polarizer filter—while I don’t use it on every shoot, I always have it just in case. I’ve walked onto projects as a behind-the-scenes camera person and out as DP because I was the only person on set equipped to shoot a scene, so I know it pays to be prepared.

D. Toothbrush (for teeth) 

E. Pistol grip and wrist strap

F. Lens cloth, case, and mount adapters

G. Rode NTG-2 mic and shock mount

H. Tape measure

I. Extension tubes for macro photography

J. Book for downtime and project script pages

K. Hoodie

L. Copies of friends’ films, new re-releases, or loans for friends

M. SmallHD DP4 Monitor, batteries, mount, and charger

N. Screwdrivers

O. Stickers for labeling gear

P. Zacuto Striker shoulder mount

I’ve used the Zacuto Striker on virtually every project since March 2011. The angular piece that’s designed to rest against your chest (if you’re a guy—ouch if you’re a girl) is actually the only mount I’ve found that fits snugly over my shoulder. As a small person, regular shoulder mounts slide right off. This hooks over my shoulder and stays very comfortably.

Q. External Hard drives 

R. Gaff, double sided, and painter’s tape

S. Business cards and chapstick

All of this gear, plus cables, a Switronix PowerBase, and a few small notebooks out of frame fit into my Digital Bolex leather backpack. I have a naming scheme for all my batteries and hard drives, so I know right away if anything is missing. My Canon LP-E6 batteries and charger are named after characters from Teenagers from Outer Space and my drives after Bond girls (the two shown are Kissy and Natalya).

Elle Schneider with Digital Bolex's D16 Cinema Camera. Photograph by Robyn Von Swank

Elle Schneider with Digital Bolex’s D16 Cinema Camera. Photograph by Robyn Von Swank

I Can’t Live Without:

Sometimes people laugh because I keep chapstick, deodorant, a spare phone charger, and a toothbrush in there too, but when you’re filming bands or documentaries, you never know when you’re going to end up staying overnight somewhere strange.

Gear I’d Love to Have:

I tend to be utilitarian with my gear, but recently I’ve fallen in love with the Matthews Polly Dolly. But since it wouldn’t fit in my backpack, I would like to own the Zacuto Gratical EVF, which is an amazing new hi-res external monitor with an eyepiece. MM

Four cinematographers show off their kits in MovieMaker‘s Spring 2015 issue, on newsstands April 28, 2015. See previous editions of What’s in Your Kit here.

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