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Gear is fun! Creatives alike, both in video production and audio engineering, often become infected with G.A.S, or Gear Acquisition Syndrome. We tend to get caught up in the flashy RGB, the features that “justify” a $2000 upgrade, or the slick look of new toys.
As a recovering G.A.S addict I learned, as many others do, the hard way when it comes to how much gear we really need to do our jobs.
That said, there are certain pieces that are essential to do our jobs. The struggle after getting new gear is always the same: learning it!
Essential Gear List for Documentary
As I said above, there are certain pieces of gear that we need in order to do our jobs. For audio work I know what’s needed extremely well for just about any situation. When to use boom or lav, what field recorder works best for beginners, mixing consoles, DAW’s, sound fx managers, etc.
But the video side of things took me a bit to learn. And now I know why video gear takes up so much more space than audio does. Over this past week I learned that I’d need a lot more than I thought I would. So below is what I plan on using for this short documentary:
- Sony FX 3
- Sigma 35mm lens
- Godox ML60 and ML30 3 light kit
- Light stands
- Color gels
- Atomos Ninja monitor
- Sennheiser MKH 416 Shotgun
- Smallrig AD01 Fluid Head Tripod
- DJI Mini 3 Drone
A Bit Behind Schedule...But Worth It!
When you’re one-man’ing a documentary or a short film you’re in charge of managing your own schedule. I had hoped to begin filming this Saturday. But because FedEx decided to play hide and seek with a few of my packages I wasn’t able to make that deadline.
But honestly, it worked out! This gave me more time to learn the gear I did already have which helped me plan out shots I want to get a bit better.
For instance, turns out that when you send video out HDMI from the FX3 to an external monitor it bypasses the camera’s built-in noise reduction. So the view on the Ninja, as great as it is for focus and better framing, is loads noisier! So that added a different mindset to think about for post if I choose to record on the Ninja vs in-camera.
So although I’m behind schedule as far as filming goes I feel learning the gear better more than makes up for that lost time. I also was able to finish planning the shots I need and built a rough timeline sketch using placeholders and my chosen music in Premiere Pro to start feeling out the rhythm of the final edit.
By next week I’ll have a few shots under my belt for this project and hopefully some cool previews to share!