I believe we’ve all heard that “gear doesn’t matter” so many times before. And indeed, you don’t need super-fancy gear for filmmaking. However, there is some gear you actually need and can’t go without. So, in this video, Ted Sim teamed up with Caleb Pike to tell you more about it. They list nine things you actually need if you’re gonna be a filmmaker, and give you some tips how to get them without spending a fortune.
You may be tempted to by a gimbal and get it done with. However, if you’re just starting out, Caleb and Ted suggests that a tripod may be a better option. It makes you think more about framing and composition. Caleb recommends a solid tripod that balances nicely, with smooth movement and preferably a ball head. His choice is Benro S6 or S8.
As a filmmaker, you’ll need lenses. Yes, plural. They are expensive, that’s true, but you don’t have to buy super-expensive cine lenses. You can easily go with vintage lenses, and Caleb recommends Canon FD. Aside from lower cost, they also have interesting flare and bokeh, which will give your videos a distinct look.
3. Color chart
Color chart helps you to make sure that your white balance is completely accurate and that colors are represented correctly. Caleb recommends X-Rite Colorchecker Passport, it’s simple to use and it helps you get a consistent look and accurate colors.
4. Key light
Light is important, and for starters, you need a good bright light. Or a “big fat source” as Caleb calls it. You need something you can diffuse and create a large light source, and Caleb recommends Mole-Richardson Baby 1000W. Ted adds that it’s better to have a good lighting and bad camera, than fancy camera and bad lighting.
5. Accent light
Aside from the key light, you also need the accent lighting. It should be a small light source to add some hair light, and Caleb recommends Came-TV Boltzen 55W.
Having a C-stand can also help you a lot. Guys suggest that you need a few of those, but for starters, get at least one C-stand of any kind. They are useful for creating different lighting setups, but you can use them for more than lights. For example, in the video, Ted and Caleb mounted a camera onto it.
7. Shotgun microphone
When shooting a movie or a vlog, the audio is as important as the video. So, you need a shotgun microphone, and Caleb suggests Deity S-Mic 2, which we reviewed here. Ted recommends that you choose a microphone with neutral sound instead one with added bass. A mic with neutral audio will give you more options in post, regardless of what you record. And here you can find a few more options at a price range from $59 to $299. There’s something for everyone.
8. Audio recorder
Now that you’ve got a microphone, you also need an audio recorder. Caleb recommends MixPre-3 from Sound Devices. It has clean sound and allows you to adjust the recording with knobs. Ted adds that you should generally avoid recorders with buttons or anything that doesn’t allow smooth control. Also, think about the number of inputs on the controller, the battery life, and the overall reliability of the recorder.
9. The camera
Finally, you need a camera. Well, duh! And while it’s an absolutely essential piece of gear, don’t stress too much about it. For smaller projects you can go with one of many affordable cameras available in the market. You can even use a smartphone. As for larger gigs, you can always rent gear, no need to buy it. Caleb’s camera of choice is Panasonic GH5, but as I say, the choice is huge and you can choose what you like best.
What do you think of this list? Would you add anything to it? Or perhaps remove something from it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.