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Tip #899: Essential Gear for a Production Company

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Buy gear as you need it, not in anticipation of needing it.

Blackmagic URSA Mini 12K camera.

Topic $TipTopic

This article, written by Jourdan Aldredge, first appeared in PremiumBeat.com. This is an excerpt.

From 4K cameras and gimbals to editing software and computers, here’s a look at the essential gear you’ll need to start your own video production company.

While you’ll find lots of content online that insists you should immediately get your hands on a high-end camera, a couple of new drones, and some studio space — — I actually suggest starting small when it comes to cameras, gear, and equipment.

Larry adds: My philosophy is to buy your gear using client dollars, rather than your own, as much as possible.

Here is the essential gear Jourdan recommends:

  • Versatile 4K Hybrid Camera. Any video production company that wants to get work needs to have a 4K camera ready to go at a moment’s notice. Luckily, there are plenty of surprisingly affordable options.
  • Go-To Cinema Camera (Own or Rent). You can get more work — broadcast commercial shoots and the like — by offering clients a higher-end cinema camera option. However, I’d suggest renting high-end cameras until you’re certain you’ll need one consistently enough to warrant the investment.
  • Tripods, Gimbals, and Rigs. For those just starting out, I recommend investing in at least one: tripod, slider, handheld rig and gimbal/steadicam.
  • Three-Point Lighting Kit. Invest based on current needs, then expand. Specifically, start with a simple three-point lighting kit that’s functional, easy to move quickly, sturdy enough to not fall or break, and priced in a way that won’t limit your resources elsewhere.
  • Audio Recording Bundle. Audio needs vary drastically from shoot to shoot, but I’ve found that having these basics will cover the majority of your projects:
    • Multi-channel audio recorder
    • Shotgun boom mic
    • Boom mic pole
    • Boom mic stand
    • Wireless lav kit
    • Multiple headphones
  • Quality Editing Computer. If you’re offering full service (also called turnkey) video production that includes editing work, then I highly recommend putting most of your investment resources into your computer(s) and editing workflow. Apple computers — like the Apple Mac Pro, iMac Pro, and MacBook Pro — have never let me down.
  • Editing Software. There’s no wrong answer here. Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro X and DaVinci Resolve still rule the industry.

EXTRA CREDIT

In the article linked above, Jourdan provides specific gear suggestions, with links to learn more.


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