Apple box

Apple box

Apple Boxes are wooden boxes of varying sizes with holes on each end used chiefly in film production. These boxes are specialized pieces of equipment belonging to the Grip Department, and should not be confused with simple crates or other boxes.

Uses

As one of the most ubiquitous and useful pieces of equipment on a film set Apple Boxes are used by anything that needs propping-up or supporting temporarily, such as: propping-up furniture, light-stands, leveling camera dolly track; or providing temporary seats, workbenches, and mini-ladders.

Often the need arises to make an actor appear taller, either because of their height, or because of the way a particular shot is composed, in this use Apple Boxes are jokingly referred to as "Man Makers".

Sizes

Full Apple (also referred to as just an "Apple Box") 8"×20"×12"
Half Apple 4"×20"×12"
Quarter Apple 2"×20"×12"
Pancake (Eighth Apple) 1"×20"×12"

Apple Box Sizes vary somewhat depending on manufacturer, but all sizes are designed to be fractions of the "Full Apple" size. Thus: two Half Apples exactly equal the size of a Full Apple, two Quarters = one Half, etc. This modular design is often critically important as mixes of sizes are often used in any endeavor which employs Apple Boxes.

Position

Often when a Grip is placing an Apple Box others are lifting something heavy to put on top of it, thus arose the need for terms describing what position the Apple Box should be placed in (i.e. which side of the Apple Box should be placed face-down). It is rare that these terms are used for anything other than the "Full Apple" size.

New York: Positioned so Apple Box is tallest, 20" high.
LA: Positioned so Apple Box is on its side, second tallest position, 12" tall.
Texas: Positioned so Apple Box is resting on its largest side, the lowest position, 8" tall.

See also

motion picture terminology

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