The equipment you need to shoot standalone movies at home or on site


It never has been it’s easier to produce your own videos, shorts, or even feature films than it is now. While video production isn’t exactly a cheap hobby, you don’t need a movie studio budget to get studio-level photos. No computer will automatically make you skilled with a camera, but if your skills are fighting the limitations of your hardware, these tools may open up some possibilities.

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A good tripod

Peak Design Travel Tripod

Photography: Peak Design

More than anything, you’ll need a good tripod to hold your camera, no matter what camera you use. Finding the right The tripod can be a bit of a trap, because it’s easy to find one cheap tripod: You could go straight to a Target and get one for less than $ 20, and when you get started, you might have to. But as your needs grow, you will find that not all tripods are the same.

For starters, some very basic photography tripods are designed with static photography in mind, but when you make a video, you may want more motion capabilities. A good video tripod can rotate freely and without sticking. You may also want to look for a tripod with an interchangeable head, so you can buy the right head for the shots you need, instead of trying to fit your photos to your computer.

Supports, C supports and assorted clamps

Making sure your entire team is in the right place, and keeping it there, is such a complex and important task that it’s quite a profession in Hollywood. Don’t worry, if you’re working on a small (or one-person) production, you can still get away with the basic setup, but it’s worth knowing the different types of equipment you can use to place your lights and microphones.

Tripod mounts are universally useful for placing things like lights and are incredibly inexpensive. They are generally strong enough to hold LED lighting panels, GoPros, microphones, or other small devices. You probably don’t want to use one as the main tripod of your camera, as they usually only have one screw on the top that doesn’t allow the camera to move much. Plus, they’re easy to touch, so you don’t want your camera face to slip on top. But for many other teams in your group, they can be really useful.

C brackets are one more step if you need something stronger, and especially if you want to hang the equipment on top. In addition to extending upwards, you can place extension arms that allow you to extend horizontally (or at an angle) over your subjects. This is especially useful for, for example, mounting directional microphones that work best when placed above a subject, as it focuses on the sound of the subject being aimed at without capturing as much ambient noise. Notably, this is also why you see a boy on film sets holding a giant stick in the air over the subjects. This is a portable microphone, and if you plan to take location photos, especially with moving subjects, it may be worthwhile to get a microphone stick with an integrated XLR cable, instead of a stationary C stand for your microphone.



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