Columbia University Professor and 'Original Multimedia Gangsta' Duy Linh Tu's Travel Gear Guide

Posted June 16, 2016
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Columbia Professor, video producer, and self-titled 'Original Mutlimedia Gangsta' Duy Linh Tu's blog is a great resource for VJs.  In a recent post, Tu outlines the best gear to bring with you when you travel aside from your camera and want to pack light.  From power supplies to hard drives and everything in between Tu has you covered.

As a Producer/DP, I travel a lot. When I’m not shooting, I’m on planes, in hotel rooms, or hunting down wifi. Here are the accessories I always take along with me to make the most of my time on the road.

POWER. The first rule of the road is ABC - Always Be Charging. I’m constantly on my phone, iPad, or laptop when I’m not holding a camera. Here are the tools I use to stay powered up when I’m nowhere near an outlet.

  • Anker Battery (26800mAh): This power bank allows me to charge multiple devices (phone, iPad, headphones) at the same time. This device is essential for getting through long flights (I have never completely drained this brick) or when I’m in the field for multiple days.
  • Anker Battery (10000mAh): This power bank can charge your phone only 3-4 times, but it is much smaller than the 26800mAh version. I throw this in a back pack or in my pocket when I’ll be out for the day.
  • Maxoak Macbook External Charger: I often edit footage on my Macbook Pro when I am on long flights. This battery charges my 15-inch laptop more than two times. This has gotten me through 8+ hour flights with plenty of juice to spare. This link is the model for you PC folks.
  • Bestek Power Converter: I do a lot of traveling overseas, so I bring this power converter to charge multiple batteries and devices at the same time. It comes with several plug tips for various countries.
  • Travel Case: To store all these power accessories, get a case big enough to contain all the plugs and cables.

Whether it’s for editing footage, listening to music, or blocking out the roar of jet engines, I never travel without my noise canceling headphones. I’ve owned several pairs in the past, but my favorites are the Zik Parrots. The noise canceling is amazing, the sound quality rivals non-noise canceling cans, and Bluetooth eliminates messy cables. I have the Version 2, but Zik just released Version 3. The Version 2s are at a cheap discount now.

IPAD MINI: The iPad Mini has become a powerful production and entertainment tool for me on the road. With new airline rules that allow the use of small electronic devices during takeoff and landing, I can use my iPad Mini for almost the entire flight.

The one down side of the iPad mini is that it still has limited local storage. I fill mine up quickly with apps and content. To increase storage on the iPad, I use the Kingston Mobilelite Pro.  This handy device lets me store movies, photos, or songs for streaming to my iPad or any iOS device. It also allows me to transfer content from my iPad to an SD card. And as a bonus, it will also give an iPhone up to two full charges.

PRODUCTIVITY ACCESSORIES:After each shoot, I immediately transcode, log, and back up my footage. This saves a lot of time in post-production when I get back home. I always bring along these accessories to make me more efficient on my Macbook Pro.

  • Apple Wireless Keyboard: Hunching over your laptop is the quickest way to hurt your back and to increase fatigue. Prop your MacBook on to some books or the hotel’s ice bucket, and use a proper keyboard. I love the Origami Keyboard Case/Stand. This nifty device protects the keyboard while in transit and it can also be folded over to use as an iPad stand.
  • Apple Magic Pad: The Magic Pad allows me to fly when editing on Adobe Premiere. It is especially useful for when I have limited desktop space. For traditionalists, the Apple Bluetooth Mouse is a great option.

STORAGE: There are a ton of storage options on the market, and the price per terabyte drops by the day. But, I always bring along two G-Tech ev Drives (back-up your footage!) . These are fast, reliable, and compact. Be sure to get cases for the drives to protect them while traveling.

The best thing about these drives is that they can be plugged into the G-Tech G-Dock that provides fast Thunderbolt connections to your main editing system. You can begin editing immediately when you’re finally home.

Safe travels and happy shooting,


Check out Duy's Blog here.



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