The world has seen more films than you might imagine. That’s correct. In an age where video consumption is increasing by the day and where attention spans are depleting, short films are bridging the gap that full-length or feature films cannot cater to. Deliver the message but skip all the excessive details that a full film typically includes.
Whether you are beginning or have just begun your short film gig with a couple of film cameras and accessories, the key is to have the right tools to get the job done. And yes, you would pretty much be starting on a budget.
Thankfully, with strong filmmaking communities or film camera rental services offering a variety of cameras and other film and photography lighting equipment, the entry barrier is quite low, giving you a leg into the field, but exposing you to stiff competition from other newbies like you.
From our experience of contributing to the short film industry, we believe the following list of gear is the best combination to accelerate your progress. Let’s dive in and get you up to speed:
Depending on the kind of shooting you would undertake, choose the camera that can pull off the job. We cannot express this hard enough, but do extensive research online, speak to a filmmaking community and check product reviews to shortlist the best film camera at the price range that you can afford (and always, spend a little extra on the camera and perhaps compensate the overspend on other accessories). Services like DSLR camera rentals in Bengaluru help you avoid the big purchase if you have wide filmmaking needs. Also, consider the depth of quality shooting throughout the zoom range, the output of the video expected (4K, Full HD), range of features, and so on.
Recommendations: Sony A7S II, Sony A7III, Panasonic GH5, BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, Canon 5D Mark IV or 7d mark II
While cameras generate the raw output and power, lenses give the camera various modes in which shots need to be delivered. for example, a telephoto lens can add a flattening effect, while an ultrawide accommodate more of the scene into the film. For beginners on a budget, use camera lens rentals to hire a medium telephoto non-zooming or manual focus 50mm lens for a project. They could be loaded onto cameras to get great quality output. Also, understand how to fit in the range of lenses you could be using while curating your other film and photography lighting equipment.
Recommendations: 16-35mm f2.8, 35mm f1.4, 50mm f1.8, 24-70mm f2.8, 70-200mm f2.8
This is not a high-budget item but using one could give you a clear advantage over your peers in a competitive industry where securing projects is becoming harder than ever. The screens built into film cameras, especially for lower-end models are small and quite clunky to operate. For short films that usually have a shorter timeframe to complete the shoot, and a team that works closely, having an external monitor helps you not just portray the film on a large screen, but has some magical capabilities as well. Through film camera rental services, you can get a piece of your choice that offers features not available on the device. Yes, read that sentence just to be double sure you got it right.
Recommendations: Lilliput A5-5 4K, Small HD Focus 5
Audio should have been number 3 on our list, but we wanted to emphasize the importance of monitors. And since audio is an essential part of shooting, it should not be compromised for want of better video quality or other film and photography lighting equipment. Today, Photography gear rentals certainly make it easier to procure a host of audio equipment. A few salient points to note are to give importance to audio equipment, and this just doesn’t mean a microphone and a cable. Review the mix that suits your current and near-future requirements, and do not skip key machinery like sound mixers.
Recommendations: Rode H6, Sennheiser Shotgun, rode video mic zoom
We are not just talking about any lighting equipment installed on a camera gear but having a basic set of equipment that meets the lighting requirements needed for your shoot. Given the range of available equipment, a majority of short filmmakers have an association with established camera rental firms for their ongoing needs. You might need soft, focused or hybrid (to support natural light) models of lighting, and there are an incredible range of devices to meet those needs. Also, think about adequate light stands, power sources (including lots of batteries) and the necessary cabling and controls. Services like OTO world, one of the best camera rentals platform in Bengaluru can help you with world-class equipment at reasonable prices.
Recommendations: Godox 200W, 1000 led 1feet, Kino Flo 4 Bank, Baby Lights 1kW, Arri skypanel S60
Tripods & Gimbals
It might be a short film, but carrying around those cameras, besides the monitor or mics would wear you out for those long hours. Other film and photography lighting tools like tripods and gimbals are very handy to make your shooting efficient. Some go for a monopod or a tripod with added capabilities that you might require for your shot. Such types of equipment easily deliver those panned, tilted or smooth turning angles and shots that wowed you in that last movie you saw. The quality of the shot can be enhanced with fluid heads rather than friction heads, and there are a host of purchasing modes like camera rentals in Bengaluru where you can find the device of your choice.
Recommendations: Benro T600, E-image 7060H, Manfrotto502 AH, Gimbals Ronin-S, Zhiyun Crane 2, Moza Aircross 2
While the above are the essentials, there are a host of other equipment and accessories that could improve your shooting techniques and processes or give you better outcomes. For example, using a drone camera through a film camera rental service near you or online can give you impressive birds-eye views of your shot. Or you could use a slider track that would allow you to improve the motion of shot-taking. other film and photography gear like memory backup devices, bags, shooting vests and more must be considered as you gain experience in the field and bag larger or more reputed projects.
Recommendations: DJI MAVIC Pro, GoPro Hero 7, Osmo Pocket, Insta One 360 Camera, Smartta slider mini
If you have made it till here, both in terms of reading as well as your focus to become a serious filmmaker for shorter forms, we believe that getting the right mix of Photography equipment is as important as the script and the story (focus heavily on scripting and production along with procuring equipment). Thankfully, we are living in a sharing economy where you could use a ‘variable’ model and not own any major equipment, but instead rent the right mix of products from film camera rentals, for a particular shot and return them after the completion of the project.
OTOWorld is a camera rental platform in Bengaluru and a community where photographers, videographers, and enthusiasts can lend and borrow equipment that is spread across the cost and feature range. Review our product portfolio or contact us with your requirements and our gear experts will respond with recommendations to optimize your project.