How to: A Low-Budget Filming Setup
Video production can be quite intimidating if you have not done it before. Maybe you want to make a short film or a sketch or just a simple vlog. Even if it does not take much, you might still not know where to start and have anyone to help you out with it.
Of course, we all know that it doesn’t need to be perfect or even just good — it is only your first one. But starting it might still not be easy.
If you are starting out and don’t have the necessary equipment, no need to worry. You don’t need expensive lighting or a fancy microphone. Pretty much everyone started out with any camera they could get a hold of and filmed something just for fun. What were the special techniques they used to get around having to get better equipment? What wisdom and mastery did they achieve in their search for replacements for a tripod?
Let’s explore, shall we?
If you are here, then you probably do not have an expensive DSLR camera and are looking for alternatives. The good thing is we live in a time when technology has developed greatly. That is why if you have a phone, chances are its camera quality is perfectly okay. You can use the webcam on your laptop or computer as well.
Do not worry too much about the quality not being on par with whoever you have in mind. No one creates a masterpiece the first time they pick up a brush — or in our case a camera. First, you should focus on the content of your videos. And second, it is not only about the quality of your camera — good lighting will make pretty much everything look better.
Everyone knows the best lighting is natural lighting — except for the fact that it is unpredictable. You can try filming in front of a window or just shoot outside. However, sometimes natural lighting is not an option for one reason or another.
Maybe you don’t have a window in your room and you do not particularly want to film in the kitchen. Maybe you need to film at night and the moonlight is not enough. Or maybe your window doesn’t have a windowsill and you don’t have a tripod. Whatever your reason is, there is still no need to worry as there are many alternatives.
Do you have a desk lamp? Perfect! You might be thinking, “But, Shaghik, is the light from a desk lamp really going to be enough?” You would be surprised! Try it out for yourself — you will see that it can do quite a decent job. If that is not an option, consider using the flash of a smartphone. It isn’t perfect and will help only if you are filming a close-up shot of something but you might not have much of a choice and need to work with whatever you have.
What even is a tripod? It’s just something you put your camera on. So essentially anything can be a tripod. Simply DIY a tripod with anything and everything that has a flat surface and is thicker than a piece of paper.
Basically, you need books. Get those encyclopedias out — they can finally be of use. Stack them up and you’ve got yourself a handy little tripod. However, you can stack up only so many books before either running out or your self-engineered tripod loses its stability. You could put the camera inside a drawer or on a shelf and get a nice high angle. If you want a tilted angle you can put a book under only half of your camera and voilà! Who said books are (only) for reading? Does your camera have a strap? Great! Just hang it up from somewhere high.
There are plenty of free options when it comes to editing software. First, you have the good old Windows Live Movie Maker and iMovie. These are both free software that allow some basic editing. They’re both easy and good if you are just starting out and do not necessarily need much. But if you need something fancier, the internet is filled with many editing software options.
If you are planning to edit on your phone, there are lots of apps out there that allow basic editing. On a desktop, you also have a variety of software to choose from. It all comes down to how simple you want it to be, and what kind of video you want to prepare.
So there you have it – a very low-budget filming setup that you can start out with as soon as today. No more excuses – you have all it takes. Video production might be an intimidating thing, but no need to be scared of it. Just start somewhere and gradually you’ll get better. Who knows what might end up happening?
However, if you are looking to create something more professional but do not have the time to learn video production from scratch, then you’re in luck. Digitec provides video production services. We will help develop your ideas and realize even the most ambitious projects. Contact us to learn more.