Ben Mesker's Jokerboxes combine three of my favorite things: Industry-specific tools, objects designed to hold stuff, and the DIY ethos. Director of Photography Mesker has 20 years of shooting experience, and after the first 15 years, he had built up a steady list of "common problems found on sets everywhere." No stranger to a table saw, the handy Mesker then set about designing a portable, ultra-utilitarian way of having all the necessary grip equipment close at hand, as a way of solving those problems.
Mesker's solutions are called Jokerboxes, and while they outwardly resemble the de rigueur apple boxes found on every film set, they contain far more functionality. You need to see this explanatory video—in the following three minutes, you are going to witness an absurd amount of clever design thinking.
You catch those shots of Mesker hand-drafting? Sure to bring back some memories for a subset of us.
By the bye, Mesker has penned an article about an early on-set experience that shaped the way he approaches projects. While the central character is "The Fastest Gaffer in Pittsburgh," the lesson could well be applied to many a creative field, like industrial design, that requires technical acumen. Read it here.
Hit the jump for some cool shots of the Jokerboxes.