Documentary Camera Help <—-Imma noob

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    • #42386

      Hey wuts up, I’m new to the forum and heres the thing:

      I’m a novice screenwriter and I’ve had an idea for a documentary for a couple years now. I know very little about camcorders/hd/ratio/etc…

      I need to buy some used equipment on a shoestring budget. The good news is I’m very proficient with computers and I do have a brand new computer and some of the software I will need.

      I will be flying around the country, as well as other countries to film. Almost all of the filming I will be doing will be indoors; kinda on-the-fly filming in people’s homes. The documentary consists mainly of interviews with various people.

      I am new to this, so please help me out here. I believe I need a used camera, a microphone, and possibly removable media.

      What kind of gear would be best for someone like me with very little cash?

      ^ I only have a couple hundred dollars….I might be able to scrounge up 500 in the next couple months, if im extremely lucky….and remember I’ll probably need used gear.

      -Thanks a lot.

      P.S. I need good enough quality to take my documentary to film festivals without looking like the poor jerk that I am.

    • #178165

      Have you considered renting equipment? You will be able to use much better equipment that way fot the budget. And who knows, if your documentary makes some money, maybe you could buy some stuff. Just a thought.

    • #178166

      The rental places I’ve looked into cost about $200 a day for cameras. I’m probably going to be filming different interviews for weeks, if not months. That’s way to expensive….I need some kind of cheap alternative. That’s why I was looking into buying used equipment.

    • #178167

      I might just save up for an hd camera, but what I really need to know is the differences in quality between ccd, 3-ccd, hd, and any other terms I will see while looking at various cameras.

      Also, I’ve heard that the aristocrats documentary was filmed with a few mid range priced camcorders….I saw it and the picture was really clear. Does anyone know which cameras that were used….or even have a guess???


    • #178168

      Check this interview Aristocrats

      "It was shot on three-chip, consumer-end Sony, Mini-DV cameras with no special lighting or sound.

      It was edited on my Macintosh system using Final Cut."

      Is this perhaps a VX2000?

    • #178169

      When he said Mini DV 3-ccd, I was thinking of the HC-1000, I dont know, just my thought.

    • #178170

      I would strongly recommend a basic tripod, also.

    • #178171

      Okay, I will now have about $800 for the camera….maybe a little more.

      This documentary is basically me going around and doing interviews indoors at different people’s homes. That is why I mentioned "The Aristocrats"….The filming I am doing will be very similar to it.

      My brother actually works for a company that buys a lot of sony products and he said he could prolly get me hooked up with a brand new sony camera for cheap… all I need is a model number so he can call sony and get me a price quote.

      What cheap (maybe like $1500-$2000 retail) sony cameras would work well for what I need it for?

    • #178172

      I was actually planning on buying accessories after I buy the camera. I have not looked into it yet, but I was planning on buying a couple clip on mics.

      You’re right I do lack experience and I will buy the book you suggested.

      I was also planning on practicing filming, editing, and all that good stuff at home and also at some friend’s houses before I actually shoot the documentary.

      The last thing I want is to have this film turn out horrible.

    • #178173

      I just ordered two books:

      Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and Videos by Alan Rosenthal


      Making Documentary Films and Reality Videos : A Practical Guide to Planning, Filming, and Editing Documentaries of Real Events by Barry Hampe

      I’ll read them well before I start shooting.

    • #178174

      I scrounged up some more money and bought a used sony vx-2100 for $1672.00 shipped.

      Thanks for your help everyone.

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