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Thread: How can I determine what kind of equipment to buy?

  1. Default How can I determine what kind of equipment to buy?

    I've decided I want to start making serious plans about getting the necessary tools to make short films and maybe even somewhere down the road, a feature. Low budget, but still. I have read that Christopher Nolan made his first feature on a budget of $6000. I don't have all of that right now, and soon I will have to start paying student loans, but on that kind of budget, it is quite plausible that I could but myself a few Christmas presents

    How can I learn about what cameras serve what function? I understand studio-quality film crews use cameras that cost around 6 figures, so I can't do that, but I've heard there are some cameras that cost only a few thousand dollars. How do I learn which one I need? Do you only need one camera? Is it possible to buy cameras that shoot on film and not just digital? I read that Christopher Nolan (my film role model) does not use digital yet because the quality is not yet what it is on actual film.

    "Poor video is more forgivable than poor audio." A woman at the place I work at who deals with cameras a lot said she was told that in school. How can I learn what kind of audio equipment to get? Again, I'm not necessarily looking to be cheap here, but if it's more than $5,000 I can't even give it a second look.
    I'll try looking threw some of the threads here too to see what I can get. Meanwhile, any suggestions are *greatly* appreciated!!!

  2. Default

    I guess the important thing to do is build up your equipment gradually, and remember that renting is always an option. Try and find people who have the same interests so you can pool your resources. Find out what you can get for cheap or second hand without compromising on quality (lights, for example). And use your limitations to be creative. Don't have a decent microphone yet? Make a silent film or music video. Don't have a lighting kit? Shoot outdoors and use reflectors to light your actors. But the two essential things to get straight away are a camcorder with decent manual controls (including manual audio controls) and a computer to edit it on. Without those, you won't have a film.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Smalltown, Queensland


    I'm in a similar situation, $2000 on a laptop and software, $1000 on a camera with some manual-ness, and it's off I go. I think that's the bare minimum!

    Give me $50k and I could possibly wave my hands about, tell everyone what to do and produce a pile of crap.

    Much prefer having a budget of $0 - makes you think harder about creativity, content and storyline.

    Paulears words are inspiring to me.

    Like most arts, if you can't do it for $0, chances are you really can't do it at all.

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