My Filmmaking Uniform

My Filmmaking Uniform

Whenever I go on a shoot I like to dress appropriately. What I wear is practical, and ultimately serves a purpose. Unless I need to blend in, it would be very unlikely to see me wear a suit while on set.

So what am I wearing?

A plaid or checked shirt.

To me, it’s a bit of a fashion statement in the filmmaking community. George Lucas is famous for wearing them, J.J. Abrams wears plaid shirts, and when I filmed with Ian F. Hunt he too wore a plaid shirt.

Shirt over shirt.

Here’s where the functionality comes in. Wearing a plaid shirt over a plain white T-shirt keeps you warm with layers if you’re filming in the cold, and cool in the heat if you strip down to just the T. Further, if a surface needs cleaning, or someone on set needs a shirt, you can just hand them the plaid shirt and you’re still wearing the T. There is one final practical reason for wearing a shirt over a shirt if you are an independent and freelancer, and that is to remove glare on a camera monitor. Take off your over shirt and cover your head and monitor with it like one of those vintage Victorian cameras that take the picture upside down. It puts you into shadow and gives easy access to seeing the screen.

English Heritage BTS - Shirt Over Shirt English Heritage BTS - Shirt Over Shirt

Black Cargo Pants

So many pockets! They’re super comfy, lightweight, and durable. It’s okay to get these things dirty too, as unlike my jeans these are basically working trousers. But just to have the ability of storing loads of things on your person is a grand selling point.


Ideally, I would love a pair of military boots. After that, leather 1490 Dr Martens. At the moment, I wear black canvas Dr Martens and they’re so good. But why boots? For me, I can wear them all day – they’re comfy, and with Dr Martens, designed to support your feet. Additionally, boots support your ankle and rise to your shins for added comfort and protection. They also have amazing tread giving you extra grip – stopping you from slipping on uneven surfaces. Boots are usually waterproof too and easy to clean. But they also protect your feet if something were to fall. Filming equipment is heavy and can easily break your toes if you drop it – boots can provide you that extra bit of protection.

An Eyepatch

Constantly looking down a viewfinder can be really straining on your eyes and face – you have to constantly block out and close the eye your not using to look down the viewfinder. An eyepatch, just like a pirate, covers the eye you’re not using and allows you to relax your face. You can only scrunch up one side of your face for so long without feeling pain and numbness.

2nd AC Pouch

Just like the addition of extra pockets on a pair of cargo pants, the 2nd AC Pouch allows you to hold more equipment with you. To get an in-depth look at my AC Pouch, follow the link here.


A military styled jacket that keeps me very warm in the cold. It has epaulets for clipping a walkie talkie to or feeding bag straps through. Pockets to hold things. But most importantly, is made from cotton. Coats and macs are usually made from Polyester which builds up static, and constantly makes a ‘swishing’ noise which is not only really annoying, but can ruin a shot when heard by the sound guys. A coat or jacket made from cotton is virtually silent and rustle free. And my jacket has a hidden hood in the neck.


Keeping on time and to schedule is vital on a shoot. Most people would look at their phone to get an idea for time, however you must have your phones off when rolling, this is etiquette but also due to signals being picked up by the sound crew. A watch is silent, and on you all the time. Only a move of the wrist and you can see when you are. No need to faff about searching for and unlocking your mobile. Nor would you blind or distract anyone with the glowing screen. A watch is with you all the time.

A beard

All the great filmmakers have beards. George Lucas, Stanley Kubrick, Ridley Scott, Hayao Miyazaki, and much much more!

3 Replies to “My Filmmaking Uniform”

  1. Hey Will,
    Having worked on a few films with you, your gear and distinct look has always stood out to me, and I found this a really amusing read. I could picture you in your “uniform”, and hadn’t really thought about why you wear each item, but now I know. I’ll certainly be taking from this article. Because you are really into cameras, I’d love to know what you think about one of my articles; is it all about the money? (link is here: Great article and amusing read.

  2. Come to think of it now, i don’t think i have ever seen you wear anything other than the t-shirt and ‘shirt over shirt’ combo! Never the less, its nice to see you have reasoning behind this!

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