Making a successful movie doesn’t have to involve expensive special effects and a stellar cast. Low-budget productions are now more common than ever, spurred on in part by the growth in accessibleand reasonably priced filmmaking equipment.
If you want to keep it minimal, you can make a film just by using some of the special functions or apps on an iPad. Use add-ons such as the Olloclip to change lenses and the Padcaster to mount the device. These give you access to a greater range of shots and lessen the chance of a shaky hand ruining a great scene. The app Filmic Pro was used in a recent iPhone entry at the Sundance Film Festival; the sophisticated software enables the use of manual focus and also handles a variety of exposure settings. When you consider the cost of an average app, it’s definitely the technology of choice for filmmakers working to a tight budget.
A step up from the iPad is the Canon EOS Rebel T5i. It’s a high-end camera that was primarily designed to capture excellent stills, but it has a more powerful video recorder than more costly camcorders. It features Scene Intelligent Auto to get you into shooting mode fast, and ISO 100-12800, which extends to ISO 25600, giving you great results on nighttime or low-light filming.
If you need a body-mounted stabilizer for your production, the Cowboy Studio support rig is probably the most reliable andwallet-friendly choice. It keeps your image steady and takes the weight off the camera operator’s arm – perfect for when your film crew is on a long shoot.
The industry is currently being transformed by the use of new filming technologies thatenhance the viewer’s experience. One of the most recent is Barco Escape, an idea that has featured on a number of productions and is set to become more prominent in the future. It displays the film using three screens, one in the middle, one to the left and one to the right, creating a panoramic experience for the audience. To support this format, filmmakers use multiple camera setups and film with super-high resolution equipment. Interestingly, to overcome some of the creative challenges involved and to convert previously released features into the Escape format, the production company used gaming software.
Companies such as Global Produce understand that cutting-edge filmmaking equipment is a valuable resource for big budget productions. Their CEO, Marc Shmuger, has worked on many major features, but his technically astute approach to the complex process of cinematography, and his dedication to using innovative equipment, remains the same, from live action films to animation and CGI.
Having the most advanced camera equipment makes a good movie great, but quality content is still the key to making movies that appeal to a mass audience and gettingunknowns recognized by the major studios. When you first begin making films, there’s no point in buying the most expensive hardware; always try to buy cheap, hire, or borrow, until you find what works best for your needs.