Newbie Guidance on Equipment Purchase

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Manga27, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. Manga27

    Manga27 Guest

    Hey all,

    I'm hoping some experts in here can give some guidance on an upcoming
    purchase of equipment I'm looking to make to expand my growing
    multimedia business.

    Right now, I do Graphic Design, Web Programming and Flash / Multimedia
    Animation. I've worked with FCP and AE in the past, and now I'd like
    to expand my skill-set to be able to offer Video Production services.
    As a personal hobby I'd also like to start experimenting with special
    effects shots, commercial product shots, etc on a green screen.

    Originally I just wanted to get a steadicam and camera, but after
    seeing the available equipment for the budget filmmaker, I've put
    together a list of things I'd like to get while still staying below
    the $10,000 mark:

    $ 999.00 : Canon XL2
    $ 799.00 : Glidecam 4000 Pro, with Arm & Vest
    $1199.95: Glidecam CamCrane 200, with 7" LCD, Zoom Controller
    $1785.00: Glidecam Vista Remote Pan/Tilt Head
    $1560.00: IndieDolly w/4 sections straight track
    $ 485.00: IndieDolly, 4 additional straight sections

    Total Cost: Around $6800.


    With this equipment and a green screen, I'm hoping I'll be able to
    handle local commercials, special effects experiments, and maybe a low-
    budget indie or two for some friends. I realize I'm probably doing a
    disservice by getting a Stedicam knock-off, but I've heard Glidecam is
    an acceptable low-budget alternative.

    Any thoughts?

    Take care,

    .... Christopher
     
    Manga27, Mar 24, 2007
    #1
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  2. My advice is forget the steadicam and jib if you are wanting to do
    blue screen work.
    They add motion to the key that then has to be canceled-out in
    software and that's
    a real hassle. Where you want to add motion to key shots you typically
    need a motion-controlled
    camera jib, that makes moves repeatable with exactitude, which as a
    beginner you cannot likely afford or know how to use.

    Trust me; keying a simple locked-down tripod shot is challenging
    enough to do well.
    Get yourself a basic rig: good tripod with fluid head, a competent
    light kit, keying software and the
    camera of your choice alone will take you to your ten grand or
    beyond.
    If you decide to play with steadicams or jibs, rent them just for the
    time you need them.
     
    nobody special, Mar 24, 2007
    #2
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  3. Manga27

    Manga27 Guest

    What type of camera would you recommend?

    .... Christopher
     
    Manga27, Mar 25, 2007
    #3
  4. Manga27

    Manga27 Guest

    Also, I may have not been clear on what I was suggesting before. I
    want to experiment with the green screen as a hobby, and for that I'd
    only be using a tripod. But for professional services, I wanted to
    invest in a steadicam or glidecam system, and a jib with a remote
    head.

    Recently I've had some call to do training videos and corporate
    conference videos and I thought these would be essential in getting a
    filmic look.

    Any thoughts?

    .... Christopher
     
    Manga27, Mar 25, 2007
    #4
  5. Manga27

    Mike Kujbida Guest

    Trust me when I say that "training videos and corporate conference videos"
    aren't looking for a "filmic" look.
    What they want are well-produced videos that get the message across.

    Mike
    (30+ years of doing this)
     
    Mike Kujbida, Mar 25, 2007
    #5
  6. Mike is SO right on. I've done over 20 years of corporate trainign
    work and I can count on one hand the number of times we needed a jib
    or steadicam for any of it. A dolly, somewhat more often, but you go
    showing a corporate training video manager your jibs and steady-cams,
    and they'll laugh you out of the office.
    A medium-priced camera that shoots DV, a wide-angle lens adaptor,
    quality mics and lighting, maybe a good scan converter to grab video
    from off their computer displays, quality lighting and the knowledge
    to apply it, these will stand you in good stead. And to make ANY of it
    worth taking out of the cases, you need a WRITER who can make a real
    SCRIPT. This perhaps above all is where 90 percent of corporate
    training or promo videos fall down.
    perhaps the best 20 bucks you coudl spend is to buy a used copy of
    John Morley's corporate scriptwriting book; a classic work that covers
    the writing as well as producing. it will lay out the traps and
    common mistakes as well as map your path to the perfect, effective
    script.
     
    nobody special, Mar 25, 2007
    #6
  7. Manga27

    Manga27 Guest

    Thanks everyone for the replies. Can anyone comment on the equipment
    I picked, specifically the camera since you mentioned a "mid-price DV
    camera".

    Take care,

    .... Christopher
     
    Manga27, Mar 26, 2007
    #7
  8. Manga27

    Frank Guest

    You had mentioned a Canon XL2 for $999. B&H Photo-Video is a
    legitimate, factory-authorized Canon dealer and they're currently
    asking $2995 after a $300 MIR (mail-in rebate), so I was wondering if
    you have a legitimate source for it at a price of $999, or perhaps you
    had meant to say $2999 instead of $999?
    You, too, and good luck!
     
    Frank, Mar 26, 2007
    #8

  9. If your pricing is from Broadway Video in New York.... DANGER, WILL
    ROBINSON!!!!!!!
     
    nobody special, Mar 28, 2007
    #9
  10. Manga27

    Manga27 Guest

     
    Manga27, Mar 30, 2007
    #10
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