How to Prevent Coronavirus by Cleaning Your Camera Equipment
We’ve assembled some helpful tips to prevent the spread of COVID-19 for all people in the media industry!
It is quite the time to be alive!
On Friday, March 13th, 2020, the President of the United States announced a National State of Emergency due to the worldwide spread of the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Immediate action was taken in cities and towns all over the USA to encourage social distancing and prevent the spread of the virus.
Moments like these are typically ones of chaos, fear, confusion, and (to our complete surprise) a lack of toilet paper, face masks, and hand sanitizer across the nation.
These moments, however, also reveal true leadership in our cities, communities, and workplaces. Leaders are stepping up to help calm and comfort the crowds, and encourage in-home relaxation, creativity, and recovery time.
That’s what we’re here to help with today!
The most important thing right now is to stay healthy by washing your hands, covering your cough, blah blah blah. We all know the drill when it comes to sanitation!
But at She TV Media, we’ve begun thinking outside of the box about what else should be cleaned to keep us protected:
We found many articles online on how to clean your airpods and how to clean your phone, but we couldn’t find any articles on how to clean your camera equipment. So here we go!
Raise your hand if you’ve ever cleaned your tripod…
If we’re practicing social distancing and home-quarantining, we might as well pick up some cleaning habits of maintaining our equipment.
This pandemic has been a slap-in-the-face reminder to clean all of our stuff, but these tips are meant to be practiced all year long.
Here are the most important pieces of equipment to clean:
** These tips are just ones that we have personally compiled for cleaning our equipment. Please follow manufacturer guidelines and official advisories about how to safely clean your personal equipment.
We’d like to safely assume that almost everyone has used a tripod at some point in their lifetime. If you haven’t, then you’ve certainly seen us use them while we’re working!
We use tripods on 99% of the videos we film. That means that our same tripods have traveled quite a bit. They’ve been all over California: the mountains, the beach, the desert, the city streets. They’ve been to a variety of states: South Carolina, Texas, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Arizona, Nevada, Chicago, Maine, and many more. They’ve been on muddy grounds, on Hollywood boulevard concrete (yikes!), and in a whole bunch of homes.
And after every shoot, you know where our tripods go? That’s right, right back into our production vehicle, which most of the time is our personal car. (*Insert forced smile emoji*).
Needless to say, tripods are so important to clean. We clean ours about once a month. It’s important to clean them AND the carrying case/bag that they come in.
A nice rinse off is very quick and easy. You can just use tap water, or even pop your tripod in the shower for a nice rinse (don’t use soap).
If you want a more disinfecting cleaning, we use Lysol wipes and Fabuloso to clean the legs of the tripod (the part that most people are touching to move the tripod around), and especially the feet of the tripod (the part that actually touches on the ground).
2. LIGHT STANDS
Similar to tripods, light stands are very important (and typically overlooked) to clean.
Whether we’re using C-Stands or the general black light stands, these are definitely the objects that multiple people are touching to move around. In addition, light stands also stand on various surfaces.
When we work on narrative or documentary sets, we have anywhere from 3–6 people who are handling them from various departments: lighting, grip, production design, and sometimes even costumes. They come in handy to a lot of people! But that also means a lot of different people are touching them.
We recommend just getting a few Lysol wipes and wiping them down at the end of a shoot. Keeping in mind the carrying case they come in could use a good wipe down, as well.
3. SWITCHES/ BUTTONS/CABLES
We’re not going to get into the nitty gritty of all the things you might use on set that could use a good clean, but in general, think of all the things you’re touching throughout the film shoot:
- Light switches
- Power Cables (“Stingers”)
- Charging cables/switches
- Camera buttons
- Monitor buttons
- Lavalier Microphone Cables
Anything that multiple people are touching throughout the day is important to clean. We’d like to emphasize most two different things:
- Power Cables- they lay on the floor and most of the time get stepped on by everyone passing by. Everyone’s shoe germs, any dust that falls, etc. goes straight onto those stingers. Give a good wipe down the length of the cable before wrapping up and putting away for the day.
- Lavalier Microphone Cables- These babies are sensitive. You definitely want to be aware of the *expensive* *tiny* microphone at the end of the cable. But the wire is usually inside the interviewee’s shirt, attached to either their clothing or taped to their skin. It’s absolutely important to clean these after each use to prevent the spreading of colds, infections, and so on.
Lastly, it’s good to think outside of the box when cleaning your film equipment. What are some other items you use on every film shoot?
Here’s a list of some things we’ve compiled:
- Car Trunk/ Backseat
- Steering Wheel
- Car Keys
- Laptop Bag/ Laptop
- Hard Drives
- Your Phone
- YOURSELF. TAKE A SHOWER.
Stay safe and healthy out there everyone!
Natalie & Meredith