Cinematography ain't cheap!

Why did it cost over 3000 bucks to film this setup?

I am filming myself with:
Canon XA10 which cost 1700USD
Canon XA10 High capacity battery which cost 40USD
Hoya 58mm UV filter 15USD
Sandisk Extreme 64gb which cost 50USD

Benro Twin Leg tripod which cost 175USD

Recording me talking with:
Rode NTG2 which cost 270USD
Furry windscreen cost 15USD
Microphone Shotmount which cost 20USD
Azden 0.5meter XLR cable cost 25USD

Lighting me with:
2x Manfrotto 1052BAC which together cost 200USD
2x Phottix Softbox 24"x 36" which together cost 100USD
Boom stand extension arm with clamp head cost 25USD
5 in 1 Reflector cost 25USD
2x 100w florescent light bulb which cost together 50USD
2x AC Socket Light stand mount umbrella holder 20USD
5 meter extension cable reel which cost 20USD

Transporting with:
Manfrotto MBAG120PN cost 150USD
Mafrotto Veloce Backpack cost 100USD

Studio Rent Monthly 360USD

Editing with:
Mac Book Pro which cost 1000USD
WD My passport 500GB external HD cost 75USD
Philips in ear headphone 15USD

What I am holding:
Canon EOS 550D costed 600USD
Canon EFs 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 cost 600USd
Rode videomic Pro cost 229USD
Rode VMP Deadcat 40USD
Sandisk Extreme 64gb which cost 50USD
LCDVF 3/2 cost 125USD
Blue star eye cushion 15USD

You can calculate yourself how I had to spend before I could actually film this shot.

There seem to be some weird thing happening in holland where nobody seem to want to pay a cameraman most want them to just work for free while paying the rest of the crew. And also the reason why we should be paid and how expensive all our equipments are and how fast we must replace them. Most of them offering just food or that you would have an extra reference for your portfolio or showreel.

People nowadays just don't know how much it all cost and expect a Cinematographer not only providing a camera that he films with just also lighting and sound or even provide a 2nd unit camera to shoot 2 direction at once and they all just want it for free. Aspecting that you would need their video for your portfolio, while mostly a real job with actual financial backing would been a better reference. As people would say they would enter it to festivals and competitions but for what I know most film competitions and festivals you have to pay to be even slightly to be noticed for an entry, as all of them ask for an registration or entree fee from low to several hundred bucks.

I know several organizers but still doesn't mean I have access to a free backdoor to enter, but mainly have higher chance to get noticed in the list of hundreds or even thousand of entries which they would probably look quickly through or just at the trailer and then choose if its interesting for them to screen it.

Have to say people who think they can film a good movie for free are just greedy people who are killing the industrie. Especially in Holland when the industry was backed by the government they had money to film, but cause they are greedy and trying to keep most of the money in their own pockets it lead into the decline of it all. When I was working in Hong Kong I only knew a few directors who are greedy, one that would literally use friends to film allot of shorts and using allot of their time but never paid a single penny nor pay them for an actual dinner but have tons of money eating at most expensive places there are and choosing most expensive dishes in a shared paid dinner. The other kind of director I know is they offer you an amount of money but would never pay event hough they have a large financial backing for that project and play stupid as if they did not know about it.

So for any beginning cinematographer is that you need allot of money to start cause you need to have the equipment to film with. I know allot thing you only need a camera with a good lens, but that is not even half what you need to film a good movie with good looking shots. A good is more important that the camera but you have to know how to light first before you would learn to appreciate it over the camera or lens. So if you would dive in all of this start working for someone as an assistent DP or Best boy and learn all the skills so you would know what you need and earn money and buy every thing by small steps. And don't hang around greedy people with big promises as most of them would never come true and be just wasting your time and or teach your nothing but bad stuff.


Anonymous said…
A good job for your portfolio will not only pay you but also rent all the equipments needed. A cinematographer doesn't need to have a camera, as it will become obsolete fast. It needs knowledge and vision (and the telephone number of a rental company...)
Par Light said…
great post