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You’ll need a bit of equipment in order to take this class. There’s no one “best” option (other than the option that fits your budget.)

Don’t email me to ask questions about equipment. So long as you follow these recommendations, you’ll be fine. One of the key steps to being a filmmaker is figuring things out for yourself. If you’re not sure about something, ask questions in a search engine and figure it out But don’t sweat too much about equipment – just follow these recommendations..

1) Digital Film Camera – there are lots of options here, any of which will work: camcorder (uses MiniDV tape or flash/hard drive), digital camera that records film, a DSLR camera that records video (Canon, Nikon, etc.) , and a prosumer digital camera (Panasonic HVX, etc.), among many others. Newer mobile phone cameras are also acceptable, although some use a wide angle lens which will make it difficult to get closeup and medium shots without distortion (test it out). They also have exposure issues that can suddenly change if you pan from a dark area to light. If you’re buying a new camera, look at Reviewd.com – Camcorders. Also, read the reviews on Amazon. (One note on DSLR: these are more difficult to use. They provide a great image, but it helps to know how to set aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc.)

2) Video Tripod with Fluid Head – It’s key that you have a fluid head so you can pan and tilt. Look at the tripod specs to see what kind of camera it is designed for. Search Amazon for “video tripod.” Look at the specs and read the reviews to see what’s best for you. Don’t spend too much – you’re just starting out.

3) Computer – you’ll need either an Apple or PC computer that you can transfer your digital film files to.

4) Digital Editing Software – Apple computers all come with iMovie and PC’s all come with a Windows-based Movie Maker. Either of these will work. You can also use Apple’s Final Cut Pro X (or an older version), Adobe Premiere, or Sony Vegas, among others. You just need a program that will enable you to edit video and audio clips on a timeline and utilize basic transitions.

If you can borrow equipment from friends, do it. It’s always nice to try things out before buying.