If you have decided to start making films, there is a list of items you need to have before you get started. Darious Britt shares a list of 12 things you absolutely need to get before you start shooting videos and films.
If you are transitioning from photography to video, you already have some of these items. As for the others, you might need an upgrade to your gear or buy new stuff, so you can make the recording, storage, and editing possible. Darious suggests some budget-friendly solutions, so you don’t have to save up for years to start making your first film. For us with a smaller budget, it sounds pretty encouraging.
Well, most of us already have at least one, so maybe this doesn’t even belong to the list. However, keep in mind that you need a lot of storage space, a decent video graphic card and at least 16GB RAM.
Of course, this is an obvious one. But what Darious emphasizes is that you don’t need the most expensive one. For shooting movies, it should shoot at least Full HD and have manual functions. Most of today’s DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have these features, so you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars.
Whichever type of memory card your camera uses – buy a couple of fast and large ones. You’ll need memory for longer shoots.
4. ND filter
If you want to get shallow depth of field in the bright daylight, you’ll need ND filters. Darious recommends a variable ND filter, because it’s more convenient and gives you several levels of light reduction in a single filter. This way you can pull off the shallow depth of field without overexposing the footage.
Of course, you’ll need a tripod for stabilizing the shots, and if you’re a photographer, you probably already have one. If it’s on your shopping list, Darious recommends a fluid head tripod for smoother panning and tilting, and even a cheap one will do for a start.
6. Sound recorder + a decent pair of headphones
If you want a professional audio quality, you’ll need a sound recorder. You can get it for $200, and it will improve the audio immensely.
7. External microphone
While we’re at audio quality, you’ll also need an external microphone. You can get them closer to your actors and pick up their voice, but they’re also better at picking up sounds from some distance. You can check out the comparison of five shotgun mics here. They cost between $229 and $1,799, but for a start – you can even get one for $30.
8. Mic stand
If you’re shooting without the crew or doing interviews, you’ll need a stand for the microphone.
Just like in photography, lighting is one of the most important aspects. It makes all the difference, but it can be expensive. So, for starters, buy at least cheap work lights from Home Depot.
10. Disc reflectors
Disc reflectors are affordable, and they’re great or bouncing light and filling in the shadows.
11. Editing software
Of course, you’ll need an editing software to give your films the final look. Darious uses Premiere Pro, but you can also go for a free option, HitFilm Express.
12. External Hard drive
You need storage space, especially if you shoot 4K. So, get an external hard drive, or even two – to use one as a backup. Hard disks break, and you’ll want to have the work backed up.
There you have it, a kind of a shopping list for future filmmakers. Would you add any other items?
[First 12 things a Filmmaker should buy! | D4Darious]