Film school is always the start of something awesome and one of the first things any aspiring filmmaker will be thinking about is the type of gear to use to make the most out of film school. While as a student, you will get access to a lot of quality gear through your school or training academy, you might need to practise some shots on your own in order to improve your craft. You will also need some gear whenever you need to work on personal projects.
So how much equipment should you consider getting? The basic set supplies you start your filmmaking career with don’t have to be expensive. It all however depends on what you want to achieve and how much money you have to spend on getting your own set supplies. When working on your own personal projects for practice or for school, here are some things to consider.
Spending too much on a camcorder isn’t always the way to go. You can start off with a prosumer-level camcorder which will help you save money while still having a good camera to work with in the even you have personal projects to work on. This will most likely be your first camera as a filmmaker so instead of getting a super-expensive camera, you are better off getting a cheaper one and focusing your time and efforts on learning how to frame and capture shots and then editing. Most camcorders around $300 - $500 have all the basic features you need to make a video blog, short interview or even a movie clip in High Definition.
No matter the type of camera you purchase for your filmmaking experience, you will still need to make a decision on whether to buy set supplies like external light sources. Since your camera is pretty much for you to practise making shots, it is usually advisable to buy a basic three-point lighting kit. This is the standard bare minimum that you would need if you were shooting a photo session or video interviews. The way a three-point lighting arrangement works is that there are three parts to it as the name implies – the key light which is the main light, the fill light which adds shadows and can be used to adjust the warmth and vividness for the scene, the back light which helps to increase the dimensionality of the scene by accentuating the outline of the subject of the photo shoot.
You can also get LED or tungsten lights as part as your set supplies and learn how to set the white balance of your camera in order to make the most of the lighting effects as well as adjust them to whatever your shot needs. While most cameras can adjust themselves automatically depending on the light balance, an upcoming filmmaker should also know how to improve the qualities of a shot no matter the camera being used.