New member
hey I was just wondering what type of equipment everyone uses including equipment...and editing stuff


Man, I really want to answer your question, but it's difficult to know where to begin, because your question is kind of vague. Could you explain what you’re trying to accomplish, so that I have a better idea of what I should be answering?

Who are you referring to when you say “everyone”?
Everyone here? Everyone in the industry?


New member
by everyone..I mean the people who read this post....I was just wondering what young filmmakers usually start out with.


I believe that every young, aspiring filmmaker’s starting point is determined by his or her own will to discover something new. RESEARCH and EXPERIMENTATION are crucial elements in the development process. Research is essential in discovering unknown depths to filmmaking and other related arts. Simply search the websites, read the books, and scan through the magazines that spark your interest; there are tons and tons available, you just need to pick the ones that suit your interests. Experimentation is obviously hands on, and I can’t tell you what to do there, there should be no framework or limitations in that regard; experiment in your own way.

Here’s a list of some of the magazines I subscribe to and visit online: Res, Film and Video, HighDef, Video Systems, Videography, Videomaker, E-Media Studio, and an occasional dose of Indie Slate, Moviemaker, Filmmaker, and Millimeter. As I said, there are plenty of resources available to conduct research, but it’s up to you to decide which resource quenches your thirst for knowledge, and even more importantly, it’s up to you to decide where to take it from there.

Do you know if you prefer film, video, both…?
Initially, I was convinced that the only way to legitimately make a movie was to do it on film. But, after researching, and experimenting, I found that DV offers me more creative space. Besides, it’s all I can afford at the moment anyway. :)

Of course, I’d like to learn more about traditional filmmaking, but I’m pretty committed to Digital Video. Some people prefer to use film exclusively; others use both, it varies from artist to artist. Despite acquisition preferences, almost everyone would agree to begin with…


I’m not saying that your work should always have a story, but I do strongly suggest that you acquire a scriptwriting software application, like Final Draft, or a similarly strong Screenwriting App, so that if you do write a script for yourself, or for someone else, it will allow for your imagination to seamlessly spill through the pages in a professional format. Final Draft recently announced the release of Final Draft 7, so finding a copy of Final Draft 6 in the patch-eye pipeline should be no problem. :wink:

So, once you have a general idea of what direction you’d like to take, I’d suggest that you find out what type of cameras you can borrow or possibly rent or buy, so that you can immediately begin to get accustomed to the world’s eye, I’ve called it that because the world’s watching your work in the end, so the camera you use is essentially the eye of the world :shock: .
Now, this is where the issue of acquisition preference comes into play, because most often times, camcorders and their media are much more accessible and easier to use, whereas film cameras and film stock have to be hunted down and used very carefully. If you have the means/resources available to ensure proper development, storage, and care of the film, then by all means shoot film.

As I said earlier though, I prefer to shoot DV, so I recommend you find a miniDV camcorder with 3 CCD’s (Charged Coupled Device, the image sensor of the camera), progressive scanning (relates to movie-like frame rates, too complicated to get into at the moment), and good low light capability (the lower number lux, the better, i.e. 1 lux is awesome) with plenty of manual control. These types of cameras tend to be pretty expensive, so you may have to borrow or rent one. But, if you cannot find a miniDV camcorder that possesses all or most of the characteristics as I’ve described above; then at least get a miniDV camcorder that is recognized for solid quality and reliability. Canon would be my first pick, followed by Panasonic and Sony; then if someone threatened my life, I’d choose a JVC. There are other camcorder manufacturers such as Sharp, Samsung, and Hitachi, but Canon, Sony, Panasonic, and JVC are generally considered the top 4 picks among most videographers.

Now, there are other pieces of equipment that tend to add great expense to producing a movie, but I don’t know how significant these elements will be to you as a beginner.
I'll summarize anyhow.
Audio equipment and Lighting equipment are two crucial areas of interest that are often overlooked by beginners. Then of course, there are camera accessories, the essential tripod, steadicam rig, dollies, tracks, etc. With the exception of audio equipment and a few lighting sources, many of these things can be built or replaced entirely with makeshift models. For instance, steadicams can be built for as low as 15 dollars out of plumber pipes and weights. For dolly shots, you can use a wheel chair, or an actual freight dolly. Blueprints for building your own tracks, and even your own crane are available on the web too.
Granted, it still costs money and takes time to build these things, but it’s much more cheaper than having to purchase the equipment that’s currently available.

Now, for post-production, you’ll have to consider editing equipment. For editing your DV footage or your scanned film footage, you’ll need a PC or a MAC that is relatively new, and is equipped with an NLE (Non-Linear Editing) software application, like Adobe Premier, Pinnacle Edition, Avid XPress, or Sony Vegas. The MAC is a different beast, aside from Avid XPress, and older versions of Adobe Premier, MAC requires use of software manufactured only by Apple, such as iMovie, Final Cut Express, or Final Cut Pro. When you buy a MAC, you basically get iMovie for free, and with a student discount, you can get Final Cut Express for 200 dollars.

I don’t like telling people how to create their art; I’m just trying to equip you with enough knowledge to get yourself up and running.
Again, I recommend you research and experiment as often as possible, technology progresses so quickly, remaining informed on the latest technology is like a job in itself. Also, never underestimate the support from family and/or friends; you never know when one of them may participate as crew, or fill a part in an upcoming movie of yours. :)

Hope that helps... 8)


New member
Granted, I am not a seasoned filmmaker, I am pretty new as well to the film industry (in high school), but I would challenge some of the mentioned above. I don't think you need a 3CCD camcorder, or even a digital. You don't need a sennheiser mic, or dolly, steadicam or even lights for that matter. You don't need fcp (final cut pro). What you need, is a movie camera, of any sort. Doesn't matter if its digital or not. iMovie, or for the pc... um, I'm not as familiar, but windows movie maker I've heard sucks. But that's okay. So now that we've talked about what you don't need. Lets talk about what you do need.
-Camera of any model
-editing, doesn't have to be new or high tech.
-Stamina and Patience

and most importantly in my book:

S-T-O-R-Y= STORY-without story, all that equipment is useless. It can't make a bad story good. It can make a good story come to life.

"A great craftsman needs only a few tools" Mauro Fiore, ASC.


you didn't really challenge what I said, you just cut into, shallowed out, and summarized what I said...


New member
I guess not. I sort of did get lost in all those words somewhere. You did say story was very important. But you recommended him getting a 3ccd camcorder! At least I think you did. Those are like, 2,000 dollars at least. Whatever, you're probobly right. My point was just that you don't need the best equipment, you need a story to tell, and passion. Do you agree? If you agree, than you were right, I wasn't challenging anything you said.


New member
I'm not worried about the camera situation...the part where I'm not very confident in is with the whole audio thing..which I know it very important for people to appreciate your work..I don't even know where to begin with good audio. Lighting I'm ok with, I do a lot of photography and have plenty of experience in lighting...but sound...gah, I hate thinking about it.


Let's face it: you will get further in this industry if your film looks like a real movie. Yes, the story is mega-mega-important, but you won't be taken seriously if your films look like home videos. So it would definitely benefit to shoot on film or with a 3CCD progressive scan camera.

On top of that, the hugest flaw of student films is bad audio. It's half the battle, so pay attention to it! Also, if you are like myself, your forte is in filmmaking and not music composition, so you're hard-pressed to find original score.

That said, I will answer the original question (it appears nobody has):
I use a Canon GL-1 with a BeachTek DXA-4P adapter for a Sennheiser ME55 mic. And that's still not enough attention on audio. I capture with a Matrox RT.X100 and edit with Adobe Premiere 6.0.

Kim Welch

Senior Member
Staff member
how much did your set up cost?

how much did your set up cost?

and what would it cost to buy it today?


New member
On top of that, the hugest flaw of student films is bad audio. It's half the battle, so pay attention to it!
Having just got back from another weekend of trying to fix bad audio on a low-budget edit, I'd entirely agree. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that if I had the choice between poor video and great sound, or great video and poor sound, I'd take the former any day. You can take lousy video, make it black and white, add grain and claim it was an artistic choice for your story, but you can't do the same with lousy sound... unless you make it a silent movie, at best you're stuck with ADR for a large chunk of your movie, and that rarely works well.

We managed to get that one into a semi-decent shape, but the only way to fix it properly will be to ADR a couple of scenes, and there's no reason why the sound recordist couldn't have got decent audio recording in the first place.

Also, if you are like myself, your forte is in filmmaking and not music composition, so you're hard-pressed to find original score.
I disagree. In my experience composers are everywhere and even good composers are common: the music for that short was produced for free by a composer who works full-time in the industry, because it allowed him to do something different.