Saturday, May 1, 2021

The No-Budget Production Survival Kit

 When a production has very little money you can expect that it won't have some of those creature comforts that would otherwise be expected on a set.

One of the most-overlooked essentials on an micro-budget production is a first aid kit. With all kinds of equipment scattered around and the general craziness around a set, it's not terribly difficult for someone to get hurt.

It's always a good idea to keep a first aid kit in your car. You can purchase basic first aid kit at drug stores or even create your own using an old bag and whatever medical supplies you can anticipate ever needing.

Make sure you always know where the nearest hospital is located in case of emergency, especially when shooting at locations where cell phone reception is not reliable.
Pssst... Film-makers! If you are working on a project that involves a lot of action, stunts, or takes place in exterior locations such as in the woods where risk of injury is higher, consider hiring a paramedic or nurse to stay on the set. You may also be able to find one to volunteer their time in exchange for film credit.

If you are going to be working outdoors, especially in wooded areas or in water, your survival pack should include insect repellent,  hydrocortisone cream, a snakebite kit, and a planned escape route to get to a car or enclosure.

Remember, there are many things in the woods that will try to murder you.

It also pays to learn how to identify spiders, snakes, and other nasty critters that are indigenous to the area. Investing in a snake hook and learning how to use it is also a good idea to handle uninvited visitors.

Always bring a change of clothes, paper towels or baby wipes, and a bath towel if you are on the crew of an action-adventure or horror movie set.  Or pretty much any type of project where blood, goo, mud, and who knows what else is going to be slung around. There's a good chance that you can get very messy, even if you are behind the camera.

This also comes in handy in the event of rain on an exterior location.  Having a dry pair of clothes to change into can keep a miserable day from becoming an unbearable one.

Productions on a really tight budget may skimp a lot on craft services (if they have it at all.) Remember, no-budget films are notorious for going long past the scheduled wrap time.

It's a good idea to pack a few snacks and drinks in your car just in case. You can also pick up a small ice cooler at a thrift store if you want cold drinks ready for you.

When we go on sets where we suspect there was no budget for meals, we  always pack enough snacks and water for a small army. It never goes to waste on a set full of hungry people who haven't eaten in ten hours.

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