I'm getting ready to Grip on a music video shoot tomorrow and I thought I would share my check list with you. This list is comprised of everything you should do the night before because everyone knows that so many things can be forgotten or go wrong the next day. Whatever you don't check or do the night before will surely become a problem the next day, big or small.
- Print the call sheet and keep a copy in your pack.
- Save all contact information from the call sheet in your cell phone if you don't already know them. (of course you mainly want to save people that you're more likely to interact with the next day. As a grip, I might not save the number of talent.) Who knows, you might get lost on the way to set and you might need to call someone to help you find you're way.
- Calculate the best travel route to the set. Be sure to check for weekend MTA delays. Print, write down, or save the directions in your phone.
- Make sure your cell phone is fully charged or on the charger before sleep.
- Set one or two wake-up alarms. I always forget this and you never want to be late to set. Such a bad look. I use my phone alarm as well as a regular alarm clock. If you feel like you won't wake up, request a wake up call from a friend, girlfriend/boyfriend, or someone on the shoot.
- Prepare weather gear for extreme conditions and have it ready and out the night before. (what if you wake up late and you're in a rush. It's best to have all layers of clothing ready.) For wet conditions, pack extra clothes in case you end up soaked. Nothing worse than being soaked for 12 hours.
- Prepare personal tools/pouch. All battery powered objects need to be tested for their battery.
Replace as needed. Bring extra batteries. (Remember that cold weather will sap most batteries very fast.) Only bring what tools you know you'll need. But of course whatever you don't bring you'll probably end up needing according to Murphy's Law.
- If you're in a position where you're using a piece of gear or tool that you've never used, Make sure you research, study, and ask other film buddies who might know about it. There's nothing worse than showing up to set like you know what you're doing and then you try to do it, and you do it wrong. So embarrassing! It's better to be honest and ask questions. It's ego/production insurance.
The reason I decided to post this is because I want to help others avoid the mistakes I made when preparing to shoot. You want to avoid any unnecessary issues that could prove costly to your future opportunities.