Video Equipment Checklist

This checklist has helped prevent many of us from having to end a great interview because we didn’t have an extra battery, tapes or the audio on – or a number of other small, but destructive, oversights. Adapt this comprehensive checklist for your own needs and equipment – and check it twice before you grab that key interview or shot you’ve been working so hard to get!


  • Camera: keep lens cap on when you aren’t using it (always)
  • Tapes: have extras, and then grab a few more
  • CHARGED batteries: bring as many as you have
  • Battery charger: Use as a replacement for batteries, if possible
  • Headphones: remember, what you hear is what you record
  • Microphones: remember to have charged batteries and keep it off until you film
  • Tripod: Try to ALWAYS use a tripod when doing an interview
  • Lens cleaner: Make sure your lens is clean every time you shoot.


  • Put stickers on ALL blank tapes and number them immediately
  • Don’t remove a tape until it’s completed or else you’ll have a time code break(!)
  • Remember to always record 10 SECONDS at the beginning of each tape (or time code break) and 5 SECONDS afterwards
  • Remember that it’s okay to stop recording on a tape before you’ve recorded 60 minutes worth of footage, particularly if you’re moving locations or have just recorded something very important
  • After you’ve finished recording on a tape, write down what’s on the tape, the date, the location, and the running time (RT)
  • Move the red tab from “record” to “save” when you have finished a tape
  • Store all completed tapes in a safe place. Stack them vertically (like books)


TIP: In addition to a log sheet, you may also have subjects identify themselves on camera, and spell their names. Additionally, you can begin each tape with a statement about the situation or events being filmed, including location, date, and purpose.

What’s Next? Filming With Your Mobile Phone

Content adapted from the original guide, which was produced for a WITNESS-HURIFO Training in July 2005 by Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt.

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