Tools of the Trade

By February 3, 2017 February 6th, 2017 One Comment

It’s crazy how much gear you need to make a movie!

Aside from the obvious, like a decent camera and a tripod, there’s so many other items you need to think about. Not having them can make or break a shoot!
As I get ready for my first shoot in just over 2 weeks time, I’ve been carefully going over the list and making sure I’ve got everything I need and that I’m prepared for any scenario that comes my way.
It’s pretty daunting and since I’m operating solo (at least for now) I also need to make sure that what I have is as compact and portable as can be. After all, I’m the one who has to carry it all over the place. (Can’t afford any Sherpas!)

So with all that in mind, here’s what I have in my kit:

  • Panasonic 4K Camera – This is certainly the most important part of the whole kit as I want the film to look amazing and the images that I’ve been getting from this camera in tests have been incredible! I can assure you the film is going to look beautiful!
  • Fluid Head Tripod – Kind of obvious, because if you’re shooting a 2 hour interview with someone, you can’t hold that big camera the whole time, plus you need those nice pans and motion shots.
  • Shotgun Mic – As George Lucas once famously said, “Sound is 50% of the film” so having good quality microphones is essential. This one will be used mostly in the field.
  • Wireless Mic – Having a wireless mic is also essential as it enables whoever I’m filming to roam freely and not be attached to cables or to the camera. Also, I won’t have an audio person on my shoots, so this mic will attach to the camera where I can keep a close ear on things.
  • Headphones – Gotta monitor the audio as it’s being captured to make sure it all sounds great! I’ve got some incredible people lined up to interview so I need to make sure you hear every word of their wisdom.
  • Lighting Kit – You never know what you are walking into when you go off to a shoot. Showing up for an interview and finding the room has insufficient natural light is a killer.  (I’ve made that mistake before!)
  • Media Cards – Fortunately the days of videotapes are are long gone. Everything is digital now but you need lots of SD media cards to record all of that beautiful footage. Again, not having enough during a shoot would be a catastrophe.
  • Laptop & Card Reader – It’s not shown in the picture, but I’ll need my trusty old laptop to offload all the media from the cards to a hard drive for backup. And of course, we all live on computers these days right?
  • Hard Drives – I usually carry one on every shoot to backup the media right then and there, but several additional drives are needed for editing and I can’t stress enough that if you don’t have a backup system in place and you accidentally lose any media….well there goes the whole movie!
  • Batteries and Chargers – This is the bane of any movie maker’s existence. You need batteries for EVERYTHING! The camera, the microphones, the lights etc. You need lots of them and they need to be charged.

That’s pretty much it and as you can see from the picture, it basically all fits into 3 cases which shouldn’t be too bad for traveling.
I think I’ve got it all covered but the real test will come when I get out there and realize that I’ve overlooked something.

I’m super excited about taking all this gear out to the first shoot. I’ll post some info about it soon so stay tuned. In the meantime, thank you so much for all your support.

Let’s make a movie!


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