Christian Boys' Production (CBP) is the way I am using my talents for the Lord. Film making is my passion and it has the power to impact people for Christ. I am proud to use CBP as a platform to spread Godly messages. With the support of my family and other fellow film makers who join the CBP community, Lord willing, we can impact the culture for the glory of God.
CANON REBEL T3I WITH EF-S 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 IS LENS
There is so much good stuff about this camera. It is quite affordable. It takes beautiful photos and video. The APS-C size sensor allows for a nice shallow depth of field and is able to let in a great deal of light. This camera is a DSLR and of course, one of the things that makes this type of camera so great is the ability to change lenses. This lens has been around for a long time and is used by alot of people. This means there is tons of information about it. People have explored the ins and outs of this camera, and you can get access to so much information about this camera online. This might not be true for newer, less explored, cameras. I would definitely recommend getting the Cinestyle picture profile from Technicolor on this camera if you intend to grade the image. I also would recommend installing magic lantern on this camera. Just know that Magic Lantern voids your warranty (I got mine used so that was no problem for me.) and can damage/destroy your camera. (NOTE: So even though I recommend Magic Lantern and have had no problems with it myself, I take no responsibility if Magic Lantern causes a problem with your camera.) You can find this camera used all over the place for dirt cheap, and it normally comes with extras. I'm not saying this camera is perfect, example: moire, rolling shutter, no
electronic viewfinder, and no 4k, but the more I look at cameras, I have
made an amazing discovery, there is no perfect camera!
The kit lens this camera came with is okay. It's made of plastic, and the aperture doesn't open very wide, but it has image stabilization, auto focus, and a good zoom range. When I am filming around the house this is the lens I use. I can zoom in and out. If I need to focus fast, I use the auto focus. Also, the image stabilization helps remove some of that shake that comes from filming active siblings handheld. I would not use it to it to get a cinematic depth of field, and I do get nervous about braking it, but it's a kit lens, so do not expect perfection.
This camera was a great starter camera for me. It can be put on auto, and all you have to focus on is composition. Then you have the option to change things like picture profile (it even has a Cine profile), exposure, focus, and a few other things. The problem is, some of the features are kind of worthless because of the limitations of the camera. For example, the sensor is so small that almost everything stays in focus, so there is no need to use the manual focus. Sometimes I'll use the touch screen to focus, but for the most part I just leave it in auto. Touch screen is nice for easy access to things, but the screen gets full of finger prints fast. I would recommend this camera to either someone new to video, who can let the camera do most of the work and mess with the features or someone who cant get a take two. For example, if someone needed an inexpensive camera to film a documentary on, this would definitely fit the job.
You lose some, but you also win some (You'll get my point here when you read about the next lens.), and this lens is one of those wins. I got this lens for around $20. So far I love it, but I've only been using it since yesterday, so more to come. I am noticing that it can't focus close up. I think I might need a macro tube. I'm going to look into it.
28mm F/2.8 M42 VINTAGE LENS
Ok, lesson #1 to film making, problems will happen. I got this vintage lens for a steal on eBay (around $30) and it ended up not working on my camera. Of course, I am bummed, but I've learned not to cry over spilled milk.
OPTEKA 6.5mm F/3.5 HD ASPHERICAL FISHEYE LENS
This lens is a lot of fun. Nice mettle build, unlike my plastic kit lens. Gives really nice wide shots. It does seem a little loose when on the camera, but that hasn't caused a problem.
The Rode Video Mic Pro is great shotgun mic. Its small, light, and extremely effective. It is not the cheapest microphone out there, but I find it to be the perfect balance between performance and price. You can mount this puppy directly to your camera or place it on a boom poll. You are also able to set the mic to high pass filter mode to reduce low frequency sounds. Another feature available is the ability to set the microphone to reduce the audio being captured by -10db or to increase the audio by +20db. With all these features packed into such a compact body, I don't think its price is too bad. I love this mic, and like so many others, I would recommend it to anyone.
(with a windscreen that I got off amazon and a headset I got at a thrift store)
This recorder with my Rode Video mic pro makes a nice audio set up. The Tascam DR-05 is a great audio recorder. It's pretty small, has a plastic body, and is full of features. The one thing I must mention is that on the back there is a 1/4in. threaded hole that allows you to screw the recorder onto different things, such as your camera's hot shoe (with an adapter). My hole cracked, probably do to the many times I accidentally dropped the recorder. Thankfully, I rigged something up to solve the problem, but if you do decide to get this recorder be careful. Plastic isn't invincible. The main reason I got this recorder is because of the price and the features you get for that price. The body breaking is really the only problem I have had with it.
NEEWER160 LED CN-160 DIMMABLE ULTRA HIGH POWER PANEL DIGITAL CAMERA/CAMCORDER VIDEO LIGHT
I love these lights. I actually own two. They are small, which allows you to put them anywhere. You can stick them on your camera with the built-in hotshot or use its 1/4in. threaded hole to screw them onto a light stand/tripod. They take AA batteries or you can use an adapter (included with the light) that allows for the use of rechargeable batteries (listed in the directions but not included). They also come with two diffusers. One has an orange tint, so you change the color temperature to match tungsten lights. THESE THINGS ARE SO AWESOMELY VERSATILE!!! Just writing about them makes me smile :D.
These are some lights I have picked up over the years. None of them are video lights, but I saw them, thought they would work, and picked them up. In this picture, we have tow desk clamp lights, a halogen work light, and and outdoor flood light. When your out and about make sure to put your filmmaker mindset on and keep an eye out for non-filming gear, like these lights, that could work as filming gear alternatives.
LS PRO PHOTO STUDIO GREEN SCREEN & LIGHTING KIT
I'm not a huge fan of using the green screen, because it takes a lot of work. The key to filming on a green screen is lighting. Nail the lighting, and you've nailed the shot. The problem is, this takes more then the three lights that this kit came with, and it takes a lot of skill. So even though I don't use the green screen a lot, I plan to use it more often as I build up my lighting collection and fine-tune my chroma keying skills. I use the lights that this kit came with more than I use the actual green screen. They make for a nice 3-point-lighting set up, though the stands are a little flimsy.
Ugh.... I wish I had something different, but it works, p...a...i...n...f...u...l...l...y s...l...o...w.
(I'm to ashamed to list its specs)
BAMBOO DRAWING TABLET
I love this tablet. I enjoy drawing so this is so much fun for me. This tool is great for story boarding, but you might end up using it as an all-out mouse replacement. It takes a little getting use to though. I wish I used it more often, but its one weakness is, it takes up a lot more desk space then a mouse.
500GB EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE
This is really just to hold me over until I get a new one. I need to do more homework before I would recommend. It is almost full already. Backing up your material is super important. If you love your work, then you'll want to protect it. Putting your material on an external hard drive is one way to do that.
SONY VEGAS PRO SUITE 13
This editing software is one of the less expensive pro editing software. It is only compatible with PC, but that is okay with me. The suite comes with DVD Architect Pro 6, Sound Forge Pro 11, HitFilm 3 (I bought this before HitFilm 3 came out, so I got stuck with HtiFilm 2.), Vegas Pro Production Assistant 2, and a few other applications. I've only used this software for a few projects, but so far I have no complaints.
I use this as kind of a cage for my camera. With this grip, I can have my camera, Rode shotgun mic, and LED video light all together as one unit. It took a little customizing, and I will try to do a video on the modification I made soon. This grip can be held in many different ways, and I like the flexibility that provides. I wish it was metal instead of plastic, but for the price, it's not a deal breaker.
I learned how to build this slider from a Film Riot video (be careful with these guys. Although their materiel is great, they can sometimes be a bit questionable.) It works pretty well. It's not the smoothest slider though. Also, as you slide it, it makes a dragging sound, so you have to take that into account when recording audio, but for those who cant afford the expensive sliders out there, this DIY one is definitely an option. I also though it was the simplest DIY slider to build, compared to the other ones I looked at on the internet.
DIY CAMERA CRANE/SHOULDER RIG
This thing is really cool, and my hat is off to its creator, Krotoflik (YouTube Channel Name), He calls this lovely piece of hardware the RotoRig. It can function as both a camera crane and shoulder rig. Wow! that's awesome, right? The RotoRig is a little pricey and complicated to build, but remember what you are getting. The shoulder rig part works great. The crane part is nice too, but it doesn't extend very far, and the camera, when on the crane, is in a locked position. So for example, if you have the crane up high, the camera is getting a straight shot. You can't angle the camera down to get a high shot looking to the ground (I hope yo get the picture). Just remember that this is a DIY build, so you aren't going to get perfection. I would encourage you to watch the Krotoflik's RotoRig walk through, and then if you want to build it for yourself proceed to the how to video. I think this rig is perfect for someone who doesn't want too much equipment to lug around and wants to have a unit that kills two birds with one stone or someone who knows how much a camera crane and shoulder rig cost new and needs a cheap alternative.
(P.S In the future, I would like to make adjustments to this rig to solve some of the complaints I have with it, so keep your eyes out.)
SONY VCT-R640 LIGHTWEIGHT TRIPOD
I got this tripod along time ago. A tripod is one of the most important pieces of equipment you can buy. At this time, I am looking into buying a tripod that is better suited for video. Though as I said earlier, I have been using this tripod for video for a long time. It takes some time, but I am able to get decent tilts and pans out of it. Its light, which is a plus, but it can't take much weight. It's given me my money's worth, which is easy because of its price.
I got this bag with my camera. It is very big and has a lot of pockets for storage, but I wish the main storage part of the bag could be divided into sections. I can fit a lot of my gear in it, but with nothing to keep them separated, they could crash into each other at any time. Also, if I want to put one piece of gear (say my camera) into the bag there is so mush room for it to move around. I don't really like this. I need to see if I can get something that can divide the main part of the bag up into sections.
(P.S: Found a bundle of these for sale at a yard sale... WHAT A BUY)
LENS CLEANING KIT
This product is a miracle, in that it has the ability to..... SAVE YOU MONEY. The ketch is you need to know how to use it properly. Keeping your camera a lenses clean keeps them from breaking, which means you don't need to buy replacements. What a miracle? I don't care what kind of video recorder you own, DSLR or camcorder, you can use this to keep it clean. A lens cleaning kit is a must.
(If you would like me to do a video on how I use my kit to clean my gear please let me know)
Image this. Your on a film sett and for some reason you cant see the script, or you need more light to work on some equipment, or all your lights cause the power to go out, or.... well you get the point. It doesn't hurt to have one of these in your pocket.
I found two of these at a yard sale, and thought why not. These things are heavy. It's a blessing and a curse. If you need to hold down a light stand, then this will work perfectly, and if you need to re-align your back, then put these in your camera bag. Since owning them I have discovered other uses for them, but a guy has to keep some secrets. I will give you one other use, though. Where them around your angles. It's a lot of fun.
SANDISK EXTREME PRO 32GB (95mb/s) SD CARD
The main reason I got this card was because it is fast, recording 95mb a second. Though I wish I got the 64GB version, my bank account thanks me for settling for 32GB. This is the recommended card for many cameras that record lots of information . If magic lantern ever includes RAW recording in their official firmware, this SD card will be able to handle it. You can't go wrong buying this card, just keep telling yourself that when you look at the recite.
I have used this SD card on my Vixia HF M301 for a long time. With 32GB of memory space I never really have to worry about memory space (but this could not be true for you if your camera records a lot of information). This SD card is ranked class ten, so it can record data pretty fast. I can't really complain about this SD card. It is definitely a Cheaper alternative to my other card. If you want a decent SD card for cheap, then definitely look into this.
Live isn't the problem, but it sure is full of them. That's why it doesn't hurt to have one of these available on a shoot. Thankfull my little brother is kind enought to alow me to borrow this bad boy. Screw driver, pliers, file, can opener, ruler, and knife, the only thing this tool is missing is an electric tooth brush. Bring this on set, and then pray you wont need it.
I would be happy to do more in depth descriptions, even reviews, on any of this equipment. Just let me know through the contact page. I must close with this though. Film equipment is great. I always love getting my hands on a new movie making toy, but the top of the line equipment isn't necessary to make a good film. Yes, it can help, but its does not magically make a film good. There is so much more that goes into making a great film, such as story, composition, and acting. All these things cost nothing, but require time, energy, and skill.
I once heard a filmmaking saying that went something like this...
Young filmmakers never have enough money.
Old filmmakers never have enough time.
The most important thing needed to make a film successful is the Lord's blessing. That only comes through prayer, and making a movie that honors the Lord.
It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.