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The battery hack everyone should know

Save time. Save your production.

The battery system everyone needs

Are you tired of showing up to a shoot with dead batteries? It's time to hack your battery game!

We visited two cinematographers in their gear room and discovered their secret to success: easy and simple camera battery charging stations that anyone can use. No need to DIY your own charging station!

Follow their tips and never let dead batteries ruin your production again. Let's keep the energy flowing and the cameras rolling! 🔋💪

This simple battery tip can save your production

At ITCH Media, a content agency in London, they use an 'empty battery box'. Check out the short video here.

The principle is simple: after returning from a shoot, unload all your equipment, put everything back in its place for general tidiness, and immediately put your batteries in the charging dock.

Provide a simple charging station for quick and effortless charging. Ensure that the chargers remain plugged in and that there are enough chargers available, based on your production schedule.

“Always got to have your empty battery box!”
Ben Yates Director of Photography

You might have more empty batteries than you have chargers, in which case the ‘empty battery’ box comes in. Dunk them in there and charge them once a charging spot opens up. When fully charged, put them in the ‘full battery’ box. This way, the next crew knows exactly what they can and cannot use.

Battery boxes

Up your battery management with this hack

Ingvar from Bronx Community College showed us another super simple hack. All you need are some shelves and some gaffer tape!

Watch the video here:

Start with allocating a dedicated ‘charging zone’ in your gear room. You can give it a fun name like Battery Bay (or Bae?), Charging Chapel, Energy Eagle, or anything you like.

Ideally, you work with three shelves:

  • The top shelf: This is where you place your chargers for all kinds of gear. Group them by brand and keep them plugged in at all times.
  • The middle shelf: This is where you store your dead batteries.
  • The bottom shelf: This is where the fully charged batteries live. So, when you or someone on the team needs a battery, check the bottom shelf first.

But! Ingvar’s system has some additional hacks:

  • Use colored strips: Red for empty, green for full. Keeps things clean and clear.
  • Use dividers: Organize the batteries per brand or per item. All Alexa 35 batteries go in this section, all Panasonic batteries in that one.
Battery shelves
Color coding battery shelves

Dead battery = dead production

So, basically, the workflow comes down to this. When the crew returns from a shoot, they should:

  • Check which batteries have finished charging.
  • Move the charged batteries to the ‘full’ section, such as a ‘full battery box’ or a ‘green shelf’.
  • Place the dead batteries in the chargers.
  • Leave the remaining dead batteries in the designated section for empty batteries, such as an ‘empty battery box’ or a ‘red shelf’.

Ready to take your battery game to the next level? Check out this video where we introduce the carabiner method - this extra layer of security turns this method into the ultimate battery hack! Make sure that you never show up on set again with dead batteries.

And now that you've got the batteries part covered, you could look into some general equipment inventory management hacks. In this blog post, we go over the 8 top tips that will make your workflow a lot smoother, effortless, and stress-free!

Elke 4
Written by Elke Swinnen Sep 06, 2023

Elke Swinnen is Cheqroom’s video reporter and event queen. Most of the time, you’ll find her out in the world visiting Cheqroom customers and shows like NAB and IBC. She is passionate about sharing the latest gear updates, film industry insights, and top gear management tips and tricks. Her favorite pieces of gear are the ARRI ALEXA 35 and Aputure MC Pro. She’s also a Content and Social Media Marketer at Cheqroom.