Cinematographer Frankie DeMarco

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, Frankie DeMarco (My All American, All is Lost) reveals what’s in his kit.

The Kit

I’ve chosen to exclude my meters, specialty lenses and other DP hardware and opted to show you what’s in my “use-all-the-time” kit. I use these items on all my projects: movies, TV pilots or commercials.


A. Adidas ClimaCool trainers / $60

I like to change shoes halfway through the day. It really keeps the stamina up. JC Chandor and Anna Gerb gave me these on All is Lost.

B. Bonger / $20

Japanese massage tool for relieving neck and back stress.

C. Tiffen .15ND filters

Sometimes a half stop makes all the difference. Angelo Pizzo and Paul Schiff gave me these custom-made filters from the Filter Gallery in NYC after shooting on My All American wrapped.

D. Small container with my mother’s ashes

She never got to travel, so I sprinkle these in the far-off places I find myself.

E. TheraCane massager / $35

Gets the knots out of my back and neck. Everyone on the set borrows it from me. I often give these out as gifts.

F. Travel toothbrush / $3

I like spicy food and garlic.

G. Earplugs / $20 for 200 Grainger

For my lunchtime nap and, sometimes, to drown out strident ADs.

H. Vitamin B6/B12 / $6

It’s like a non-caffeine pick-me-up. Great when everyone on set is sick, too.

I. Tee Tree Therapy toothpicks / $3.59

I spike these with a little clove oil, too. Very refreshing, keeps me from snacking. Great for sharing.

J. Miso soup stock and wakame seaweed / $7

Miso soup is a quick and easy alternative to eating all the craft junk.

K. Olympus XA Rangefinder camera / $150

I still like to take film stills. The XA was one of the greatest rangefinder cameras of the ’70s.

L. Kodak 400asa color film / $5

I push it to 800asa. Love it while it lasts.

M. Pepper mill / $24

I got to have fresh ground pepper on my food!

N. Laser pointer

A great communication tool with my gaffer and key grip. Excellent in the DI theater, too. Tim Stippan at Technicolor gave it to me when we timed Margin Call.

O. Crayola crayons / $2

If the stand-by painter is MIA, I can quickly touch up a scratch on furniture in a shot.

P. Moleskine notebook / $12

Writing notes old-school style still works for me. I stole it from my daughter when she was seven.

Q. Metal spoon / $7

I hate the waste of plastic utensils. I’m saving the environment one plastic spoon at a time. It’s a long road, but somebody’s got to do it…

R. Blue handles / $1,200

My favorite hand grips for hand-holding. Very versatile and infinitely adjustable. I used them a lot on All is Lost, Shortbus, Delirious and Rabbit Hole.

S. Assorted condiments: Tabasco sauce, crushed red peppers, Cholula hot sauce / $2-7

How can they serve second-meal pizza without these?

Cinematographer Frankie DeMarco

Gear I’d Love to Have:

I would give practically anything to get the kind of riding head that cinematographer Robert Richardson, ASC uses on his films. MM

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