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Home Movie Film School: Picking the Right Equipment

Home Movie Film School, Part 1

Hey, I'm Casey, and welcome to Home Movie Film School. Today, we're gonna tell you what you need to get started shooting home movies. Recording a home movie is really simple. The one thing you need is a device that's able to capture video footage and audio. Fortunately for us this functionality comes with a lot of new devices: smart phones, tablets, digital cameras. If you need to figure out if your device can record video a quick trick is to look for the little movie camera icon. Chances are if you have this you can record a little video. With non-camera devices you can definitely make due in a lot of situations especially when you're recording tiny bursts of footage. It might be a little awkward wielding your laptop around but it works in a pinch. Smart phones are especially good because they're small and most people carry them. You just want to make sure you shoot them with a camera lens in landscape position. There are a couple of limitations to these non-camera devices but the most common is the lack of a zoom lens. A lot of them will have digital zoom but that's just a magnification of the image. For an optical zoom lens you need to make the jump to cameras. If your smart phone isn't cutting it for you the next step is to purchase an interchangeable lens camera or camcorder. These devices allow you to zoom in from a distance. For example if you want to zoom sports get a zoom lens. You can find cameras that shoot HD video, still photographs, and are easy to operate. Automatic focus makes things easier too just point and shoot. In order to avoid shaky images use a tripod. They come in all shapes and sizes. Just set it up and press record. It does all the hard labor for you. When shooting for extended periods of time extra batteries are essential. If your device has removable batteries make sure to purchase a couple more. Audio is critical for good video and if you need to step up your sound quality I recommend an external mic. These microphone attach to your camera allowing you to hear mom and dad crystal clear. If you want great sound with your phone or tablet you must buy an external recorder to plug your microphone into. The only trick is you'll have to clap while both are recording to sync the audio and video together. Alright dad clap. Cameras and tripods and batteries oh my. Picking the right equipment is only the beginning. Make sure to watch the rest of Home Movie Film School to improve your skills.

Making sure you have the right equipment is just as important as figuring out your story. Host Casey Ford Alexander, an actor and filmmaker, provides some helpful tips on how to pick the right equipment for shooting your home movie.

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