FAQ: What Equipment and Software Do You Use?

Recording Equipment

  • Microphone | Rode M3 Microphone — This is a microphone that I used to use to record sound on the set of short films I made when I wanted close, intimate sound. It only has an XLR connection, so you need a recorder with XLR input. Which brings me to:
  • Recorder | Marantz PMD661 — This is a professional-grade handheld recorder that records to SD cards.
  • Microphone (Alternate affordable version!) |  Blue Yeti USB Microphone — I have used this microphone for recording podcasts, and do some temp VO for my videos with out—but often it sounds so good that I never re-record it. This is a great entry-level microphone for people who want good quality but don't want to spend too much money. The USB connection means you can plug it in to a computer or iPad directly, forgoing an (expensive) external recorder.
  • Wind screen | Dragonpad USA Pop Filter — To keep those "P's" in check!
  • Mic Stand | Samson MK-10 Microphone Boom Stand — Straightforward mic stand.

Computer

  • Computer | iMac 27", 2013 — I love my iMac. If you're going to be doing a lot of video editing, processor power is important, so I recommend always going for an i7 processor over an i5 if you can afford it. A big screen gives you a lot of real estate to navigate timelines. Speaking of...
  • Monitor | Dell UH2715H — I recently added a second monitor, and I don't know why I waited so long. I LOVE having a second monitor. It helps me be able to reference a screenplay or book without having to leave the app I'm currently working on, or lets me have Premiere and After Effects open and visible at the same time.
  • Speakers | M-Audio Studiophile AV40 — These are great, high-quality speakers that provide a good range of frequencies. Apparently there's a new version, the AV42, which I assume is even better.
  • Headphones | Beats Studio Wireless — I got these as a birthday gift recently, and they're fantastic. The noise cancelling is very good and helps me focus on my writing or my editing. Definitely recommend.
  • Mouse | Apple Magic Mouse 2 — I personally love the touch surface, because I like being able to quickly scroll left and right as well as up and down. Plus I use the gestures quite often.

Software

  • Editing | Adobe Premiere Pro — It has its frustrating moments, but overall I love it. Very powerful, does everything I need.
  • Motion Graphics | Adobe After Effects — Also a very powerful piece of software, and there are an infinite number of tutorial videos out there to help you learn how to use it.
  • Audio | Adobe Audition — Noticing a trend? I love Adobe Audition because it lets me very quickly clean up the weird noises my mouth makes when I record voice over. I can right click on a clip in Premiere and open it in Audition, make some changes, save it, and it updates in Premiere.
  • Images | Adobe Photoshop — What I use to create the thumbnails for the videos

Writing

  • Writing Device | iPad Pro 9.7" (new one coming out soon) — I LOVE my iPad. I do almost my writing on the iPad. I like the iOS environment, I find it less distracting than writing on a computer. I also read all the scripts on my iPad, which I can markup using...
  • Stylus | Apple Pencil — I also LOVE the Apple Pencil. I can write and take notes as if writing on a piece of paper. It's not perfect, but it's the closest thing to it.
  • Keyboard | Apple Keyboard Case — I really like having a keyboard attached to my iPad at all times, so if I want to go write somewhere outside my apartment it's easy to carry around.
  • Apps | Notability, iA Writer — These are the two I use the most. Highly recommend.

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Rogue One/The Force Awakens — Recommended Reading

Because the people at Audible were kind enough to sponsor my latest video, I thought I'd put together a list of books that you can find in audiobook form. You can grab any of these books for free with a 30 day trial at http://www.audible.com/LFTS

The Hero With A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

Story by Robert McKee

Creating Character Arcs by K.M. Weiland

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Catalyst (Star Wars): A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno

Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster

Books "On My Shelf" — Recommended Reading

On writing:

The Anatomy of Story by John Truby

Story by Robert McKee

The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri

150 Screenwriting Challenges by Eric Heisserer

Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman

On Writing by Stephen King

Screenplay by Syd Field

The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler

Creating Character Arcs by K.M. Weiland

 

On directing:

Notes on Directing by Frank Hauser & Russell Reich

Directing Actors by Judith Weston