My Short Film Equipment I Used for ‘KEYS’

My Short Film Equipment I Used for ‘KEYS’

KEYS is a short film I made using my entry level equipment. It’s time to share my own behind the scene experience and my short film making equipment. I didn’t rent anything. I bought the basic equipment needed for short film. I didn’t buy everything like at once, but it took me some time to create my collection.
So, here’s my equipment list for short film:

1. Camera and Lens

Canon 600D Body

Canon 760D Body

Canon Zoom EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS II

Canon EF Lens 50mm 1:1.8 STM (Prime Lens)

Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 55-250mm 1:4-5.6 IS II

There are plenty of good cameras for filming YouTube Videos. After doing a lot of research I settled with Canon 600D and Canon 760D. However, I purchased canon 760D a year after I purchased my Canon 600D. I watched other Canon 600D short films and Canon 760D short films and I was pretty much satisfied with the quality these two cameras deliver. I mounted (for most of the shots) Canon EF Lens 50mm 1:1.8 STM (Prime Lens) on my Canon 600D and Canon Zoom EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS II on my Canon 760D. I did to bring best video quality from both the cameras (Prime lens gives better output than 18-55mm and Canon 760D is feature wise better camera). So, I cross matched the camera and lens combos for better quality. The results were pretty good.

2. Tripods

Simpex 2400 Tripod &

Vanguard CX203AP Espod Tripod Aluminum

Both are entry level tripods and have advantages over each other. Vanguard’s head is smooth, shake-free, but I won’t recommend it if you want to hold the tripod in hand for handheld shots. I used Simpex 2400 Tripod for handheld shots, because it has a separate handle which is comfortable to hold. It basically works as a semi-stabilizer. Grip is good, you just have to go a little bit slower to avoid shake and you can get a pretty nice hand held shot. I followed one thumb rule for hand held shots which “if you think you are going slow, go slower”.

Another thing to note: While taking handheld shots, I used the camera that has Canon Zoom EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS II on because Canon EF Lens 50mm 1:1.8 STM (Prime Lens) doesn’t have the image stabilizer in it and when you use that for hand held shots, the resulting image is very shaky.

So, this was my short film Camera equipment.

Also, read How I chose my First Short Film Idea.

Now, Sound and Lighting Equipment List for Short Film.  

1. MIC

KEYS is a silent movie- no dialogues whatsoever, but I needed the surround sound for which I used my Zoom H1 handy Recorder. It works a lot a lot a lot better than lapel and in-built microphones in both Canon 600D and Canon 760D. Honestly, I was surprised to hear the quality it delivered. It was a musical short film, so the major part was going to be the music not the sound. Sound is just there to give the feel of environment and for that Zoom did a pretty good job. I highly recommend it to the first time film makers. You can use it handheld or mount it one a Tripod. If you want to record an interview, simply insert the lapel microphone’s wire in the slot given in the zoom recorder and put the Zoom Recorder in the interviewee’s pocket. Attach the lapel MIC to the collar and you are good to go.

2. Lighting and Reflectors

I didn’t invest in lighting for this film. It was going over budget for us. I was disappointed with the lighting in some of the scenes, totally not happy, but I had to do the shoot there, because it was our first film and we didn’t have much resources and shooting in that area was the only option. But, I found a way out of that too by changing the script. Yes, it did affect the film. I inserted a good lit shot between two badly lit shots to balance out the lighting and this change really made the difference. That was our way out and it worked.
I used white screen from my 5 in 1 reflectors I bought from Amazon. The metal ring in the reflector which is used to wrap the reflector broke on the first day of shoot. But, I found a perfect alternative for it (Hoopla-Ring). Yes, I put hoopla-ring instead of metal ring to support the reflector. I used it to shoot outdoor scenes because the sunlight was very harsh destroying the contrast of the scene. As I was short on crew so I used to click the play button on the camera and then hold the reflector while shooting the scene.

And, that’s it about my short film making equipment.

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