For our series What’s in Your Kit, we ask a range of working cinematographers to share the gear they can’t live without.
Brian Burgoyne, whose credits include Sundance 2015’s Hello, My Name is Doris, shot Chris Kelly’s autobiographical drama, Other People, about a comedy writer (Jesse Plemons) moving home to Sacramento to look after his cancer-suffering mother (Sissy Spacek).
Here, Burgoyne reveals what’s in his kit.
Once I am in production on a project, I rarely have the time or desire to use a computer on set, so I resort to a very paper-based approach. I have a binder full of notes, a shotlist, the script, references, lighting ideas, schedule, equipment orders, etc.
In addition, I always have a notebook for scribbling ideas that arise in the moment on location, or while blocking a scene.
The iPhone and a few apps have replaced a lot of what I used to carry around with me. The main apps I use are Artemis and Helios. I also listen to a lot of music via Spotify on the way to set every day and sometimes in the midst of shooting. It helps me tame the clutter in my brain. I also keep my iPhone in an OtterBox exterior case so it doesn’t break when I drop it roughly a dozen times a day.
I use the iPad to read books. I look at a lot of films and images in prep, but once I begin shooting, I try to avoid watching things and instead read in my free time. I am in the midst of A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James, which I highly recommend!
5. Thumb Drive
I like to have my DIT give me stills from all the day’s setups.
6. Spectra Cine Professional IV-A Light Meter and Case
I prefer to use a light meter rather than constantly running to the monitor. It’s faster, more consistent, and I can dial in lighting without waiting for video village to follow along. The Spectra was the first meter I ever bought when I went to film school, and I still love its simplicity.
When it’s appropriate, I love to shoot on my ARRI Amira. I really like the size and balance of it for handheld shooting. I use a laptop a lot during prep to look at references and images, as well as to organize and plan for a shoot. My photo archive contains decades of inspiring images from amazing photographers across the globe. Lastly, coffee is my most constant collaborator.
Gear I’ve Love to Have:
A pair of monitors from OLED is probably my next purchase. I always rent lenses and other gear, as the qualities I am looking for vary widely from project to project, but I would love to have a pair of monitors that are with me on every job. Even after being calibrated I often find that monitors from the same manufacturer can be just a bit different from one another. MM
This article appears in MovieMaker‘s Winter 2016 issue. For more cinematographers sharing their annotated kits, click here.