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Quality Matters – Most Important Filmmaking Equipment for Professional Video Production

According to movie industry data compiled by Statista, the United States has the third largest film entertainment industry in the world. This industry is projected to grow from $38 billion dollars in revenues in 2016 to over $50 billion dollars annually by 2020.

While most of this revenue is generated by movies that are created by large-scale, professional film production and multimedia companies, the growth in access to affordable professional grade equipment by independent filmmakers, and, the ease of using social media platforms to market indie films for little cost, have given rise to a growing and increasingly popular independent film market.

In order to successfully bring a narrative to life on the screen, however, there are a few key pieces of equipment that filmmakers absolutely must have if they want to create a professional video production

Why Independent Film Makers Need Professional Grade Equipment

Regardless of how interesting, engaging or groundbreaking your story may be, it matters little if you shoot your film using poor quality materials and equipment that produce shoddy flaws that viewers of your films are likely to find distracting and have commonly been recognized as being characteristic of amateurish work. This is true whether or not you are putting your spin on a classic work of fiction, conducting an investigative report, or, just want to focus on retelling a key aspect of someone’s life story, such as documenting the highlights of geekdom.

Key Equipment Every Indie Movie Maker Should Have

With professional grade video production equipment, you can ensure that features such as audio and video resolution are of high enough quality that they do not detract from the storytelling of your film, and your video attracts and holds the attention of your audience.  The following are the top 6 pieces of equipment you need to shoot great film.

The Movie Camera

Most indie filmmakers are on a budget, but if you are focused on controlling costs, you will not want to cut corners when it comes to choosing a professional grade movie camera to shoot your film. Look for DSLR cameras that offer high-quality HD audio and video capabilities, a minimum resolution of 4K, autofocus. a full sized sensor, and preferably the ability to shoot in RAW format, like the 6K Red Epic Dragon. If you have room in your budget, choose a model that’s weatherproof so that you can shoot film when the sun isn’t shining.

Lenses

Many times, you can find quite a bargain on DSLR by buying the body only, but even if your camera comes equipped with a decent stock lens, you’ll want to increase the versatility of the types of shots that you can shoot by picking up some additional lens. In addition to a decent grade 20mm-50mm zoom lens, look into picking up a 50mm prime lens so that you can still shoot sharp images in low light settings. A good quality, wide angle lens can also come in handy if you need to shoot a lot of fast-moving, live action in a tight spot.

A high quality telephoto lens is an absolute must for capturing emotion and fine detail when taking close-ups of your actors. It will also help you to be able to capture clear images of live action occurring at a distance. While it’s tempting to splurge on a fast 70mm-300mm telephoto lens, you can save some significant money, and, have what you need for most shots, with a standard grade 70mm-200mm telephoto lens.

Controlling Light

Poor lighting has ruined many otherwise great films, causing them to appear as la ess than professional video production. A good quality light reflector and a decent set of work lights can help you to be able to have greater control over the lighting in your films so that all of your hard work and efforts don’t go to waste.

Controlling Sound

Audio in another area that can be problematic for independent filmmakers. At a minimum, you will need a working telescoping boom, along with a windscreen, and a quality microphone and audio recorder to capture the sounds that you want to record while minimizing the chances that your recorder will pick up unwanted sounds and other interference.

Stability

While a lot of quality movie cameras come with autofocus and stabilization features, you will still need gear to minimize vibrations and other movement that can blur imagery in your films. Sturdy, well-made telescoping tripods are easy to care and move around, while giving you the stability that you need to shoot clear images.

Editing Equipment

Despite your best efforts, there will be times that you need to edit parts of your film, not only to erase mistakes and flaws, but to add-in special effects, and sharpen the impact of the storytelling of your film. In the old days of film-making, this meant being able to physically cut out and then splice together actual film footage. Today, technologically advances editing hardware and software makes it easy to professionally edit your video and sound with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Technological advances, ease of availability of professional video equipment, and reduced costs are making it easier than ever for anyone, from novices to professional filmmakers, to increase the diversity of stories that are being told in film by allowing them to make high quality movies and shorts without the assistance of Hollywood. According to statistics from IndieWire, the 20 highest grossing indies of 2017 have already earned over $40 million dollars in revenue during the opening months of the year, with most being produced by independent filmmakers at a cost that is a small fraction of these revenues. Statistics like these prove that there has never been a better time for independent filmmakers to pursue their passion. Professional quality video production equipment makes it easier for indie filmmakers stories to be heard.

 

 

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