WHERE CAN I FIND FILM
EQUIPMENT TO MAKE AN
If you are going to make an independent film it is important to understand
that the equipment you use is dependent upon the size of your budget. Films with
a decent sized budget or partial backing from a major studio will undoubtedly be
shot on 35mm or 16mm film (preferably Kodak). The equipment will be film camera
"packages" (Panavision, Arriflex, etc...) and sound recording equipment
packages (with professional quality microphones, mixers, headphones, etc...) that are rented
from film equipment rental houses. These places can be found by doing a Google
search using the words "film equipment rental" along with the name of the
nearest major city to where you live.
Although film is a very expensive medium to work in, it still provides the
best images available for movies. A small budget movie can still be shot with
film as long as the "above the line" costs (actors, directors, etc...) are kept low by using unknown, yet
The cheapest way for an independent filmmaker to shoot their
movie with film equipment is to hire a DP (Director of photography) who has their
own 35mm or 16mm camera package, and a Sound Person who has their own sound
equipment package. This will save you money on insurance costs that you would
be charged if you were to rent any packages from equipment rental houses. These
fees can be quite high, even for small equipment packages. It is usually about
10-20% of your rental price.
If you do rent any film equipment, the best way to do it is to go into the
equipment rental houses with an insurance policy already in hand. Some houses do
not offer insurance, but instead they require you to bring your own when you
rent equipment from them. There are many insurance companies that specialize in
short-term insurance policies for film equipment rental. A Google search using
the words "film equipment rental insurance" along with the name of the nearest
major city will get you a list of companies.
If you are working with a very small budget or using your own hard-earned money to make
an independent film then shooting it in HD video is the most viable option. Your
movie may not have the pretty look of one that is shot on film, but it will be
very close. HD video cameras these days can produce amazingly sharp, clear and
color saturated images that are almost at the level of film quality.
Sony is the leader when it comes to HD cameras for low budget independent
filmmakers and they have a wide selection that have all sorts of filmmaking
effects built right into the camera. These cameras can cost
anywhere from $2000-$20,000. The more you pay, the better quality your images
will be and the more features available, but even the low-end cameras can give you some very impressive footage.
The sound quality is also very good.
The biggest benefit
of shooting your independent film in the digital realm is that you cut out the
enormous amount of time and money it takes to buy, process, edit and make prints
of film. You can go straight from the camera to the computer and edit your whole
film at home, immediately. You can even burn your own DVDs at home to send out
to film festivals, distribution companies etc...