Beauty and the Budget: a closer look at buying new gear


NAB 2013 gear imageWhile several new cinema products offer the dream of helping your camera to defy gravity, it is a good idea to look at both your budget and your artistic operational filmmaking needs before making a purchase.  At NAB this year, we were able to check out some new gear you might be interested in buying for your filmmaking business–but first, let’s talk about WHY you want new gear (other than the fact that it exists, haha)  For example, while Vincent Lafloret’s review of the movi is all the rage, and we are pretty smitten with it, too,  it may not fall into line with most wedding filmmaking budgets.  Here are some questions you should ask yourself as you decide whether you’re going to make a purchase:

1. How will this product fit into your workflow?  Will it require hiring an additional camera operator, or can it be integrated into production without increasing the size of the team or distracting from current footage acquisition needs?

2. What is the learning curve to using it well? (For example, in the case of a copter, your clients are paying you to make beautiful films for them, not distract from their event by having an unpracticed camera op crash a copter into a tree, or worse, hurt a guest–so, practice up, kids.)

3. What will the footage bring to my final product?  How does it add to production value? Is it enough production value to warrant an increase in profit?  Can this cost offset the purchase of the product?

4.  Is this item an asset to our company in other ways? Does it open up any other possible product lines for our filmmaking business to create?  For example, with a DJI Quadcopter, perhaps you would be able to create videos showing overhead views of race paths, golf courses, work with home realtors to create “walkarounds” of a larger property, etc.  Could you rent the product out to other nearby film companies?

5. Is this a product you will use regularly enough to warrant a purchase rather than renting it on an as needed basis?  For example, companies like LensProToGo are already renting out Blackmagic’s new cinema 4K camera.

There were a ton of great product releases this past year at NAB–so lastly, ask yourself  Will I miss out on an adventure if I don’t find a way to purchase this?  While you may operate a filmmaking business, remember–creativity is about freedom, experimentation, and pushing boundaries.  I’m not saying to throw caution to the wind, but be confident to walk in a place of balance between risk and dependability.  Being overly cautious about buying new gear may eventually hinder your ability to keep up with technology and stand out from the crowd.

Pictured here:

Cinevate Axis Jib
Steadicam Curve
Freefly Movi
DJI Phantom

Kourtney AmeliaBeauty and the Budget: a closer look at buying new gear

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