IF YOU WANT A QUICK 101 GUIDE TO PRODUCING AWESOME CONTENT YOU’VE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE – this is the livnews media kit!
Whether you want to be a better writer, hone your photography skills or learn how to shoot and edit videos, start here with my LivNews Media Kit!
I’m an Emmy award-winning journalist and I’m also an adjunct professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
I’m an expert at engaging with audiences and creating content that has reached millions and millions of people around the world.
I love to tell stories and I love to teach. I also offer media consulting services! This blog is the perfect place if you want to grow your digital skills. You can read more about me here or check out my blog posts here.
So you want to start creating and producing – whether it be photo, video or multimedia content? Well, my media kit is what you need to get going on your own. P.S. This page may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information.
Mobile & STARTER GEAR
In my opinion, there are only two absolute must-have tools to start creating great multimedia content – a phone and a computer. This section of my media kit will go over mobile filmmaking and technology.
- Make sure your phone has a strong camera (and that it’s always clean!). You may want to get a camera app to improve your shooting capabilities on mobile.
- Your computer should be able to edit video well. I use Adobe Premiere on a MacBook Pro. If you aren’t advanced and want to start out with a simpler system, then iMovie on Macs works too. Also invest in a mouse if you’re going to be editing.
- I recommend some type of stabilizer to help your phone create more smooth and stable shots, such as the Beastgrip Pro. You can also get a robotic stabilizer like the Osmo with a tripod. Both options allow you to film vertical or horizontal. If you’re using the Osmo, you will want to download the DJI Mimo app too.
- Get good headphones. Also invest in a pair of AirPods. AirPods can connect to the Filmic Pro shooting app on your phone and you can monitor audio with them. You should always wear headphones when shooting and editing to make sure your sound is working properly.
- Play around with interchangeable lenses for your phone – there are high-quality or inexpensive options. You can get specific ones for the Beastgrip too.
- Invest in a microphone for your phone. I recommend having a shotgun mic (to capture better sound on-the-go).
- A wired lavalier microphone can mic someone speaking. You may also want an extension cable for it, but make sure you get the right one depending on the connection.
- There are options for wireless lavalier mics too (this kit has an internal storage feature in case your phone doesn’t record the audio). You’ll need this adapter for a dual lav kit if you want to record two channels of audio. Or you can use this adapter for a single channel. Here’s a charging station for the kit, and this stick mic also pairs with it.
- You will need an adapter to connect certain mics to your phone.
- A headphone adapter lets you charge your phone and listen to it at the same time.
- There are XLR to lightning microphone adapters which come in handy if you want to connect your phone to any other gadgets that overlap with actual cameras. Here’s another adapter that can also help you control volume levels.
- If you want to invest more in sound quality, you may want an audio mixer.
lighting & tripods
- Get a light for your phone like this, this or this. If you have something like the Beastgrip, the light can connect to it. Or you can get a light that clips directly onto the phone.
- Check out tripods for your camera or phone. You may want a selfie stick or a tripod with a smartphone connector. Or you can get a combo tripod and selfie stick. Get a basic tripod if using actual cameras. Here’s a tripod that works well with the Beastrip. A small, portable tripod is also good for travel. And here’s another type of mount to make some tripods mobile-friendly. Don’t forget a car mount too for driving shots.
- Consider getting a portable battery pack (check the connections you need before purchasing), especially if you’re doing most of your shooting with your phone. Or you can get a battery phone case.
- Don’t forget to pack your chargers for all your gear too! There are high-speed chargers you can look into if you think you’ll need those. Rechargeable batteries are great too.
- Look into a Bluetooth remote shutter so you can take photos or videos without having to even touch your phone.
- A mobile flash drive like this SanDisk iXpand is good to backup footage quickly and securely (it can be faster than AirDrop depending on the size of your files). And always back up your files long-term on a hard drive. Here’s another option for one.
- Keep your phone safe with lens and screen protectors and a solid case.
- Find a bag to keep your gear safe.
cameras & advanced EQUIPMENT
Investing in a camera and lenses is costly, but if you want to improve your production quality then you may want to buy a camera kit.
- Purchase a camera kit with lenses, batteries, SD cards and a card reader. I like 5Ds (a DSLR camera) and C100s. Here’s an example of a 5D kit.
- My favorite lenses are 16-35mm, 24-105mm, 50mm and 70-200mm.
- If you want something for quick and on-the-go shooting there are a few different options. A camera like this is great for blogging. A camera like this is better for newsgathering. So you have options depending on how advanced you want to get with your videography.
sound & light
- Basic sound gear includes a stick mic, a shotgun mic and wired or wireless lav mics. Make sure you have the appropriate cords to connect to your camera depending on which camera you’re using. Some of your advanced equipment could overlap with your mobile gear as well.
- If you need to track, you can try recording directly into your phone (under a blanket or in a closet) or use any of the sound options listed above under mobile gear. You can also try a tracking mic.
- A solid light kit can dramatically improve any shot. If you want to keep it simple, a nice ring light works too.
- You may want to consider a slider to make shots look cinematic by adding smooth and steady movement. Make sure it fits whatever camera you want to use with it. You can also buy motorized kits for iPhones and DSLR cameras that come with what you need.
- Drones are just cool. You can get a drone and hook it up to an app on your phone to easily control it (be sure to check the laws in your area before you film). You’ll get a much wider variety of shots using a drone!
- A GoPro is also a great addition to any kit. GoPros allow you to get shots you may not otherwise be able to get – they’re helpful for action, car and underwater shots. Download the app and check out clamp mounts.
- Make sure you have a micro memory card and adapter too if using something like a GoPro.
- A portable green screen is an easy way to make your very own at-home studio. You can film yourself in front of it and then edit out the background in Premiere.
- Get a bag to keep all of your gear together.
BECOME A PRO
My number one tip is to use your equipment as much as you can, and you’ll start creating better and more captivating content every time.
- Always check additional recommended equipment when purchasing new equipment so you don’t miss tools you may need. When shopping online, sites will often have a section showcasing recommended items you may need in addition.
- Practice shooting something on your phone, then edit a sequence on your computer or with a quick editing app on your phone.
- Watch as many videos as you can to see what you like and then try it out yourself the next time you’re in the field.
- Stay on top of tech! There is always something new coming out. The more open to learning you are, the more on top of it you will be when it comes to being a multimedia pro!