“I can’t believe he shared SO MUCH valuable information in a two hour period! I really learned a great deal. He is extremely knowledgeable in regards to film making.” You’ll read more of the same from Dabblers who’ve enrolled in Mr. Bauer’s film-making classes over the past two years. He’s one of our first teachers and never fails to disappoint. So, without further ado, Guy’s photography eye holiday gift-giving list…

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By Guy Bauer

I teach a Filmmaking class, and I’m always being asked what gear to buy. I usually say something like, “It’s not the arrow, it’s the archer.” But this is gift-giving season so now I say, “Let’s buy some cool stuff!” The following is a list of relatively inexpensive stuff that can really help a filmmaker get better.

Guy Bauer collage

1. Fluid-Head Tripod (Cost varies on BHPhotoVideo.com)

Seems really simple but a tripod is really one of the most important tools in the filmmaker’s toolkit after the camera itself. If the camera is a white t-shirt, the tripod is the blue jeans – both will never go out of style. There are tripods for all price ranges but the main thing you need to look out for is if it has a fluid head. The fluid gives the head resistance so pans and tilts will be nice and smooth.

2.  DJI Phantom Quadrocopter ($479 on BHPhotoVideo.com)

This is my latest obsession.  This remote-controlled quadrocopter allows you to mount a GoPro to it and take aerial photography that looks like a million dollars.  I’ve had mine for around 6 months now and it’s my favorite toy.  The technology that’s packed into this little flying machine is incredible.  It has GPS inside of it that allows for super-easy flying and it’ll actually automatically fly back to where you took off from if it loses contact with the controller.  I’ve taken this thing on numerous shoots around the country, crashed it a few times, and it still works like a champ.

3. Canon EOS Rebel T3i with EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens Kit ($549 on BHPhotoVideo.com)

I started my entire business with a camera like this. This camera is great for someone just getting into the filmmaking world. It’s a stills DSLR camera but has an amazing video function. You can shoot Full HD on this bad boy and get brilliant images. In fact, I sold spots to Acuvue and Dell using a camera like this. This camera is the ultimate training platform for learning exposure, shutter, ISO, focus, focal length, white balance, timelapse, slow-motion, etc…

4. Vello Universal White Balance Handheld Disc ($29.95 on BHPhotoVideo.com)

White balancing your camera is crucial. White balancing is basically calibrating the camera’s digital sensor to the colors in the location – essentially telling the camera what is white – in this situation. Sometimes it’s the one thing that separates a stinky looking shot from a great looking one. So many people forget to white balance their camera and end up having to color correct for hours (and it never fixes the problem 100%). This product is way cool. You just stick the disc up to your lens, press the white balance button on your camera and you are white balanced!

5. “Making Movies” by Sidney Lumet ($12.18 on Amazon)

This book is the end-all-be-all book on how to do it. Written by the guy who made “12 Angry Men,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Network,” “Serpico,” among others, this book will teach you everything you want to know about making movies from soup to nuts. In fact, I listened to an interview with the guy who directed the new Muppet movie – he had never directed anything before that movie – when asked how he did it, he said he read “Making Movies!”

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions on gear. Just hit the “contact” button on guybauerproductions.com