How I Assembled A Digital Editing Set Up For Under $1500

Of course even $1500, a paltry sum by Hollywood standards, is a lot of money for a lot of the poor filmmakers on this planet, but that amount is within reach for the disciplined American indie filmmaker with a dayjob of some kind (that pays in cash, as opposed to livestock or some other form of currency, I do not think the Apple Store trades their goods for chickens or pigs, yet).
Here is the digital video editing set up that I assembled for cutting my new feature "Date Number One", along with the cost of each item:

Mac Mini, 40 GB storage (from an Apple Store in DC area) - $500
Firewire cable - FREE (already had it, would be less than $20 to buy)
PC Monitor, 17" - FREE (had an extra one at work, would be about $100-$150 or so to buy, I think)
Apple Keyboard - $40
Apple Mouse - $20
Final Cut Express - $300
Speakers (w/ a sub-woofer - weird name for a gadget - from Radio Shack) - $30
Headphones (from Radio Shack) - $15
Extra, external storage drive from Lacie (not bought yet) - $150
DVD burner (not bought yet) - $150

Total Cost: $1375

I am loading my footage in from a MiniDV camera that I already owned. If such an "edit-camera" had to be purchased, you could do it for around $300 (the Canon ZR 100 por ejemplo).
In that case the total cost of the editing set up will go up to: $1675.

So if you've got a burning desire to make a movie, and no one to fund it, now you know that for less than $2000, you can get everything that you need to edit a DV feature. Hope this helps. Go get a PT job, save up $s, get the gear, & be your own Executive Producer baby.

Keep making excellent movies. More poor-filmmaker friendly postings coming up.



Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco blog

Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco 2 blog

Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco 3 blog

Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco 4 blog

Farzad Rostami Delaware Tobacco 5 blog

Farzad Rostami – Delaware Small Business Grants page

Farzad Rostami – Delaware Small Business Chamber

Farzad Rostami – Delaware History Trail

Farzad Rostami – Delaware Historical Society

Farzad Rostami – History of Delaware



Anonymous said…
Hallelujah and Amen.

Anybody who pushes the notion of poor people making films is my soul brother. I'm up to the same no-good antics in New York.

My own blog is more about heckling mainstream films/media, so I'll be checking in with yours a lot to see what time it really is.

Cool deal Steve, thanks for the comment, will check yer blog out.
Yeah, I don't care if super rich corporations or individuals make movies (in fact, the 1st 100 years of American film history, at least a lot of the films commonly known to much of the population, were made by very wealthy corps), I also want to see individual artists making movies, like not on a budget that can feed the poor of a developing country for several months, but on a more young-artist-w/-a-dayjob-affordable budget. Variety is good, media-creation-empowerment is also good - more choices for consumers of media/movies, more ideas being discussed (possibly), more creativity flowing (hopefully, at least that is the case in the indie music world, same could happen in the indie film world w/ existence of DV filmmaking options & the net as a cheap promotional & networking tool).