What’s in Your Kit: Cinematographer Laela Kilbourn

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, Laela Kilbourn, DP of the documentary How to Dance in Ohio, reveals what’s in her kit.

The Kit

A. Hat

This rather beat-up specimen has been with me from Bermuda to Oklahoma to Africa and many places in between. The little airplane pin on it was a gift from one of the pilots we were filming for a docu-series about aerial dogfighting, with reenactments of WWII battles in the sky. It was one of my favorite jobs ever: up in Yak-52 fighter planes doing aerial maneuvers that pulled 5.5Gs—the best stabilizing force for handheld operating, ever.

B. Headphones

My specialty is documentary. If you can’t hear what your film subjects are saying, you might as well be making a flip-book.

C. Leatherman Wave

This multi-function tool was given to me when I started shooting by a DP I used to assist for. He said it was the one tool I would need as a cinematographer, and he was right.

D. Sunblock

Yes, two kinds. I apply it liberally and often.

E. White Balance Cards, Big and Small

F. Belt with Pouches

I’ve had this belt for more than 2o years, adding pouches along the way. It’s for carrying most of this other gear, plus cards, batteries, phone, audio receivers, light meters, etc.

G. Maglite and Sharpies

H. Box of Earplugs

I wear these under my headphones when filming concerts, race cars, tunnel-boring machines and other very loud situations. As to why I should protect my hearing, see item B.

I. Eye Drops

If you can’t see clearly, well, forget even the flip-book.

J. Lens and LCD Screen-cleaning Cloths

K. Tape roll

I don’t use this so often anymore, but you never know when you’ll need it.

Laela Kilbourn on location shooting the documentary Swim Team with her Canon EOS C300.

Laela Kilbourn on location shooting the documentary Swim Team with her Canon EOS C300

How to Dance in Ohio premieres on October 26, 2015 on HBO.

1 Comment

  1. Lisa Tony

    October 23, 2015 at 1:00 am

    Nice kit list! Often times I forgot my sunblock and get sunburned. lol. Hope you can find this link helpful http://goo.gl/Fvu8OL for film makers. 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.