Lesson Twelve: Optional Accessories and Gear for Filmmaking

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  • Microphone and other audio recording devices: As previously mentioned, I use my in-camera microphone, on its highest sensitivity setting. It works well for my purposes, but when there are intermittent loud, jarring voices then I sometimes have audio clipping and it sounds fuzzy at full sensitivity. Some cameras capture audio far better than others. If you are finding your in-camera mic to be insufficient for your audio needs or you are taking on a commercial film project in the future, this microphone is well-regarded among filmmakers to capture ambient sounds in family and brand films. There is a helpful video for each listing that describe their features. Consider purchasing a Rode ‘DeadCat/DeadKitten’ cover for wind. For interviews, this microphone comes highly recommended in film circles. For the general purposes of capturing sound off-camera, which will require syncing with video clips in post, this is a versatile recorder. Some filmmakers also prefer to use small lavalier lapel microphones to clearly capture voices without ambient noise.

  • Monopod: helpful if you want extra stabilization and you’re not moving around a lot--perhaps for newborn sessions.

  • Tripod: useful for wide angles and to show only one type of perspective with stability and consistency, to be joined with other more dynamic footage. Also useful for time-lapse videos.

  • Handheld stabilizers

  • Stabilization rigs (for bigger productions)

  • Camera straps in various materials such as stretchy/neoprene straps and slide straps to help stabilize, scarf strap to easily wrap around your wrist. This is a very subjective matter with each artist having different preferences, so just a matter of looking at reviews on Amazon and trying to find what works best for you.

  • A variable neutral density filter allows you to open up your aperture outside to get bokeh in video without blowing out your highlights from the sun (make sure you select the correct size for your lens).

  • An optical viewfinder to magnify your LCD screen and to shade your eyes from glare while outside: search for optical viewfinders or loupes.