Video Virgin Needs Advice!

I just got budget approval to spend about 2K on video equipment. My goal is to produce green screen videos where I can modify the backgrounds, put myself in environments and have images and text (of my own creation) apopear behind or next to me.

Prior to this the only thing I've done in the way of videos is to insert pre-recorded videos into my courses. I;ve never shot, edited and imported my own videos.

I'm looking for suggestions on equipment. I'll need everything: Video Camera, Green Screen, Lights, Editing Software, Mics, etc.

Thanks so much.

Tom

30 Replies
Jody McGurk

Hi ever one the information here is really useful, I'm looking to incorporate video using greenscreen into my courses. I imagine it will mainly be video showing somebody at should height. Did you come to a conclusion about what type of camera is best? It will need to have a microphone jack.

Any advice would be great.

Rich Johnstun

I spend a fair part of my day doing video production. I wanted to start doing some stuff at home, so I wanted to see what I could do for a budget home studio. 

Camera: Panasonic HDC-TM900K.  It's a high quality consumer grade single chip camera. I continue to be impressed with the thing. For the $750 I spent on it, in good lighting conditions I would put the image quality against the JVC GY-100's I used a lot at work ($3.5K...of course in less than optimal lighting, the story changes). I can't say enough good things about this camera given it's price point. 

MIc: Rode VideoMic - $150 for a complete mic with mount. Again, very pleased with the results. It mounts on the camera with no issues and sounds very good. Remember that audio is more than half of video. People will tolerate marginal video with good audio, but they won't tolerate good video with marginal audio. 

Software: Sony Vegas Pro - $550.  I love After Effects and use it daily, but I wanted something that was more videocentric. Vegas is a very good Prosumer level editing software. The more I use it, the less I find myself jumping out to After Effects. I don't believe that one replaces the other, but that they work in conjunction with each other. The great thing about both of them is that there is tons of info on YouTube to help with your learning curve. The chromakey features in Vegas work very well. 

Tripod: I went cheap on this one for my home setup because I'm usually filming myself and the camera is stationary. If you are shooting live events and doing active shooting, you'll want something with a fluid head. I'm a fan of Manfrotto products. 

Steadycam: Manfrotto 585. While it isn't a true "steady cam", it's a floating counter weight setup. After you spend sometime practicing with it, you can do pretty well. Hard to beat for under $100. Not to mention that the image stabilization on the Panasonic is downright scary good. 

Green screen and lights: Green screen came from tube tape. Lights are $6 clamp on work lights with the highest wattage CFL's I could get at my local home improvement store. I made light stands out of 1" PVC and I hung the green screen from the ceiling using a steel telescoping closet rod. I've got $120 invested in the green screen and all the lighting. 

Here is a shot of the budget basement green screen studio at my home, right after I set it up. There is another light stand and two more lights for the talent that isn't in the shot. 

eric mongrain

Jody,

I think you are going to get a bunch of different suggestions about cameras. 

I am using the Kodak playtouch which you can connect a mic or headphones to.  I have actually connected both a wireless mic and a wired mic to it and it works.  There is another post in the forms that I listed all the items with their prices.  One more thing, not sure how much support you will get from Kodak after the first half of the year since they are not going to be manufacturing video camera.  But you can probably get everything cheap at this time from Amazon. 

On another note,  I am interested in the green screen process.  i like the one above has anyone else created there own green screen or bought a kit.   

Rich Johnstun

eric mongrain said:

Jody,

I think you are going to get a bunch of different suggestions about cameras. 

I am using the Kodak playtouch which you can connect a mic or headphones to.  I have actually connected both a wireless mic and a wired mic to it and it works.  There is another post in the forms that I listed all the items with their prices.  One more thing, not sure how much support you will get from Kodak after the first half of the year since they are not going to be manufacturing video camera.  But you can probably get everything cheap at this time from Amazon. 

On another note,  I am interested in the green screen process.  i like the one above has anyone else created there own green screen or bought a kit.   


Eric, see my post above. Fire away with any questions you might have. I get to do green screen shoots a few times a week. The most critical thing is getting the background and subject lit correctly. Once you figure that out, the rest of the process is simple. 

eric mongrain

Rich i do have a couple of questions

what size cfl bolb are you using in the lights

what are the measurements for your light stands hight then the base how long are each of the cross sections and how far back did you place the vertical pole. 

Where did you purchase the green screen material.

Rich one more question.  this is going to be used at work, would the 1" pvc poles be sturdy enough to hold the top of the screen? 

also how wide is your screen?

thanks so much i am looking to do green and white