Best Music Video camera for low budget shoots?

Check out another installment of Film $h!t w/JR where I cover my low budget music video camera set up. It provides great quality that won’t break the bank. In Boston and New York many of the shoots I work on don’t have the budget to support larger cameras so this in my opinion is away to keep cost low and improve your corporate or music video production quality. This is not a DSLR the form factor is but the Black Magic Pocket 4k is a real beast! Speaking of savings check out our blog on budgets 


Gear in this video

Black magic Pocket 4k cinema:

Dji Ronin S:

Meike Lens:


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J.R.Saint is a Boston and New York celebrity filmmaker who has worked with some of the music videos biggest artist and brands. We Plan on continuing to share our knowledge of the film industry with you so stay tuned.

All about budgets!

You get what you pay for. This is true with everything in life and video production is no exception. My clients tend to be business owners, producers and agencies. Im often given a treatment and/or some sort of brief and then the client will ask me to propose a budget based on what they want. So in this video I wanted to give you an example of what separates a low budget video from a higher end video. The best way I could do this is by breaking it up into several categories. I have produced videos at a high level and at a low level. Does that mean you can’t create a great video on a low budget? No but it does mean your going to have to make sacrifices in production.

In video you pay a lot of money for the little things. Sure you can get a dslr or “4k” camera for short money but a camera is only part of the equation crew, lighting, camera movement, and post production play just an important roll if not more. Lets talk about camera movement for a second you have several options to move the camera 1. Handheld 2. slider 3. dolly 4. Steadicam 5. Jib/Crane and finally 6. Gimbals aka MOVI’s.  Each one of these serve a purpose but they can dramatically increase your videos budget with rentals and talented staff to operate. I recently came off a shoot in LA where we used a techno crane the rental on the crane was 4,000 with crew for the day. Thats just to operate the crane.

I wanted to create a post to explain to clients whats the difference between a $5000.00 dollar production and a $100,000.00 dollar production. Though we always want the best realistically we can’t always afford it however that s not to say you can’t get a great production at a low budget but understanding the limitations are important.

The major factors are shoot days, crew, equipment, talent and post production. Below I will list and example of what you should expect from a production company for the following budgets.

Entry level: 5k-15k

At this budget your looking at a basic shoot minimal camera crew (Cam op, Grip, PA etc) basic camera moves and minimal post production. Something like a dslr or an entry level canon cinema camera.

Mid Level: 15k-40k

This is where you start getting a bigger crew, better gear and much better camera movement. Your now in red camera level, wireless focus and video, Gimbals/ sliders and talented crew.

Top Level: 40k-up

Now your dealing with the best cameras, lighting, talent and camera support. Shooting on the best cameras. Your at a level where you can now have all the components Director, DP, 1st Ac, DIT, etc

Hopefully that gives you a basic understanding of why video productions range dramatically. If you have any questions feel free to email me. And have fun shooting!

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