For our series What’s in Your Kit, we ask a range of working cinematographers to share the gear they can’t live without.
Aussie cinematographer Mandy Walker, ASC, ACS, shot Shattered Glass (2003), Australia (2008), Red Riding Hood (2011) and Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures, the real-life story of three African-American female NASA scientists who helped launch astronaut John Glenn into orbit during the Space Race. Next up for Walker: Hany Abu-Assad’s The Mountain Between Us, starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet.
Here we peek inside her kit, which answers the question “can you ever have too many light meters?” with a resounding “no.”
A. Pentax Digital Spotmeter (Two) / $600
When shooting on film, I use these as light meters that read a one-degree angle.
B. Minolta Autometer III / $800
This is also a light meter I use when shooting film. It reads the light that hits it on the dome.
C. Gossen Color-Pro 3F Temperature Meter / $800
Sometimes with the naked eye you can’t see what it will register as on the negative. This meter reads the color temperature of the light, so you can see how the film will record it.
D. Spectra Cine Professional IV-A Light Meters (Two) / $800
E. HME Wireless Communication System / $8,000
This is to talk to my crew discreetly, so I don’t have to yell across the set if they’re not right next to me.
F. Tiffen Contrast Viewing Filter / $100
This is to show my eye the contrast of the lighting as it appears on negative film.
G. Polarizing Viewing Glass / $100
I wear this around my neck to see if we need a polarizing filter outside or when shooting a highly reflective surface.
H. Suunto Tandem Compass and Clinometer / $50
With this mechanical compass and clinometer, I work out where the sun will come up on our location scouting.
I Can’t Live Without:
When I’m shooting on film, my light meters. On digital, a really great calibrated monitor.
Gear I’d Love to Have:
I’d love for all the discontinued film stocks to be available for different looks… but sadly they are gone now. MM
Hidden Figures opened in theaters nationwide January 6, 2017, courtesy of 20th Century Fox.