In 2014 David Fincher used the Red Epic Dragon to film ‘Gone Girl’. At the time of filming, a Red Epic Dragon camera cost around about $50,000 each (and they had four of them). I imagine the cost of other equipment combined with the $200,000 spent on cameras would be equate to roughly $400,000. Gone Girl cost 61 million dollars to make, which means that only 0.6% of the overall films budget was spent on equipment.
A lot of indie or small-time filmmakers like myself are spending a lot of money on equipment in comparison to the overall budget of the films they are creating. To put it into perspective, if I were to buy a Sony A7Sii (a camera I have been wanting to upgrade to for a while) then I would need to be working with a $500,000 budget to be on the same budgeting scale as a professional film like Gone Girl.
In conclusion, small filmmakers are focusing too much on camera equipment in the belief that it will improve the quality of their films. Instead, they could be investing their time and money into other areas such as professional actors and purchasing vital props, which are more likely to improve the quality of the film than a slightly better camera.
My budget for my short film is extremely limited, therefore I have to be resourceful and use the equipment that I already own, along with whatever other equipment I can get my hands on for free or at a low price.
List of equipment I own:
- Canon 70D
- 18-55mm 3.5-4.6 Canon Lens
- 75-300mm Canon Lens
- 50mm 1.8 Canon Lens
- Rode Video mic
- Canon Battery x2
- SD Card 64GB
Equipment I may use that I can borrow from college:
- Rode Video mic Pro
- Sennheiser ME67 Microphone Kit
Zoom H4N Digital Audio Recorder
Various lighting equipment
One crucial prop in my film, is a bike, which is easily accessible as between my family, we own seven bikes. The second prop is a phone and a pair of earphones, which again is easily accessible as I own both. The final prop is a framed photo of the main character, which I can manage by printing off or sourcing a photograph and then putting it within an empty frame.
There will be two costumes in my short film. I have decided that one will be very casual. This will include a hoodie, a pair of jeans and a pair of trainers. The other will be smart and will include a shirt, tie, a pair of smart jeans and a pair of smart shoes.