It took me years to build up the equipment list I have. A lot of the things I had were just things that I thought would make me a better cinematographer when in reality, it was making me worse. The reason being is that I was so focused on getting the next piece of gear and not the stories that I was trying to tell through my videos or photography.
All what matters is the final product. It does not matter how it was made or what was used to create it. You see, I was misunderstanding what made the final product so attractive. I thought it was just the lighting and the camera, but it was more than that. It was the story behind everything and that camera and lighting was just a tool to help tell that story. When I purchased all this gear, I wasn’t thinking of how it would help the story that I am trying to tell, I was focused on how good the overall image looked and thought that all this gear would help me with that. Part of it did help my images look “cool” or “amazing”, but it did not help my story telling skills at all.
When I think of a cinematographer, I think of someone that uses imagery to tell a story. You see, there is nothing about it saying that they use a specific camera or shapes light magically. So, I can make stuff look really good, but I have no idea how to tell a story. Seeing the work of people like SAM KOLD or Mitchell K Photos made me understand that there is more to all of this than making a beautiful image. They capture with a purpose other than just to make a good image. They are capturing images based on the story that they want to tell. So, with that whole thought process, I am going to restart and strip my kit down.
Here is a list of everything that I got rid of, along with a mini review of each item.
Light cannon f300
- Was my favorite light until I picked up the Aputure 300d. It was just too big for a solo crew like myseslf.
- Probably the first light every one should buy if they can afford it.
- Great for music videos with a colored gel sleeve.
Dracast Light Panels
- Bought these when LEDs were just coming out, Definilty spent way too much. And then I do not like light panels like these, they are too small for a good soft light, but then too big to create a hard light, so flagging it off can get weird.
- Made my own litemat 4 for half the price. Defintily a lot of light, but a big project to do. I made this before aputure made their cob lights.
Flashpoint Explor r2
- the best budget off camera studio strobe
Flashpoint Speed Light
- A good budget speedlight that goes well with the strobes
- I only like photography backpacks that open from the back. The reason is because I feel that it gives more space along with that I can see all of my gear at once.
- External xlr recorder, not much else, I would recommend it.
- Wireless lav’s, they are kind of big but work well
Ntg3 and Blimp
- Best bang for your buck shotgun microphone, but I would only say that if you are going to be an audio person. If not, just get something like a rode video mic pro
Video Mic Pro
- My favorite on camera microphone because it automatically turns on and off with the camera.
- This was one that I can use an ipad with, it was great to use for people who wanted to film courses or videos that needed a transcript. Can also be controlled with a bluetooth remote.
- This was a way to convert a flatt bottom tripod head to a ball head.
Manfrotto Tripod Head
- Not my favorite head. I like benros tripods a lot more
Konova k2 Slider
- Old slider, never really used it. If I were to buy another slider, I would buy an electronic one.
Benro Travel Tripod
- My favorite travel video tripod
- Must have at least one in your kit because it is so versatile
- Was defiantly a portable kit, never used it and would buy again if I needed it.
Alienware Ultra Wide Monitor
- Ultra wide monitors are amazing for editing videos. I like them better than dual monitor.