September 28, 2014 at 1:00AM

8

Money for camera or writing?

I have about 1500 dollars to spend on some gear and I would like to know if I should spend it on a camera to start shooting video or a computer to start writing scripts?

11 Comments

Do you already have a working computer? If you do, there's a lot of free or low cost screenwriting software like Trelby and Celtx that you can use to start writing.

September 28, 2014 at 1:46AM

2
Reply
avatar
Basil Yeo
Director of Photography
348

Yes, like Basil said.
1.- Celtx it's free

2.- The rest buy the camera, batteries, memory, etc

3.- Do you have some computer to editing?

September 28, 2014 at 4:24AM

0
Reply
avatar
Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7601

The more important recourse it's time and you must put more in writing.

September 29, 2014 at 2:40AM

0
Reply
avatar
Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7601

Do you listen to Script Notes? If you are thinking about writing, you should. In a recent episode, someone asked what she could buy to start writing, but noted that she was "completely broke".

All you need to start writing is paper and a pencil. You could also write at a library!

If you don't have a computer, then you'll need to invest in one so that you can edit anything you'd shoot on that fancy camera you're thinking of buying.

September 29, 2014 at 3:16AM

6
Reply
avatar
Zack Wallnau
Cinematographer & Tinkerer
616

Uh... camera!

September 29, 2014 at 4:03PM

9
Reply

Every one of Woody Allen's scripts was written with a notebook and a pencil.

If you need to start shooting then buy a camera, otherwise just save your money.

Once it's spent, it's spent. You can't un-spend it.

September 29, 2014 at 5:07PM

0
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30628

Johnny -- keep your powder dry, aka keep your money in the bank!

If you ask about computer vs camera then you clearly do not know anything about the filmmaking.

Thus you should invest your TIME into learning the filmmaking.

Post an ad in Craigslist's Crew section requesting director and producer roles while you will provide the wonderful script. Most likely that production will go nowhere but at least you'll know what need to be worked on.

Five iterations down the road you'll have the full crew and cast of a small short film without having spent a $. That's what I did, and I kept my $1,500 in the bank.

Except later I understood that I need to learn all those roles myself and spent all those $1,500 on a t2i, a lens, lights, and sound, but at least that came after I got for free the most important piece -- the practical knowledge!

Good luck!

September 30, 2014 at 12:00AM

4
Reply
avatar
Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
3815

In response to Raguel, yes. Definitely put the $1,500 into equipment. You literally need $3 to start writing if you don't already have a notebook and pen.
However, I wouldn't put all $1,500 into a camera and batteries and whatnot. Audio is half the battle. I'd say find a camera that's far less than $1,500 (I just bought a GH3, a lens, and a bunch of accessories for less than $900) and then put the rest of your money into audio. If you put everything into a camera, your film might look great, but the audio will make it awful.

September 30, 2014 at 7:39AM

0
Reply
avatar
Paul Gall
Writer / Director / Editor
175

A couple of thoughts: You'll spend more time editing than shooting, so an editing system is more important than a camera. It's harder to rent lighting and audio gear than it is to rent (or borrow) a camera (especially outside a handful of larger cities), so that might be a better investment. And cameras grow obsolete faster than all those things, making rentals the better option there.

September 30, 2014 at 1:02PM

0
Reply
avatar
Minor Mogul
Dilettante
666

What do you want to do? Learn how to write scripts or learn how to shoot and edit?
Pick just one of the two for now so you know where to focus your time, money and efforts. If you pick writing, you don't need a new computer.

October 1, 2014 at 5:46PM

4
Reply
Stel Kouk
Filmmaker
3095

This is a really hard question, since both things are kind of essential to filmmaking. If you don't have either of them, get a computer first so that you can edit things, while using your phone or a rental camera to shoot.
If you have access to a computer but don't have a camera, you should just go ahead and get the camera (but make sure it comes with a sufficient storage unit like a 16GB SD Card). You can use the computer to edit and save everything on the card during the process, and upon finishing the film just upload it online.

February 8, 2015 at 7:44AM

0
Reply
avatar
Daniel (Ching-yu) Chu
Screenwriter, Director, Actor
69

Your Comment