High School Film Club

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    • #48268

      I’ve recently set up a film club at my high school, but we have no equipment. I’ve always experimented with my own films on an HD Aiptek camcorder, but it’s definitely not enough.. I don’t have any defined experience in the area and I have no idea what camera to get. As of right now, our budget is $1500. We’re working on some fundraising, but some money needs to go into good mics and lighting. So unless I come up with something fantastic for a bit more, my limit is $1500. I’m hoping for a professionalappearancein the videos we produce.

    • #198422

      Hi Jack –

      First, kudos for your initiative in doing this.

      Second, you need much more than just a camera but since you’ve already been doing this I’m sure you know that.

      You’ll need a computer (PC or MAC, your choice – see if your school can provide one), editing software (there are free ones but for less than $100 you’ll be able to get one with the tools you’ll need), support equipment (tripod, lights, mics, etc…) but you can do this inexpensively to start ($20 for a WalMart tripod, $30 for two or three Home Depot work lights, $20 for a mic, etc….).

      Your camera choice will be limited by how much money you have left, You certainly can continue with your Aiptek but may want to look around on eBay or Craig’s List for a decent used camcorder – You will do very well if you only need SD but you can find bargains in HD as well.

      This is a start and I’m sure others will join in with their recommendations. The more info you can provide the better advice we all can offer.

    • #198423


      $1500 is more than enough for you to get started. Right now, ‘think small but work big’ is going to be your mantra. Pick up a couple of decent video capable point and shoot cameras for less than $200 each. Get a couple of tripods for no more than $50 each and a small Joby tripod to do handheld stuff. Get two camera bags, 2-3 extra batteries for each camera. A pair of work lights and vellum paper from a craft store as diffusion material. Pick-up a Zoom H-1 recorder and a pair of headphones (smaller the better for storage) Then take what’s left and get a computer and editing software like Sony Vegas Studio which is in that $100 range Birdcat mentioned. Oh and don’t forget to get at least two SD Flash media cards for your cameras. 4-8GB will be good to start.

      The thing is to keep within your budget by not trying to get the ‘coolest’ most expensive stuff. Yeah, it’d be nice to have but you can’t afford it and you’re trying to get the most you can with what you have. Check out sales and deals with online retailers like Adorama.com and BHphotovideo.com among others. B&H has a good line of ‘generic’ batteries called ‘Pearlstone’ that work just the same as brand name and they’re a lot cheaper!

      All you’re trying to do is get up and running. With the gear I mentioned, you can easily do that. Start doing some projects and get them done you’ll see interest grow and your fundraising efforts will get easier when you have something to show. Good luck.

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