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Production Tips: 6 Ways to Manage Cords on Set

Jourdan Aldredge

A film set can become a busy place. Here are some helpful tricks to keep those cords tidy and out of the way.

Top image via Shutterstock

Whether it’s a DIY two-man shoot, corporate video set-up or feature film production, there will always be lots of wires connecting lights and cameras and outlets. We’ve compiled some of the best tips and tricks (and mantras) for cord management.

1. LABEL, LABEL, LABEL

Tips for Managing Cords on Set: Label Maker

Image via Amazon

Label everything! Every cord, input and output should be accounted for in clear, easy-to-access letters. If everything is put together well enough, no one should ever ask what any cord is used for — it’ll say clearly for them to read.

Ways of labeling include simple 3M Painter’s Tape, tag label stickers or portable printed label tags.


2. Keep Them Together

Tips for Managing Cords on Set: Kept Together Cords

Image via Shutterstock

As much as possible, try and keep running cords tied together. You’d rather have one main line running down the middle of your set than several lines spread out for people to avoid. You can do this with tape, cord ties or Velcro (which can also help with labeling).


3. Tape Them Down

Tips for Managing Cords on Set: Gaffer Tape

Image via Wikipedia

Taping down cables and cords is another helpful way to control the lines and keep them from scrunching up into foot-catching loops. When possible, the ideal line for each cord or bunch should be as out of the way as possible. Try lining against walls and avoiding walkways.

Avoid duct tape as it can damage floors. Gaffer tape is ideal. Lay out your line, tape your beginning and end points, and apply tape as needed to keep the line secure in between. If on carpet, consider Velcro 4” Hook & Pile Tape for endless reusability.


4. Go Wireless (When Possible)

Tips for Managing Cords on Set: LED Light

Image via Videolighting

With recent technological advances, wireless options are more and more in vogue on sets. Wireless boom mics are gaining popularity and can help your audio department tremendously. Consider LED lighting options when possible to simplify your set ups and provide greater accessibility.


5. Wrap It Up (properly)

When wires are not in use, be sure to keep them wrapped up and out of the way. For those still uncomfortable with how to wrap wires, watch one of the many videos online for practice.


6. Use Clear Plastic Boxes

Tips for Managing Cords on Set: Clear Box

Image via StacksandStacks

Once your cords are wrapped, store them neatly out of the way in clear plastic boxes and bags. Add labels to everything and they’ll be clear and accessible when needed.


Have any other tips or tricks for managing cords on set? Share them in the comments below!