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The Jokerbox – production’s latest innovation that will make your shooting life easier

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John DeMaio on August 29, 2012 - 10:30 am in pA Blog

I’m always looking for the latest and greatest production innovation. I spend a lot of my time working in the field, so naturally I want to be efficient…but I also want to be covered for any situation. That usually means packing the old Tahoe with tons of pelican cases and a few run bags – just to make sure that I have it all.

Well, I didn’t have to look far for my next purchase. It’s called the Jokerbox and it’s a product that was created by a good friend and a heck of a good shooter, Ben Mesker. Before I attempt to review a product made by a friend, I should mention that Ben offered to give me a free Jokerbox to test out…but I really like this product. It was exactly what I was missing…so I purchased one myself.

So much more than a wooden box

At first glance, the Jokerbox appears to be nothing more than a full apple box with a lid. That’s what I thought at first too. It’s a very simple design, but I believe that its simplicity is the biggest selling point.

Joker Grip Box (left) and Joker Set Box (right)

The boxes are designed to carry all of the things that you would normally carry in a run-bag or a milk crate – depending on how fancy you used to be. For those of you currently using a milk crate, I don’t have to tell you how much fun it is to cram everything into a hardened plastic box that’s full of holes, then try to carry it from place to place. It’s hard on the hands and things tend to fall out of the holes. Not exactly helpful when impressing clients either – especially when the handles break in front of them and your gak goes spilling out.

Next up is a run-bag or some other type of production bag. I’m not talking about duffle bags – been there, done that – and it didn’t work too well. I’m talking about actual production bags made for the abuse that we have been known to give. They’re a better solution but they’re also less likely to keep your stuff organized and free from damage. Also, try looking for gaff tape or a ground lift in a run-bag that has been tossed around in your car for a few weeks – it’s not easy.

The Jokerbox is different. It is specially designed to hold everything you need in a simple and effective way. The design is well thought-out because the designer is a shooter himself. His goal was to create a product that would help make his life easier. In turn, making our lives easier. Let’s see what they do.

An inside look

Joker Grip Box

The Joker Grip Box is up first. Remove the lid and you have two pigeon plates – baby pins included.

Joker Grip Box lid used as a pigeon plate

You can use these to set lights securely on any flat surface like the ground or on a dresser or bookcase.

You could also use the two plates together to attach to a door. This keeps the door safe from clamp marks while giving you more lighting options.

Pigeon on a door - using a "C" clamp

Inside the Joker Grip box you have a divider to keep your grip equipment away from your more delicate items like dimmers…and as a bonus you can keep your spring clamps organized on the divider.

Joker Grip Box - delicate items are kept separate from grip equipment

There’s a tray that keeps all of your tools (Allen wrenches, screwdrivers, etc) in one organized location – not rolling around the bottom of a bag. It’s also removable, so you can take it with you and keep all of those tools together.

Removable tray

The Joker Set Box is the other version available. It looks the same on the outside but on the inside it has it’s own unique personality.

Joker Set Box

Take the lid off and it becomes a clipboard.

Joker Set Box lid becomes a clipboard

It has a removable tray also but underneath there is a compartment affectionately called the “Oh no” compartment. You know what I’m talking about.

Oh No compartment

Instead of two large compartments like the Joker Grip Box, the set box contains a large compartment on one side and the other side is made up of dividers that you can customize.

Joker Set Box with dividers

On the large side, you have enough verticle room for aerosol cans – and get this…they don’t bang around in your run bag and spray everywhere anymore! They are now protected.

There's enough vertical room for aerosol cans

What? They do other things too?

Each Jokerbox is strong enough to stand on, so they can be used as apple boxes in a pinch or to give a cameraman some extra height.

Perfect to stand on for those high reach shots

Put two together – one on top of the other – and their interlocking feet stabilize them, which makes a perfect table for a laptop or for your audio mixer.

Laptop table or audio mixer table

In this configuration it can also be a seat. Just the right height for an interview.

Great height for an interview seat

They are also designed to fit on a Magliner. Either side by side or stacked. They are designed to fit within the lip of the Magliner shelf – unlike most apple boxes. Another great idea.

Stacked on a Magliner

This also turns them into little production shelves – just slide them out and you have access to everything you need.

Grip pull out drawer

Bottom line

I think that the Jokerboxes are very well designed. At $249, they are comparable to a production bag that does a similar job – and you get so much more. I will say that they don’t travel as easy as a bag on an airplane. Something that I have had to think about lately. But neither does my cart – and you don’t see me giving that up any time soon.

So if you make your living as a shooter, I couldn’t recommend these more.  For more information visit www.jokerboxes.com to find out what else these can do. As I said earlier, I purchased one for myself…it’s now a permanent resident of my Tahoe.

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  • September 14, 2012

    This is awesome – the icing on the cake is how the lid becomes a clipboard. It’s the little things that make life on the set easier 🙂

  • December 23, 2012

    Great design, it is funny how everything revolves around carts and how mobile can you be. What brand of cstand holder is on the magliner?

  • October 20, 2014

    Great derivative if the apple box. Do they lock when you stack them? How stable are they when stacked? Do you have any images of the bottom?



    Miguel Salhuana