I wanted to see if anyone had suggestions for an independent feature film kit on a limited budget. I am on a budget of about $20,000-25,000. This will be a film that would be shot over the course of a 10-month period so I feel renting would end up costing more than purchasing. I'm thinking the essentials are a solid camera, lighting, and sound.
1. Is there anything else that you would consider as essential?
2. Is 4K absolutely necessary if I have goals of entering it into film festivals with the hopes of getting a distribution deal with someone like Focus or Fox Searchlight?
3. What cameras would you suggest are the best bang for the buck? (My goal is to find an experienced DP who loves the concept, but I want to make sure the camera would be acceptable for an accomplished DP)
4. Same with lighting?
5. Same with sound?
Any advice and assistance on getting great equipment under that $20,000-$25,000 range would be very much appreciated. Thanks!
I would think your first step is to find your DP. Let her or him advise you on all your camera and light issues. At the same time, find a good sound person and let him or her also advise on those issues. Find the right people. Let them pick the tools within the confines of your budget.
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area http://www.RickWiseDP.com
Rick beat me to the punch... the same exact punch.
No one's camera opinion should matter more than your DP's. And of course, many DPs will already own their own camera and/or lens packages (and possibly lighting), so that might already be decided (and provided) for you. If your DP doesn't own lighting, a good gaffer (who you would want anyway, and that your DP could recommend) might. I know a couple of different gaffers who started out just as single guys for hire, but can now bring along a truck full of instruments, if needed.
The same for sound, even more so. Many if not virtually all sound guys do own their own gear. So the decision-making on that front might end with deciding which sound guy or gal... and you won't have to worry about the particulars of audio gear.
I still think though that even though you discounted renting, it still might make the most sense. Firstly, I doubt that 10 months means 305 actual continuous shoot days for when gear would be needed. Secondly, even if it did, your $25K would still go a lot farther in the rental market than it would likely in the sales market. $25K isn't much when you talk about purchases for outfitting an entire production, if that was purchasing everything you could spend that in the bat of an eye. But used judiciously, $25K might go reasonably far for rentals. It won't get you everything including the kitchen sink, but could get you the basics.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc. fantasticplastic.com