Making short films, shooting interviews, and music videos doesn’t have to cost a bomb, but choosing the right gadgets to make them come true is another thing. There are so many gadgets out there, but how do you choose, and what’s affordable?
I believe that every indie filmmaker should get their hands on a HD DSLR to give them the flexibility of cost, full HD shooting, and the choice of lenses. I own a Canon 7D with a kit lens and a 50mm which is perfect for my interview needs but you may want to get hold of prime lenses to get the best out of you camera. I also have 2 32 GB Kingston Compact Flash cards which gives me several hours of footage (if on 720p); along with 2 spare batteries to shoot for longer.
For post production I would recommend Final Cut Studio 2 or 3, but getting a hold of FCP Studio is expensive and you might want to opt in for Final Cut Pro X. Now I will be honest, I am not a fan of the new software because it changes the entire system of editing after so many years of incredible improvements on the Studio versions. However, its about 4x cheaper, and it will do everything that you need. I especially recommend it for first time editors.
First and foremost everything mentioned above I have used and I know how incredible the results can be. Indie filmmakers don’t need to spend $10,000 when starting out, and it’s also not necessary because with a great DSLR camera like the Canon 7D, you can really learn about the process of filmmaking from scratch. Lenses give you great flexibility, but you don’t need to buy the most expensive ones. You can also go out and get extra features like tripods, Zacuto viewfinders and more to upgrade your base package.