When can Los Angeles video production companies be considered “unequipped” to handle projects? If you pay ten times more for a production house with five times the equipment of their competitor, did you end up with a better deal? It can be tough knowing what can be considered the bare minimum in terms of video production equipment—especially if you’ve never touched video production first-hand.
The tools and tech of the production trade are intimidating at first but, believe it or not, a video production company doesn’t actually need as much as you think to be considered fully equipped. Sure, they need more than just your standard camera and a premium editing program, but not a lot more. Here’s a quick summary of what can be considered a basic necessity for a video production company, and what sort of equipment are just bonuses.
It’s easy to be wowed by big, shiny equipment and professional-grade cameras that look like they belong in a Hollywood BTS roll, but remember that “bigger” cameras don’t always mean “better” output. In the hands of a talented cameraman, there may not even be visible differences between scenes shot with a $3k camera and scenes shot with a $10k one.
Of course, a production house with at least five working cameras may be a better choice than a company with just one or two. Obviously the former can take on more projects or projects with a significantly larger scale. This is why it’s so important to have a rough estimate of your production size and budget before you start shopping around.
As long as the Los Angeles video production company you’re eyeing has a decent amount of variety in their cameras, it’s a safe bet that they’ll be able to produce different angles and different shots for the best possible outcome. Again, size isn’t really an issue.
Audio Mixers and Microphones
This is especially important if your video involves a lot of dialogue. Voice-overs are great, but there’s always going to be a problem with synchronization during editing, and nothing beats real-time. If a Los Angeles video production company has several different microphones to offer, you know you’re in good hands. A decent mix of lavalier (or lapel) microphones, shotgun microphones, and boom microphones usually means great audio for you.
Audio mixers are a great bonus, because they essentially act as “an extension of the camera’s audio controllers.” If your chosen production company has them, consider the deal sweetened. However, productions without them will do just fine too.
This may seem like a given, but tripods are essential for stabilization. Yes, a lot of videos right now emulate the shakiness of a handheld unit, but that’s mostly because live videos are a trending video format. People do like it when a video is on-the-spot and personal, but that doesn’t mean that every video works with a shaky screen.
If you’re shooting interview-style shots for a corporate video or you’re aiming for a more cinematic film-type piece, tripods are something you want your camera crew to have. Los Angeles video production companies that don’t have tripods can be considered under-equipped and should therefore be ruled out.
Camera sliders are great for dramatic close-ups and neat pan-and-zoom action, but they’re more bonuses than deal-breakers. If the production house has it, great. If not, that’s cool too.
If you enjoy posting pictures to Instagram (or just taking/enjoying pictures in general) then you are intimately familiar with how lighting can make or break a scene. Whether your vision for your video involves natural light, a yellow fluorescent glow, or the soft artificial flare of an overhead lightbulb, a good video production company should be able to emulate it. Ergo, the need for a lighting rig.
Los Angeles video production companies worth their price should have their own lighting setup. As with cameras, size doesn’t matter. If the production house has a lighting kit or rig, you’re in good hands. In fact, smaller lighting kits have portability on their side—a very handy feature during location or set changes.