Kits and Crews: Bigger Budget – Better Options
The third and last part of the Kits and Crews series talks about having a more respectable budget and what it can do for your indie effort.
You’ve somehow mustered enough money for your film project (who are we to judge) and now access to better equipment, far-flung locations are on the table. You get bolder with your script and directorial styles, making your mark has never been so tangible you can actually taste it.
- Get your hands on two cameras. Nothing can give you more advantage than being able to shoot a scene from a variety of angles in one go, including shoot various scenes at different locations. With a better budget you’ll be able to hire professional cameras such as an ARRI Alexa or RED Dragon. Try a good combination of a high-range DSLR and a professional film cameras, just like how they did it in Slumdog Millionaire.
- As for storage, make sure to use two (2) external hard drives for the cameras.
- Rent a nice set of prime lenses, starting from 11mm to 200mm, and should be sufficient to allow your DP to experiment. Hire a zoom lens if you’ll be needing to zoom in.
- Get some tracks, a dolly, a monopod and a tripod. Hire a crane and a jib if possible.
- You may also need handheld cameras for camera movements not possible on the tracks.
- Your professional lighting kit should now include spots and floods to create general lighting effects, gels, and picks for highlighting. Ask your DP first, or contact Aimimage for any suggestions before you rent or purchase the equipment.
- You’ll be needing 2 shotgun mics along with cables, external recorders, and booms.
- Get an ambient mic with stand, external recorder, and cables.
- When the script calls for it, you’ll need to secure body mics for wide shots where a boom microphone can’t go. Be aware of excess noise (mic rubbing against clothes) when using body mics though.
Remember that you may also need to consult with your sound engineer as there may be times when the need to use a special kind of mic that you may not be familiar with, will come up.
- The director’s sole responsibility is the artistic direction of the film.
- Your assistant director will be charged with the difficult task of organizing the actors .
- The producer will be working on everything that has to do with the location, gear and crew. The producer will also be responsible for ensuring equipment are well taken care of.
- Your DP/camera operator should be highly skilled working on film sets. Directing with the monitor is still OK, but DP’s can be a source of valuable input in terms of best practices and creativity.
- Hire a sound engineer who’s an expert in mic placement, has a good ear, and is well-experienced in sound recording. Also, widen your search to sound engineers who have worked in a film set and theater.
And last, but not in any way the least – whatever your film making budget is, there are a few more essential components to film making that can make or break it:
- Make absolutely certain you have storage for your equipment, as well as a van or even a car to transfer equipment as needed.
- A steady and dependable supply of electricity. Almost everything in your production runs on it. Check the location thoroughly, and if there’s not enough, bring a generator. It’s bulky, yes – but it will mean the difference between a productive shooting day and it’s exact opposite.
- The clapper, please don’t forget the clapper!
That’s about it. We truly hope this little guide can at the very least provide helpful insight as you make through your first few independent film efforts. We’re rooting for you!
If you need to go back to the first and second part of this series just click on the links.
Aimimage offers a wide range of film and TV broadcast equipment, all at reasonable rates. From your basic DSLR cameras to top of the line ARRI or RED cameras, to Zeiss prime lenses, HD zoom lenses and crewing services – if it’s not in our inventory, we’ll make sure you will.