The Right Stuff

The Right Stuff. What does that mean? It means that you need to have the proper equipment to do what needs to be done.

I am currently (now that I’ll be gainfully employed) re-upping the equipment that I’ll be using. In the process of buying all this stuff, one must keep a few things in mind:

  • Budget. You need to know what you can buy and try to find the best deals. That doesn’t mean you skimp and go out and buy some Chinese knock-off simply because it’ll be cheaper. No, that means you’re paying attention and actually doing the right research to find the correct products to use. Is this method fool-proof? Not always. But it’s better than spending money blindly only to discover later on that you’ve done the wrong thing, which I have done already. (Can you say “Redrock Micro M2”?)
  • Requirements. I’m not one for sticking with this, although I really should. Do I need this item? What will I be using it for? Could I “invent” something similar to get by instead of laying out cash to buy this thing? These are all pertinent questions you should be asking.
  • Repetition. Will I be using this item again? This is a big one, and sometimes the answer is “no”, but you need to buy it anyway. One good example of this is props. You may never use that ray gun again, but you certainly need it for this production. So you buy it. But with many other things, especially equipment, ask yourself if you’ll have a use for it down the line.
  • Storage. Buying a lot of equipment means that you’ll need places to store it until you need it. Not everyone can buy a production truck. So, do you have the space to store what you’re attempting to buy? (Note: A used ambulance is the BEST production vehicle. Tons of different storage “pockets” and they usually come with some extremely bright lights on the sides, which work great for night shoots. Not to mention that you can usually buy them relatively cheap from fire companies and the state.)

So, now that you have some questions answered, you should begin the research. There are tons and tons of people on places like YouTube who had the same desire to buy something that you’re about to buy, but they put it through the wringer. Check out some of their videos and see what they have to say about it. But remember, their word is not the end of it all. Continue to do you research!

Use something like Excel or OpenOffice Calc to store the information you gather. Get prices from the websites you check out, too, as it will all be needed for a proper budget. And once you assemble everything, go through the list and see what you’re buying. Ask yourself, “Is this absolutely necessary?” If you find that you have quite a list, you have several options to buy it: Save up, ask your rich aunt Mary, get a loan, find investors in a project, or do a fundraising campaign. Get the money and buy it! And remember this important buying/selling point: Once you own it, you can continue to use it on anything else you create! Well, unless you destroy it.

Happy hunting!