June 26, 2015 at 10:03PM
Money saving tips
If you were to go back in time and give tips to yourself, what would they be?
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!