Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan. Today on the Slanted Lens we’re talking about another kit that we have on our truck. It’s full of fishing line and the accouterments you need to be able to make it work. So let’s take a look and see what we’ve got. (And please be sure to shop our affiliate links to help support new content from The Slanted Lens.)
I use fishing line in a couple of different ways on set. I use it to give the photo a sense of motion. You can attach it to fly a scarf, a person’s tie, pull up a dress so it will catch the wind and flow out backwards behind them. I’ve done that a lot.
One of my favorite ways to attach the fishing line to something on set is to tie it to the back end of a safety pin. I then just pin the line onto a tie or a dress or a scarf, roll it back to a clothespin or a little piece of wood I wrap the line around, and an assistant can hold and control the line that way. It’s a lot easier to work with that way.
Another way I use fishing wire is to suspend objects. In the beginning of my career, we suspended everything by hand. There was no Photoshop, there was no retouching objects. Everything in these images has been suspended with fishing line and there is no retouching. It’s just the way it was.
Types of Fishing Line
The most important thing we have in our box is fishing line, of course. We have brown, clear, and some kind of greenish color. Most people think of fishing line as clear. But I’ve found that the most useful color is brown. My corn pot is hung up with four-pound test fishing line, meaning it will hold up about four pounds.
When shooting photo or video, the clear fishing line sometimes just looks like a big streak line. It’s much harder to hide, so it’s easier to use brown. For that reason I like the brown over the clear. There are times, though, with a white wall on a white set like this, where I probably would want to use the clear, and not use the brown, so I have both in my kit. My third type is this greenish color, which is really nice in some situations because it’s more camouflaged and will hide in the different backgrounds. It really depends on the color of the background and what’s going on.
Other Items to Fill Your Kit
We have all kinds of glue in our fishing line special effects kit. Hot Stuff has three types of glue. Special T which is made for filling gaps. They have a light, or kind of a thin that doesn’t fill as many gaps, and they’ve got a medium. I use the heavy duty stuff. Squirt it on and use an accelerator, and it will harden the glue immediately.
I also have a hot glue gun and canned air in my kit, because together they make it very simple to attach the fishing line to objects. Hot glue alone takes too long to dry enough to use it to hang objects. When I turn that canned air upside down, I get a really cold blast and I can freeze my hot glue so that it solidifies immediately. I can suspend my object immediately and move on. I don’t have to wait for it to harden.
A pair of scissors is a must so you can cut the fishing line quickly and easily. I have several different colors and different sizes of Sharpies. If I get into a situation where the fishing line is showing up in what I’m shooting, I’ll take the sharpie and simply paint it out and it’s gone.
I have many different options in my kit because every situation is going be different. You’ve got to be able to anticipate those situations and be prepared for them. So just go to the store, get double-stick tape, and earthquake putty, and safety pins, and clothespins, and create a kit that gives you the ability to do what you need right there, without having to stop and go get it.
It’s so handy to have all of these items in one kit. I may have them all in other places on the truck, but when I say, “We’ve got to fly this scarf,” I want an assistant to be able to run to the truck, grab one kit, and have it all at our disposal. You’ll save time, and on set, time is money.
So there you have it. That’s what’s in my fishing line special effects kit on the truck. Not for fishing, but for suspending.
Keep those cameras rolling, keep on clicking.
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