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A couple of comments – buy a REAL tripod and head. The one you linked to is not up to the job – I’d expect to budget at least $700ish to get something that is strong and smooth. You need a solid support, and flimsy cheap tripods rarely offer anything other than a method of keeping a camera static. Once you move , you’ll realise how important tripods and heads really are.
Edit software – buy what you need to do the job. Learning a basic bit of software then unlearning to use the one that does what you need is a waste of time and resources. iMovie is fine for cutting together your holiday or baby pics but very limited for producing professional looking products. Edit wise for your Mac approach, look at Adobe Premiere or Final Cut. Both have full versions and slighty cut down ones – and then upgrade paths to full versions are available. I like Adobe because their CS range has all the programmes you need – one for editing, one for graphics, one for audio and one for FX – and the last one to produce the DVD. Each program talks to the others meaning it’s a kind of one stop shop for producing projects like yours. For your use, you will need captions, graphics, sound and maybe special effects. iMovie can’t do all this stuff.
If you are on location then shotguns may be useful, but if you have talking heads, then clip on lavaliere types will be more suitable. You might need green screen backgrounds and lighting too?
Probably the best thing would be to detail a typical ‘episode’ you need to make, and use that to form the shopping list. Whatever you do, don’t forget any suitable spaces need to be sound treated so they don’t sound like the small, boxy room they probably are.
On the computer front – twin screens are pretty important – the edit software really needs work area on one and video on the other to be useful.