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Welcome to our first blog post of 2020!  So you are a young filmmaker with a head full of ideas.  You and your crew have come up with the perfect script.  You got the location, the actors, and the crew.  Everyone is ready to go on set, when you all realize you forgot an important piece of equipment.  What do you do in this moment?  There are five essential tools every filmmaker should have in their backpack that will save you time and stay on schedule.

1) Camera with a reliable lens

This should come as no surprise that you need a camera to record your actors.  When selecting a camera it is important to consider features like: frame rates, highest resolution the camera can achieve, sensor size, and portability.  Most starting DSLR cameras include zoom lenses.  This will get you up and shooting in no time.

Compass Pick: Sony a7S II

Kit Link: https://bhpho.to/2NTyBzM

2) External Audio Recorder

Never skimp out on a quality audio device!  Audiences can forgive basic cinematography, but not quiet or scratchy dialogue.  For the run and gun filmmaker, a portable audio recorder is crucial to get quality audio to sync up to your footage later.  Trust us, your editor will thank you.

Compass Pick: Zoom H1n Portable Recorder

Link: https://bhpho.to/2NTyBzM

See for Yourself How Compass is Different

3) Apple Mac Book Pro Laptop

A MacBook Pro laptop will make your life so much easier.  Apple designs these machines to handle the mega amounts of data today’s cameras produce.  Used or new you will need a laptop with fast RAM to be field ready.

Compass Pick: Apple MacBook Pro

Link: Apple Education Center (New), Apple online store (Used)

4) External Hard Drive

Backup your footage!  This is a crucial tool to have in the backpack.  Offload your footge to your laptop and a hard drive to secure your incredible shots.  Plus, you can split your hard drive so it has an internal backup as well.

Compass Pick: LaCie Mobile Hard Drive (1-5TB)

Link: https://amzn.to/2tQePhs

Don’t Wait Any Longer!

5) Portable Battery Charger

Now this may seem like a strange choice, but this device could save your butt shooting on location.  Getting a large, multiple hub portable charger can keep your laptop and camera gear charged throughout the day.  You spend less time worrying about juice, and more time about your shots.

Compass Pick: Anker PowerCore Essential

Link: https://amzn.to/37siMHK

There you have it.  Five tools every filmmaker should have in his or her bag.  Being the person on set who is prepared to save the day will make you a hero on set.  Mastering these tools will give you a leg up as you begin your filmmaking journey.  When you are ready to go to the next level connect with us here at Compass College about the next stage of your film education.  Until next time, get out there and own the screen!