Filmmaking Tools List: The Gear You Need to Film Your Next Movie
"Choosing the right filmmaking gear will ensure that your next production is well-equipped for all kinds of scenarios and scenes. You will need a high-quality professional camera, adaptable lenses, sound equipment, lights, diffusers, and camera support equipment."
Regardless of whether you are a Hollywood professional or a novice filmmaker, there is some basic equipment you simply cannot do without. In this article, we examine the essential checklist for a successful filming experience. Of course, you can go hog wild and stock up on a litany of gadgets if that’s your thing, but in truth, all you need to get going on shooting your next film is all listed below. So, what are you waiting for?
What equipment do you need to film a movie?
In order to get started and to feel prepped and ready, make sure you have these items or can get access to them. Remember, the entertainment business is in some ways a common city and it is totally normal to pool resources and help each other out, so don’t be afraid to ask for help or find filmmakers in your area and chat them up about what you are doing and what equipment you will need. The old proverb, if you don’t ask, you don’t get – is truer than you think.
Basic equipment needed to film a movie includes:
- Video camera
- Light reflector
- A computer that has video editing software
Cameras and Camcorders
Your camera is one of the most important components of your kit. The choice of a camera for your project will depend primarily on your budget, but also on the subject of the project.
What is the target audience for your product? In what format do you plan to show the film? Will you show it on social media, large screens, or is it just for a function that will be viewed on a smart device or television? What type of stealth or static camera shots are you planning?
Video cameras are available in a wide variety of types, brands, and models. In most cases, documentaries do not require complicated action sequences or stealth shots, which can be shot on anything from a smartphone to a top of the line Red Epic camera.
Here are some camera options:
- Cinematic – Used for high-end film productions, Broadway productions, awards shows, etc.
- Camcorders – These are basic cameras that can be used to record Web videos, special occasion videos, basic home videos, etc.
- Smart Devices – For the production of basic web videos, fun holiday videos with the family, etc.
- Ultra-High Definition 4K – This format is used for film production and high-end documentaries.
When filming, always remember to have spare batteries and a battery charger available. Nowadays, they are equipped with both a hand USB charger and a car charger. This ensures that you will have enough filming time on your camera and that you will be able to charge a battery that is running low in order to continue making the movie.
Additionally, you will need spare batteries as well as media for filming. It is always a good idea to carry extra flash memory cards, video tapes, DVDs, or even external hard drives. If you have an external hard drive, you can at least clear some media from the memory card.
Read more about the Top 5 Best Camera’s for Filmmaking and Top 5 Best Camcorders for production.
Tripod and Camera Dolly
Are you getting shaky shots that look as though you have had too many cocktails before shooting? Does the video remind you of those holiday films you used to make as a child? It is obvious that you need stabilization, but you do not know what options are available to you. Maybe you are wondering what is the best tripod for DSLR cameras?
It is a good thing that tripods are available to address precisely those problems! Perhaps you experience frequent tremors in your hands. You may just not be able to keep your hands stable for an extended period of time (not a surprise!)
The purpose of tripods is to relieve a great deal of pressure from your hands, so that you can concentrate on what really matters – taking the perfect picture.
We would like to share with you our top list of tripods for DSLRs since stabilization greatly enhances the quality of your videos.
The use of tripods is not limited to those who are experienced. As a matter of fact, I consider it to be one of the most important factors when purchasing photographic equipment.
Read this article on the Top 5 Best Tripods for Filmmaking
In general, a dolly is a wheeled cart that runs on rail tracks. The term “dolly shot” refers to the movement of a camera mounted on a dolly. A dolly shot involves moving the camera towards, away from, or alongside your subject, which can be an actor, a location set, a product, etc.
Tripod Dolly is an excellent dolly for use with professional camera tripods, light stands, and background stands. Good wheels are the most important feature of a good dolly.
Zooming does not require the camera to move forward or backward; it is, in essence, a magnification. Dolly, on the other hand, is more human-like, involving the act of moving closer (or further away) from an object, with everything on the left and right side taking on greater weight as a result.
Read about the Top 10 Film Dollys for Filmmaking
Zoom Lenses, Adaptable Lenses, and Prime Lenses
When shooting a movie, there are many different types of shots, angles, and filters that need to be considered. It is a good idea to start collecting lenses and filters for your camera. Get started with the basics, and as you grow, you can add those that will enhance the quality of your shots.
If you are taking those lazy fisheye shots with a wide-angle lens in extremely sunny conditions, you do not want to have a bad reflection ruin your shots. Various polarizers and ND filters can be used to reduce these effects.
You will need a super zoom lens if you want to magnify a snowflake or a tiny hermit crab walking on the sand. The term macro lens is usually used to describe these lenses.
Read more about the Top 10 DSLR Camera Lenses for Filmmaking
Microphones, Headphones, and Other Sound Equipment
Headset microphones are headphones with built-in microphones that allow for hands-free recording of audio. It is important to note that many headset microphones are designed for gaming and do not have an adequate microphone for recording professional audio.
In order to assist you in buying the best headset, we have compiled a handy buying guide. Additionally, we have compiled a list of the best-performing microphone headsets for you to choose from.
Read more about the Essential Microphones and Sound Equipment for Filmmaking
Lights, Diffusers, and Reflectors
The use of reflectors and diffusers can change the overall appearance of your image significantly by manipulating the light in it. For the close-up look, these are essential tools.
Reflectors are often used by filmmakers and photographers at some point in the production process. You can use them to fill and control light on a subject, providing you with greater flexibility when shooting in challenging conditions. Reflectors can be used to create a second, or softer light source by redirecting the light.
Reflectors are useful for brightening photos or even acting as a second light source when using a single flash.
Read more about the Top 5 Reflectors for Filmmaking Professionals
Movie Editing Software
The most important part of the day is determining whether you have any shots worth keeping and knowing that you may have to edit them. That is where a good computer comes into play.
Generally, laptops are adequate for fieldwork, quick checks, and for making home movies with the family. For sharing holiday movies with your family and friends on social media, you can use a regular desktop PC.
If you wish to have high-end graphics and editing capabilities, you will need either a Mac or a high-end desktop computer. The computer should be equipped with a powerful graphics card that will allow you to handle whatever scale of video editing you will be undertaking. Furthermore, it will require sufficient processing power, enough storage space, both internally and externally, and enough memory to run the graphically demanding software.
In addition to a computer, you will need an appropriate editing program as well. A variety of editing software packages are available on the market, including freeware, open-source, and professional versions. When making quick changes, you may use online tools such as Clideo, but if you wish to learn the professional way of editing, you will need desktop software such as Adobe Photoshop.
Building a production station is vital to the success of filmmakers. Having access to a workstation that allows you to create, edit, and manage all aspects of your production from one central location can make all the difference in your workflow and how you produce your content. This includes editing footage, creating storyboards, managing assets, budgeting, and more.
The production station has a variety of features that make it ideal for planning. Generally you should have a large monitor where you can view and edit all your final cuts, ample space to bring in equipment and even store it, an extra chair or seats for other team members, a table to draw out your storyboards, and so on.
You can customize this to your needs, and it is likely over time this area will develop into its own professional studio. It should be regularly optimized to help provide support to the filmmaker throughout the various projects undertaken.