Question Answered: What Film Gear Do You Use?


I’m often asked, “What gear do you use for shooting videos and commercials?”

The pictures above and text below should answer that a bit. I do have a lot more stuff, but, this will give you an idea.

BTW…you DO NOT need all this stuff to create great videos, as you’ll see in an upcoming YouTube episode. In fact, that episode will cover how LITTLE you need to create great videos.

But…if you’re wondering what all that is, read on…

Somewhere in all that stuff is a HDSLR camera using 32gig Class 10 cards.

The photo above also shows a 50mm f/1.8 fixed lens with image stabilization (I always go back to this lens – it just works). I have lots others.

The camera is mounted on a quick release plate which slides onto a set of 15mm rails with a follow focus. This allows me to “unmount and go” with the camera.

Part of the rail package includes a shoulder mount in back and a set of handle grips up front, mounted to a very good fluid head using another quick release plate so I can “unmount and go” with the whole unit for run and gun shooting.

Sometimes I also mount this rig onto a medium size slider (not shown) if I need silky smooth slider or reveal shots.

This is all is mounted to a tripod that goes as low as 8″ and as high as 72″ for very low and very high shots.

At the front of the lens mounted to the rails is a matte box to control light bleeding into the lens, and the back the camera has a magnetic 3x pop off viewfinder so I can really zero in on the eye focus.

The top of the camera hosts an adjustable (both angle and brightness) LED light and shotgun video microphone in a shock mount.

Also attached to this rig is an HDMI video monitor with “magic arm” mount, and a stereo recorder with pop filter in front. The stereo recorder also has a lapel mic and headphone set (not shown). I also have a JuicedLink and various XLR mics as needed.

I also use a full 10 foot x 16 foot green screen, two green screen lights, and three more lights with filters for a three-point lighting system. I also have 2 more lights for back lighting and a portable screen.

I do have other lenses and gear, but mostly it’s the rig above and the studio lighting.

Thanks for asking the question! It was a nice inventory to make sure some of my stuff didn’t “wander away” on my last shoot. 🙂

Best, BFM


Vincent LaForet – Lenses, Focal Lengths and Depth of Field

These are GREAT explanations for beginners, and also refreshers before you do a shoot. These were done by Vimeo and Vincent LaForet (who is just full of video awesomeness).

QUESTION: You have a camera. You know how to turn it on and record stuff. Now you want to make it look good. So…what’s the absolute next thing you need to know?

Well, here you go…



Behind The Scenes Production Shots


Thought these might be interesting.

Behind the scenes shots of a current production I am working on.



What Is Green Screen? What Is Color Correction?

Original Raw Shot


Green Screen Removed, Background Replaced, Color Correction Done.


I have had numerous questions about green screen (chroma keying) and color correction. Most of them are from novice or non-filmmakers asking “What is this green screen thing?” and “What is color correction for in a movie?”

After looking for the best answer to this, I found the two pictures above the best visual explanation of what this is.

The first picture shows the original shot, in the raw, against a green screen.

The second picture shows the end result of removing the green screen, putting in a background, then correcting the color so the shot looks a LOT better.

Obviously, in a movie, this happens with moving pictures, but the effect is the same as above.

I’ll be doing an entire video series on this later, but I wanted to answer the question.


Best, BFM

Konova K Slider Test Shots (Camera Slider)

After a lot of research, I finally invested in a camera slider.

I found the Konova K Slider ( to be the most affordable and only ball bearing slider for this price point.

Not only did Konova get it to me in record time (thank you Konova) but it is just absolutely gorgeous!

It has all machined parts, no burrs, is fully adjustable (and came adjusted perfectly — thanks again Konova), is silky smooth, has adjustable legs, and basically puts all the other higher priced sliders to shame.


Best, BFM

Introducing The Basic Filmmaker!

This is the start of my new YouTube channel, Blog, FaceBook page, and Twitter account which will contain all the basics of filmmaking!
I will be posting videos short films, builds, DIY projects, After Effects tutorials, and covering cameras, gear, sliders, everything DSLR, cranes, jibs, dollys, stabilizers, shoulder rigs, rail systems, greenscreen tutorials, and anything you ask for, including posting your own legit  creations.
Here’s all the goods:
p.s. This bumper intro was made using Adobe After Effects.
The PC and Mac versions of After Effects can be perused here: