11/12/2017

Cheap Yet Quality Filming Supplies

(beep)

hello future anna and anyone else reading this. i have decided to compile a list of cheap or free things i use to make my videos and films, as well as a few things i have learnt and discovered along the way which i always pass on to others! i think this will be cool to look back at in a few years to see how my filming equipment and habits change, but i hope it will help people who want to make their own films see that they don't need to spend all their savings or do anything crazy to tell their stories!

Equipment:

Camera-
to be honest, all you really need to make a film is a camera. and when i say a camera, i don't mean a big 4k camera that you need to sell a kidney to buy, i mean anything you have at home or can easily buy! i started making videos using my ipod touch, and edited on an awful app, but i was always so proud of whatever i created. i still am if i'm completely honest! for me, the quality of the story is more important than the picture quality, so use whatever you can get your hands on: your phone, your family's camera, a camera you could borrow from college or uni, a friend's camera, or you could ask for a small camera for christmas. a few years ago, i spent half of my monthly wage packet on a nikon d5200, and i have made 2 short films and plenty of other videos using it. it is still the camera i use today, so you don't need to spend all you earn, either use what you can or treat yourself to what you can.

Lights- 
you don't always need lighting, try and use natural light and film in front of a window if you can. however if you do need studio lights to brighten up your videos, don't panic or start throwing your money around. i have 2 lighting set ups. 1 is an LED light screen that is light enough to clip to the top of my camera so i can light the subject directly in front of me, or change the temperature of the scene to create an atmosphere. when i was looking for a light like this, i found so so so many options, especially quite a few in my price range of £15-£25. i found that quite a few of the LED screens didn't come with a battery, so i went on a mission to find one that came with a battery. i found the perfect one by a brand called tycka, and it was about £30 which was slightly over budget, but it came with a battery, battery charger, and had FANTASTIC reviews! i will leave a link for it here (this one doesn't come with a battery, but i am sure you can find a set that does): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Camera-Lighting-Stepless-Dimmable-Brightness-LED-Light-Panel-NO-battery/dp/B0714J1MHH/ref=pd_sbs_421_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=Y8QHVQXQZHXT6A2V1EY2  i use this quite a lot for my youtube videos as it is super easy to set up, and makes my videos look professional and clean.
my second light set up is using large soft boxes. i was first introduced to these at college, and then we used one whilst filming 'the best days' and i thought it was brilliant. the light was so natural yes so so so effective! i was on the look out for a good pair, but didn't want to spend loads! i found a fab pair on amazon for just under £50, which was a little much, but i am glad i bought them! i will link them here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01BSG3OWK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1  they have a brilliant light give off (does that make sense haha), and don't hum after a while or get hot. i use them for larger projects, or things on set (at my job) as they work really well as a pair to brighten the space and create professional video footage.
you don't need crazy lighting to make your videos special, but if you do, you don't need to spend a lot! look out for sales and good reviews!

Mic- 
microphones can be expensive, but audio can make or break a film. like the picture quality, i am never really bothered about audio as long as the story is brilliant, but for many people, audio quality comes first! if you aren't happy with the audio your camera captures, why not record the audio using a phone, and then transfer the audio to your editing software and place them together. phones nowadays are loaded with incredible quality lenses and microphones, so use what's in your pocket! if you do want to buy a mic, i use a rode video mic which i was given for my birthday, as it was £60 and i couldn't justify spending that on myself. i am still so grateful to my gran and grandad for getting it for me. if you don't want to spend that much, look for a cheaper alternative, or second hand mics on facebook groups or stores like CEX and cash converters. i once found a perfectly working 70mm-300mm sigma lens in cash converters for £25, which i think has been the bargain of my life haha!

Tripod-
tripods can be really expensive! i was looking for a new one a few weeks ago, and they were about £50. i am not spending that much!!! haha!!! if you're filming yourself for youtube, stack a few books or boxes to create a stable platform at the right height for your camera. it's free and super easy! if you do need a tripod, you can occasionally find tripods for about £15, and that's how much i bought mine for about 5 years ago, and you guessed it, i am still using it! it has aided in the filming of 2 films, and hundreds of other videos! it is a little wobbly at times, but works perfectly well, so why would i spend a crazy amount on a new one? use what you have or can get your hands on!

so that's the end of the equipment section, but there are so many other things you can get, however i feel what i listed is more than enough to create films! another thing to look at is film making diys on youtube, as you can see how to make studio backgrounds using pvc piping, light boxes with cheap bulbs, and so much more! if you can't buy it, try and make it, or see if you can find your way around it.

Cast/Crew:
i have been lucky enough to be blessed with a few large friend groups that all contain people who want to go into acting or creative industries, but not everyone has that privilege, so here are some ideas on how to find your cast and crew!

Local facebook groups- 
try and join a few local, regional or national facebook groups for drama people, film people, extras, actors, etc, you get the picture! you can see jobs people are offering, as well as list your own ads for people to see and hopefully apply for! quite a few groups offer jobs and things for free, however quite a few people may expect to be paid for being involved in your project. what i do is feed my cast and crew and offer to pay for any travel expenses! that way, i can have a large cast and crew without having to worry about payment. if you can, pay who you work with, but if it's a low budget production, people will understand.

Friends/family- 
like i said at the start of this section, i have been blessed with many creative friends and family members who are always more than willing to give me a hand, so why not ask your friends and family! i find it really nice to work with people i know, as there is no awkwardness or unsure situations. they may not want to be on front of the camera, but i am sure the people around you will help in anyway they can, from making cups of tea, to sourcing props!

Drama clubs- 
whether you approach clubs at your school, uni or local community, you are sure to find local actors who want to do more film work! these clubs are full of people who love acting, so whatever kind of character you are looking for, you are sure to find them at a drama club! these are also great to join if you want experience acting, directing, or working back stage! or just to meet people and gain contacts!

Software:

Audacity-
i first learnt about audacity in primary school, then used it a little in high school, and i am now constantly using it for my film projects! it's FREE to download, and super easy to use, meaning your audio can be more professional! i use it to get rid of background noise and any slight sounds there may be over video that i don't want. i use it all the time, and truly recommend it be part of your film kit (unless you have another sound editor or can use your video editor of course)!

Phone apps- 
apps nowadays are incredible! i used to edit on an awful app that always shut down or didn't save my videos, but it gave me the freedom to make my own videos using just my ipod touch! you can now download imovie onto your iphone or ipad, and there are a range of apps that allow you to edit video footage, as well as add cool effects to what you are creating! as i use my laptop to edit and not my phone, i don't have a list of the best video editing apps to use, but if you want i can do a post about what i do on my phone when making films or if i use it to edit photos! have a look on the app store and see what you can find! if you see anything good, let me know!

Youtube editor- 
if you didn't know, you can edit videos actually on youtube! when you log into your account, you have the option to edit footage to easily upload! i have never actually used it, but i know quite a few people who do as it's FREE, and makes uploading super easy! definitely worth a look!

Music:
so you've got your film, but you wanna add music? this can be one of the hardest parts of making a film, because so much music isn't able to use without permission, and permission can be really difficult to get. here is where i source quite a bit of my music from!

Friends/family- 
like i have said, a lot of my friends are super creative, and luckily for me, my friend nathan makes music! i asked him quite a while ago if he ever wanted to collab with me, and he said he would love to make a song for my latest short film Je m'appelle! nathan and my friend beth got together and wrote/recorded  brilliant song that i could use! so if you can, use songs your friends make, or even have a go at making your own music! make sure to get your friend's permission first though!

Ask artists- 
when i was writing my first short film The Best Days, i really wanted a particular song to be in it as i felt it fitted PERFECTLY! instead of just sitting around looking for something else or using it without asking, i just thought it would be best to ask the artists personally! she got back within a few seconds saying that she would love for me to use the song! i was over the moon! i am still obsessed with this song and artist, so if there is a particular song you want to use, there is no harm in asking!

Youtube audio library- 
along with the editing, youtube is brilliant for making videos and films! they offer an audio library filled with music and sound effects you can use on your own projects! always check the royalties stated next to the songs, but this is super easy to find music that you can use for FREE, even for videos not going on youtube! just google search: youtube audio library, or find it through the 'creator studio' section on youtube.

Google royalty free music-
if you can't find what you're looking for, it's worth googling it

so i guess this was my cheap/free guide to filmmaking supplies, and to some people this may be all wrong, to some it may be ridiculous, but to others it could be a lifesaver, like it is to me. i consider myself super lucky. my family have let me turn our house into a film set twice, my friends all want to help me out on projects, and i can afford my camera and any other supplies i may need, but some people don't have that. hopefully you can use what i have written here to help you make your own projects, no matter your budget, and tell your stories to the world! if you ever make any videos or anything, tweet me as i would love to support it and you! future anna, feel free to expand on this in the future, as i would love to see how my filming guide changes over time! just so ya'll know, i am far from professional, i just love telling stories, and this helps me do that! if you have any questions, let me know!

(beep)

UPDATE!!! I posted a video on my yt channel talking about this equipment when i am actually taking it out and about so i will leave a link for it here if you want a more visual thing to see explaining it awfully because i am an idiot and try and cram a lot in one video ok here it is, enjoy...


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