8 Essentials a Line Producer Should Carry

Line Producer’s live and die by the Boy Scout’s motto – “Be Prepared”.  The only thing I’d add is “Be Prepared for EVERYTHING, cause anything can and will happen on a production.

Whether you’re on location, in the studio or sitting at your desk prepping for the next shoot – here are some handy ‘must-haves’ for your bag, satchel, knapsack,  or briefcase.

  1. Phone.  Seems obvious, but I’ve had to turn around more than once because I left it on my kitchen table, in my refrigerator, on my desk, in the ladies room, sitting on (fill in the blank). Be prepared because you will never find a pay phone that works or is clean.
  2. Phone Charger for wall and car. Do not leave your home without your phone being fully charged and with a charger for the wall and the car.  Just don’t.  You’ll be on your phone all day– texting, making and taking calls, searching for a heart shaped birdcage the production is sure to need at the last minute.  Be prepared, because a dead phone is not a phone.
  3. Paper and pen.  Yeah, yeah, we live in a world of technology.  Everything is done on the phone or computer.  But what if you’re on location and need to leave a note on a door, leave the location owner some written information, have a quick production meeting for the next day and need to take notes,  write down a very large coffee order,  whatever… your thumbs just don’t move that fast and you need all the information, not half of what you can remember.  Be prepared, because you’re human not a robot with a memory chip.
  4. Folding umbrella.  Even if you have the greatest NASA weather app and it indicates blue skies for the next 20 days – bring an umbrella – when has the weather report ever been truly correct?  I’ve known it to say warm, sunny temps and suddenly found myself standing in a snowstorm. Be prepared because mother nature can be cruel.
  5. A small USB flash drive.  You just never know when you’ll need to do an emergency transfer of files.  Be prepared because  you won’t always be near a 24-hour Walmart.
  6. Post-it-Notes and a Sharpie.  Sometimes line producers just need to put notes on things, tag items and write with a marker that will stand out. Be prepared, because little notes will fly away without an adhesive backing.
  7. Extra sweater or sweatshirt.  You may unexpectedly find yourself  in a house, trailer, studio, or in the elements where the temperature has dropped twenty degrees..  Be prepared, because it’s draining and difficult to think when your feet and toes feel like ice pops.
  8. Extra socks.  If you step in a puddle, the cooler turns over on your feet, or there’s a sudden downpour, there’s nothing worse than spending your day in wet socks.  Be prepared, because wet socks suck. (Say that fast 7 times.)

What’s in your bag?

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