Around the office, we’ve been talking about different types of cable management products for film sets. Thinking about all of the possibilities reminded me of a very cool product that I’ve been acquainted with for quite some time, but (for some reason that I can’t figure out) haven’t yet blogged about. So this afternoon, I’m introducing you to non-skid braided sleeving.
Remember the Banana Peel gag that used to be the standby in old movies? You know, a character goes strolling along the sidewalk, whistling happily, hands in pockets, and then his heel suddenly comes down on a slippery old banana peel, and he’s flat on his back before he knows what hit him. A classic. Well, it turns out that the Banana Peel Effect didn’t end with Charlie Chaplin or the Three Stooges – it’s still happening on film sets and sound stages, but instead of an actual banana peel, cables are now the culprit.
Film sets and broadcast studios are overrun with cables, many of which wind their way right across the floor in high-traffic areas. There are power cords, boom-mic cables, camera and monitor wiring – you get the idea. It’s not uncommon for wiring to be gathered together into bundles (or “cable snakes”) and covered in braided sleeving. Braided sleeving is, as a rule, a great product, but much of it is plastic-based, and that means it can easily slide around on smooth flooring. Enter a preoccupied sound engineer, camera person, or on-a-mission assistant, and someone’s bound to step in the wrong place and take the spill of their life.
That’s why slip-resistant braided sleeving is such a lifesaver for film crews. It protects critical cables from under-foot damage, but also gives the people on set much less reason to slip and fall. Non-skid braided sleeving works so well because while half of its filaments are standard PET (plastic), the rest are made of a high-friction polymer that actually grabs onto floor surfaces when stepped on, instead of skidding under the weight and momentum of the person trampling it. To make a long story very short, step on it, and it doesn’t move – and neither do you, for that matter (at least not in any unplanned way).
It’s sounds like a product worth getting to know better, right? If I were you, I’d definitely take it to the movies.