I’ve meant to write a post about this for a while, so here it is: “How to look good on set while being comfortable for the 12+ hours.” I should clarify before you begin reading; this specifically for Camera (or really just what I do), but it can apply for all departments as well.
This statement applies to all categories:
Always wear dark colours! Wearing bright colours will bounce light, and it will make yourself more visible in reflections (even if it’s one stripe of white). I once had a nightmare of one of my crewmates wear a white shirt to set and I saw him in every single angle possible in reflections.
While hats aren’t for everyone, I usually wear one for a few reasons. The main reason is so I can see the monitor better if there are glares or lights flaring into my eyes. Second is to keep my head dry or warm if it’s raining or cold. Third and fourth are aesthetic: you don’t need to see my bed head hair, and I wear some pretty cool hats sometimes!
I try to always wear layers. Usually it comes to (in winter) a base layer of some dryfit rashguard, then a T-shirt (dark coloured), and then a hoodie or some other type of zip sweater that is easily removable. I lose the base layer if it’s summer. Buying expensive clothes that serve no purpose other than to look good is useless. You’re not always working in the cleanliness of environments, so just go to H&M or even Walmart to buy some nice stylish CHEAP shirts to wear. If you rock it with confidence, you’ll still look boss.
Same thing goes with your pants/shorts. Wear dark colours. You also don’t need to necessarily wear fancy clothes, just wear comfortable pants. I also find that some tight jeans might be limiting if you need to crouch or fit into tight spaces, so wear pants that you are limber in. To be honest, most of my on-set clothes are from H&M. I usually wear the slim fit cotton pants from H&M. The cotton has enough elasticity in it for my needs and it’s only $29.99/pair… Granted I was previously the guy that bought $200 brand name jeans, so $30 for a pair of pants is considerably cheaper.
This is originally why I made this post. Footwear can take a whole post on its own, and depending on how much I can get in this post without making it look too daunting for people to read, I might write a specific post for this alone. You spend 12+ hours on your feet and in your shoes. They can get sore and tired real quick if you’re doing it for weeks on a shooting block.
First on the agenda is socks. Often overlooked, but is one of the biggest factors to fatigue and comfort. I was lucky to run into the socks I use now. I was working on a feature and had run out of clean socks so I went to the nearest Walmart and bought a pack to make me through the rest of the days. I now own about 24 pairs of these socks.
Before I got these socks, my feet use to REEK after a day of shooting (even after those 20hr shoots). Now not so much if at all. The only problem I have with these socks is that they don’t stay too tight to your foot form, so it will stretch out and start to lap under your feet if your shoes aren’t tight. If you’re shooting in the winter, you might consider putting a wool sock monkey sock over these socks.
This brings us to shoes. Now before you start judging me, hear me out. I wear Crocs on set. Yes, I said it; Crocs. Before you picture me in clogs, look at these pictures of the Crocs I wear and consider how comfortable my feet are. On consecutive shoot days, running around, these are life savers.
Yea! Not too shabby eh? Doesn’t even look like the traditional Crocs! Now I realize you’re supposed to wear protective shoes, but these are damn comfortable, and if you’re not a grip/electric – you can kind of get away without steeltoes. These are also pretty affordable – you can find these on sale for $40. Before I owned the above pair, I owned the below pair for $20. I decided to get a more mature look as I got older.
Now boots. I’ve yet to find a great pair of boots yet, but my North Face Chilkat boots have served me very well, and are pretty damn comfortable and keep my feet warm during the cold winter.. I got them in San Francisco for $40, here they’re about $100, but I would pay that again for these boots.
Not the most stylish boots, but you can see me wearing them on the background image of my blog, and if I happened to have changed the picture… Here it is.
So they don’t look horrible either.
I highly recommend getting a parka. I wear the North Face McMurdo Parka. It’s not a cheap jacket, but it’s good against rain, wind and cold. It’s gotten me through some rough exterior shoots. I should also mention, I’m an avid North Face connoisseur. I love what they make; and apparently so does everyone in the film industry in Toronto.
I tend to wear the Viking ones more often because they have zippers down the side so I can throw them on and off over my current pants quicker. I also wear them more often because they’re cheaper to replace if they get damaged.
Don’t forget gloves! I don’t have a proper pair of touch screen gloves yet (now I’m using generic ones), but when you’re working with all the new technology now these days – it’s probably a good idea to get a pair. I’ve been thinking about getting the new North Face E-Tip gloves. They give you touch screen capabilities on the entire surface of the glove, including the palm! I would also suggest getting a pair of winter gloves too. If you’re in the camera department, you’ll find your hands are rarely in your pockets and always fighting the weather. Having cold hands will really slow you down.
I also keep a bag full of weather gear and extra stuff incase we run into problems while shooting. In this bag is a rain jacket, some clear bags, a pair of socks and a t-shirt. I found a small waterproof bag that this all fits into perfectly (except my weather pants). The INNATE CARAVAN COMPARTMENT.
I hope this all helps! Let me know if there are any further questions, or if you have any ideas. I’d love to hear them. Thanks for reading all the way to the end. It was a daunting post.