The Filmmaker’s Checklist: 10 Must-Haves for Movie Production

Passion, excitement, uncertainty – what’s not to love about being a first-time filmmaker?

If you have a movie idea that’s so bold and inspirational that you’ve decided to quit your day job and master the art of video production, then why worry about technical details? Have trust in yourself and your talent, get familiar with your gear, and the rest will come in time.

Here’s everything you need to ask from your production equipment rental agency:

1.Video Camera

You can save some money and still get the best video camera for your movie if you make a rental decision based on the type of shooting and distribution medium. Ask your rental house to help you.

2. Camera Light

A camera light is always a nice addition to a filmmakers’ equipment kit. It’s a must-have if you’re making a documentary or a hyperrealistic movie on a location that’s not suitable for 3-point lighting.

3. Three-Point Lighting Kit

3-point lighting is still necessary for professional movie production, especially if you’re planning to shot inside. The good news – high-quality moviemaking lighting kits are usually pretty affordable.

4. Tripod

A mocumentary or a POV horror movie might benefit from shaky footage that contributes to the authenticity of “found material”. For everything else, you need a tripod to keep your footage steady.

5. Shotgun Microphone

Nowadays, any wannabe moviemaker can find a quality camera for cheap. But it’s audio, more than video, that separates amateur movies from professional pictures. Start with a shotgun microphone.

6. Wireless Microphone

The second piece of audio equipment you need is a good wireless microphone (or wired mic, which is cheaper). This is a convenient and less costly alternative to having an audio guy to hold a boom mic.

7. Portable Digital Audio Recorder

If you decide to go with a DSLR camera, you’ll have to rent a portable digital audio recorder as well. This camera has a mini-jack audio input that doesn’t capture sound professionally, unlike this device.

8. Headphones

You’ll have to monitor sound all the time while shooting, so make sure to get headphones that are not only high-quality but also gentle on the ears and very comfortable.

9. Boom Pole

A shotgun microphone comes hand in hand with a boom pole, so have one in your kit just in case. It comes in handy for shooting crowd scenes. You can also use it in combination with a shock mount.

10. Shock Mount

 A shock mount is basically a tripod for your microphone. Paired it with a boom pole, and it will keep your mic steady even when your filmmaking journey is bumpier than it should be.

In addition to these 10 must-have movie production gadgets, equip your kit with audio cables, extra batteries, videotapes, and flash memory cards or DVDs, and have an external hard drive just in case.

Enjoy the process and have fun!

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