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Time/Resource management and low-budgets (2 replies and 2 comments)

Patrick Kaplin
3 weeks ago
Patrick Kaplin 3 weeks ago

Hello everybody,

I just wanted to thank Roger (and other contributors) for their time in contributing their expertise and sharing their knowledge for us younger cinematographers. The guidance is greatly appreciated. 

I’m currently prepping my next feature and it’s a good size jump in budget from my previous. I’ve put together an initial equipment wish-list, but was hoping for some feedback if it’s appropriate to the crew size/scale/budget of the picture:

-about $1.2 million

-G&E team of 2+2, 1st and 2nd AC

-roughly 40% night int, 10% night ext, 35% day ext, 15% day int 

-25 days shooting, 10 hour days, 9 year old principal actor in almost every scene (with POV shots to shoot as well)

-period film set in 1996

So with all those variables in mind, do you think the following camera and G&E list of the big ticket items is reasonable? After all, the equipment is no good if you don’t have the crew to set it up right?


-Alexa Mini with Summicron-C 6 lens set

-Cooke Varotal 18-100

-bartech wireless FF

-teradek wireless monitoring 

-o Connor 2065 (standard, baby, hi-hat)

-3’ overkeeper


-1x Arri M40

-1x Arrisun 2.5

-2x Arri M18

-1x JoLeko 800

-1x Arri S60 skypanel

-2x 2K blonde

-3x 1K openface

-3x 650 fresnel

-3x 300 fresnel

-3x 150 fresnel

-2x 750w source-4

-2x 1.2 firestarter leko

-2x kino freestyle 31

-2x kino freestyle 21

-2x 12x12 frames

-2x 8x8 frames

-1x 6x6 frame 

-Super Pee Wee III package with AKS

-1 Portajib

-Minimax hazer 

Any guidance on this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much,

Always learning.»

3 weeks ago
dmullenasc 3 weeks ago

Couple of things seem missing but I'm guessing that this list is just the highlights -- for example, you don't have any monitors, onboard or otherwise, listed, plus matte boxes, filters, batteries, chargers, cables, etc.  

The Mini has internal ND filters but you may want an ND.3 and ND.6 because of the jumps (the camera has ND.6, ND.9, ND1.2, ND2.1.) You may want a Pola. Optical flat (clear).

If you shoot larger than S35, like 3.2K ProRes or 3.4K Open Gate, your 18-100mm will probably vignette at the wide end.

In terms of lighting, the 1.2K "firestarter" is a tungsten PAR or PARCAN, not a leko.

You'll have to specify which degree lenses you want for the Source-4 Lekos and how many of each. 36 degree and 50 degree are the most useful.

You'll want some 4x4 diffusion frames and beadboard (poly) bounces. Plus empty gel frames for color.

You need light stands, big combo stands for the frames, c-stands, sandbags.

Black flags of various sizes (4x4 floppies, 36"x24", 24"x18")

Power distribution.

Patrick Kaplin
3 weeks ago

Thanks for the input David. Do you think the listed package is manageable by a 2 and 2 G&E team?

3 weeks ago

Probably... but that's their call, not mine. Depends on how big the set-ups get and if you need to leapfrog to prepare a space in advance. Also, if you end up putting up a 12'x12' overhead in a strong breeze, all your manpower is going to be spent holding onto the stands and lines...

3 weeks ago
markmitchell 3 weeks ago

Your gear list looks good, but I’d say take your this list to your key grip, gaffer, and 1st AC. They would be able to look at what holes need to be filled and possible better equipment for them to use (carts, accessories, etc.) 


For example, my 1st AC hates using the bartech, so he has me get an Arri wcu4.

Or how do you plan on powering your m40, as it is a 60amp 120v light (30amp 240v) so your gaffer would have to figure out how they would want to power it - do they feel comfortable tapping into the busbar or would they need a generator.


Also, I think you will need an extra grip to run the dolly; he should be able to focus mostly on that, and help out with the other grip stuff if he has the chance to.


I definitely think 2 electrics and 2 grips (+1 dolly grip) should be able to handle what you have!

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