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What is the must-have cheap equipment for low budget video production in 2020?

Today, videos are everywhere, on Youtube, on Facebook, on TV, on LEDs, everywhere. But why videos and video production are getting so much importance today?

Videos are engaging and entertaining. As a result, everyone loves videos. Watching a video we can learn things a lot more easily. Videos touch our emotions and can describe complex things in simple ways.

What’s in it for you?

  1. Video camera
  2. Tripod
  3. Camera light
  4. Three-point lighting kit
  5. Shotgun microphone
  6. Boom pole
  7. Shock mount
  8. Audio cables
  9. Wireless microphone
  10. Portable digital audio recorder
  11. Headphones
  12. Light reflector
  13. Lenses
  14. Storage
  15. External hard drive
  16. Video/Photo camera bag
  17. DSLR shoulder mount rig
  18. Conclusion
  19. FAQ

How much does it cost to produce a video?

Well, it may cost as low as some hundred rupees to as high as some crores. Firstly, the cost of video production depends on the gadgets to be used and various other factors like the crew size, the gadgets to be used and obviously the experience of the crew members.

Does the quality of a video production depend on the cost?

Yeah, it does. Having a relatively higher budget means that you can have pro-quality equipment, hire some experienced video production artists.

But even if you have a smaller budget you can produce good videos. With a smaller budget, you should not try to make a film like Avatar. Rather you should focus on something that you can portray with a smaller budget.

If your content is strong then you can easily overcome the hurdle of a smaller budget. Always remember, content is the king.

When most of us think about starting video production, we start thinking about gadgets. This gadget is better than kinda things start roaming around in our mind. But without learning properly even with the gadgets costing a hundred thousand dollars you cannot make a good video.

The complete process of video production consists of three steps, Scriptwriting, shooting and editing. Learn these steps one by one.

How to learn video production

The easiest way of learning script writing is to watch quality videos, films. Start writing imitating those videos, then add your imagination in those contents and over the time you will be able to write contents yourself.

For learning how to shoot videos you can join a group of videographers. Tell them that you will help them for free of cost. People love freebies and probably they will not refuse to add an extra manpower. Start following them, how they set up the lens, how they shoot the videos, how they select the camera angles.

Learning video editing is easy today because of the huge numbers of quality video tutorials on YouTube. If you can spend a few bucks then you may also buy paid video editing courses from Udemy and Coursera.

There is a proverb, “First Learn, then Earn.” And, it’s true. You cannot be pro without learning video production.

I have a friend, who is an extraordinary videographer. He is a Bachelor in Arts but used to solve mathematical problems of the “optics” chapter even better than the students of physics, as the optics chapter deals with the focal length of lenses kinda things. This is the depth of knowledge you require to be able to shoot like a pro.

One of the most exciting aspects of filmmaking is putting together your video production equipment package.

Keep in mind, there is no “one size fits all” equipment package for everyone since there are so many variables (budget, type of project, locations, pro vs amateur, etc), so what we have tried to do on this page is cover some basic gear you may want to consider.

Below is a video production equipment list for the beginner filmmaker. This is simply a starter guide in your search for some basic filmmaking gear. A great place to start is with a video camera and build from there.

The complete list of cheap low budget video production gadgets

Video Camera

A video camera is the centrepiece of your video production gear package. What camera you choose depends on your budget, the type of shooting you’re doing (static, stealth, run-and-gun, etc.) and where you plan to showcase your film (web-only, theatre, broadcast, etc). You can shoot a documentary on anything from your iPhone to a DSLR to a top of line digital cinema camera such as the Red. Whatever camera you choose, make sure you capture excellent audio. 

Tripod

A necessary piece of equipment to keep your footage looking steady and professional. Get a tripod with a fluid head for smoother looking pans.   

Camera Light

Sometimes a nice pop of light from the camera can help fill in ugly shadows. Camera light is a nice accessory to have especially in a documentary/news style shoot where you might not have time for a full 3-point lighting set-up. This is a must-have gadget for a professional video production project.

Three-Point Lighting Kit

You only really need a lighting kit if you’re planning to do a lot of shooting inside. Creating a well lit scene usually involves a 3-way lighting set-up. 

Shotgun Microphone

Great audio often separates the pros from the amateurs. Having a shotgun mic prepares you for almost every situation. It’s perfect for setting on top of your camera or a boom pole.

Boom Pole

A boom mic set-up comes in handy to capture audio from a group interview, crowd scenes or any situation where you need to gather professional audio quickly. In addition to the boom pole (right), you’ll need a shockmount and a shotgun mic.

 Shock Mount

Here’s the simple gadget needed to turn your shotgun mic into a boom pole mic. A shock mount keeps the mic steady on top of the pole and prevents the mic from picking up “bumping” sounds when the pole is moving around. 

Audio (XLR) Cables

If you plan to use a professional audio set-up with your camcorder, you’ll need XLR cables to go from your camera to the mic.  

Wireless Microphone

Sure, you can use a “wired mic” which is a bit less expensive, but I wouldn’t go on a documentary shoot without my wireless microphone. Unless you have an audio person who can hold a boom mic, this is the next best thing providing tons of flexibility for walk-and-talk interviews with your subjects

Portable Digital Audio Recorder

If you decide to shoot your documentary with a DSLR such as the Canon 5D Mark IV it’s highly recommended that you either get an external mic or portable audio recorder such as the Zoom H5.

Headphones

Getting great audio means monitoring the sound at all times while shooting. Find a good quality, comfortable set of headphones to make sure you avoid any nasty audio surprises when you get back from the shoot.

Light Reflector

This is a must-have item for your documentary filmmaking kit. A light reflector can turn an ugly amateur-looking shot into a golden and gorgeously lit scene. 

Lenses: Wide Angle, Clear “Protective” Lens, Polarizer, Zoom Lens, Macros, etc.

Have you ever seen those cool fish-eye scenes? That’s from using a special wide angle lens. If you’re shooting in super sunny situations, an ND filter or circular polarizer can dramatically improve the image. Or what about super close-ups of a bug or flower, that’s when you need a macro lens.

Video Tapes, Flash Memory Cards or DVD’s (depending on your camera)

You’ll need somewhere to record all that footage you’ll be shooting.

External Hard Drive

A portable hard drive comes in handy if you plan to do a lot of shooting in the field and need to offload your footage from your camera’s memory cards.  We love the rugged lacies.

Video/Photo Camera Bag

Of course, now that you have all your gear, you need something sturdy and weatherproof to put it in. Lots of great choices here. Just pick something you like that fits the type of shooting you plan to do.

DSLR Shoulder Mount Rig

If you’re shooting with a DSLR, putting your camera on a shoulder mount can add a nice professional touch. It’s especially helpful if you don’t want to use a tripod and a rig creates smoother-looking footage in a “run-and-gun” shooting situation.

These are some basic video production gadgets you will need to shoot professional videos. If you have got a bigger budget then there are a lot of options for you in the market.

Conclusion

Video industry is growing and there are a lot of opportunities in this industry now and in the upcoming decades. So it’s worth to be serious about this industry.

Instead of getting a DSLR, you can get a pro-level video camera like Arri Alexa, or buy rails. But if you are just starting don’t start with that much-sophisticated machines. Start with basics gadgets.

Then when you feel that you have learned the basics of video production try to buy those high end gadgets.

But, how will you understand if you have already learned the basics or not?

Simple, keep shooting videos in different locations, different weathers and different times and of different things. At first, you will never be able to make a video like you would be dreaming of. But when you start feeling like you are being able to shoot videos like you are dreaming of, then know that you have learned the basics.

FAQ

Q1. Should I buy a professional video camera to start as an absolute beginner?

No. First, learn videography, then invest money in costly pro video cameras. If you are a beginner I will recommend you start with a DSLR.

Q2. Where from can I lean video production?

Video production is the whole process from ideation to post production. You can learn script writing by just watching good movies and developing a habit of reading novels.
To lean videography you may join a group of videographers and follow their steps.
To learn video editing you may take help from Udemy, Coursera, Skillshare or simply Youtube, for free.

Q3. How much does it cost to produce a video?

Well, it may cost as low as some hundred rupees to as high as some crores. Firstly, the cost of video production depends on the gadgets to be used and various other factors like the crew size, the gadgets to be used and obviously the experience of the crew members.

Q4. Does the quality of video depend on the cost?

Yeah, it does. Having a relatively higher budget means that you can have pro-quality equipment, hire some experienced video production artists.

Q5. Where can I get these video production equipment?

You will get all the above-mentioned items on Amazon. But before buying, don’t forget to check the ratings.

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