March 20, 2019 11:29 am
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All it takes to write a script is a pen and a piece of paper, but in order to bring it to life, you’re
going to need a bunch of tools. Film equipment is not only cameras and microphones but also a
set of devices that make a film crew’s life easier. This includes tripods and racks, lighting, camera
accessories and so on. Cinema-Friends has put together a list of tools that will turn your
scriptwriter’s ideas into masterpieces.

Camera

A beginner video maker doesn’t need fancy film shooting equipment. A smartphone with a decent
camera or an amateur cam will do. Just keep these two tips in mind:

– A webcam for a stationary PC may also work as an option;

– The gadget should be able to deliver videos in HD quality not lower than 720p.

But such basic equipment for video shooting won’t work if you plan on turning video making into a
business.
At a more advanced level (and if video content suggests a lot of running, jumping and something like
that), action cameras, like a GoPro, will be the best choice. If shooting is done in a relaxed atmosphere,
an SLR camera, preferably with an additional removable lens, suits better. For professional shooting,
you’ll need digital video recorder equipment with accessories.

For making the highest level videos, opt for the best video equipment, like camcorders – modern digital
video cameras. They’re equipped with special accessories like lighting, diffuser and other devices from
the cameraman’s arsenal and produce high-definition video in resolutions up to 4K.

External monitor

External monitors allow everyone on the set to see what the cameraman sees. Such monitors are
gradually becoming more accessible and include a wider set of features. Today, manufacturers offer a
variety of budget monitors to add to your filming kit.

Lens

Choosing a lens that would fit for all occasions is a tricky thing, as different projects require different
visuals. For most cases, a pair of 50 mm and 85 mm lenses would be enough. But in general, you’re free
to choose from a huge variety of models. There are many video production equipment brands on the
market offering professional and amateur lenses.

Tripod

A nice tripod is a good investment, as they’re likely to outlive several cameras and projects. In addition,
without this small piece of filmmaking equipment, it’s impossible to shoot a quality video with most

cameras, even if they stand on a flat surface. That’s because there are practically no perfectly smooth
surfaces, and you’ll find this out for yourself if you try shooting video without a tripod.

Microphone

Like tripods, microphones are almost as important as the rest of the video gear because a lot depends
on the sound of the video. Condenser microphones make the voice more alive, filling it with colors and
retaining all the shades of it. In case you don’t need A-grade video film equipment, there’s also a
cheaper option – shotgun mics. Such devices record sound from a source that is within sight. This means
that the microphone records the sound from an object it’s directed at. In some cases, it’s OK to use the
on-camera microphone, but if you plan on using professional filmmaking equipment, consider getting a
condenser mic. It works on the principle similar to the shotgun microphone, is equipped with a low-pass
filter, and able to adjust the level of the incoming signal.

Audio Recorder/Mixer

You’ll certainly need an external (that is, not attached to the camera) audio recorder to keep track of all
audio channels. Sure, it’s impossible when it comes to documenting “here and now,” but it’s still better
to have movie equipment with direct XLR inputs and high-quality cables. If you’re going to hire a
professional sound engineer or an entire team, they’ll most likely have their own equipment
preferences, but if you suddenly decide to buy something yourself, make sure that you’ve studied the
market well.

Lighting

Next on our list of videography equipment is lighting. For close-ups, lamps and reflectors are crucial. For
a start, ordinary LED-lamps will fit. The basic principle of choosing lighting is the same for both beginners
and professionals: the light must be bright, white, and cold. For starters, you can get several LED-lamps
(ideally, there should be three of them – one main and two for illumination; this principle is called three-
point lighting).

At the advanced level, halogen lamps fixed on special racks are typically used. Self-made reflectors are
replaced by expensive film light equipment, such as photo zones and softboxes. A diffuser is also a
handy tool. It’s a special filter for the lamp which softens the bright white light, making it more muted
and natural.

Light stands

You’ll need a couple of C-stands, even if the gaffer brings their own equipment to the studio. This is
probably the most versatile piece of equipment for video production.

Extra batteries

No need to explain this one. We live in a world of electricity, so batteries and chargers are a must. In
addition to the batteries that your camera uses, you should also stock up on standard batteries used in
everyday life. Microphones and other video shooting equipments are often powered by AA, AAA, and 9V
batteries. And, since we began talking about this, smartphones are also an important production tool.
They can even be used as a spare camera, so don’t forget about a charger for your phone and a portable
battery.

Background

A set of professional filming equipment isn’t complete without tools for background editing. We’re
talking about a chroma key. This is a solid, usually green, background for filming. With its help, you can
add any background you want when editing the video.

Video processing and editing tools

Now for the video editing equipment list. For video processing, get a computer or laptop with a
powerful graphics card. As for the video editing program, there’s a wide choice of software on the
market, both free and paid.

Media storage devices

Storage memory is another thing your video filming equipment depends on. It’s hard to imagine what
could be worse than the loss of the footage. Buy an external hard drive and as many memory cards as
possible and keep at least four with you. OR check out cinema-friends.com and let specialists do
your video project.

In addition to all of the above, add napkins for cleaning lenses, markers, and the most useful tool on the
set: cloth tape. Having taken care of all the video making equipment, you can begin preparing for
shooting the video.

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This post was written by Nadia Vella