Let's take a look at the key devices you need to start your own video production company, from 4K cameras and gimbals to editing software and computers.
There are many reasons why people choose to start their own video production company. Some are aspiring entrepreneurs who want to take advantage of the potentially lucrative business of corporate video production. Some are graduates from film schools who are frustrated with the prospect of switching between production internships before finding a permanent job. Others just want to turn their hobby of making videos here and there into a full-time career.
Whatever your reasons, once you decide to start your own video production company, you have to prepare for it.
And while you find a lot of content online that insists that you should get your hands on a high-end camera, a few new drones, and some studio space right away – I mean, you're serious, right? – I suggest starting small when it comes to cameras, gear and gear.
Given the lighting needs, audio recording requirements, and even cameras, let's take a look at the key devices you need to start your own video production company.
Versatile 4K hybrid camera
I wish I could sit here and tell you that it is not the camera that makes good video, but the filmmaker / videographer / content creator behind the lens. However, we live in a world where many customers and consumers base their expectations and requirements on the latest trends and fashions – such as 4K video or higher.
So I would say that any video production company that wants to get a job needs to have a 4K camera ready to use right away. Fortunately, there are many surprisingly affordable options.
Of course, you can grab the latest Canon EOS R5 and also offer 8K, but I would actually advise you to play in the markets. Try to find a reliable hybrid video camera that can shoot 4K video (without too much cropping and in good quality) that can double for photography if needed.
Try to stay in the $ 3,000 range since that is where the maximum camera value is currently. Here are a few suggestions:
If you are looking at lenses for your 4K base camera, I recommend this combination:
- A solid zoom in the range of 35 mm to 70 mm (or equivalent)
- 50mm for stylized looks
- 85mm for close-ups
- A wide angle for other coverage needs.
Go-to-cinema camera (property or rental)
You can get more work – send commercial recordings and the like – by offering your customers a high-end cinema camera option. If you already own a RED camera, that's great. Make this a focal point of your branding so that customers know that you offer high-end videography.
However, if you want to focus your investments on other areas, we recommend renting high-end cameras until you are sure that you need one that is consistent enough to justify the investment.
Here are some top-notch cinema cameras. Find a rental resource that she has in stock and have her number ready.
In addition to renting a high-end cinema camera for certain recordings, you should also check the rental of lens packages – depending on the project and customer needs – that must be selected specifically for the camera of your choice. Some solid resources for lenses (as well as cameras) are LensRentals, BorrowLenses and ShareGrid.
Tripods, gimbals and oil rigs
When dealing with your cameras and equipment, ask yourself what kind of projects are best for you. If you expect to work in standard interview and talkhead setups, focus on stationary tripods and controlled motion investments like sliders and cranes.
However, if you're more into run-and-gun videography – documentation content, news, etc. – consider handheld-friendly options like shoulder mounts, gimbals, and steadicams.
For those just getting started, I recommend investing in at least one device from each of these categories:
- Tripod for static recordings
- Slider for basic controlled camera movements
- Handheld device for basic movements
- Gimbal or steadicam for more controlled movement
Invest wisely – spend some time discovering brands like Manfrotto, Wooden Camera, edelkrone and DJI.
Three-point lighting set
After working with a new video production company that has grown from a few people to well over a dozen, I recommend investing based on current needs rather than future expectations.
For lighting, this means that you start with a simple three-point lighting kit that is functional, quick to move, sturdy enough not to fall or break, and is offered at a price that doesn't limit your resources elsewhere .
Go to your local mom and pop video and photo shop (if possible) or contact a trusted online retailer like B & H, Adorama or even Amazon. Look for the “three point lighting kit bundle for videos” and focus on deals in the range of $ 400 to $ 500 for best quality.
Audio recording bundle
Use audio resources to create a ready-to-use “audio recording package” that is similar to the setup of your lighting kit – functional, easy and quick to mobilize.
The audio requirements vary drastically from recording to recording, but I've found that these basics cover most of your projects:
- Multi-channel audio recorder
- Shotgun boom mic
- Boom microphone bar
- Boom microphone stand
- Wireless lav kit
- Several headphones
When purchasing, consult options from trusted brands such as Zoom, Sennheiser, RØDE and Manfrotto.
Quality processing computer
If you switch from actual production to post-production, you obviously need a computer to edit. Don't save here.
If you offer a full-service video production (also known as turnkey video production) that includes editing, I highly recommend that you put most of your investment resources into your computers and editing workflows.
I have worked with various manufacturing companies and internally for several well-known agencies and brands, and regardless of the size of the operation, Apple computers – such as the Apple Mac Pro, iMac Pro and MacBook Pro – have never approved me.
Not an Apple person? I've heard good things about options like Microsoft Surface Studio. If you have a DIY series, you should build your own editing PC, which is often the best option – even on a budget.
We live in a time when you actually have multiple video editing software and app options at your disposal. Nevertheless, the proven, well-known NLEs still dominate the industry.
Which NLE is right for you? Find out by using some free trials. Work with each of these platforms for about a week to find out which one feels best for your own sensitivity and workflow.
While some people try to tell you otherwise, there is no wrong answer here. It depends on what you feel most comfortable with, what your colleagues are using and what your customers expect.
Plugins, apps and resources
Once you have your NLE video editing software, you can add, update, and incorporate more video editing resources based on your expertise and the needs of your project.
I'm talking about working with VFX and Motion in programs like Adobe After Effects, Cinema 4D and ZBRUSH. You can also find additional resources with plugins like Mocha AE and Red Giant & # 39; s Trapcode Suite.
In these resources you will find countless apps, plugins and templates that you can use to improve your video editing and motion projects. There are many good (and free) things here.
With all of this advice and resources in hand, you can hopefully offer your customers a really solid, comprehensive service at a strong, yet competitive price. Good luck!
You can find more recommendations, instructions, and inspiration for video production in the following helpful resources:
Cover picture via Guitar Studio.