Choosing the Gear Preview

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Documentary production and its demands can be as diverse and varied and the subjects you’re documenting.  Unlike narrative production, in which filmmakers create order with the brute force of the production process, documentary filmmakers must operate with a much smaller footprint, working in difficult conditions with limited equipment and virtually no control – all to convey a sense of life to the audience.
In this module, you will learn how to prepare for life in the field, how to choose the right camera and camera support gear, how to manage batteries and media on location, how to prepare for audio recording, how to pack for the road, and how to make sure your gear survives airports and the airlines.
Master your tools so you can focus on what’s important… the subjects and the story.


  • 32:08 video that walks you through the proper gear for your shoot, how to pack, and how to prepare for a shoot on the road
  • Illustrated companion guide


  • How to choose the right equipment for each job
  • How to choose the right camera
  • How to work with and back-up media
  • Battery tips and tricks
  • How to choose the best camera support
  • The best types of lights when shooting on the road
  • The types of microphones you should always have
  • How to pack when traveling
  • Tips and tricks when flying with production equipment
Very detailed. Excellent for homework assignments to let students watch at home.
   -  Daniel Levin,
       University of Houston