Pick your gear

20 01 2010

When I started film school the first thing a lot of my classmates bought was the Panasonic HVX200. Really awesome camera by the way.  Slowly after they bought it the joy settled nothing was shot. All the gunpowder in the world but no match.  For people who don’t have 4 grand burning a hole in your pocket, there are easier ways.  First off figure out what kind of stuff you’ll will shoot.

A 3 month backpacking trip through Europe shooting video for your blog or for the folks back home. You don’t  need a Panavision Genesis (a HD digital camera used by Hollywood crews to shoot blockbusters).  You would be better off with a Flip cam or a Mini DV cam around $200 to 300.

If going the Mini DV route check out www.beachtek.com for xlr adapter for awesome audio. Its cheaper to get a Mini DV camcorder and an adapter compared to a Sony XL (a prosumer camcorder) People can forgive weak shots and not lousy audio. Xlrs are the cables for production level microphones.

3 Day commercial shoot or a music video

Panasonic HVX200/Hpx170 with or without a Red Rock/ Letus Lens adapter

Red One w/ sound recorder equipment

Canon 5D Mark II w/ sound recorder equipment

Feature Film

Panasonic HVX200/Hpx170 with or without a Red Rock/ Letus Lens adapter

Red One w/ sound recorder equipment

Arri 16mm or an Arri 35mm w/ sound recorder equipment

If you find that you really need the RED One getting the gear is easy just google film rental houses. Heads up most rental houses require insurance to cover any likely problems or unlikely. I would much happier to pay 1,500 for insurance rather pay 50,000 for a new RED One.

Final Word take a hard look at project and your funds and shoot from that.

Good luck and see you in the pictures.





Top 10 reasons to run a minimalist production (can be used for tv/web/feature film productions)

25 11 2009

Top 10 reasons to run a minimalist production (can be used for tv/web/feature film productions)

  1. Costs less money

a) less gear less to insure

b) fewer PC programs less to buy easier to use faster training

c) Smaller crew less payroll less insurance moves faster

2. Offers more creative solutions

a) forces the crew to work w/ different ways for dealing w/problems w/o the money to throw at it

3. Forces focus on the story not on effects

4. Work more effectively and efficiently

a) know the desired output of your project have the right programs to convert the audio and video to the end product

b) offers experiment w/ open source programs and/or cloud computing

c) offers more coordination across time zones (outsourcing)

d) allowing people to work to their strengths

5. Some positions could be outsourced

a) location scouts

b) script writer

c) editor/ after effects/ sound editors

d) publicist

6. Allows for flexibility

a) fewer distortion through the team “clearer communication”

b) faster to move “IE. Company move” fewer transportation costs

7. A small team is easier to motivate

a) have a like minded, energetic and focused team

b) get the best DP Script Sup and Sound guy/gal

8. If the project is profitable a bigger take for each member

9. Using speed as a start up tool

10. Faster turn around leads to availability of team members to take on more projects and allows for easier scheduling