What’s In Your Ditty Bag?

(And, what is it?)

A ditty bag can contain any variety of tools needed on a production set, such as those pictured above. Clockwise from the bottom left: spare batteries and extra video cards, safety equipment, marking tape, putty, chargers or adapters, light accessories, sound accessories, and grips.

Tools can go by different names depending on who you’re talking to. In media production, there is no tool with more names than the ditty bag. The specific term “ditty bag” is most often used by the camera crew. It also goes by other names and acronyms outside of that particular department.

Although non-industry folks may not be familiar with the name, they would certainly be familiar with what it does. It’s the holding place for bits and pieces they keep just in case. At home, they call it the “kitchen junk drawer.”

Individualized Ditty Bag

Production businesses each may have their own name for this catchall; here at BW we call it the OSB, which stands for the “Oh S*** Box/Bag.” Another general term for it is the AKS bag (from All Kinds of Stuff/S*** or the polite but less correct Accessories). 

The ditty bag is not a constant for every production. The “essential” tools in it depend on whose bag it is and what job they perform.  For example, the camera assistant may have marking tape in her ditty bag but the production assistant may carry bottled water and an extra copy of the script for the on-screen talent in his.  

In future posts, each member of the BW team will tell you just what he/she keeps in their personal OSB.  In small businesses, everyone can wear multiple hats on the job, so there may be some surprising answers!  We hope you’ll follow the series and learn more about the BW Productions team on this side of the camera.

Want to learn about other video production tools and terms? Check out this article.

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