Film Making Checklist

Film Making Checklist

Film Making Checklist : East Africa is known for its warm and pleasant temperate climate with an average high of 28oC and the average low of 15oC. This requires you to prepare the kind of equipment that are favorable in such a warm and sunny environment. Not forgetting the disguise since you are looking forward to filming wildlife besides the different cultures of the people of east Africa in your documentary.

There is no one size fits all for the gear equipment package for every one since there are so many variables like budget, the project type and location etc. However, there is some basic equipment that every film maker looks at since putting together your video equipment for production may be some of the most exciting aspects. This is simply the starter guide in your search for some film making gear which will guide you on the other equipment.

As you plan to film in east Africa, Pamoja Tours and Travel Company is here to remind you of the basic questions everyone needs to question him/herself as a guide to collecting the best equipment for filming before you get started with your list. You can further contact us in case you have any unanswered question you want to be answered concerning the right gear you need for filming in east Africa.

1. What camera do I need?
To get started, there is need for you to select the best camera fit for you and your budget. For the start, the priorities here are the camcorder, mirror less camera or DSLR with high quality full HD video capabilities.

2. What lenses should I get?
As you plan, what lenses to use, a bundled zoom lens can do a decent job. If you are shooting in a super sunny situation, an ND filter of circular polarizer can dramatically improve the image.

As for primer, you can go for A 50mm or 50mm equivalent if you are planning to use a format other than full flame or you could go for 35mm based on your personal preference and vision.

You need macro lens when shooting super close-ups of a bug or flower.

3. Do I need any camera support?
Camera support is an absolute need. In order to get still shots which do not look like home videos, mounting your camera on a tripod will not only keep your camera steady but will also help to avoid shooting from familiar angles. Purchasing a fluid head video tripod will give you the best results, also a regular photo tripod with a pan and tit head can also work. You will also need modern sliders and handheld gimbals.

4. What kind of gear do I need in my kit?
There are a number of essential tools that should be on every shoot besides the camera, mic, lights and others. Equipment like gloves, multi-tool with good blade set, tape, a handful of permanent markers etc. the gloves are an essential which will help to protect your hands when you are working with hot lights, adjusting barn doors, swapping gels etc.

Flash light too should be part of your gear for a backup in case your trusted flash gives up on you.
Tape measure should also be part of your set.

5. How can I capture a good audio?
There are different levels of audio and the best is to have a sound expert on the set to handle all the recording needs. A set of headphones can help during the process to help you listen to the sound which is the only way to know what exactly you’re getting.

Up grading the camera audio with the on-camera mic that plugs directly into your camera’s 3.5mm input.
The shotgun is good for mobile recording and capturing ambient audio.

The external digital recorder is the best solution for capturing audio and will likely be necessary for professional microphones.

6. Do I need external light sources?
We highly recommend using a gear locker that has got a lighting equipment since the lighting equipment is bulky. However, there are a few lighting equipment that can be used like the latest LEDs which have added benefits over classic tungsten and florescent fixtures.

Standard lights stands give the best results from your lights so as you pack your light sources, consider packing light stands, filters, diffusers and gels.

You may also need a spot meter

Equipment you need for wildlife filming in summary;

  • Video camera
  • Tripod
  • Camera light
  • Three- point lighting kit
  • Shot gun microphone
  • Boom pole
  • Shock mount
  • Audio(XLR) cables
  • Wireless microphone
  • Portable digital audio recorder
  • Headphones
  • Light reflector
  • Lenses: wide angle, clear protective lens, polarizer, zoom lens, macros, ND filter etc.
  • Extra batteries about 3-4 batteries
  • Video tapes, flash memory cards or DVD’s depending on your camera.
  • External hard drive
  • Video/ photo camera bag
  • DSLR Shoulder mounting
  • Gimbal stabilizer
  • Drone for aerial coverage

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