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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Nov 07, 2010
    Cool Need Advice-What to buy teen filmmaker
    I have never used macs before and my 15-year-old son is into film making. He has been saving for a Mac and has about 2k to spend. Since Christmas and his Christmas Eve birthday is coming up, we might add some cash to sweeten the pot a bit. Can someone recommend what they feel would be a good system, new or used to purchase for a young filmmaker in that price range? My sister, who is familiar with Macs, felt that a desktop would get him more bang for his buck, rather than a laptop. I thought I'd ask all the Mac users out there who have some experience and like to make films what there suggestions are, and then what programs are necessary and affordable for young filmmakers just getting their feet wet-thanks so much for everyone's help!

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    I'm assuming that the $2k budget (and maybe some additional $$$) will be for both a new Macintosh computer & "film-making" software. If this is the case...I would set aside at least $250 for software...and maybe more.

    Titles to consider:

    - Expensive (Final Cut Pro) $999: Final Cut Studio - Apple Store (U.S.)
    - Intermediately expensive (Final Cut Express) $199: Final Cut Express 4.0 - Apple Store (U.S.)
    - Relatively inexpensive (iLife '11...which contains iMovie) $49: iLife '11 - Apple Store (U.S.)

    With this said (and with the remaining budget) far as a computer...I would recommend a 21.5" or 27" iMac in the $1200-$1600 range.

    Hope this helps,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
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    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
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  3. #3

    iZach's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 27, 2009
    21.5" iMac, 3.06GHz duo, 4GB RAM, 500GB Hard Drive, NVIDIA 9400M| 8GB iPod Touch
    I'm a teenage filmmaker and I have last year's 21.5" iMac with Final Cut Express. Even though I have the $1200 version (lowest specifications) it performs very well for me. With 2k to spend I personally would get either the 3.2GHz 21.5" iMac or the 27" 3.2GHz iMac. The only difference between these two is screen size. Unless he's doing some very intense editing final cut express should be sufficient (refer to pigoo's post).
    How do you like them Apples?

  4. #4
    I have to point out that any NEW Mac will have iLife 11 already on it (or Apple will send it along for a few bucks if by chance the 09 version is still on it when you buy it).

    If the teen in question is just starting out, iMovie should be sufficient. If he's already demonstrated some genuine talent or affinity for the fundamentals of film making (ie not the computer part of it), then I'd second the suggestions for Final Cut Express.

    Save the Final Cut Studio for when he's made some money with his work.

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Nov 08, 2010
    Does he have a video camera already? If not I would say factor in a good video camera. I agree with everyone else that an imac with final cut express to start out with would be great. I would also recomend getting a good pair of headphones. I use these and think there are the best that I have ever used. I would also recommend upgrading the hard drive in the imac because video takes up a lot of space.

    Thank You

  6. #6

    Oneironaut's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 23, 2009
    21" iMac * 2.8 Ghz Intel Core i7 * 16GB 1333 Mhz DDR3 * 1TB HD *AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512 MB
    You can also factor in an external hard drive to store media files on. As mentioned before, the video files can be huge and it's recommended that you not keep them on your main system hard drive. LaCie is brand used by many digital film makers.

  7. #7

    Member Since
    Nov 10, 2010
    My personal recommendation is the 17" Macbook Pro, you should try picking one up on eBay, those go starting near like $1500.

  8. #8

    swan44's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 11, 2010
    For starters, I recommend Final Cut Studio. I would say it's top of the line. Make his xmas the best one yet

  9. #9

    brairden's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 24, 2010
    Dayton, Ohio
    2 iMacs, 1 MBP, 1 UMB, 1 mini
    With a ballpark of 2k to spend, I think the bulk should be going to hardware solutions and NOT Final Cut Pro Studio. Express is a great "get your feet wet" software tool and it is feature-rich enough to manufacture and manipulate entry level professional grade video.

    I hope he has the camera already. If not, that could put a serious strain on the budget you are considering.

    And as always....check the Apple refurb store. Save yourself some cash.
    15" 2.53ghz i5 MacBook Pro (2010) 8gb, 500gb HD - 60gb OWC SSD
    13" 2.4ghz MacBook Unibody (late 2008) 4gb, 250gb
    24" 2.4ghz Aluminum iMac (mid 2007) 3gb, 1tb
    mini 2.0ghz - 32gb iPhone 4

  10. #10

    TattooedMac's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 19, 2009
    Waiting for a mate . . .
    21" iMac 2.9Ghz 16GB RAM - 10.11.3, iPhone6s & iPad Air 2 - iOS 9.2.1, ATV 4Th Gen tvOS, ATV3
    If you are in the US or any country for that matter, but ill link you too the US store, but you cant go past the Refurb Store.
    You can pick up more Mac for less $ and you get the same benifits of buying a new Mac.
    Such as the 1 yr warranty with the 90day phone support. There are many here that swear buy the Refurb Store and to be honest a lot of there products are new ..... Check it out bc as i said you will save $ and beable to get a better spec Mac ... Worth a look IMHO


    EDIT : Just like brairden ^^^^ suggested
    Dont forget to use the Reputation System if someone has helped you out !!!
    Arguing with a zealot is only slightly easier than tunneling through a mountain with your forehead!!!!!
    MoTM ☆☆☆

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