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Alternative Imaging Methods
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Old December 28th, 2004, 02:27 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: dallas texas
Posts: 10
newbie needs help

hello all !
im a professional artist in the video game industry im looking to do some filming during my spare time
i have done tons of editing and post work over the years, im just ready to film some footage of my own to work with!

I have a few questions that id like to ask before i purchase my first camera.My current camera intrest is the canon GL2

1. i want to have film/broadcast quality imagery that i can use for my movies, I plan on shooting a documentry about my grand father, most the the time the shooting will be in a controlled environment, were the lighting ect can be monitored and controlled

2 a few questions about the camera, I noticed that the gl2 uses a
"cassete tape". My first concern is that it does uses a cassete tape. kinda makes me wonder about the quality, i assume that this is actually a "tape drive" rather than the old vhs type recording tape?

i also assume that i can record footage and immeditly download / save it to my laptop, rather than saving it to the cassete tape? correct? ( yeah total newbie questions)

3.after the documentery i would love to film some footage with the similar style as seen in film title sequences( the opening credit movie ) such as "se7en" and "mimic"
any comments if the gl2 could pull this quality off?

se7en reference

thanks for the help!!!!
Dan Richards is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2004, 02:40 PM   #2
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Posts: 587
1) The definition of "broadcast quality" varies depending to whom you speak. The GL2 provides good imagery for its price range though.

2) All _current_ DV cameras use a miniDV tape. The camera records the digital signal to tape which then has to be captured back to a computer for editing. There is, however, no loss between transfers due to the nature of digital video (as opposed to analogue).

3) I'm not entirely sure what part of those images you would be trying to emulate but the lighting can be emulated and recorded by most any camera.
Aaron Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2004, 07:15 PM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: dallas texas
Posts: 10
thanks guys you have been a lot of help!

one last question

im pretty sure that the dv cassete tape wont come with the camera,

so what is a good recommendation of tape?

and what is the cost $

well one more question while am here

i have done a tone of title sequence work for prossionaly for games and such, but i have never had the joy of shooting my own footage, most of the stuff i have used has been from exsisting footage or CG imagery , scanned photos ect

i have a huge intrest in filming footage for title sequences and was just wandering if anyone has ever had to film anything like this in the past, i am aware that most of the effects are done in post ( wich is really good for my case ) but i was curious if there are any specific advise you guys could shoot my way !!!

any knowledge would help

for reference go here and look at these movies

thanks again!
Dan Richards is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 29th, 2004, 12:15 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 115
The GL2 is a good camera. Lots of manual controls and for someone starting out, its great to get exposed (pardon the pun) to f-stops, zebras, gain, etc. Don't be afraid to push buttons. The GL2 seems to be made for the "run-and-gun" documentary style of filmmaking. Relatively small, great zoom, non-obtrusive, etc. Just don't shoot in 16:9 mode or frame mode (or both), your quality will suffer dramatically.

I sorry, but I just have to be a smart ass about this, but what camcorder doesn't record on "tape"? Has it been so long since you've seen a camcorder that you're surprised magnetic tape is still being used? Well, I guess it is the 21st century... where's my hover car?!?!? Yes, magnetic drives are starting to come into maturity for video applications. Anyway...

As far as your wanting to do titles and other sequences, it's the coolness of the footage coupled with awesome editing and motion graphics that makes it appealling. It's not the camera that created those sequences, it's the artist behind the tools.

I know this awesome editor who can take the crappiest footage shot with a VHS-C camera and turn it into solid gold (he's done it for me twice). I mean, look at the "Mimic" sequence -- it wasn't the camera that suggested to pull rack focus over moths pinned to a board, or have lights swaying back and forth over specimens. You've got to have an eye for this stuff.

I usually draw out storyboards for everything, but when I actually "see" what I'm filming, I get inspired because I can get a better sense of scale, where I can actually position the camera and lights. Maybe I was thinking of a high-key scene, but looks so much better low. The camera is a tool, not the creative.

You know where I learned how to use a video camera? In photography class. Composition and lighting are absolutely crucial to pull off "broadcast quality". Learning how to "see" through your camera and exploiting the limits of that camera is what makes your footage cool to the audience.

As far as dv tapes, I use TDK exclusively. All my media (CD-R/Ws, DVD-R/Ws, DV-cassettes) all comes from TDK. They are consistant with their quality and the prices are just right. It's about $3 for a TDK DV cassette.

Hope that helps.
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