Young Filmmakers Gear – Do you have a young filmmaker in your life that you want to help grow to become a better filmmaker?
A young filmmaker recently asked me what it takes to become a filmmaker.
A quote from James Cameron was my response to this young filmmaker “Take a camera with you. Something should be shot. It doesn’t matter how small or cheesy it is, or whether your friends and sister star in it. Put your name as the director on it. You’ve progressed to the position of director. After there, it’s merely a matter of discussing your budget and charge.”
For a young director to thrive in the film industry, that’s pretty much it. All they need is some basic equipment to get started, as well as moral support to help them develop into full-fledged filmmakers.
This article will briefly touch on practical and entertaining gear for young filmmakers, both beginning and seasoned if you’re curious about what filmmaking equipment to start with to help a young filmmaker explore the trade of filmmaking.
Here are some video gear essentials for young filmmakers to start learning their filmmaking skills.
A camera is the first piece of equipment that a young filmmaker requires to begin filming. Filmmaking cameras exist in a variety of shapes and sizes, as well as a range of prices.
Choosing the correct camera is entirely dependent on the young filmmaker’s skill level and the funds available at the outset. There are a plethora of guides on how to choose the best camera for filming, but if you want a long-lasting filmmaking camera that captures fantastic footage, an action camera like a GoPro is the way to go.
What makes an action camera ideal for a budding filmmaker? In comparison to bulkier cameras, action cameras are smaller and easier to conceal in pictures.
Second, action cameras typically have basic controls, so all a young filmmaker needs to do is point and shoot. An action camera is the ideal camera for a young filmmaker who is just learning the ropes of filmmaking.
A smartphone is another wonderful filmmaking camera that a young filmmaker may use to learn framing, lighting, and other skills. Because many young filmmakers today have access to a smartphone, they are likely to be more familiar with the camera’s menus than most adults, and you will not need to purchase another camera.
While you might start them off with a DSLR or mirrorless cinema camera, the problem with this is that these powerful cameras have steep learning curves, which may deter young filmmakers from making films.
If a young filmmaker simply wants to practice camera abilities, they can use the camera’s built-in microphone. They should, however, add an external microphone to their camera gear to boost ambient sounds and spoken voices if they wish to improve the sound of their movie.
Most film cameras offer a 3.5 mm audio input connector for adding an external microphone to improve sound quality while filming.
This article will explain the various types of microphones available for filmmaking.
On-camera lights are great video equipment add-ons for budding filmmakers who want to improve the lighting for every shot they take. The beautiful thing about On-Camera lights is that they are less expensive than lighting kits, and if they are damaged or lost, they will not be as costly.
A collapsible reflector is another great device that is lightweight and easy to carry in a bag.
Collapsible reflectors are available in a variety of forms and sizes, including round, triangular, square, and rectangular/oval. Reflectors are available in a variety of colors and reflectivity options, including typical white/silver, collapsible diffusion, and interchangeable covers allowing numerous colors and reflectivity options in one reflector.
A silver/black reflector covers both ends of the spectrum with the silver side providing hard bounce light and the black side creating “negative” fill. Blue/Green collapsible screens are great for quick setups when you need to generate a matte in post.
The ability to keep a camera stationary while filming is crucial. And smooth camera movements with a tripod appear better than unsteady handheld video like the Blair Witch Project.
While action cameras and smartphones have built-in stabilization tools to aid budding filmmakers in achieving smooth pictures, using a tripod will produce even better results. Mounting a camera on a tripod will not only keep it steady, but it will also assist a filmmaker to avoid the common angles that scream “home video” to a spectator.
A tripod’s rock-solid framing support allows a filmmaker to produce a better, more consistent video that is more in line with their vision. If you’re shooting video or film, this B&H Explora article, How to Buy a Video Tripod, delves into the components of a tripod and your options.
All of this gear will have to be carried, and backpacks are an excellent method to keep young filmmakers’ gear portable, accessible, and safe.
Still-photo backpacks and slings are a good option if you’re looking for a bag for tiny cameras. Make sure the backpack you choose for your young filmmaker has ample cushioning, an adjustable space, and comfy straps.
They also sell backpacks with lower camera compartments that can hold a DSLR or mirrorless camera with a kit lens, as well as two additional lenses and accessories. The upper compartment can be used to store personal goods such as a notebook and a light jacket.
A frantic day on the set of a movie is exactly what it sounds like, and it can be very insane!
Shuffling cases around like a maniac, unloading gear, building out various rigs for different departments, setting up video village, blocking and shooting, then breaking it all down, packing it all back up, and loading it all back into the cars to move to another location, and then repeating the process.
Without a production cart, a day like the one I just described would be unthinkable.
Can you imagine a young filmmaker dragging bags and other gear/equipment around with just their hands? They’d have to walk two at a time, which would take an eternity!
A production cart isn’t the most opulent instrument in the world, but it’s incredible how important it is to the entire filmmaking process. A rookie filmmaker’s workflow will be less efficient if it does not contain a production cart.
Young filmmakers who are passionate about learning the craft of filmmaking may become so engrossed in the process that they overlook the importance of mastering filmmaking skills away from the set.
That is why filmmaking books and online filmmaking workshops are crucial in the development of their filmmaking abilities. There are a plethora of filmmaking books available that might help a filmmaker better his or her talents.
My article 10+ Best Filmmaking Books For Beginners will assist you in determining which filmmaking books are best for teaching young students of cinema theory and technique.
I recommend starting with Steve D. Katz’s filmmaking book Film Directing: Shot by Shot, which is a wonderful read on the visuals of filmmaking and how to communicate that vision to a crew.
Years ago, I attended film school at a respected film studies university and learned a great deal about the art of filmmaking; similarly, if a young filmmaker has the opportunity to attend a filmmaking university, they will learn a great deal about the craft.
However, film schools are costly, and if a budding filmmaker loses interest within the first year, it might be a waste of thousands of dollars, which many parents cannot afford.
This is where online filmmaking classes can help. A young filmmaker can learn from trained filmmaking pros in the comfort of their own home with online filmmaking classes from online institutions like Masterclass and Udemy.
My post, The Ultimate Online Filmmaking Courses Guide For Beginners, breaks down the online filmmaking schools that will help a new filmmaker grasp the craft of filmmaking before choosing an in-person film school.
If you want the young filmmaker in your life to improve as a filmmaker, a MasterClass Annual Membership is a way to go.
They can learn from film legends such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Spike Lee, Jodie Foster, James Cameron, and more.
GorillaPod Mobile Vlogging kit
A do-everything, go-anywhere kit that’s been expertly crafted for mobile content creators, the GorillaPod Mobile Vlogging kit lets you rig up your phone and give your content real impact. You’ll have everything you need in one box.
- Gorilla Pod Mobile Rig
- Beamo Mini LED
- Wavo Mobile microphone
- Audio cable for mobile phone & camera
- Apple MFI certified lightning connector
There you have it. Video gear that every young filmmaker should have in his or her bag. Being the person on set who is prepared to save the day will make them a hero on a film set. These filmmaking tools will give them a leg up as they begin their filmmaking journey.
Do you have any ideas for good gifts for young filmmakers? What do you think of our gear suggestions? Share them in the Comments section, below.
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