The equipment you need to shoot independent films at home or on location


it never was easier to produce your own videos, short films or even feature films than today. While video production isn’t exactly a cheap hobby, you don’t need a movie studio budget to get studio-level shots. No equipment will automatically make you proficient with a camera, but if your skills struggle with the limitations of your equipment, these tools could open up possibilities for you.

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A good tripod

Peak Design Travel Tripod

Photography: Cutting edge design

More than anything, you will need a good tripod to hold your camera, whatever camera you are using. Find the to the right tripod can be a bit of a trap, as it is easy to find a very cheap tripod – you can walk right into a Target and get one for under $ 20 – and when you’re just starting out, maybe you should. But as your needs increase, you’ll find that not all tripods are created equal.

For starters, some very basic photography tripods are designed for static shots, but when shooting video you might want more movement capabilities. A good tripod for video will be able to rotate freely and smoothly without sticking. You can also look for a tripod with an interchangeable head, so you can buy the right head for the shots you need, rather than trying to tailor your shots to your equipment.

Assorted brackets, C-brackets and clamps

Making sure all your gear is in the right place – and keeping it there – is such a complex and important task that it is a job in Hollywood in its own right. Don’t worry, if you’re working on a small production (or one-person) you can still get by with basic setups, but it’s worth learning about the different types of equipment you can. use to position your lights and microphones.

Tripods are universally useful for positioning things like lights, and they’re incredibly inexpensive. They are usually sturdy enough to hold LED lighting panels, GoPro’s, microphones, or other small devices. You probably won’t want to use one as your camera’s main tripod, as they usually only have one screw on the top that doesn’t allow much camera movement. Plus, they tip over quite easily, so you don’t want your expensive camera perched precariously on them. But for most of the other equipment in your set, they can be very useful.

C-brackets are a step up if you need something more sturdy, and especially if you want to hang material above your head. In addition to extending upward, you can attach extension arms to it that allow you to reach out horizontally (or at an angle) above your subjects. This is especially useful for, for example, mounting directional microphones that work best when placed over a subject, as they focus on the sound of the subject it is pointed at without picking up as much environmental noise. Notably, this is also why you see a guy on film sets holding a giant stick in the air above the subjects. This is a portable boom mic, and if you plan to shoot outdoors, especially with moving subjects, you might want to get a boom mic pole with a built-in XLR cable, at the Instead of a fixed C-holder for your microphone.


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