June 16, 2015 at 6:57AM

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Help me spend 30-40 grand

Hello I am gearing up for my first independent feature, we won't be beginning production until February 2016 at the earliest. Despite that I want to purchase a large portion of the gear now so that I can become familiar with it between now and then. I recently won a lawsuit and I'm getting a relatively large sum of money to finally make my dream of making a movie come true. However, I am new to all of this and I am looking for some guidance. There is much I do not know, but, I do know that I don't know much. Conscious incompetence is the first step to conscious competence, so please don't judge.

I have been trying to think all this through on my own, but, I really could use some advice. I am a student in college right now. I have a little experience, but, it's not much. I started taking some filmmaking classes two years ago at the local community college and I will list the films I made here if anyone wants to view them to see where I am sort of at. They do not offer a film degree program, just a Film I and Film II class.

This is the first short film I made, it was supposed to be a 60 second autobiographical film.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCKS9CkgWVs

This is the second, you had to write a haiku and then make a film about it, so I decided it was a good excuse to reenact a scene from Bronson. Warning NSFW and contains adult content, not suitable for children.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjzUEWfeAa0

This is the third, I was inspired by the B&W version of Philip Blooms boxer video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dv7xWn6rvpc

And this is the final video I made for the class after that, I wanted to do a lot more than I was able to, but I tore one of my calf muscles and had to be on crutches. We improvised all of the scenes, the sound is really bad on that one, my external recorder at the time failed on me and we had to use all in camera audio.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIzFPUhLFnE

I only post these so you see that I am still very green and really don't know what I am doing, but, I really do love film and want to make sure I buy the right equipment with this money.

My budget for gear ranges somewhere between 30 to 40 grand total. I am looking for some help in spending it wisely 8-).

I will start off first with what I have actually firmly decided on thus far. I am 100% on buying two MFT BMCCs both to be equipped with Metabones speed boosters that will live on the cameras. I am not interested in the 4k because I do not prefer it's colors, I feel I would really miss the dynamic range as well. I also do not want to try storing or working with the 4k raw. I am not interested in the pocket since I would rather have a closer to super 35 mm sensor look.

I am aware of the BMPCC speed booster, but I would also rather my main storage medium not be SD cards, SSD are more attractive to me for multiple reasons, an investment in SSD seem to make more sense when looking down the road to the future.

The film I am shooting, the aesthetic or mis en scene of the grade will be heavy, this is why I want to shoot as much in raw as possible. I have calculated that raw on the BMCC is somewhere around 70 megabytes per second, does this figure sound correct? I could expect to get around approximately 50 minutes of raw on a 256GB SSD, yes?

Anyways, I am dead set on the BMCC. It is the right camera for my project, when we need slow motion we will rent another camera. Which brings me to another question, how well does BMCC footage play with slow motion plug ins on NLEs?

The following are some gear purchases I am pondering;
Two Sennheiser 416's, I want two in case one were to break for some reason, I also have heard if you were to use two in some scenes it could make a stereo effect?
I want to purchase them used, 700 dollars seems to be the going rate used.

I am figuring somewhere around 1000 dollars or less to have adequate cases for all the equipment.
Not sure how adequate this figure is, which brings me to another question. I have heard very good things about pelican cases, what about other brands that may be cheaper? Is there a good alternative to save some money?

For wireless sound, I am thinking some of the wireless lav's that sennheiser makes. I think they are around 600 dollars per set. I am confused as to how many of these I will need? 2, 4, 6?
Another note with the sound of the lavaliers. I have read and watched a view reviews of a lav mic called the COS 11, is it really worth it to replace the lavaliers that the sennheiser comes with, with COS 11 mics?

I am thinking the Ronin gimbal would be great, DJI? I think it is called. They run around 2000 to 2200.
There is a cheaper one but it has a lot more negative reviews, which makes me hesitant. I was looking at the Came TV gimbals, but, I want to make sure I have something that works and I have read some negative things about those. Any opinions?

I am looking at probably 2000 on storage for media. 1200 to 1400 for SSDs to shoot raw? I will not be using both cameras simultaneously in most situations. I will only do multi cam when it makes sense. I want to be sure to have a backup camera on hand in case something happens. Then 600 to 800 for cheap HDDs to backup footage on, do these numbers sound right? It seems like 1 TB of storage on a HDD is going for about 30 dollars per TB. Approximately 4 hours of raw would be 1 TB if my calculations are close. I want to have the storage in at least two places. I am not sure I would want to mess with three unless I have a person dedicated to it.

One area I still need to do a lot of research on are monitors. I have been looking at the Blackmagic Video Assist. I am seeing a lot of negative comments, why is it important for a monitor to have certain features? Why are LUTs a feature many people want or feel they need? To set exposure you look at zebras and histogram correct? Why are LUTs important? Also does the BMCC have a built in histogram?

As far as tripods go I am looking at the older Oconnor 1030 models. Anyone here have any experience with this tripod? Any suggestions for a good tripod that will mainly be used in an narrative setting? I have heard Saethcler is geared more towards documentary type shooting, is this true? Is a used Oconnor 1030 the way to go? What are some other equivalent tripods I should keep an eye out for used? Is there any reason to stay away from older, used tripods? I was thinking as a backup I would grab a Benro in case something was to go wrong with my main set of sticks.

I am thinking of buying a cheaper follow focus off of eBay, one that is quick release when you attack it to the rails, are cheaper eBay follow focuses okay? Thoughts? Also what about the cheap eBay whips and cranks?

One item I have been scouring the internet trying to get more information on is the Zacuto Next Gen Recoil. I really like the idea of it, has anyone used it? I have a bad back on the right side, I am looking for rigs that will make my life easier.

I am torn between purchasing a cheaper rig and using a atlas camera support vs a zacuto next gen recoil. I really like the idea of the zdrive with the tornado, if I am in a situation where I do not have a focus puller, it seems like it would be really handy.

I have about 4 to 5 thousand set aside for lighting, but, I have no idea what to buy.

On that same note kind of, I am also confused what power source to buy for the BMCC. I know about the swintronix system. But. My question is are the anton bauer? I think it is called. Are those type of batteries also used to power some light kits? I would like to gravitate toward things that can be used with other pieces of gear or that will be able to stay with me if I were to upgrade to a different camera.

EVF, I am confused about this as well. I have looked at alphatronix? Cineroid, and Zacuto. I am seriously confused about what I really "need" out of an EVF, much like I am confused in the same way about monitors. What are the essential features an EVF and monitor should have?

ND filters, I have owned a variable ND in the past. I had a very bad experience. Also after studying some I do not want variable. I'd rather have fixed NDs, what is a good brand that won't funk up the image or color? I have heard the brand firecrest thrown around, but, I am not sure. Also how many stops would I need?

Also how well does an optical low pass filter, I think that is what it is. For moire? How well do those filters "play" with the BMCC and metabones? Many of my scenes will have men in suits. I know the BMCC struggles with moire and that is something I need a workaround for when filming the men in the suits.

Konova slider for 3 to 5 hundred dollars, any objections?

A Benro monopod. I looked at the Monfrotto but the tripod head on that one can't pan since the panning mechanism is at the base of the monopod, so I would rather get the Benro to use with the slider.

For an external audio recorder I am not really sure what to buy, since I don't know how many wireless lav kits I need. Isn't it true the more audio sources you have, the more tracks you need to be able to record on the recorder? And then also you need to be able to plug in the mics.

There have been a few local indie films shot in my area, the problem is always sound. I am wondering if I am investing enough money in sound equipment?

I know this is a long post and I am sorry if I posted it in the wrong forum, I just figured you can't go wrong if you post in Off Topic.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and doubly appreciate any advice you may have.

74 Comments

Please don't take any of this personally, these are just my comments on what you wrote...

>>>I am gearing up for my first independent feature, we won't be beginning production until February 2016 at the earliest.

Looking at the short videos you posted, I don't see anything here that would have been better in feature film format. In other words, I would recommend that you keep shooting short films until you reach a point where it makes sense to shoot a feature length film because your short film is so good it's leaving the audience wanting more.

>>>I want to purchase a large portion of the gear now so that I can become familiar with it between now and then.

Yes, I highly recommend owning enough gear that you can spend time learning how to use it properly. But I would NOT blow your budget until you are 100 percent sure that your are buying the right gear, which is why I would rent some of it for at least one weekend to see if you are truly happy with your choices.

>>>I will start off first with what I have actually firmly decided on thus far. I am 100% on buying two MFT BMCCs both to be equipped with Metabones speed boosters that will live on the cameras.

While the MFT BMCC is a very nice camera, given your budget I would strongly recommend looking at the new Ursa Mini cameras, even if you are not going to shoot in 4K. The new cameras have better sensor and electronics technology, are better suited for handheld shoulder-mount shooting, and will keep their value MUCH longer than the BMCC camera will.

>>>I am not interested in the 4k because I do not prefer it's colors, I feel I would really miss the dynamic range as well.

4K generally has little to do with color imaging, so I really don't understand where you are coming from with this comment. As for dynamic range, the new Ursa Mini 4.6K is the ONLY Blackmagic camera with a 15 F-stop dynamic range, so again I am a bit confused where you are coming from ?

>>>I also do not want to try storing or working with the 4k raw.

The new Ursa Mini support a wide range of ProRes formats along with 12-bit RAW, in both 4K and HD resolutions.

ProRes 4444 XQ
ProRes 4444
ProRes 422 HQ
ProRes 422
ProRes 422 LT

>>>Two Sennheiser 416's, I want two in case one were to break for some reason, I also have heard if you were to use two in some scenes it could make a stereo effect?

Stereo audio is generally a bad idea in audio design for film production, especially with the risk of phase errors.

>>>I want to purchase them used, 700 dollars seems to be the going rate used.

Becareful of all the fake used Sennheiser mics on the market.

>>>Is there a good alternative to save some money?

The RODE NTG-3 costs $700 brand new and is quite comparable to the Sennheiser 416 mic.

>>>For wireless sound, I am thinking some of the wireless lav's that sennheiser makes. I think they are around 600 dollars per set.

Make sure you check which frequency band you are buying as the FCC is banning UHF mics in certain frequencies. Right now it looks like BAND A is OK in the United States.

https://www.audiolinks.com/articles/fccwhitespaces/

>>>I am confused as to how many of these I will need? 2, 4, 6?

You need one set of transmitter/receiver for EACH mic you want to use.

>>>I have read and watched a view reviews of a lav mic called the COS 11, is it really worth it to replace the lavaliers that the sennheiser comes with, with COS 11 mics?

I own one Sanken COS-11 lav mic, which sounds fantastic, but is VERY prone to picking up ambient noise in the room, so I almost never use it. My favorite lav mic is the Oscar SoundTech OST-801 and OST-802 mics, which cost about $100 each and produce very good sound with the Sennheiser UHF lav systems. The OST-801 is designed to be used underneath a person's clothes, where the OST-802 is designed to be used on top of a person's clothes. Contact Oscar SoundTech for a quote on the exact price of each mic with any accessories you might want, and you need to specifiy what type of plug you want on the end of the cable. With the Sennheiser UHF systems you want a 3.5mm locking connector.

http://www.oscarsoundtech.com/services.html

>>>As far as tripods go I am looking at the older Oconnor 1030 models

The Oconnor 1030 is a great video head, but it's quite pricey, even when buying used.

I would check out the Sachtler FSB and DV video heads before settling on the Oconnor 1030. ( I use the Sachtler FSB heads on Sachtler legs and Miller Solo legs, and like both setups for different reasons )

...Lastly, since you have the time I would build up your gear supply slowly, getting to know each new piece of gear that you buy before moving on to the next item. You really can't afford to blow your budget.

Good-luck.

- Guy

June 16, 2015 at 2:59PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30414

Unless you plan to hire a dp/director/crew with more experience, you are probably not ready for a feature based off your shorts. You have a long way to go before I'd recommend jumping into a feature. If you really insist on shooting this then I'd suggest putting the money towards crew and renting gear instead of buying. Try to focus more on storytelling, and maturing your craft rather than getting obsessed with gear -the best gear in the world isn't going to make your film any better.

June 16, 2015 at 9:59PM

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Stephen Herron
Writer/Director
1456

Looks like you help wasn't wanted. It's a shame because I think that your comments are very valid. I don't know how things are where you are but 40 grand is a whole shed load of money in my end of the world. I could introduce him to some Nigerian generals...
You are right that people could more than kit (if you have both then you get an A++), but there is a film out now called "Tangerine" that was shot entirely on iPhone 5S's, whatever they might be. It supposed to be quite good.

Julian Richards

June 17, 2015 at 4:40AM

@ Julian His comments are off topic, how is that valid? Not here to have a discussion on whether or not I should make a movie or own equipment. I just came for advice on which equipment to look at purchasing.

40 grand is relative, it's either a small amount or a large amount. Guy McLoughlin understood what I was asking, so he responded to what I was asking.

Sure introduce me to the Nigerian generals! That's fine! I'll be ass naked covered in butter. If you don't believe me then you don't know what you're talking about cause you didn't watch the links.

Brian Anthony

June 17, 2015 at 8:32AM

"rather than getting obsessed with gear"

You're assuming I am obsessed with gear. If I was obsessed with gear why would I need help figuring out what would be the best gear for me to purchase?

"the best gear in the world isn't going to make your film any better"

Why do people even bother using good gear then? This makes no sense. Of course production value adds SOMETHING to a film.

I hear you Stephen from your POV I have no business making a film, but, that isn't the point of the post. I'm not asking for your POV on whether or not I should make a film.

I totally agree focus on storytelling and maturing different skills etc... Is what matters the most, but, you're not adding to the post by going off on tangents and shitting all over the idea of purchasing the right tool for the right job when the post is about what to buy not whether I should buy anything, if I'll learn to use it, if I deserve to own it or whatever other opinion anyone else has about myself.

Brian Anthony

June 17, 2015 at 4:56PM

Erased reply.

June 16, 2015 at 10:38PM, Edited June 16, 10:57PM

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Brian Anthony
Student
345

Only asking for advice on what gear to purchase. Going off topic with personal opinions on things I haven't asked isn't helpful.

Unsolicited advice is as useful to me as a surprise enema.

June 17, 2015 at 3:52AM

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Brian Anthony
Student
345

Dude, if you dont want any comment on your work then you shouldn't show it. You want some advice on how to spend your money wisely, you have some, the least you could do is showing some gratitude and not act like a spoild child.

AvdS

June 17, 2015 at 1:05PM

Comment on my work is fine, but, I have right to defend it if I feel it's not being judged in it's proper context.

I don't want advice on how to spend my money wisely, I want advice on which gear would be wise to purchase, read the original post.

The least I can do is show gratitude for what I see to be a horrible answer? The least I can do is be true to myself, I am not here to make everyone happy.

Brian Anthony

June 17, 2015 at 4:46PM

Brian, even Guy has sounded a note of caution. The problem that you may have is that your budget falls into that dead zone. You will spend too much to have a chance of sneaking your costs back on the sly and you will have spent too little to get noticed (ie you have no recognisable star). Consider Reservoir Dogs and Harvey Keitel. That's why they NEEDED him. Raindance reckon the dead zone at $70,000 to $1 million for a feature film with this band seeming to widen every year.
Even if you make a reasonable film and there's many a slip twixt cup and lip, you may never see any of your money again. In actuality, I'm thinking of a similar project to you but I'm only going for £1000 in proper money with no-one having to rely upon ever seeing a penny.

June 17, 2015 at 11:14AM

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Julian Richards
Film Warlord
1154

"You will spend too much to have a chance of sneaking your costs back on the sly"

You're assuming I even expect to make back any costs. I don't, I'm a realist. You do the best you can and let the chips fall where they may.

"and you will have spent too little to get noticed (ie you have no recognisable star)."

This may be and is probably true, but, the reality is you don't know whether I will get "noticed" or not. With that attitude though your setting up a self fulfilling prophecy.

" you may never see any of your money again. " WRONG. If I purchase gear, especially used gear, then I can recoup at least SOMETHING by selling the gear after the production.

I don't have some dream of being a millionaire or being the latest Cinderella story you read about, I'm just out to make movies I would want to watch, if it turns out it's shit then so be it, but, at least I tried instead of sitting on my ass and waiting for something to happen.

Brian Anthony

June 17, 2015 at 4:42PM

*Gets out popcorn*

June 17, 2015 at 1:10PM

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If your end goal with this money is to make a movie from an established script, I'm just recommending you rent the gear and use the money to hire crew with experience or try to get a name attached. You simply do not have the experience yet. That's not saying you can't or won't but making a good feature is not as simple as buying a bunch of gear. That's just my two cents -but as far as gear goes, Guy's response was pretty much spot on.

June 17, 2015 at 7:42PM, Edited June 17, 7:58PM

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Stephen Herron
Writer/Director
1456

My end goal is not to make money, it's to make a movie. AGAIN this is not the reason I started this post. If you read the post I started, it has nothing to do with asking about how to make money, or for life advice, or whether I am "ready" or if I have enough "experience."

Again this is simply unsolicited advice, how you are not understanding this is beyond me.

"You simply do not have the experience yet." Your not adding to the discussion.

Have you read any of my replies? I never said making a feature is as simple as buying a bunch of gear.

This post isn't about how to make a movie, what it takes to make a movie, scripts, actors, crew etc.... The point of the post is evident in the post, it was asking about, gear. This is plain and simple.

Brian Anthony

June 18, 2015 at 1:51AM

I have to agree with everyone that has posted.
If you have that kind of budget really, or am day dreaming? Assuming you do have that money to spend. Then as everyone is telling you is to get training and experience to the point, you don't need to ask us. Quality is a product of using tools effectively, so if your present knowledge and experience is lacking, it will be even more lacking with more expensive equipment. If your purpose is bragging rights (which I think is a valid purpose) then buy any gear you want that you think you can impress others with your purchase.
Skill, knowledge and experience is where the action is and for that kind of dough you can hire a local DP to train you or purchase camera specific tutorials. When People have $30k+ budget for gear, but have to ask online forums, it screams a need to learn the basics first, then when YOU KNOW what you NEED then get any camera or other gear you want. Have people be impressed with your work instead of your camera and any camera is just one element and there are lots of other things like, memory, batteries, support systems etc to make it complete. In the end you will spend tens of thousands of dollars and likely make less video due to the complexity of the equipment, blowing your budget and not being able to edit etc and have very little to show for it.
On the other hand if you spend $500 on a little camera like a Canon eos-m with magic lantern or a Sony A6000 etc with a basic lens, Master those cameras and you are the Master of any camera and you will not be asking us how to spend your money, but will buy tools that fit your needs not ours and you will not be afraid of gear stolen or destroyed, but will shoot with knowledge and confidence. Invest in yourself the only true upgrade.

June 17, 2015 at 8:44PM

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I don't care about impressing people with gear. I care about having what I need to tell the stories I want to tell.

I made it clear in the post that I won a lawsuit and had personal things going on, why is this even being brought up? The post is about advice on gear to purchase, it's not soliciting advice on whether to gear up or not.

Brian Anthony

June 18, 2015 at 1:54AM

The other problem is of course that once you have spent your budget, your ability to brag about it is for a limited short time and what cost you tens of thousands is available used for hundreds.
Who is impressed by owning a Canon 5d anymore for video? Right now I see refurb Canon 5d Mk2 available for $1500. The point is of course the value of any camera system is in its use, but you spends tens of thousands, but quickly is worth hundreds. I would rather put that kind of dough into my production, hire better actors, lights, getting hands on training. In the end the audience doesn't know what camera is used and they are impressed by how it is used, not the brand of camera. Be that guy that impresses people with your work, I bet there are great DPs in your area you can hire to train you and that knowledge combined with experience will apply to every camera you ever own in your life!

June 17, 2015 at 8:49PM

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Lenses hold their value, especially if you purchase them used. The same is true for some gear and not for other gear. Why is everyone so worried about whether or not I turn a profit or my purchases depreciate over time? Jesus Christ I don't need a second father people.

"I bet there are great DPs in your area you can hire to train you" Can you hear yourself? You have no idea where I live and even if you knew it doesn't mean there are DPs in the area willing to "train" me. Or DPs I would be willing to trust to "train" me well.

Don't envy me, I was in a lawsuit for a reason. I won for a reason. I was wronged and compensated.

I do not care about bragging rights, it's retarded.

June 18, 2015 at 2:00AM

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Brian Anthony
Student
345

"I am still very green and really don't know what I am doing".

June 18, 2015 at 8:05AM

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Don Way
Writer/Director of Photography
1130

People are not saying those things because they are jealous, many people here are very serious about filming and they don't want you to end up with a pile of gear you regret buying.

If I was you, and you still want to spend 30 to 40k but do not know what gear to buy, why don't you go to a pro camera store and ask for advice there and ask to rent whatever camera you want to try? Its a small cost compared to a wrong purchase.

June 18, 2015 at 9:41AM, Edited June 18, 9:41AM

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gandulf charpentier
director of pornography
668

After reading through everything here, I came up with a conclusion. You have 50K? Buy a RED Dragon and start making films. A RED Epic/ Dragon was used to make The Hobbit Series, so if you buy one, you'll make films like that! :)

June 18, 2015 at 11:00AM, Edited June 18, 11:00AM

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You will never know
Sarcasm is my forté
119

Brian
I don't envy you, no problem with that. If lenses hold their value, why would anyone buy used lenses? I buy used lenses because they don't hold their value and I can often buy Great used lenses for 1/3 of new cost.
What happens is that you buy a new lens for 100% I buy my lens for 30% you find you need money for a computer or something, you sell your lens for 30% losing 70% of value and I sell my lens for what I paid for it.
From the flippant responses to serious answers, makes me think this thread is more about telling us that you have money to buy gear than it is about seeking advice. Like the OP said buying gear for "bragging rights, it's retarded."

June 18, 2015 at 12:21PM

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@Don Way I misspoke. I should have been more specific and said I don't know what gear to buy and left it at that. I'm not clueless.

@gandulf I'm not going to regret buying a pile of gear. That is a dream come true, it is freeing. That is one barrier removed. Albeit the easiest if you have the means to do so, yet, still a barrier gone. I appreciate the tone of your post, it is welcomed thank you for your advice. The only camera store in my area focuses on photography, but, your right maybe I should give them a second look, what can it hurt? Thank you.

@U WILL NEVER KNOW "After reading through everything here, I came up with a conclusion. You have 50K? Buy a RED Dragon and start making films. A RED Epic/ Dragon was used to make The Hobbit Series, so if you buy one, you'll make films like that! :)" What a great idea! Cause the Hobbit series was so good! *eyeroll* Don't be retarded, you need gear to make a film. I'm buying two BMCCs not a RED get a grip, I'm buying them used at that, what is all the fuss about? I was just trying to get some help on WHAT I should buy, that must be code here for do you think I am worthy of owning anything?

@Lofar I am going to buy used lenses when I can. In general lenses hold their value better than camera bodies. If this is not true why do people like Philip Bloom keep advising people to invest in glass? This thread is about what it was originally about. It has been hijacked though and turned into a discussion of whether or not I'm worthy of a DGA card. The prestigious nofilmschool.com boards have spoken, even though that's not even close to what the post was about to begin with. Why does this continue to fall on deaf ears? I asked a ton of questions in my original post, most of this thread has been about discussing things I never asked for advice on.

The intent, the purpose, of the post is in the post. If you can't understand that it was about gear then the fault lies in my ability to communicate, your ability to comprehend, or some combination of both. At this point however I have made my original intentions with this post abundantly clear, repeatedly. I don't give a shit who here thinks whether I should make a film or not, I came here asking for advice on gear because I felt there were people here who were knowledgeable about it instead it has mostly been a large focus on things that have nothing to do with my point in posting here in the first place. It's almost all off topic.

I have made the choice that I would rather own most of my gear than rent it, that is a personal choice. You may disagree with that choice, you may think that choice is the wrong choice, you are certainly able to voice your opinion. But, know that I didn't ask for advice or opinions on anything other than what gear to purchase.

You may disagree with how I spend my money, well that's great! The problem however is I'm not asking how to spend my money in the confines of the budget for a film, I'm simply asking what gear to buy with the money I have allocated to spend on gear. I'm spending the money to help me reach the goals I want to reach, my goals and the way that is best for me to reach them may not be the same path as yours. If you cannot understand this then I don't know how else to explain it any of you.

Too many assumptions of my intentions, future plans, thoughts / philosophy on film-making, etc... are all over this thread. Most, if not all of these assumptions are baseless. It's nothing more than unfounded speculation at best.

June 18, 2015 at 1:43PM

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Brian Anthony
Student
345

There's no communication going on that seems to be of an edifying quality. I can't believe people here really expected anyone in my position not to respond in self defense. Many of you seem to have a narrow definition and view of film-making, or at least the impressions you are providing in these posts. There is also a stench of elitism and exclusivity, based on no objective standard.

An unwillingness to respond to the post and instead the desire to respond to a post that wasn't made. It is illogical at best. It reminds me of all the threads I read on BMCuser and Blackmagic Forums where someone will say they are definitely not interested in a particular product and then there are inevitably a few people who will always push their favorite product no matter what the actual point of the post is.

It may be best to let this horse die.

June 18, 2015 at 2:12PM, Edited June 18, 2:13PM

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Brian Anthony
Student
345

DGA Card Holder.

June 18, 2015 at 2:23PM, Edited June 18, 3:22PM

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Brian Anthony
Student
345

Brian seems like a reflexively defensive prickly pear who is invulnerable to any advice he doesn't already want to hear, and doesn't realize the depths of his own naivete and ignorance. I agree that he should certainly think twice before posting here again.

Minor Mogul

June 18, 2015 at 3:23PM

You ask what to buy and some people tell you 'nothing': that is an anwser to the question, although not the one you were looking for ;-)

About the video assist:
" I have been looking at the Blackmagic Video Assist. I am seeing a lot of negative comments, why is it important for a monitor to have certain features? Why are LUTs a feature many people want or feel they need? To set exposure you look at zebras and histogram correct? "
The Video Assist only has a histogram.
When using a gimbal you often can't use/see the viewfinder, so you can't use the peaking/zebra tools in the camera. In that case you have to rely on your monitor. And then you'll want zebras and such in your monitor.
LUT can be very helpfull, especially with BlackMagicDesign cameras that should pretty 'flat'. A LUT helps to show a more vivid picture that is probably closer to the end result after grading.
The SmallHD 502 or 501 has all those tools, but can't record ProRes or DNxHD.
Choices, choices, choices...

June 18, 2015 at 2:56PM, Edited June 18, 2:56PM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
8997

what if you wanted to wait until post to decide on the grade, how would you select a LUT in that scenario? Or say you are working for a client where u are shooting footage and handing it off with no idea how they will grade it but they want it shot in a flat picture style, like the aforementioned BM film pic style, how would you choose which LUT to load at that point?

Brian Anthony

June 18, 2015 at 3:15PM

"You ask what to buy and some people tell you 'nothing': that is an anwser to the question, although not the one you were looking for ;-)" good point by the way hadn't thought of it that way

Brian Anthony

June 18, 2015 at 3:20PM

Hey everyone,

My grandfather just died and left me $50k. He's always wanted me to follow my dreams so I want to do just that.
I've always wanted to own my own restaurant and I think this is the time to make my dream come true.

I've never worked in a restaurant and have very little culinary experience (my friends say I make some pretty good spaghetti). Here are some photos of dishes I've made at home...
Mac N Cheese: http://www.kraftfoods.com/assets/recipe_images/Simple_Mac_n_Ham_Dinner.jpg (the store didnt was so out of cheddar mix so I just used American)
Quesidillas: http://thehumbledhomemaker.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/basic-quesadil...
(I didnt make the tortillas, I couldnt find a recipe so I just bought them)

I'm thinking I can just buy someone's restaurant with my money, but I just don't know who's. Maybe something a little up-scale. What restaurant should I buy?

I don't want to buy Asian because I think there are too many ingredients and I'm worried that means there's not enough flavor.
I also don't want to offer fish, cause I think it's just gross.

A few restaurants have failed in San Francisco and I think it's because of hiring bad chefs. Who can I hire so that doesn't happen? What if I just act as the chef?

I know this is a long post and I am sorry if I posted it in the wrong forum, I just figured you can't go wrong if you post in Off Topic.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and doubly appreciate any advice you may have (I actually won't and just be upset that you oppose how I am going about this).

June 18, 2015 at 3:07PM

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Haha, love it!
Brian, if you don't see that this is exactly what you say then you are going to face a lot of trouble, all you say shows that you don't have the skills and knowlage required to use properly the tools you want to buy, and if you want to start your film in 6month you will not have enough time to learn it. If you want to learn the skills first, then don't buy the gear now.

AvdS

June 19, 2015 at 4:10AM

Brian, it's not strawman, it's ad hominem ... and pretty funny ad hominem.

June 18, 2015 at 3:25PM

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Minor Mogul
Dilettante
656

I wasn't even really attacking his character. Just putting the same examples given into a different context so it's clearer how rediculous the post is.

Anthony Najera

June 18, 2015 at 3:28PM

"putting the same examples given into a different context"

Suuuure you are. :)

June 18, 2015 at 3:39PM

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Brian Anthony
Student
345

I have to agree with Anthony and Minor who put my thoughts on this subject better than I can. No one has suggested investing the money and then using the interest to buy something humble and capable and learning the craft. I think it is telling that the OP doesn't talk about hiring talented people to make his movie or investing in art design and the things that make for a real movie experience. The OP is defensive, but that only re-enforces the need to learn craft. As in any artistic media, the more complex tools or complex cameras increase the liklihood of failure not success. Only when used in skilled hands does it make a difference. Being skilled is the only true upgrade and it works with all brands of cameras. Cameras are just one element and for that kind of budget it easy to spend your money yet, not have the means to use the camera or edit the footage due to a camera body is not enough. I think it is very telling that the OP rejects any suggestion to increase his skills and experience and has a variety of excuses. As a filmmaker, I welcome feedback and every suggestion to do something better and most good cinematographers are constantly looking for ways to improve skills. Even if he gets $50k and spends it all, how much will that equipment be worth in 2 yrs? Since he ignores any suggestion about self improvement, how successful will he be as a DP based on equipment purchases alone?

June 18, 2015 at 3:51PM, Edited June 18, 3:51PM

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What are you going on and on about dude? Where have I said I have it all figured out at all when it comes to filmmaking???????????????

I simply disagree about how I am wanting to spend my own money. Where am I saying I am an expert and have nothing to learn? If you would read what I have written you would see I have said the opposite !

I'm done giving anyone here the benefit of the doubt, anyone who is being irrational at this point I have to assume is just trolling.

"There is much I do not know, but, I do know that I don't know much. Conscious incompetence is the first step to conscious competence, so please don't judge." I guess everyone disregarded this?

June 18, 2015 at 3:53PM, Edited June 18, 3:55PM

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Brian Anthony
Student
345

Anthony you really put the discussion in a nutshell by using the restaurant analogy

June 18, 2015 at 3:55PM, Edited June 18, 3:54PM

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Jedi mind tricks.

Brian Anthony

June 18, 2015 at 3:57PM

"I'm done giving anyone here the benefit of the doubt, anyone who is being irrational at this point I have to assume is just trolling" -Brian OP

Couldn't have said it better myself Brian

June 18, 2015 at 3:57PM, Edited June 18, 3:57PM

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I'm a Toydarian from this point onward Jedi.

Brian Anthony

June 18, 2015 at 4:16PM

Here's the truth, bro. The big point here is that equipment won't make your film good. In fact, it can severely complicate things. That's why there are DPs who do ONE job really well, and Directors, and grips, and electrics, and producers, who all do ONE thing really well. They understand their tools and roles to get the job done.

Don't spend $50k on equipment. Spend the absolute minimum and make the best film you've ever seen, invest the rest. When this film hits the world, you'll get the chance to spend $150k on gear and have a full staff under you as a true creative innovator.

Until then, stay small, make incredible things and just learn. Save your money, use your talent.

June 18, 2015 at 5:06PM, Edited June 18, 5:06PM

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Jordan Mederich
Documentarian / Filmmaker
1353

"Save your money, use your talent". I seriously have to remember that line myself.

Don Way

June 18, 2015 at 6:03PM

"what if you wanted to wait until post to decide on the grade, how would you select a LUT in that scenario? Or say you are working for a client where u are shooting footage and handing it off with no idea how they will grade it but they want it shot in a flat picture style, like the aforementioned BM film pic style, how would you choose which LUT to load at that point?"

Well, if a client is watching during the shoot and doesn't know what shooting flat means, (s)he might get scared by the dull washed out image. In that case you can use a 'general' LUT that only increases the contrast, so the image looks more like real life, instead of washed out.
But if you don't need a LUT to see what you are doing, you don't have to use one :-)

June 18, 2015 at 6:16PM, Edited June 18, 6:16PM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
8997

To come back on your reply, yes, you can regret buying a pile of gear if the gear does not exactly does not live up to your expectations. If it is the right gear it becomes freeing, if you spend all your money on things that don't work out for you or you don't like to work with, its a prison if all your money is gone. I was pumped about the hype of the bmpcc when it came out, and I wanted it so bad, until I worked with it and absolutely hated it for my type of shooting. If I would have bought it I would have been stuck with it or would have sold it and lost money on it.

I don't know where you live, but if you have 40k to spend you can always go to another city/state where there is a pro video store and test/rent whatever you want. A small price to pay comparing to buy the wrong stuff and having to work around it. Do not waste your time and money in a photography store where they do not know anything about video but just want to make a sale.

Buying used cine glass is a good point. If they have been serviced right, some even come with a warranty and you will not see a difference, in your hands as on screen, which leaves you with more money to spend on other things....

June 18, 2015 at 7:16PM, Edited June 18, 7:16PM

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gandulf charpentier
director of pornography
668

I couldn't really resist responding to this one. What many are getting at is that gear doesn't make the production better. It does, but it doesn't. Do you have a script? If you have a script, try to start envisioning it. Odds are you'll need some sort of production designer to make the sets actually look good. Most of the money should really go to the production design because most of what the film looks like and the believability of the film will rest on their work. Sets, costumes, props. Those are the things that mean more than the type of camera or audio gear you're working with. Sure, you'll need to spend maybe $10k-$20k to get the gear you need, but don't spend it all on the gear. What type of camera movements are you going to need to make? Will you need a gimbal and a jib crane or just a tripod and a slider? You can make all sorts of cinematic movements with a tripod, slider, wheelchair, car, etc.

Cameras and audio gear have something in common: it's way more about HOW you use them than what you have. If you know where to place a microphone, how to mix audio, how to build a world through sound, etc you're way better off than if you use a $1000 microphone to capture the dialogue. If you know how to compose a shot and LIGHT the shot or know where to find great natural light, know how to direct an actor, know when to use a close-up versus a wide shot, know when to move the camera or keep it still, even know what shots to get..that's what's important more than what you shot it on.

What you're shooting and how you're shooting it is a million times more important than what you're shooting it on. Okay? Okay. Now, how the hell can we answer what gear you'll need with no information about WHAT you're shooting? A feature film can be just about anything.

How many characters at a given time? That will determine a lot with audio.
If you want fantastic technical image quality, pick up a 4.6k URSA Mini and a 24mm, 35mm, and 50mm lens. What and where you're shooting will determine what types of lighting you should have and what kind of rigs you'll want.

The key to making a great film is doing the right thing at the right time. Try to look at the script and envision it. Think of what you're trying to convey to the audience. A better camera might make the picture a little clearer, but it won't make the story any better.

Filmmakers use the gear they do for specific reasons. Do you need 300fps? Do you need a super dramatic color-grade? The look of the film is better accomplished through lighting and using the camera properly, not through grading the shit out of it. The sound of a film is better accomplished through the use of mixing than getting a slightly better frequency response just so you can turn around and EQ out that frequency anyway...

So, if you want answers, you're asking all the wrong questions. If you want to know how to make your film look and sound great and be impactful, you're going to have to look at your script and know what you want your film to specifically look and sound like. Then talk to a talented cinematographer and talented sound engineer/designer about what you need to accomplish what your specific film needs. Movie-making isn't a one size fits all operation. /rant

June 18, 2015 at 8:02PM, Edited June 18, 8:02PM

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Jeremiah Kuehne
Filmmaker
732

well said!

W Ali

July 19, 2015 at 7:36PM

Good stuff right here, thank you ! Just what the internet was created for.
Gandulf, if you're looking for male talent I can get it up now and again on the rare occasions that I'm sober.
Your very good health !

June 18, 2015 at 8:48PM, Edited June 18, 8:48PM

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Don;t blow all your money if your not sure what you want. A Nikon 5500 or the new Rebel and a Mac with Final Cut Pro or Premiere is a greatway to start out. The great thing about DSLR's is you can both learn stills photography( which is the best way of understanding the nitty gritty of exposure) and videography all at the same time. I wouldn't even get expensive lights yet, just maybe some clamp lights or some PAR's if you have the urge to start playing with lights. Then and only then if you wanted to move up, I would look into better gear if you really feel like you need it( like those upcoming Blackmagic cameras).

Good luck.

June 18, 2015 at 9:55PM, Edited June 18, 9:55PM

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Mooey
218

Remind me one more time how much money you have to spend? I know you have reminded us all many times! Everyone has told you basically the same thing and every time your response is that you have lots of money, but you need equipment. I know that you have told us how much it is with every post, but maybe one last time.

June 18, 2015 at 10:54PM, Edited June 18, 10:54PM

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Well, if you are spending 30 to 40 grand, I don't think it will be hard. Film equipment adds up quick! Get a set of C-stands, getting 10 with grip arms is easily $1000 and that's if you get it used. So I think the spending money on the equipment is no problem just because it's not inexpensive. If you are buying BM cameras, that's already $6000 in just the body, then if you buy a set of nice lenses which is probably $20000 for some Canon CN-E or Zeiss CP2. So spending that money would be really no problem.
I mean you can do some DIY stuff to save you some money but in general, but once you start making something, all that money adds up especially if you are completely starting from nothing.
I might spend some money on a film-making course so you understand the basics, see what you can buy or rent and just go for it.
I think Guy gave an awesome answer for ya, breaking down everything.
Literally, if you want to make a feature, just make your feature. Don't let anyone hinder you from it which I see half these commentators are saying. For some odd reason, people attack people on here when they mention they want to create something.

If you make a feature and completely fuck up, then at least you have a feature under your belt that 90% of these guys will never do. If it's successful, then you did something right in your journey.
Here's an example on the boards of people attack this filmmaker viciously: http://nofilmschool.com/boards/discussions/why-i-regret-shooting-raw

If you feel that you honestly want to create a feature just go for it. There's a few great people on this forum like Guy and Lofar that I see give very honest feedback and critiques and just don't attack people. Listen to those guys if you feel lost, but trust your gut and go for it!

June 19, 2015 at 12:11PM, Edited June 19, 12:11PM

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Tony
225

I think the outrage comes from the lack of respect that is associated with the view that buying better gear = better films. Filmmaking is tough and requires knowledge and skill to create something worth watching. We hear it all the time in this industry that some friend bought a fancy camera and thinks they're a photographer or a cinematographer..people responding to this post were just reacting to that aspect of it. If you asked a cook what oven to buy to make your food taste better, you'd be laughed at. Also, I think most of the responses to this post are telling the person to go out and create rather than go out and buy gear. Sorry if it came across otherwise...

Jeremiah Kuehne

June 19, 2015 at 12:24PM

Well, we all know, it's the creator, not the gear that makes it. But you can't tell me people don't excited for a new piece of gear.
I think I'm really tired of the nasty comments: http://nofilmschool.com/boards/discussions/why-i-regret-shooting-raw

Just because someone decides RAW isn't for them doesn't require that kind of lashback. Or if they like a certain camera.

What's really important is to just find something you like, whether that's a $2000 camera or a $50000 camera. And yes, sorry guys, you do pay for what you get, though, what's awesome with all these companies competing is that gap is closing.
When I got my first camera, I had to really budget buying film or really begging my dad to buy me film;-) to do my dumb 16mm films that I did as a kid.
Now you can by a $200 camera like Lofar says below and get awesome stuff, and you can record more stuff. Now, quality of image can be disputed of course.
Even now, some DP like shooting on film, Red cameras, or Arris. Just whatever is comfortable.
So in the end, people should really be leading these people to finding their way, if you have $40000 to spend, then sweet! Or if you have $1000 to spend, lead creators to find something they like. People shouldn't be going crazy if they should use RAW, or Zeiss lenses. People should be leading them to look at more important stuff like story. And technically, look at dynamic range, lighting, etc.

Tony

June 19, 2015 at 2:06PM

Though, if I had $40 grand, I would love myself a set of the fast Cooke Lenses! Then I wouldn't have to rent them all the time!

Tony

June 19, 2015 at 2:08PM, Edited June 19, 2:08PM

Sadly, gear is all that matters in our industry. I have been working as a DP for over six years and have shot countless films and commercials, if this guy contacted any of my clients/collaborators and told them he had a red dragon package with cinema lenses, they would go with them. That's the sad fact, all my experience/talent means 0 over an amateur with a red camera package. I see it happen all the time, amateurs get awesome gear and take paying jobs from those with experience. And those who thing expensive cameras don't automatically give you better quality, good luck.

NinjaMonkey

June 21, 2015 at 7:47AM

It's very important to balance gear with ability. I always like to have a camera I can "grow" into as I learn and work on bigger projects. If you are your business, you may need to invest in good gear to market and grow yourself.

Jeremiah Kuehne

June 21, 2015 at 10:34PM

There is no substitute for experience and equipment that is trendy today is cheap tomorrow. I bought a brand new camera recently for $200 that originally came out for $1k. It was a lousy $1k camera, but a fantastic $200 camera.

You want to make a small fortune in Video Production? Well first you start with a large fortune.

Matthew Brown a few years ago made this video with a camera that today you can buy for $100 https://vimeo.com/9080438

It is no fluke, he has done other stunning work. This example is not due to the camera he used, but for me altho I have cameras that are technically better, I do not have Matthew Brown's skills, but aspire to them. If Matthew can create this beautiful video with a camera that you can buy now for $100, it says that the buy in to great video is cheap, but the learning curve is steep.

The OP is frustrated because he can't control the discussion. It is the nature of discussion obviously to discuss, the OP gets to post the question, but each of us are free to post answers to the question he posed. Like in many artistic fields, the more skilled and talented, the more open to new ideas and the idea of self improvement, If someone closes their mind to upgrading themself, then they will do better going into film production sales or rental

June 19, 2015 at 12:52PM, Edited June 19, 12:52PM

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Brian, here are my comments:

1) I have heard very good things about pelican cases, what about other brands that may be cheaper?

I have Pelican 1650 -- love it. You can use these as benches while in the field. Transportation gets much easier. The equipent is safer. Before the case I had 5 backpacks (5 x$35 = $175) while this one case is $235. Case closed :) no pun intended.

2) I am thinking of buying a cheaper follow focus off of eBay, one that is quick release when you attack it to the rails, are cheaper eBay follow focuses okay?

Definitely must have a quick release plate for the focus. Make sure yours would have full 360 rotation (the ones with a lever are a waste of money) and a white circle for the marks. The only problem with non-reversible FFs -- you "pull" towards yourself while the subject gets away and you "pull" away as the subject gets closer. So try to find a tru reversible FF so it would be natural to use -- pull on as the subject comes closer and pull away as the subject moves away.

3) Also what about the cheap eBay whips and cranks?

Whips are OK, cranks will probably get blocked by something on a rig.

4) I am torn between purchasing a cheaper rig and using a atlas camera support vs a zacuto next gen recoil.

If your arms have to bear the weight you will get tired and your productivity will suffer. Even this will get very tiring -- http://images.slashcam.de/news/Zacuto-Next-Gen-Recoil-Rig-11746_PIC1.jpg as you will want to switch shoulders.

5) I'd rather have fixed NDs, what is a good brand that won't funk up the image or color?

Here I have 12 stops (4 + 8) of cheap plastic NDs and a polarizer: https://youtu.be/Y0oYQ078Z3o

The brand is Altura, $15 for a set: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007SXJ1RK?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_...

6) Also how well does an optical low pass filter, I think that is what it is. For moire? How well do those filters "play" with the BMCC and metabones?

A colleague used the BMCC MFT metabones speedbooster and said it was kind of a nightmare: "You need to have an external power supply since its a passive mount. You can't change the aperture from the camera, you won't get aperture or lens data through the camera, and you'll only be able to adjust the f stops to 7 broad settings. It also increases the moire."

7) Konova slider for 3 to 5 hundred dollars, any objections?

Have it, love it. You will need to re-tighten / un-tighten the actual sliding unit when you first get it to fit your taste.

8) There have been a few local indie films shot in my area, the problem is always sound.

You need to find a mentor and spend a day with him/her doing sound from pre to post. You'll start using the mentor's ears and eventually you'll learn it for yourself.

June 19, 2015 at 11:04PM, Edited June 19, 11:04PM

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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
4068

Gear makes up a very small fraction of a film's budget. I would put your money in the bank, make some more shorts. Use the money to hire a dp when you make the film, they can handle rental of the right gear and use it better. Likewise with sound.

It doesn't make sense if you are trying to make a feature anyone will ever see, to buy a bunch of low-mid range gear with no skillz or artists to use it when you could just hire someone who specializes in that area + hire the appropriate kit they need (they may even have their own). Ask yourself if you want to go on a gear shopping spree or make a movie because you won't be able to afford both

June 20, 2015 at 3:16AM, Edited June 20, 3:19AM

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LJ
656

On the guys hating because he is spending 30-40k, it seems like a lot of money but it isn't. Plenty of people drive 30-40k cars, are you giving them a hard time too? Most cars lose a lot of their value after being driven out of the dealership, and models get outdated after a while because a new models come on the market, doesn't make your car suddenly not able to drive or worthless.

Don't be jealous of someone because he has the fortune to invest in something he likes. Plenty of people invest (often a lot more) money in hobbies and they will NEVER make one penny from it, but they enjoy it, which is the most important thing.

He also can decide whether he wants to rent out his equipment or not, another way to make it slowly but certainly repay itself.

I just hope the original poster keeps some funds for his actors and production expenses and on set expenses, who knows, maybe he has this covered? We don't know.

June 20, 2015 at 5:08AM, Edited June 20, 5:08AM

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gandulf charpentier
director of pornography
668

Get the basics, learn the craft, then invest in the real stuff. Sure you could buy a camera right now that has the ability to shoot RAW, but is RAW right for your production? Sure you could buy a couple of cineprimes, but maybe you want to do a dolly zoom. You could buy an expensive zacuto rig, but maybe you prefer the way a redrock rig holds.

My point is, don't let the tools determine the way you're shooting this film. Figure out the way you want to shoot the film and then buy the tools you need. If you're a rich kid, buy the best stuff and go from there. But you're saying this money comes from an exceptional situation, so that's why me and a lot of other people are saying don't blow it all at once. Invest wisely, start slow.

Having said that, buy gear that inspires you and have fun with it. A camera that makes you WANT to go out and shoot is more important than any spec or quality it has.

Good luck with your feature!

June 20, 2015 at 8:18AM, Edited June 20, 8:18AM

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Filmdudezero
Director
267

Altho this discussion makes the OP the center of attention and that seems to be the primary purpose.
This discussion has some benefits to the rest of us.

For example the OP claims to have thousands of dollars to spend and wants to buy equipment only, but nothing on production.
Self admitted knows little of craft, yet has expectation of selling his feature.
Most of us realize that you have to crawl before you walk and realize it is likely that once the budget is gone, no matter what amount of money is spent even if a million dollar budget, likely the resulting project will be worthless and unsalable due to lack of craft, skill, experience and ability.
This is not true just for the OP but for all of us. We crawl before we walk and wail before we fun.
The facts are as most of us have learned, we need to make a 100 bad short films, but we learn lots thru the process. Director Robert Rodriguez speaks about this in his book "Rebel Without a Crew" many believe he just came out of no where, made a $7k movie and it was picked up by Hollywood. The truth is that Robert had thousands of hours of experience making short films, had even one film festival awards with his short movie "Bedhead" and so produced a economical film, but was a seasoned veteran filmmaker and made every cent count. So, the lighting and script, acting, locations everything was lined up to make a successful film. All documented in his book.
So, blow your budget on equipment without knowledge, I say go for it, it is likely he will forget something and not be able to use the stuff he buys, but who among us has made mistakes and forgotten important details? I KNOW I HAVE! so the experience of making a unsaleable feature is invaluable, I hope he keeps making unsaleable features until one day he gains the skills he distains and makes a saleable one.
Of course the money is long gone. I have my doubts that there is any money at all due to the nature of the answers, but I am not a mind reader, so if the OP is legit or not or just having fun at our expense is not my issue.
The fact of being more interested in the tools of filmmaking instead of the craft of filmmaking or getting experience.
I think the true value is that with a budget or without, to find the way to make films. Most people make films good and bad because they have to. That little voice that says what you are doing is important even if it doesn't have an audience.
The films I make 50% like, but the other part that takes chances, most people don't understand and don't get, but there is a percentage of the people that think is genius, so that makes me pursue my own vision instead of making "me too" films.

The benefit to me since we all seem to have the same advice, is to get out there capture more video, write more scripts, edit what we have and do it, then do it more.

This song needs to be in constant rotation and making films is fun and I appreciate the OP in ways that he never intended, because I believe that craft is what is holding me back, not money.

June 20, 2015 at 3:14PM, Edited June 20, 3:14PM

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Most of what you are saying is not grounded in reality. I know plenty of people with money, who had little experience, and made feature films they were able to sell. One even was a selection at sundance, it was the directors first film and he never made any shorts. He did this by buying a red with cinema lenses, hiring students for free and boom, awards and money are raining in. His budget was similar to this guy at $30K, so don't doubt the OP. If he has money, his films will be good.

NinjaMonkey

June 21, 2015 at 7:55AM

Altho we have explored this discussion pretty thoroughly, another point about filmmaking is getting along with people. Altho the title of the book "Rebel without a crew" suggests making a feature film with one person, the reality is that he had plenty of help during production. People wore many hats, so one moment they act, the next they are a grip. Altho the OP has many excuses to why the advice he asked for doesn't apply, A Director needs to be a great people person, to inspire people to work together to make the movie. Watch this movie for free https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhlGoAUx20o It is the 1966 horror comedy The undertaker and his pals. I have been watching it for decades now for inspiration. They spent hundreds of dollars making this movie and it shows. What I love about the movie is that every aspect of this movie is low rent, but the cast seems to have so much fun making the movie and I find it inspirational that a low rent movie can entertain better than many that costs millions. If you cannot inspire your cast and crew no amount of money or equipment will help you. I don't think it bodes well for the OP in that being snarky to people trying to help him makes him his own worst enemy.

June 20, 2015 at 8:08PM, Edited June 20, 8:08PM

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Lofar Fopah, you assume a great deal about me. Put words in my mouth. Misrepresent much of, if not all of what I have written. I've replied to you multiple times and you have ignored my replies. If I thought it would do any good, I would respond directly to what you are continuing to post unfortunately though If I were to do that it would undoubtedly fall on deaf ears again causing you to misrepresent me even further. Because of the nature of the internet it is difficult for me to decide whether you are being serious in your posts or if they are of another sort. Good day to you sir.

June 22, 2015 at 4:31AM, Edited June 22, 4:31AM

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Brian Anthony
Student
345

Mate, you want to make a feature - do it. My approach?: Keep your kit simple, so that you don't have too many choices to make on set, or too many things to fiddle around with - that sort of thing is paralysing on a low budget.

Get 3 good lenses - a 24, a 35 and an 85. You can cover everything you need and shoot a feature with just those three.

Get a decent tripod - but not one that's so heavy you'll regret taking it out every time.

Get some good peli-cases, label everything up and organise it nicely - it'll save you a huge amount of time.

Get waaay more storage than you anticipate using.

Then go and make your feature. You'll learn absolutely shitloads. I've made quite a few shorts, shot feature documentaries and written several feature scripts... and I learnt more in the process of making my first feature than by doing anything else. You'll realise what you still don't know, you'll make mistakes...

...And you'll want to make another one. It doesn't matter if the first one is crap - which it usually is. There's way to much pressure on people to come straight out of the blocks with a masterpiece, and the truth is that's highly unlikely. Much better to just go in with as much enthusiasm and naivety as possible, and bumble your way through, learning as you go.

I've got some tips and wotnot on making stuff on a low budget over on our website - www.dontstoprunning.co.uk - hope it's even vaguely useful.

Good luck with it!

June 22, 2015 at 5:52AM, Edited June 22, 5:52AM

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Alex Richardson
Director
3458

This is a great answer!

I guess in the end, no one really even answered his request. Help me spend $40 grand!

Tony

June 22, 2015 at 10:18AM

One of the BEST threads EVER!!!!!

June 22, 2015 at 5:43PM, Edited June 22, 5:43PM

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Michael Militscher
Director / Commercial Producer
2048

It really is. I've been checking up on it every day to see if the guy will finally "get it" haha. I'm beginning to think the OP is trolling and knew the kind of responses he'd get from professionals and semi professionals. Maybe he isn't, but I'm generally distrustful of humans and am a pessimist.

Don Way

June 23, 2015 at 9:10AM

.And you'll want to make another one. It doesn't matter if the first one is crap - which it usually is. There's way to much pressure on people to come straight out of the blocks with a masterpiece, and the truth is that's highly unlikely. Much better to just go in with as much enthusiasm and naivety as possible, and bumble your way through, learning as you go.

I was training coordinator (now retired) for the largest company of its kind on the west coast. I made lot of video in conjunction with my job. Learning any skill can take years, but everybody has a first day at work and there may be thousands of things to learn, but you learn them one at a time. We don't really learn by doing something right, but learn loads when we fail. I have no vested interest in the OP succeeding or failing.
He has a strong conviction that craft doesn't matter and crap does. Who am I to say differently?
I say march forward with those convictions and spend the money real or not (thanks for the reminder about the money I had forgotten) and boldly make your feature. If you don't make films, you can't be a filmmaker. Even if you only make one film and it flops, it is kind of like the criminal who told the judge "Judge, I can't be a bank robber, I only robbed one bank" so actually make a film or pretend to make a film your choice.

June 22, 2015 at 10:58PM, Edited June 22, 10:58PM

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Lomar Fopah again you are putting words in my mouth. Again you disregarded my entire reply.

June 23, 2015 at 12:00AM, Edited June 23, 12:00AM

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Brian Anthony
Student
345

Brian, you did open this can of worms on yourself. I think you should re-read your original post, specifically the final line: "I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and doubly appreciate ANY advice you may have"

John Morse

June 23, 2015 at 1:59PM

John Morse, reread that last line in the context of my post. It wasn't an invitation for advice whether I need to wipe my nose, how I feel about wiping noses, my philosophy of nasal care, whether an ENT is an admirable profession, etc... Context. Context, and context.

It certainly wasn't an invitation for many like for example Lomar Fopah to put words in my mouth and then ignore my replies repeatedly.

Or are the inmates running the asylum?

June 23, 2015 at 5:20PM, Edited June 23, 5:23PM

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Brian Anthony
Student
345

The best thing I have ever done is spend my first $400 on a copy of FrameForge. Im a screenwriter and that one piece of software helps me write scenes, create sets, use virtual cameras based on real models, play with lighting, angles, make storyboards and animatics. I had the resist the temptation to buy a BM Ursa mini. It's really enticing at $3000 to $5000.

At the end of my screenplay writing, I will have a pitch kit any producer will value as Ive thought beyond mere writing and provided some stunning visuals and if I have any talent for composition and lighting that will shine through without having to scout locations, hiring actors and all that.

I know the draw and allure of wanting to just film it now, or anything now. Try storyboarding your script first, then get opinions, then get your gear.

July 14, 2015 at 3:40PM

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Alan Knittel
Screen Writer
13

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