Equipment

Filmmaking takes a lot of equipment and software to see a video through to completion. Here’s what I use from start to finish. Starstreak Media is not affiliated with the companies selling any of these products.

  • Screenwriting: Celtx. Celtx is an online-based software for writing scripts of all sorts. There is a basic free version that I use but you can purchase plans to gain access to more features if you so desire. The main advantage for screenplays is that Celtx handles all the formatting for you, allowing you to concentrate on ideas and execution.
  • Sets and characters: LEGO products. As a construction toy, LEGO products make a great medium for stop motion animation. This is especially true for beginners who often already have a collection. The ability to take apart a set or vehicle and build it into something you need for a different scene is invaluable.
  • Camera: Nikon Coolpix P7000. This compact camera has held up remarkably well over eight years of animating, with over 50,000 frames captured so far. It certainly doesn’t compare to a DSLR when it comes to image quality but it does everything I need it to do.
  • Tripods: Davis & Sanford Provista 18 with FM18 head, Manfrotto MTPIXI-B Mini. The Provista 18 is a good choice for stop motion due to its heavy weight (kicking it accidentally may not ruin your shot) and geared center column. The only thing to be aware of is that the minimum height is rather tall. Meanwhile the miniature Manfrotto tripod is nice for getting angles a larger tripod can’t reach.
  • Lighting: Limostudio 600W Continuous Lighting kit. This set comes with two large light stands, one small light stand, three photography bulbs, and two white umbrellas. I also added two silver umbrellas to create primary lights.
  • Production: Final Cut Pro X. Apple’s video production software is surprisingly robust when it comes to stop motion. Free updates since launch have only improved the software’s suite of options.