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Old 10-19-2012, 07:38 PM   #1
icba pictures
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$2000-what should I buy?

I have a Canon SX50HS, a Pavilion g7 laptop, some cheap tripods, a diy steady-cam, a diy snorry-cam, and the ability to build other things. On the one hand I want to be done and over with the shopping, on the other hand I would like to maximize the useful tools I need to make a movie essentially on my own... Independently...

So what do I do? Do I pull the trigger? Can I spend the money elsewhere or on other products? My plans include the purchase of a T4i as well... $605 free ship/ or do I save a buck and get the T3i @ $485?

In my Amazon cart:

Stereo Headphone Extension 12 feet 3.5mm
Quantity: 1
Carry Speed Swi-View for any 3-Inch LCD View Finder
Quantity: 1
Chromo Inc. 160 LED CI-160 Dimmable Ultra High Power P...
Quantity: 1
Ravelli AVTP Professional 75mm Video Camera Tripod with...
Quantity: 1
ePhoto Shoulder Rig DSLR Camera Rig Support Steady Rig ...
Quantity: 1
Rode Boompole Microphone Boom Arm - RODE
Quantity-1
Transcend 8GB Class 10 SDHC Flash Memory Card
Quantity-2
Battery And Charger Kit For Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, SX40HS, G1 X, G1X, SX50 HS, SX50HS, Powershot G15 Digital Camera Includes Extended Replacement (1200Mah) NB-10L Battery + AC/DC Travel Charger + LCD Screen Protectors + MicroFiber Cleaning Cloth - ButterflyPhot
Quantity-set
Audio-Technica ATR-6550 Video Camera Condenser Shotgun Microphone - Audio-Technica
Quantity-1
TASCAM DR-40 4-Track Portable Digital Recorder - TASCAM
Quantity-1

Subtotal: $819.80

In the waiting list are the lenses (40mm pancake and nifty-50) untill the camera is ordered, as well as some other goodies I deemed less immediate in nature.

HELP? I've sold most of my other hobby or collection items and want to make sure my movie gets done!
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:32 PM   #2
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http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Condenser.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ET_Pencil.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...le_Linear.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...or_Tascam.html

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Pack_for.html X2

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search...op+Nav-Search=

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...R_Male_to.html X2

Yeah, it's a big chunk, but if you're must own the gear and do sound yourself you do it right. As always, I suggest that you hire a pro or hook up with an ambitious, knowledgeable up-and-comer.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:44 PM   #3
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Whoa... My whole budget to do this project may only reach $2500... will the sound exceed the visual? I do have a few props to build also, one of which is a portion of a helicopter, an airplane wing which will be destroyed, and a few other items which won't be saved. Aerial shots will cost at least 300... and I will probably find more. Would it be wise to go with the lower budget for now or should I be more focused on an overall budget and not think about how to buy things until I need them? I guess what I want to do and what I can afford to do are not the same right now.

So......
How does one decide whether the story they want to tell gets told. And whether it's told right. A short? A test? Shoot a couple scenes and pass it around? I'm not sure about renting/hiring right now as this isn't a commercial venture and I am too inexperienced to know what is worth paying for and what (or who) is all talk. Hmmmmmm....
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:15 PM   #4
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The thing with renting is you can get much better equipment for cheaper than buying - so on a project-by-project basis it can work out better, but in the long run it's perhaps better/cheaper to buy your own equipment.
I, personally rent equipment for every shoot I do.

Honestly, you could easily blow your entire budget just on those two props you mentioned. Also, sound is just as if not more important than the visuals. So you definitely need to invest in sound in some way.
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:38 PM   #5
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You implied that the $2k was for equipment only, hence my "expensive" reply (BTW, this is why you need to do an extensive budget breakdown/analysis so you avoid these kinds of confusion). However....

Poor sound kills more otherwise solid projects more than any other technical reason. After all, most scripts are primarily DIALOG, which is the SPOKEN WORD. Dialog communicates the story, advances the plot and gives us detailed information about the characters. All of your fancy sets and pretty pictures are worthless if the audience cannot effortlessly understand the dialog. There should be a heavy emphasis on capturing solid production sound, most especially when you will not be doing a proper audio post.

Jax is right; rent the gear you need, you will save a lot of money. Better yet, find someone competent to swing the boom and mix the sound for you. They will probably have equipment equal to or better than what you would rent, and they are intimately familiar with it.

There is much, much more to sound than sticking a mic on the end of a boom-pole. Swinging the boom is one of the most technically demanding jobs on a film set. The boom-op must keep the mic properly aimed (making dozens of minute adjustments), while keeping it out of the frame, not casting any shadows, and avoiding props, crew members, lights and other equipment. We won't even get into gain-staging and the other technical apsects of recording production sound.

Capturing quality production sound is even more important for low/no/mini/micro budget filmmakers than it is for "Hollywood" projects. ADR (Automated Dialog Replacement) is technically demanding, and most actors find it a difficult process, not to mention that ADR performances usually fall very flat when compared to the on-set performance. ADR is also a very costly process; you either need to buy or rent the proper equipment and learn how to use it correctly, or pay someone like myself to handle the ADR sessions. And once you get into doing ADR you now have to perform Foley to fill up the emptiness, otherwise the ADR is just disembodied words completely disconnected from the scene.

Rule of thumb for low/no/mini/micro budget filmmakers: Every dollar (minute) spent on capturing quality production sound will save you ten dollars (minutes) in audio post.


Your film will only look as good as it sounds, because
"Sound is half of the experience."
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:56 AM   #6
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Thanks Alcove, looking around at other projects made me realize the audio needs as well as a better, more concise budget. I listed all of the equipment I was planning on buying with my budget of $2000. Just wondering if, from all the separate areas, what i listed would be acceptable for a solo venture. I know the T4i is fine, And the lenses have been sorted, but the audio, tripod/camera rig, post software/computer, and other less obvious things I'm not as familiar with yet. Basicly my list came from looking a t others projects and coming to a "best for least" group of items. I thought maybe some more input would be nice from some more experienced people. I am a grown-up with 4 kids and a mortgage... But... I do have a job, so if I can squeeze more funds out, I will. I am definitely going to research the costs more. As for the set, I am fortunate to have several carpenters as friends who offered to help out already. I actually already figured out how to build the door/side of the helicopter, and aerial shots are fuel cost only as I have friends with an airplane. Locations "should" be free, definitely checking more on that though. I have a 4,000 sq ft building available for a "soundstage"(? set/studio ?). So mostly its equipment and talent I need help with. Sharp learning curve having only dabbled with spoofs before, edited in Moviemaker.








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Last edited by icba pictures; 10-21-2012 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:07 AM   #7
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Added links to some of my past work... Way past.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:34 PM   #8
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What are the reasons for owning two mics? The Aventone and the Rode? The Rode kit alone is quite a bit over my guesstimated budget. I have been searching as much as possible and am starting to understand more about audio needs, but still stuck with a budget. Where do I start looking for local talent to get started with, I've always done things on my own since it jives with my schedule much better, lol. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:37 PM   #9
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With 2000, I would recommend a 5D with a 50MM F1.8 lens.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KhachikGezalyan View Post
With 2000, I would recommend a 5D with a 50MM F1.8 lens.
$2000 is my total gear budget... Missed a used 5D markII for 1400 recently but would only leave 600 for camera rig, tripod, audio, sets, food, props, post editing.... Yeah a 5D would be awesome though, I'd love it!
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icba pictures View Post
What are the reasons for owning two mics? The Aventone and the Rode?
Shotgun mics (like the Rode NTG-1) are great for outdoor shooting; they (should) have terrific off-axis rejection, meaning that a shotgun mic primarily picks up sounds from directly in front and much less from the sides as other mics. However, the physics that make it a good choice for outdoors audio greatly exaggerates the hollow, echoey, roomy sound so prevalent in low/no/mini/micro budget indie productions when used indoors. Using a hypercardioid mic (like the CK-1) when shooting indoors somewhat mitigates that affect.

As with every aspect of filmmaking the skill with which the tools are used will make a very large difference. If you hand the boom with a hypercardioid hung on the end to whichever PA isn't doing anything you probably won't hear much of a difference; in the hands of someone with more skill you will definitely notice the difference between the hyper and the shotgun.

It's a little dated, but you may want to check out my blog on the basics of production sound.

http://www.myspace.com/alcoveaudio/blog

Just for fun, the shotgun currently popular with professional production sound crews is the Schoeps CMIT5U; about $2,200. The Schoeps Colette hypercardioid is around $1,900. Sound Devices makes the popular "bag" mixers and recorders. The basic Sound Devices 302 mixer (three channels) is about $1,300, and the Sound Devices 702 audio recorder is around $1,900. It's worth mentioning because most indie types don't even spend on their entire sound kit half of what a professional spends on one piece of gear.
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:24 AM   #12
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Thanks for the link Alcove. I am definitely going to put some money into the mics and recorder...if I can't find an up-and-comer... I agree completely with all your input, just wish the budget was bigger.
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:40 PM   #13
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The importance of audio cannot be stressed enough. One bad audio take in one scene can ruin your entire film. Trust me, I know.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:20 PM   #14
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Get a t2i/t3i/t4i, get a 501 manfrotto head with a compatible tripod, tascAm dr-40/ dr-100, rode ntg-1, boom pole, a rode blimp if you so wish, 50mm 1.8, get the cheap battery grip for 25 on amazon with 2 batteries, and hey presto, that's most of my config anyway but I got sponsored so I didn't really pay for anything apart from the camera..
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:14 PM   #15
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I may have missed a couple of replies, as i have a had a drink and I'm reading kinda' quick, but would you not be better off buying the best equipment you can possibly afford? rather than spending all your money on what seems a extremely expensive production, Im not being mean or nasty or anything, just asking! but it seems ambitious to have aerial shots, and destroyed helicopters and planes and such? I may be totally wrong, i live in the uk and where i live there is no way i could find helicopter parts, however it may be different where you live?

as for equipment, you really do need to spend the money on sound equipment, if the video is mainly for youtube or even small festivals, then you could quite happily shoot it on a half decent DSLR and most people would not notice or get that into the story that they forget, however if your sound is bad it is going to stick out a mile and no one will sit through that.

again not trying to be nasty, just a few things to take into consideration, I do however applaud you for saving the money or selling your stuff to finance a film idea that you are obviously passionate about!
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