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

* This post was originally published in my other (& now retired) blog Filmmaking For The Poor in 11/7/05, so, it may be possible to pull together the gear described below for even less than $1500.

** The exact amount I spent was $1375 for the editing set up. But $1500 is a good goal to keep in mind in case transportation, additional taxes, other small expenses related to the purchases come up.

How I Assembled A Digital Editing Set Up For Under $1500
(originally published in Nov 7, 2005)

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.



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