Monday, 23 December 2013

A Filmmaker's Wish List

 ‘Tis the season for wish lists! Being a lover of all things filmmaking, I have been dreaming about all of the gadgets I long to have as my own, and now I've put them all down as my holiday wish list - you know, if anyone wants to get me anything that's less than a thousand dollars. Wink wink.

This holiday wish list is based on my personal tastes and needs, so while it’s heavily biased, you might agree with one or two items, or you might disagree… and who knows, you might learn something new! Without further ado, here is my top pick of items I dream of having under my Christmas tree. Heck, just thinking about them makes me giddy!


Whether you want a smooth rack focus in your shot, or simply an effective follow focus, the Focus Shifter is a useful little gadget that makes my wish list with no question. It even comes with a marker board that gives you the ability to mark your focus points, allowing for a quick and easy transition between foci. It’s versatile and works on pretty much any lens, from the 50 mm f/1.8 to the 70-200mm f/4. It’s also helpful for photographers, too – it improves manual focus speed and accuracy, and is especially useful for lenses with shallow depths of field that need fine-tuning.

I love the ‘steadicam’ look that allows a shot to be fluid, but still freely moving, which is why the Glidecam HD-2000 is next on my holiday wish list.  A cheaper option than the Steadicam, the Glidecam HD-2000 is a great stabilizer for smaller cameras like DSLR’s and my Canon 600D. It helps to balance the camera movement for more dynamic and smooth shots.

For an added bonus, the Glidecam Body-Pod attaches to your waist and shoulders, allowing you more comfort while you shoot with the Glidecam. You can even become a mobile tripod, and easily switch back and forth between stagnant and moving shots.
Look how happy this guy is. Clearly no buyer’s remorse.

I’ve recently become interested in the art of foley. In general, I think that a film’s ambience is greatly underestimated- probably because when it’s done right, it’s barely noticeable. I would love to toss out every single canned sound effect and come up with all of my own- and that’s why I have added to my holiday wish list the Mitra 3d Mic. 

After hearing the sound from this guy, you may begin to question life itself.
This beauty takes the average microphone setup and kicks it up a ridiculous amount of notches. The output connections are perfect for connecting to a Zoom or whatever other portable recording device you may have, so it’s an easy setup. The result? Amazingly realistic 360 degree audio. If your goal is to delve into foley, field recording, or sound design, this is the mic for you...keep the shotgun mic at home.

 Not sure what 3D sound actually sounds like? Check out the awesome sound test here

The last item on my list is the revolutionary Sigma 18-35 mm f/1.8 Zoom Lens. Released by Sigma earlier this year, it’s the first wide-angle to standard zoom lens to achieve such a large aperture of 1.8. FREAKIN’. AMAZING.
I just want to be that hand.
I’ve wanted a 35mm lens for some time now, since it’s got to be the single most versatile focal length ever. The 35mm lens is the closest to the focal composition of the human eye, giving a realistic point of view. Add to that the fact that the Sigma lens provides a zoom while still maintaining a shallow depth of field?  It should be in my camera bag. Right now.

What are some film gadgets that you simply must have? Do you have any reviews of the above mentioned items?  Let us know in the comments below or send us a tweet to us at @swagger_media. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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