Investing in professional video equipment can boost your production quality, but if you don’t take care of that equipment, that quality will diminish over time. If you want to avoid losing, damaging, or fully breaking equipment, then you have to properly organize all of it. These tips for organizing video production equipment will teach you how to take care of your gear so you can maintain a high-quality professional set. If your equipment and your work ethic remain at a professional standard, then so will the final product.
Keep an Inventory
The first step for improving your organizational skills is by taking inventory of any and all video production equipment you have. Go through all of the equipment and create a detailed list of all of them for you and employees to use when seeking out a specific light, lens, or other components. Instead of wandering around the storage area looking for something you can’t even remember if you really have, you can simply check the inventory and know right away. However, to keep the inventory list accurate, you have to update it anytime you add or remove a new piece of equipment.
Don’t forget to keep the inventory list itself properly organized as well. There are a number of ways you could do this. For instance, you could list everything in alphabetical order. You can also divide equipment on the inventory list into sections such as “lighting,” and so forth. At the end of the day, the way you organize the inventory list comes down to what you feel is most beneficial for your specific production needs.
In fact, use that same principle when you’re physically organizing equipment in the storage area. The locations where place things throughout the area shouldn’t be random. Instead, plan ahead to ensure your set-up promotes efficiency in the workplace. Once you find an efficient set-up and your employees become familiar with it, you can develop a smooth, consistent rhythm when it comes to finding equipment. Instead of stumbling around the storage unit looking for gear, everyone will know exactly where to go in order to find what they need.
Make Labels for All Your Gear
It might sound tedious, but it’s incredibly beneficial – put labels on everything in your inventory. This, similar to the step above, will make finding and identifying equipment more efficient. It doesn’t hurt that clearly labeling everything will minimize the chance of employees packing up the wrong lights, lenses, or any other gear for any given shoot.
Make the labels detailed and readable so that the moment an employee looks at any piece of equipment, they know whether or not it’s what they need for the task at hand. The labels on your equipment should correspond with how they appear on your inventory list to avoid confusion. Put a system in place to assure that whenever a new piece of equipment becomes part of your inventory, it instantly receives a label and a corresponding title on the inventory list.
Use Specialized Storage Units
What this means is that you should store individual pieces of equipment somewhere you can keep them safe, secure, and organized. Don’t just throw memory cards into a random box and pile them on top of one another. Instead, buy a case in which you can store those cards in individual pockets that clearly display the labels on the front so when you search for a specific memory card, you can find it efficiently. As you can see, organization and efficiency go hand-in-hand.
That being said, memory cards are far from the only video production equipment you have to do this with. Camera lenses and filters are also components that desperately need to be carefully stored in a safe area. Neglecting proper equipment storage can do more than make work less efficient; it can lead to the equipment sustaining damage as well.
Regularly Inspect and Clean Storage Containers
Once you put a piece of equipment into storage, you shouldn’t leave it alone until the next time you need to use it. Set up a regular inspection schedule for you and/or other employees to abide by. That way, you can make sure that debris like dust doesn’t accumulate on equipment over time. Keeping production gear clean will extend its lifespan instead of eroding it. Aside from making sure equipment stays clean, a regular inspection also allows you to keep track of equipment damage.
The last thing you want to do is grab a piece of equipment you need for a shoot, only to discover it’s broken. Keeping tabs on equipment quality is going to make it easier to replace broken components at convenient times, as well as track down exactly how it broke, whether it was from improper storage or improper handling by an employee on the job.
Keep the Entire Storage Area Clean and Free of Clutter
Beyond inspecting the equipment in storage, you have to inspect and clean the entire storage area too. Preventing equipment, trash, and other obstructions from cluttering the floor, tables, and other areas is vital for a few reasons. First off, a messy workplace looks unprofessional. Second off, if you’re leaving clutter on the floor, you raise the chances of someone tripping in the storage area. If someone trips, not only can they hurt themselves, but they can also damage nearby equipment as well.
Furthermore, allowing clutter to accumulate in the storage area is a fire hazard. Clutter, depending on what and where the clutter is, can either obstruct a pathway for employees trying to evacuate during a fire emergency, or it can promote the spreading of fire. It should go without saying that minimizing fire hazards in the workplace needs to be one of your top priorities at all times.
Now that you know how to keep it safe and organized, you’re ready to seek out high-quality video production equipment for your next shoot. Using these tips for organizing video production equipment will make seeking out and caring for your gear incredibly easy. The care you put into your video production equipment will reflect in the final product it helps you create.