Equipment requirements for GL-1 Indie Documentary at DVinfo.net

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Old May 4th, 2006, 09:34 AM   #1
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Equipment requirements for GL-1 Indie Documentary

I'm producing a low budget indie documentary that is mostly financed with a grad school grant. Until I get more funds, I only have a limited amount of money to get this project made (now under $5k), and most of the costs relate to travel to interview the subjects. That being said, what kind of audio and light equipment would I need to run a one-person show, and what should I expect to pay for it? I am shooting with a GL-1. Most of the interviews will be typical face to face sit-down, but a few are in larger spaces where the subject is speaking to an audience.

Really appreciate your feedback on this.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 03:54 PM   #2
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Hey Tammy,

Well being that budget is of a great concern, I would recommened the Canon VL-10Li. Pretty inexpensive light that you can purchase on line from $60 to $100. The light is powered by the same battery that your GL1 is powered by. As far as the audio you can purchase a lavalier mic with a 15ft cord and adapters online also for around $250 to $350.00 depending where you go. So not bad for $450.00 you can have some pretty decent equipment. What do you think?
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Old May 5th, 2006, 01:43 AM   #3
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To be able to put some extra dollars on the audio equipment, try buying some of those can lights from a hardware store (~$25 USD for two) then getting some balanced (to your taste) gels to put over them--clothes pins required! 60-100 watt indoor bulb should be plenty and two placed correctly will give you a nice moody feel depending on the natural light source.

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Old May 5th, 2006, 09:59 AM   #4
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i would recommend buying a lot of your equipment used right here. i have bought a lot of used stuff, and it is generally in very good to mint condition. over the course of purchasing all the gear you need, you can save hundreds or thousands. especially on things like mics and lights. check the classifieds. i think someone had a rode videomic for sale, which works well with the GL series cameras. there's a ton more integrity among users here than on evilbay....
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Old May 5th, 2006, 04:04 PM   #5
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Thanks for all your very helpful feedback. From reading many of the threads and responses on this site, it can be a little intimidating to figure out exactly what you REALLY need to invest your money in and what is decent enough to get you through a project without making it look and sound like crap. As of now, the question is still whether or not I should invest in a Sennheiser system or a lower Audio Technica...or go to Radio Shack and get a $50 lav mic. Is the extra $$ that much more worth it? Also, even for tripods, are the Manfrottos that much better than Velbon or Sunpak. From my research, it seems like the Fluid Heads are better to handle, and I want something stable and sturdy enough to last me through the next few projects. But again, is the extra $ that worth it. If so, I don't have a problem making that investment. Better to make a wise decision now than suffer all the way through production, right? Lastly, are lights an absolute necessity? Can I get away with reflectors if I shoot outside under normal day conditions? My issue is staying as light equipment wise as possible, since all my interviews will require extensive travel to various locations.

Thank, so much!
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Old May 5th, 2006, 08:21 PM   #6
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The Rode Videomic is a must and a winner for a low budget. The difference between it and the GL1 mic is amazing-- and the Videomic will pick up less undesirable sound from other directions. Lightweight, too.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 09:37 PM   #7
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You'll also need headphones to make sure you are picking up sound ok. I just got a pair of Sony MDR-J10 earbuds ($12 Best Buy) that I like because they hook around the ear so they are secure, the fit in the ear is loose so they don't impair your hearing. Turn up the volume control on the GL1 and you'll hear every little click that the camera hears. Great feedback (though I haven't field tested them yet).
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Old May 9th, 2006, 04:28 PM   #8
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The best rule to go by; sometimes it's best not to go too expensive, but not go too cheap, be somewhere in the middle. Radioshack?? Questionable, but you never know. Your better off researching your products online to see who uses them, and who sells them. Reviewing who sells particular items, gives you an idea of the kind of product a shop or an online store is selling.
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