Motorhomes a.k.a Honeywagon

Motorhomes are a great asset to any set and sometimes you have a few of them. On larger sets there is a makeup motorhome, one for Wardrobe, one for production and a few for the talent. On a small independent film there may or may not be any. I have used as few as 0 and as many as 10. It all depends on your budget. A lot of times you can get by with 1, if you have any money at all, and just let the actors only (no crew, no production) share the motorhome. Most actors are easy going and will be happy with having one at all. Note: There should be no one hanging out in there except talent. Watch for this!

Camera Truck

The camera truck is the place where anything in your camera department will be housed.  Usually this comes in on some type of box truck anywhere from 14ft to 24ft or sometimes it comes in a large trailer attached to a truck. From the camera body to the lenses, tripods, film or tape stock, etc. all of it will be on this truck. This is an important truck to have very close to the set.

Grip Truck

This truck comes with everything you can imagine on it. Remember the show Macgyver? Think of what he would make and it is probably on this truck. If you need something rigged, built, raised, lowered, held up or attached to something this is where you go. Oh, and it also has stands for lights. This truck could be as big as a semi or as small as a van depending on your budget.

Electrical Truck

Most of the time this is the same as the grip truck. Electrical just refers to the lights and the cables to plug in the lights. Also, anything that shines light, outside of mirror boards, will be on an electrical truck package. There are a few rare occasions where this will be on a separate truck from the grip truck.

Greens Truck

This truck is not for anything green or to house newcomers to the business. This truck contains all plant life that you could need on a set. Trees, ferns, plants, flowers and bushes are housed on this truck.

Props Truck

This truck has all props on it. Many times too the props truck will have some room on it for the prop master to set up a makeshift shop so that they can make things or prepare things on the spot for you. It is important that your props truck have a way to tie things down and also to stack things. Many prop masters prefer some shelving in part of the truck to make things easier for travel.

Wardrobe Truck

On bigger jobs wardrobe is usually housed in a semi trailer. On your job, wardrobe will likely be housed in the wardrobe stylist’s vehicle and then rolled on racks into a motor home or into a holding room for dressing people.

Makeup Trailer

Sometimes there is a separate trailer for makeup to use for getting the actors ready. I personally put makeup and wardrobe usually in the same trailer or in a holding room for independent films with the holding room being my favorite.

Star Trailers

This is always a nice gesture to your stars and gives them a quite place to rehearse. It is however not always affordable and once again you can provide your actors with a small room that they can rehearse lines in. One thing to keep in mind is that this trailer or room should have limited access to the outside world and crew to gives actor a safe haven. Make sure you have someone police who is allowed in and out of here or your actors will spend all their time chatting with fans and not preparing for their next scene.

Runner vans

Usually this is just a 15 passenger van with a PA as a driver that can be a gopher for anything you need. This is almost a necessity on a set. It is incredibly helpful to have a runner van to go and get lunch, missing props, etc. or to even move people from the parking location to the shoot location. More than 1 van is a great idea.

Talent vehicle

On some sets each actor has his or her own driver to being them to and from set.  They will usually just come in a normal vehicle and can drop off the actor at set and then take the vehicle to the designated parking.

Where did they all come from?

You can count on there being more vehicles than you have space for on a movie set. Imagine how tough it was to find a parking space in college and you will get the idea of how many vehicles will be at your shoot. Below is a list and description of some of the vehicles you can expect.

Tip#2

Your independent budget will be for a combo grip/electric truck. Depending on your needs this truck could be as big as a semi or as small as a van.

Tip#1

Most Camera trucks will also have a portable darkroom in them for changing film. Keep this in mind if you end up shooting on 35mm or 16mm.

Tip#3

If you have a need for a generator, you may be able to hook it to the back of your grip truck and have it delivered to set that way. This is cheaper than a delivery service. Most grips also drive big trucks that can tow your generator and will do this for a fee.

Tip#4

You may have the need for only a few plants on your set. Usually the props truck has some room set aside for items such as this. A greens truck is nice is you have a large outdoor shoot but not a necessity.

Tip#5

I have worked on some very low budget films where we did not even have enough money for a motor home. In this case use a separate bathroom or room in the location as the wardrobe and make-up room.

Tip#6

If you do not have a wardrobe truck, make sure you at least have wardrobe racks. This way you can roll the talent wardrobe around and have a place to hang it. Ask your stylist for these.

Tip#7

Placing a PA outside of the door of your star trailer can help alleviate the amount of foot traffic that come in contact with your stars. It will also give you access to your star by walkie talkie quickly.

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