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