As an independent filmmaker with a long history of “Low or No Budgets,” I can’t speak to or recommend any high-level, professional gear, but that’s not what my site is about, anyway. There are a LOT of popular websites in this area who can help you.
What film products are recommended for independent, amateur, low-budget filmmakers? Independent, amateur, low-budget filmmakers are recommended to use any and all equipment they have access to and are familiar with. Quite often, people think that an expensive camera is the way to go but just because you can get your hands on one with your grandma’s credit card doesn’t mean that’s what’s best.
First, you should have a darn good idea of what you have, who you have, and what you can and will do before you go about spending any money on equipment — that is, if you have or will have money and are planning to spend it. Creating a sort of inventory list of what you already have is not only a necessary and crucial first step, it will also help you to work within reasonable limits based on your unique filming situation.
What film equipment should I buy?
This is actually a question that I will explore in more detail in a future article, but for now let’s just take a short look at the simple gear I’ve used several times, which I believe has a short learning curve — and that last part is key for noobies and amateurs.
What movie equipment do you use?
Currently, my movie equipment is primarily:
- A Canon T3i DSLR with a small assortment of lenses which includes a 1.8 prime, the stock lenses (wide and tele), and a large, wide, fish-eye angle lens adapter.
- Sennheiser over-hear headphones for editing
- Skull Candy on-ear, closed-back headphones for on-site recording
- Zoom H4N for audio recording
- A couple of standard XLR cables
- Two Audio Technica shotgun mics
- An Aperture three-light setup with carrying case
- An assorted collection of fast SD cards (I like Toshiba most)
- Galleria gaming laptop for video editing (a Japanese brand)
- Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, and Audition
- And of course my OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 6t for backup.
Hardly the stuff of legends, right? Everyone has to start somewhere and everyone is somewhere at some point, and this is where I am now.