June 26, 2015 at 10:03PM

1

Money saving tips

If you were to go back in time and give tips to yourself, what would they be?

Mine are:

Tripods. Over 2 years I spent $363 (just looked at my Amazon account) on six tripods before I settled a $320 Manfrotto MT055XPRO3. The cheaper entry level tripods did result in shaky footage. Some malfunctioned right during a shoot: after all equipment never malfunctions in storage -- it always gives up during a shoot.

Lights. Again, $711 over two years on softboxes, a ring, and tungstens. Eventually settled for 9 LEDs costing about $750 and $150 in batteries.

Random thoughts about things not to buy:

- reflectors, unless you have a crew or a dedicated friend.
- entry level softboxes, as they are way too weak.
- entry level tungstens, as the bulbs last only for about a day of shooting.
- flashes, as the pulse light skills are useless in film.
- lens adapters, as all cameras can make do with the native lenses; vintage, primes, and "fast" were just a phase in my professional growth.
- gradual NDs, as you can easily "fix it in post" granted the camera has a decent DR; if not you can use your LEDs to light up the immediate foreground.

Random thoughts about things to buy:

- Arca Swiss release plates as they save you time swapping camera between supports; OMG I just discovered these and I wish somebody would have told me about these way back when.
- pliers, as you never know what's gonna jam.
- dog tags with your name and number for your cases / backpacks.
- ND filters, as they are as important as the lights.
- Knee pads, as they'll save your jeans from getting holes and knees from getting sore.
- A memory card protector case, as it keeps all your cards together because lets face it a lot of us are not organized; doubles as a DIT :)
- A travel blanket for field shoots.
- Screw adapters between 1/4" to and from 3/8" cause... hey you never know!

4 Comments

>>>- lens adapters, as all cameras can make do with the native lenses; vintage, primes, and "fast" were just a phase in my professional growth.

Totally disagree on this one. I've been using lens adapters to mount Nikon and Zeiss lenses to my GH2 / GH3 / GH4 cameras for the past 5 years. To me they have been one of the best things to come along for video production. I use them in every one of my projects with Nikon AI-S lenses to get a "smoother", less clinical looking image. ( I mainly use native glass for handheld work because of the optical stabilizer, and for photography because of the autofocus feature. )

June 27, 2015 at 10:41AM

4
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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32014

Not reading the gear related articles on NFS can save you money as well ;-)

BTW, I never heard of a buld lasting just one day... that must have been dirt cheap :-p

June 30, 2015 at 1:56AM

20
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avatar
WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9040

"- gradual NDs, as you can easily "fix it in post" granted the camera has a decent DR; if not you can use your LEDs to light up the immediate foreground."

You will regret this one day. Very, very badly.

July 2, 2015 at 12:51AM

22
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Joshua Bowen
Editor
417

Been at it for a few years, never even looked back. If you edit for the folks that don't expose right then you probably regret even getting into it in the first place ;) You mad bro?

July 2, 2015 at 3:08PM

0
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avatar
Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
3726

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