In many of my reviews; I review knock off brands or no-name brands. This led me to write about this subject in the film industry of Brand names and being a “label whore”.
You’d think it wouldn’t matter in this industry, but it does and I’ll tell you why (at least in my experience). I should also mention my knowledge is limited to the Toronto Film Industry.
I started as a camera assist. My very first belt was a jobmate toolbelt. This was ridiculous, and within a month I bought my very first official pouch, a Large Set Wear Camera Assist Pouch. I bought a husky toolbelt to wear this around. Now this is a big boy pouch! (For those that are in the states.) For us in Toronto, apparently it’s not. Shortly after I got the pouch, I ordered a CineBags Production Bag for my ditty. I was happy with these items for a long time…. Until I got onto bigger shows.
Here’s the secret to Toronto’s Camera Industry: Don’t buy items that are big in the states. The only brands you need to buy are ACG Belts by sourceshop and Modular51 bags. Otherwise you will be the laughing-stock of the set! Canadians are proud of the things that are local, ACG and Modular 51 are Made in Canada!
I now own a full belt kit (which sadly I don’t use anymore because I don’t assist anymore) which includes:
- ACG Belt (you can find cheaper ones than here tho)
- ACG Small AC pouch (only need a small one if you’re first AC or focus pulling)
- ACG Kimwipe dispenser (life saver, keeps you your job)
- Leatherman (a must have, might not use it often, but it’s there when you need it)
- Glove Clip (luxury item, you’ll never lose your gloves again, and always know where they are)
I also own a modular51 FIZ bag I use as my onset bag.
I do still have my CineBag, but I wish I had gotten a modular51 or the Arri one instead. But at this point in my career, I don’t need a new ditty because I mostly shoot and DP now.
Obviously the items I’ve purchased first are significantly cheaper, please listen to me and purchase items once. I’ve always failed at this and purchased upgrades when I should have just saved and purchased the better one in the first place. “Poor Man Pays Twice” Or in my case… 3-4 more times lol.
GRIP AND LIGHTING
In terms of Grip and Lighting. Brand Naming doesn’t matter as much… Camera people can be snobs lol. But here is the reason why grip and lighting doesn’t matter as much (in my opinion).
If you’re using your own knockoff lights, it’s usually for a smaller shoot, a personal project, or something in that sense. (on larger projects you would rent a truck). So if you’re on a smaller project, using your gear, it’s most likely your usual suspects that are gripping/sparking for you – meaning they know what you use, and they PROBABLY don’t care.
THAT BEING SAID.. I’m steering away from purchasing knockoff items and trying to only buying the real stuff now. I’ve sold off most of my no-name lighting except for my knockoff Arri Fresnels, which I’m slowly phasing into real ones. Part of it is because of the brand name, part of it is quality and the other part is because I can justify affording it now. You can check out my gear list on my website!
So why does this matter? Unfortunately, and I have to somewhat agree to this, this matters because it weeds out the thin. It’s not so much as a “Hey look what I have” but more of a “Hey look, I’m serious about this” It might be superficial on the surface, but if you look deeper into it, it’s really telling others that you’ve taken that extra step and are that much more dedicated to the craft or industry. This might not be true to everyone, (like those people who are well off and just buy whatever they want), but to the average joe, it actually shows a lot. It shows that one has researched about the industry, that one is able to purchase these items, and that one is willing to invest into this industry (because these items aren’t really the most affordable things). Being a label whore in this industry is kind of required. Where degrees and diplomas aren’t really needed in this industry, the ability to invest in oneself’s future and show it… is kinda important.
- REVIEW: Chinese As Arri Fresnels (thedavelam.wordpress.com)