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In need of advice...


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#1 Joshua bluth

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 11:29 AM

Allow me to trifle a bit, say my ?hellos? to everybody and all that frank zappa jazz...

OK, OK, enough trifling... ;)

A little bit of background info: I?m currently living in England studying film production at the Brighton Film School in Brighton. I?m originally from Arizona and I intend to go back soon after I graduate.

DP-ing is my main ambition in this industry (Second being writing and directing), and even though I have an adequate amount of footage for my reel, I still think I need a lot of practice. I mean, just like any other craft in this world, it all boils down to experience, and I think I need a bit more.

I have this idea... tell me what you guys think... I?m all ears, so if you have any suggestions please tell me.

(Mind you all, this wont take place till AFTER I return to AZ)

The idea is to take out loans, possibly around 30 to 40 grand if not more, acquire a decent camera and some handy toys and trimmings, and start renting out myself, along with my equipment, at a decent price.

Good idea? Bad idea?

I?m leaning towards 16mm, perhaps the 416 or the SR3. But then again, digital does appear to be more popular these days... Should I get a nice HD camera instead?

I?d appreciate some advice and/or comments.

-Josh Bluth
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#2 Joshua bluth

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 11:32 AM

And mind you all, I understand that this might not belong in this particular thread. If so, please move it accordingly.
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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 03:31 PM

Taking out a big loan on high end kit just after leaving college is an extremely good method of becoming bankrupt, assuming you can get a bank to give you loan in the first place. You should only buy kit if an extremely hard nosed business plan says that you can pay it of because of the amount of work you're actually doing.

Best method starting out is usually to building up your contacts by working in the industry. Usually this involves beginning as a camera assistant: unless you've been working in industry before going to film school, in that case you may already have industry contacts.

Almost all the top DP have started this way, even the ones who went to the top film schools and then they've built up their careers through acquiring their contacts.
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#4 Joshua bluth

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 04:47 PM

Taking out a big loan on high end kit just after leaving college is an extremely good method of becoming bankrupt, assuming you can get a bank to give you loan in the first place. You should only buy kit if an extremely hard nosed business plan says that you can pay it of because of the amount of work you're actually doing.

Best method starting out is usually to building up your contacts by working in the industry. Usually this involves beginning as a camera assistant: unless you've been working in industry before going to film school, in that case you may already have industry contacts.

Almost all the top DP have started this way, even the ones who went to the top film schools and then they've built up their careers through acquiring their contacts.


The first paragraph was what I needed to hear. That puts things into perspective.

As for your second point: I have a few contacts of my own. Some in AZ, Cali, Mexico, and a few here in England. But let me clarify, I still plan to work with these people when I return... they all know I'm in England and when I come back, and my contacts here in England know when I leave...

In any bag, perhaps you're right... perhaps 45 grand is too much money for someone like me. But let us pretend for a second that I took out a 20 thousand dollar loan instead. Would that change anything? Assuming that I'm eligible for the loan, of course. Or is it simply the principle idea of the ?big investment? that makes it look so bad for someone my age?

The underlining idea is to invest in a camera kit that won?t become obsolete in four or five years, or even 10, and more importantly, a kit that I can rent out to professional shoots and make money.
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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 05:39 PM

The best camera kit is the one that's in demand in your market. You shouldn't buy anything unless you know you can be in profit off in a reasonable period. If it's made a good profit over it's operational life it doesn't matter of it's then obsolete. Regarding the latter, film has been best to date, but given the movement to digital who can tell. Claims about cameras like the RED not going obsolete could be a case of my grandfather's axe: by the time everything gets upgraded you could just be left with the camera casing being the only original part left.
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