A high-quality HD digital video camera is not required, but is very highly recommended. Students will begin shooting projects in the first couple of weeks at CCCA and will shoot stills or video constantly throughout their time at Compass.
CCCA does not supply any cameras or lenses for individual student use, other than our RED digital cinema camera package which is used primarily for classroom instruction. The RED camera may be available for use on student project films on a case-by-case basis, however, students must be certified by their Cinematography instructor before being allowed to use the RED camera.
For students purchasing cameras, we find that various models of Canon DSLR cameras are the most commonly used by current and former Compass students by far. These Canon DSLRs offer a great combination of high quality video recording, still photo shooting, interchangeable lenses, work great in low light, are light weight and compact, and are fairly inexpensive. All the Canon DSLRs have basically the same video recording circuitry, so the main differences are in construction quality, still photo quality and a few feature differences. Any of these cameras are hard to beat for the indie filmmaker.
The Canon DSLR models currently available:
There are many packages available combining camera bodies and different lenses, and they can use the complete range of Canon's excellent still-photo lenses. In the Grand Rapids area, Norman Camera on 28th Street carries them, another good source for these cameras at good prices is B&H Photo in New York City. Amazon is also a popular place to find these cameras.
Any student who does not have their own camera will need to partner with someone that does for any assignments that require shooting. Again, it is highly recommended that each student have their own camera available.
CCCA teaches editing in the first semester Post Production I course using Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. In the second semester Post Production II course, you learn Adobe Photoshop and some Adobe After Effects. The most cost effective way to get all these programs is by subscribing to the Adobe Creative Cloud (monthly subscription required) for Students and Teachers which gives you access to all Adobe software, including Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Audition, SpeedGrade and more. The Adobe Creative Cloud CS6 bundle is currently available to students on a monthly subscription for $30/month from Adobe and is required for all CCCA students. Click Here for more information on Adobe Creative Cloud.
You must also have either Apple iWork or Microsoft Office for Macintosh on your MacBook Pro. You will need to work with Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on a regular basis, so these are required.
For Screenwriting, we also recommend that you have a copy of Final Draft screenwriting software (Note: You can also use Celtx as a free alternative, but Final Draft has more features and is an industry standard.