Image Credits: Flickr
Many a time, aspiring filmmakers invest way too much on gears and equipment. They forget that better equipment doesn’t always make you a better filmmaker, but rather, hard work, passion, and practicing with gears you already have and can afford help you hone your film making skills.
For a film maker, their equipment is like an extension of their body, so it really is a subjective matter. A gear that one filmmaker swears by may not always work well for another. What really matters are creativity and passion– the only two factors that will get you anywhere with film making.
Having said this, there are still basic gears that every filmmaker needs, although you don’t need much at all. These equipment listed below will definitely help you shoot the film of your dreams.
Movie camera, lens, and tripod
Well, this is kind of obvious, but what is important to remember here is that it is not so much about the camera you use or making a film look fancy and expensive. It all boils down to the story you tell and how you are telling it. Canon Powershot series and Nikon D5300 are some cameras that are available at a reasonable price, yet still, give you a beautiful picture.
The camera of your choice will obviously come with a lens but if it can change lenses, have at least one prime 35mm lens. And of course, a tripod. This gear is extremely versatile when shooting on a budget. It can act as dolly, crane or a steady cam.
Most cameras of today have an inbuilt audio recorder, but these may not always give quality audio. It is recommended that you get a separate recorder. The sound is one of the most important elements of a film, which can really affect the film viewing experience. Zoom H1 and H4 are two of the best affordable recorders out there. You can also go for Sony sound recorders.
If you can afford lavalier mics or clip on mics, it would be a great addition. These are great for scenes where you want to highlight dialogues. Lastly, a pair of good quality headphones is a must.
Light kits and reflectors
Image Credits: By Brocken Inaglory – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
It’s okay to rely on natural lighting, but if you wish to, and can afford light kits, it’s even better. Most light kits include a fill, a back light, and a key. They can be of great help and add to the feel of a scene where natural lighting just won’t do. If you have enough money to squeeze in gels to your list of equipment, these are helpful to control the tone of your light.
Reflectors are not a necessity for an indie film maker, but nonetheless useful. They allow you to manipulate natural lighting and erase or create shadows as required. If you just can’t afford it, then don’t fret. White foam board does the trick as well!