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I’m often asked about what gear to buy. That can involve lights, camera, lenses, sound gear… you name it. We’ll be doing a lot of articles on gear in this blog, but first I want to talk about the “build order”, or in other words, “what to buy first”.
Most independent filmmakers are on a tight budget. To be honest, I believe that figuring out how to make a really visually and emotionally compelling film WITHOUT having all the money in the world is part of the joy of this process.
- Digital film equipment is less expensive goes UP in quality and DOWN in price every year
- There are a lot of cheap ways to make your film look professional
- Much of your gear can be bought used, and re-sold when you’re ready to upgrade
- You can spend a lot of money and still have a really lame film
So in terms of “build order” most people start by asking “What’s the best CAMERA?” This is accompanied with technical terms like 4K/6K/8K, “bit rate”, “dynamic range”, and a lot of other things. While the camera is a very important decision, it’s actually part of a much larger strategy.
1 – Practice with anything you can get your hands on for free.
2 – Get some cheap LED Lights and a good initial sound recording system
3 – Pick a Lens Mount (Canon, Sony, Leica)
4 – Upgrade to a decent DSLR or Mirrorless camera.
5 – Upgrade your lighting and sound gear
6 – Upgrade to an entry level Cinema Camera