Young Filmmakers Gear – Do you have a young filmmaker in your life that you want to help grow to become a better filmmaker?
I was recently asked by a young filmmaker what does it take to become a filmmaker.
My response to this young filmmaker was a quote from James Cameron “Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director. Everything after that you’re just negotiating your budget and your fee.”
That’s pretty much it for a young filmmaker to succeed in the film industry. All they need some equipment to get started, and the moral support to encourage them to grow into becoming full-fledged filmmakers.
If you are curious about what filmmaking equipment to start with to help a young filmmaker pursue the craft of filmmaking, this article will briefly touch upon practical and fun gear for young filmmakers, beginning and experienced.
Here are some video gear essentials for young filmmakers to start learning their filmmaking skills.
The first piece of equipment that a young filmmaker needs to start filming is a camera. Filmmaking cameras come in all shapes and sizes and vary in price as well.
Choosing the right camera all depends on the skill level of the young filmmaker, and the budget that you can afford at the start. There are so many articles about choosing the right camera for filmmaking, but if you are looking for a durable filmmaking camera that shoots incredible footage, an action camera like a GoPro is the right choice.
Second, the controls on action cameras tend to be fairly simple to use, so all a young filmmaker has to do is point and shoot.
An action camera is the perfect camera choice for a young filmmaker just starting to learn the craft of filmmaking.
Another great filmmaking camera that a young filmmaker can use to understand framing, lighting, and other skills is a smartphone.
Since many young filmmakers today already have a smartphone available to them, they probably already understand the camera’s menus better than most adults, and you won’t have to purchase another camera.
While you could start them off with a DSLR or Mirrorless cinema camera, the problem with doing this is these powerful cameras have huge learning curves that could discourage young filmmakers from filming.
A young filmmaker can use the built-in microphone on the camera if they merely want to learn camera skills at the start. But if they want to improve the sound of their films, they should add an external microphone to their video gear to improve ambient sounds and speaking voices.
Most cameras used for filmmaking have a dedicated audio input port of 3.5 mm for connecting an external mic to achieve better sound while filming.
Lavalier Microphones, Omnidirectional stereo mics, and Condenser Shotgun Mics are great choices depending on the style of the film the young filmmaker is shooting. This article will help you understand the types of microphones that can are used for filmmaking.
On-Camera lights are excellent video gear add-ons for young filmmakers to improve the lighting conditions for every shot they make. The great thing about On-Camera lights they are lower-priced compared to lighting kits, and if they are damaged or lost, it won’t hurt the pocketbook as much.
Another excellent item that is lightweight and easy to carry in a bag is a collapsible reflector. Collapsible reflectors come in many shapes and sizes, from round, triangular, square, and rectangular/oval. Reflectors can be standard white/silver, designed to be used as collapsible diffusion, or come with removable covers for multiple 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.
Related Article: 10 Tips For Shooting Great Smartphone Photos – Beginners Guide
t’s essential to be able to keep a camera still while filming. And camera movements look better if they’re smooth with a tripod compared to handheld shaky footage like the Blair Witch Project.
While action cameras and smartphones have built-in stabilization features to help young filmmakers maintain smooth shots, shots will look even better if a tripod is used.
Mounting a camera on a tripod will not only keep the camera steady, but it will also help a filmmaker avoid shooting from the familiar angles that scream “home-video” to a viewer.
With the rock-solid framing support that a tripod can provide, a filmmaker ends up with better, more consistent footage that aligns more with your vision.
For video/film you might want to check out this B&H Explora article, How to Buy a Video Tripod, which discusses in detail the components of a tripod, and your choices.
Someone will have to carry all this gear, and backpacks are a great way to keep young filmmakers’ gear portable, accessible, and protected.
If you are looking for a bag for smaller cameras, you might want to check out still-photo backpacks and slings. Whatever backpack you decided your young filmmaker, make sure that it has enough padding, configurable interior, and comfortable straps.
They also offer backpacks with lower camera compartments that accommodate a DSLR/Mirrorless camera with kit lens plus two additional lenses and accessories. Personal items like a notebook and lightweight jacket can be stored in the upper compartment.
A hectic day on a film set is exactly what it sounds like, and it can be craziness!
This is what that hustle and bustle can look like: shuffling cases around like a mad person, unloading gear, building out various rigs for different departments, setting up video village, blocking and shooting, then breaking it all down, packing it back up, and loading it all back into the cars to move to another location, and then do it all over again.
That kind of stressful day that I’ve just described is impossible without a production cart.
Can you imagine a young filmmaker lugging around cases and other pieces of gear/equipment with only their hands? They’d have to go two by two, that would take forever!
Yeah, a production cart is not the fanciest tool in the world, but they are so integral to the entire filmmaking process, it’s unbelievable. If a young filmmaker’s workflow doesn’t include a production cart, they won’t be as efficient as they can be.
Young filmmakers that love learning the craft of filmmaking can be so enthusiastic in the process of filmmaking that they could forget about learning filmmaking skills away from a film set.
That’s why filmmaking books and online filmmaking classes are so important in the development of their filmmaking skills.
There are so many filmmaking books out there that are valuable teaching tools that can improve a filmmaker’s skills.
My article 10+ Best Filmmaking Books For Beginners will help you decided which filmmaking books are the best for teaching young students of film the theory and technique of the filmmaking process.
I would suggest starting with the filmmaking book called Film Directing: Shot by Shot, by Steve D. Katz, as it’s an excellent read on the visuals of movie making and how to communicate that vision to a film crew.
I went to film school years ago at a reputable film studies university, and I learned so much about the art of filmmaking, and if a young filmmaker gets a chance to go to a filmmaking university they will learn so much about the craft.
But film schools are expensive, and if a young filmmaker loses interest in the first year of film school, it could be a waste of thousands of dollars that many parents can’t afford.
That’s where online filmmaking courses come into play. With online filmmaking courses from online schools like Masterclass and Udemy, a young filmmaker can learn from trained filmmaking professionals in the comfort of home.
My article on the Ultimate Online Filmmaking Courses Guide For Beginners breaks down the online filmmaking schools that will help a young filmmaker understand the craft of filmmaking before deciding on a film school to attend in person.
If you want the young filmmaker in your life to become a better filmmaker I suggest signing them up with a MasterClass Annual Membership.
They can gain access to exclusive video lessons taught by film masters, including 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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