Q: What equipment are you using? Any suggestions?
— Corey Gwin (@corey_gwin) December 9, 2016
Thanks Corey! Thank you so much for watching. I do have suggestions 🙂
I have this awesome Canon 80D DSLR camera.
The quality is amazing. I’ve got a couple really nice wide aperture lenses that create this beautiful shallow depth of field. Gorgeous video coming from this setup.
And I rarely use the damn thing.
First rule for me: convenience trumps quality.
The DSLR is just not convenient. When there’s a hint of bad weather I refuse to have that gear out because I don’t want it ruined. And it’s so big. I don’t like carrying it around with me because it attracts too much attention. I don’t want the unwanted attention. I just want people to be their normal, interesting selves if I’m capturing video. And it’s so easy to bump into something. So I keep it wrapped in a protective case and lense cap on.
With all that babying of my DSLR, if something interesting happens, there’s no way my fancy camera is anywhere near being able to capture it.
I focus mostly on what I can capture with what’s available and inexpensive. I do most of my shooting on a GoPro Session.
That thing is super convenient and relatively cheap. I’ve dropped it a dozen times and it looks brand new. If my iPhone had taken the falls it has, I wouldn’t be shooting movies anymore. I keep a necklace attached to my GoPro and wear it around my neck so it’s always on me and not in my pocket. In my pocket is just another 7 seconds that whatever was interesting has a chance of getting missed. The Session is also just one button click to capture. Not multiple swipes and taps.
So I’d recommend just getting good with filming with what you already have. If you need more convenience get a GoPro. When you feel like you’ve gotten pretty good at engaging folks with what you can edit together with those things, then look to things like DSLRs.
More importantly I’d focus on taking stable video. Grainy video is watchable. Shaky video is not. Shaky video makes people throw up. So get whatever camera is affordable and ultra convenient and figure out how to stabilize it. That might mean just resting the camera on something, or getting a small tripod. Do whatever it takes to get it stabilized.
All that being said, I like nice pictures too. Recently I found myself cracking open the DSLR again to get some shots to mix in with my GoPro footage. And I might invest in a Mavic Pro soon to get some nice aerial footage of Chicago stuff. But my main shooter is that GoPro.
I’m just someone who’s just trying to get better at making creative, engaging movies, and that doesn’t mean better gear. It means me getting better at telling stories through video about what’s going on around me and in my life. And often that’s about making sure I can capture something interesting as soon as it happens.
So I don’t worry much about gear, I spend more time studying how a movie from Pixar keeps people glued to their seat. I read books on screenplay writing and filming documentaries. I mention a couple other things here that I think are important: like figuring out how to edit with music, and learning to take short shots. You’ll also find yourself needing to create a workflow to store everything. All that video is going to suck up your main hard drive. I use a Samsung external SSD drive to move video to. And started fooling with Amazon cloud storage as a remote backup.
Hope the helps!
P.S. Like Corey, you should follow my YouTube channel! Where I share more about how history, psychology, and science can help us create better businesses. And if you find yourself overwhelmed while starting your own small business, handling customer support or staying in touch with all your new fans on YouTube 🙂 check out how Highrise can help!