Video Production Gear List | Shooting A Web or TV Series

by Jay 

Posted August 3, 2015 

Background: I am taking a round-the-world trip and will be filming a TV series (think parts unknown without the million dollar budget and crew). I will be traveling on a bicycle mostly. For the most part it will be me and me alone for the camera crew. 

I have nudged a few tv networks about carrying the program but they have been on the fence! 

I will be using two cameras (one gopro-like camera for scenes that could not be filmed with other cameras) and a semi professional camera rig for location shooting/interviews.

Training: I am an accomplished photographer, a very amateur videographer, a camera has not been selected yet. 

Research: I have been taking extensive research and classes learning how to run a camera, run sound, setup a location, select and light an interview, on location shooting, post production, production, you name it. I am absorbing information at a rapid rate in the hopes of success!

Budget: does a stick of bubble gum and earwax count? But seriously this project will be funded by my own pocket, therefore the goal is to strike a happy medium between breaking my bank and making good television. My goal is to buy a slightly older but still HD rig and shoot on DV tape, while this will inherently add costs in some areas it will cut them in others. 

Equipment list:

  • HD DV camera (used but in good shape)

  • Video light of some sort that is portable

  • DSS (dual system sound) as a backup only, my goal will be to run the mics from the camera since most cameras have excellent preamps already on board

  • A sturdier tripod, also looking into mono pods with feet to get nice simul dolly shots (tripod needs to be very lightweight but able to hold the camera)

  • I will use a rode video mic as I have found an adapter to plug it into the canon xlr input, plus it makes a great boom mic (Already own this)

  • I cannot travel with a boom pole, but I have an idea on using a heavy duty selfie stick. If I need further reach on a shoot I can use gaffers tape to wrap it around a pole or tree branch or whatever, its the best use for those stupid sticks ever, plus the videomic weighs (nothing)

  • the necessary cables and adapters needed

  • still not sure what to get but I need a way to convert the tapes to digital (firewire to ???)

  • I will purchase 50 DV tapes, take ten with me, and send them home when they are done, and exchange them for more, that way the originals will be kept safe in the USA (not sure on how that will work yet)

  • I already own my lav mics, but I might look into getting a better brand

  • Extra batteries and charger of course

  • tape cleaner device

  • I want to modify my steadi rig to fit this camera so I can mount it if need be

  • I will take a car backup camera monitor along with a 12v rechargeable battery pack to make a field monitor on my rig

  • pair of portable but solid headphones for shoot monitoring from the canon sound

  • Some sort of $150+ digital point and shoot to at least capture photos

  • An external drive (which I already have, but its a 5400 rpm in an enclosure) to store the footage converted from tape

  • LW (Lightworks) as the primary editor, with Blufftitler DX Super pack, to handle title sequences and end sequences, Adobe fireworks to handle minor graphics adjustment, ( I wanted blackmagic fusion, but when I tried to run it I got an error about my video card, so this ultrabook is obviously not powerful enough)

The episodes will be shot, edited then produced and uploaded

Post production:

I am going to try to avoid ADR or Foley or post sync, I think if i shoot this straight up while not perfect at least it will be real, my edits will only be to shave off pre and post roll on a cut, the rest will be kept in!

Tentative shooting schedule:

day 1 (on the ground location and shot schedule research) 
day 2 + 3 (shoot days)
day 4 (edit day)
day 5 (upload)
day 6 + 7 (rest days)
Recycle for next episode

Goal: to interest enough of an audience to be picked up by a major network, if not at least enjoy the whole experience for what it is!

Feel free to share feedback and ideas....

Archived Comments for Video Production Gear List | Shooting A Web or TV Series

Aug 03, 2015
tape vs digital 
by: Faith 

Hi Jay, Sounds like you're off on a great adventure! Thanks for sharing. When do you set out on your journey? Also, curious why you chose to shoot on tape vs digital (flash/hard drive)?

Aug 03, 2015
RE: when trip starts 
by: Jay 


The trip was supposed to start in March 2015, it was delayed, then again in June, also delayed, then again in july, delayed again, I was supposed to begin filming in Mexico in August, now delayed again. The final delay has set me back until mid september, this one was due to some fighting in the region i will be filming in!

The reason that I chose tape is because of affordability first off, I can get a much more advanced camera using DV then the newer models now, anything comparable to what I am looking at would easily be 10,000 or more with newer technology.

Also I wanted to see if I could overcome the challenges and prove tape is not "dead".

I am leaning heavily towards the Canon XL-H1, for its time this was an amazing piece of gear!

Nov 03, 2015
Canon XHA1 
by: Steen 

I have used my Canon XH A1 in Ladakh, DR Congo, Uganda, South Africa, Jordan / Syria to shoot doco and it rocks as it is extremely reliable and robust in sand, rain, humidity and clumsy filmmakers hands.
What you may lose in the HDV format you gain with a superbly sharp Canon lens and 20 x zoom.

For an extra bit of money buy a second hand Atomos Samurai, Blackmagic Analogue (component) to SDI converter and shoot straight off the chip uncompressed into the Samurai whilst simultaneously backing up on tape. This works well for static shots such as interviews and gives you a large screen for viewing.

My XHA1has never let me down.Cheers

Sep 10, 2016
Did this happen? 
by: Steve 

Hi Jay
exciting project; did it every get off the ground?

Sep 16, 2016
by: Jay 

Hey everyone and steve, 

the project was green lighted by a network that was interested, but in a strange switch with funding finally in place, there was no longer a crew or cast for the project.

We hope to ATTEMPT to launch next year, btw we ended up going with digital after all, if anyone is interested post a comment and ill get the gear list


Sep 18, 2016
updated gear list 
by: Desktop Documentaries 

Thanks for the update, Jay, and for your kind offer to share your updated gear list. Definitely interested. Please do share!Sep 19, 2016
Gear List 
by: Jay 

I will get the list together soon for people to look over. thanks again

Nov 15, 2017
Round the World trip gear list 
by: Richard Coates 

I was attracted to read this list as I'm planning my own trip - not Round the World but a two week trip that I wanted to film in summer 2018, visiting various different sites. It'll be me and my wife in front of and behind the camera but some filming in car where I need to fix two cameras to record our conversations as we drive. I've read that iPhones are good enough. Is that right? Can a separate microphone be added to record onto an iPhone video recording?
I can't justify and long list of gear to be bought for this project.

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