We live in a world in which almost everyone carries a mobile movie studio in their front pocket.
Today’s smartphones are capable of shooting stunning HD video, while a multitude of clever apps make it possible to cut, edit, and assemble final projects, complete with special effects, title sequences, and more.
Every day, more advanced technology arrives on the scene making the art of movie-making more accessible, while opening the world up ever further for burgeoning creative talents across the globe.
Aspiring directors and cinematographers who desire to work in the industry, however, must look beyond their iPhones and Android devices and consider the core filmmaking and video production essentials outlined below.
For the seasoned pros on your holiday shopping list, we’ve paired the basics with four recent filmmaking gadgets that promise to reinvigorate the way movies are made in 2019 and beyond.
You’re Going to Need a Camera
The basics: One of the most buzzed about motion picture tools of the last decade, the RED camera, will set you back a cool 30 grand or so. If you don’t happen to have that kind of cash flow, Samsung, Sony, and Canon all offer entry level camcorders that shoot in High Definition and are equipped with mic inputs and tripod jacks. DSLRs, too, can offer a greater depth of field and provide a more cinematic image, but they are accompanied by a steeper learning curve.
The gadget: If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, a GoPro is the name of the game. Check out this most recent version, which shoots in 4K, can withstand depths of more than 30 feet, and features image stabilization among other bells and whistles.
You’re Going to Need Something to Hold the Camera Steady
The basics: When it comes to movie-making, three legs have always proven to be better than one. Handheld shooting is great to set a certain tone, mood, or aesthetic (think “The Blair Witch Project” or “The Bourne” series), but for those epic panoramic vistas, you want to eliminate camera shake entirely. Opt for a tripod with a fluid head for seamless pans and tilts, a bubble level for proper balance, and telescoping legs for adjustable support.
The gadget: Straight out of the sci-fi movie you may very well be creating, this silicone “octopod” serves as a catch-all tripod, mount, and stabilizer simultaneously. You can check out the fun and flexible tech tool here.
You’re Going to Need Something to Capture Sound
The basics: Your camera’s built-in mic isn’t going to hack it if you’re aiming for a presentation that doesn’t sound like it was filmed in a wind tunnel. Invest, at the very least, in a shotgun mic to ensure dialogue that sounds clear and natural. A digital handheld recorder, too, is a video production essential serious filmmakers should never be without.
The gadget: The Rode VideoMic Pro has topped many “best of” lists in recent years, and with good reason. The on-camera, shotgun condenser microphone is small, lightweight, and can be used with camcorders, DSLRs, and more.
You’ll Want Some Light to Go with Your Camera and Action
The basics: A three-point lighting kit – key (main) light, fill light, and back light – will help to eliminate harsh, unsightly shadows from your subjects.
The gadget: The credit card-sized Aputure Amaran AL-MX is a mini-powerhouse that offers continuous LED output, adjustable color temperature, and more.
Filmmaking gadgets continuously amaze with their ability to deliver power, speed, and efficiency into increasingly smaller, more streamlined packages, but it’s the filmmakers, themselves, who are responsible for touching our hearts and inspiring us with their imagery storytelling ability.
Maslow Media Group regularly provides expert camera crews and production teams for video projects, breaking news events, Hollywood productions, and much more. We know what it takes to provide exemplary staffing for the media industry, and we’re always looking to expand our network of dedicated professionals. Contact us today to learn more.