With the level of technology available to us presently; almost anything is possible in the world of video and film production. One can practically complete a whole film or video production using nothing but a smartphone like an iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro Max. In fact, you can shoot anything with almost any camera. You can even carry out the production and post-production process - film and edit - on your iPhone.
What do you need to make a movie?
But if you’re thinking of getting really serious about filmmaking, or making a career out of it; you’ll most likely need to have the following as basic equipment to shoot a video or movie successfully.
So, what is the basic filming equipment you will need for a successful film or video production?
1. Camera Choice
The camera is everything. Well, almost everything. Obviously, the type of camera you decide to buy will be affected by anyone or a combination of several factors; not the least, its price. Which camera you buy will depend on how much you can afford, and what kind of movies you want to make.
For most practitioners, a mirrorless camera or DSLR, which allows you to change lenses, is the best choice. There are a plethora of such cameras which include the Panasonic G85/G80, Sony Alpha A7 III, Nikon Z6, Canon EOS R, and so forth. The Sony Alpha A7 is a good camera to start with; but if your job is shooting events, news, or documentaries, then camcorders are probably a more convenient choice.
But for really high-quality productions, cinema cameras which combine the best features of camcorders and DSLRs are the preferred choice, although they are more expensive.
For lenses, making the right choice and having a number of them with different focal lengths is crucial to capturing the different perspectives of a shoot. However, if you are buying an interchangeable lens camera, you can do so by buying it with a kit zoom lens, or you may choose to buy the body separately and choose lenses separately. There is a variety of such available at different prices including an affordable 50mm lens for low light shots and creative shallow focus.
3. Sound equipment
How often do we need to say that sound is as important as pictures and that you will likely not get great audio with just the microphone in your camera? For sure, using a separate microphone will make a great difference to the overall sound quality of the film or video production.
There are several affordable choices of microphones such as the Lavalier (‘lav’) microphones, which can clip onto clothes, are one of the most affordable ways to get good sound. If you can afford them, wireless lavaliers are great for sound production. Another effective way of obtaining sound is using a directional microphone on a boom pole.
Nevertheless, you have to be listening to the sound on headphones as you shoot to ensure that you are getting the sound quality you desire. However, some cameras may have limited audio recording options, such as the absence of headphone sockets, which would mean that you need a separate audio recorder to get sound into your filming.
4. Tripods and camera support
It is very important to keep your camera steady during a film or video shoot. The steadiness of the picture is required if your audience is not going to think that your production is amateurish. Some cameras come with very effective built-in stabilization, but a lot of filmmakers use a tripod or monopod, at least some of the time to ensure that they are able to capture a shot in perfect steadiness.
However, if you need to be able to pan and tilt your camera smoothly; you will need to get a fluid head tripod or sliders for smooth tracking shots, electronic gimbal stabilizers for continuous flowing shots, and jibs for vertical camera movements.
5. Lights and reflectors
Once you start thinking professionally about filmmaking, you should learn how to control the lighting aspect of the production. You can make use of inexpensive five-in-one reflectors to enhance the quality of natural light and understand how to manipulate it to get the desired effect.
Basic work lamps can prove to be a good starting point for learning about creative lighting. But if it is filming on the go, LED panels are the most suitable option, though good LED panels are expensive.
6. Editing and Editing programs
The post-production process can be the deciding factor in how good a production your filming turns out to be especially if the production process had experienced some unforeseen challenges. There are a number of free, paid, and professional editing programs that can be used on Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android to help your film production achieve your vision. You can also get free trials of most of the pro editing programs.
You will need adequate storage for your works as you may need them again at some point. But if you are taking on only small projects; you can keep all your video on your main system drive. But for large and more prodigious projects, you will probably need to use external drives for storage and for backing up and archiving projects.
Film District Dubai is an award-winning Film and Video Production Company in Dubai that specializes in relevant and high-quality content. More information on the business, video production, photography, film production, commercial production, graphic design, and everything else related to the multimedia industry can be found here.