June 16, 2015 at 6:57AM
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.
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.
This is the third, I was inspired by the B&W version of Philip Blooms boxer video.
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.
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.