5 Surprising Personal Items I Never Go to Set Without

5 Surprising Personal Items I Never Go to Set Without
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You may be wondering why I’m writing about personal items on set, considering the vast array of ever-changing technology in the film industry.  It’s because we don’t show up to set unprepared, and these are a few things I’ve found that I need to have the most productive day on set.

Your own must-haves may be unique, but as long as they work for you, I’m not judging.  Whatever helps you get through a long workday with minimal scrambling is fine.

Here are the five personal items I take on every job, big or small:

  1. My radio earpiece.

When I started working in production years ago, the radios were massive, and almost everyone was on a headset.  Today radios are small, and most of us bring our own earpieces.

If you’ve ever been on a set where they’ve run out of headsets, and you don’t have an earpiece, you’ll understand why.  It’s also more sanitary, as I’m the only one who touches my earpiece.

It’s one personal item I won’t go to set without.

  1. My fanny pack.

You may laugh, but fanny packs are handy to wear on set.  Yes, they’re a bit outdated, but they more than make up for that by the fact I never have to go in search of things I use throughout the day.

Pens, sharpies, tissues, driver’s license, and even a few paperclips are in there.  I can also clip my radio and phone case onto the strap of the pack.

As long as I don’t get carried away and load it up with unnecessary stuff, it’s easy to wear all day.

Yeah, I may be dating myself by wearing my fanny pack, but I prefer to think of it as a charming vintage accessory.  I’m just waiting for the social media influencers to make it fashionable again.

  1. My metal box clipboard.

When I was a trainee, we were all instructed to purchase one of these to carry around the endless reams of paperwork we’d be distributing.  Decades later, I still have my silver box clipboard and use it all the time.

I don’t carry around piles of paperwork like I used to, but there’s always something I need to fill out or hand out.  And paperwork, like martinis, should always be dry.

Hence, my metal box clipboard comes to set with me.

  1. A hat.

I always have a hat in my set bag.  That way, there’s no risk of forgetting to bring it when we’re shooting outside in the sun.

You only have to forget once, and you never will again.  I’ll testify to that.

  1. A small flashlight.

Have you ever tried to wrap out your work gear in the dark?  Yes, the set lighting crew may leave up a work light, but it might not be where you need it.  And once they’re finished, the work light gets wrapped.

So I always have a flashlight handy.

Better yet, there’s a company called Lightbar that makes some neat headbands with LED light strips that you can wear on your head, leaving your hands free.  The lights even have dimmable and spotlight modes.  It’s your own illumination, perfect for working in the dark.


So those are a few things I don’t go to set without.

I’ve recently seen some other items that I think are a great idea but wouldn’t be able to use much, such as the portable seat that folds into a small disc.  I can’t sit down enough on set to make having one worthwhile.

What are your set essentials?  Maybe you’ve got some that I need to know about.  Respond in the comments.

That’s a wrap.



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2 Responses

  1. Michele Urbany Puluti says:

    Good blog Judy! I agree 100% with your 5 essentials to have on set! Being a costumer I also needed safety pins, a reliability pen and a portable seat with sewing essentials.