"Self Filmed" One Person Documentaries - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Documentary Techniques

Documentary Techniques
-- Discuss issues facing documentary production.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 9th, 2006, 02:11 PM   #16
Regular Crew
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR / Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 26
You should check out 'Survivorman' - http://www.survivorman.ca/

He's essentially this crazy canuck who gets dropped off in the middle of nowhere and has to survive for 7 days with pretty much nothing. He films all this himself and is often carrying 50+lbs of camera gear around in harsh conditions and he's not allowed to use any of it for survival.

I think the most interesting elements of his work are that sometimes he'll get a pretty crazy shot of him walking -way- off into the distance, or climbing up/down a sheer rockface. If you think about it, since this is self filmed, he's doing those things twice - once to put the camera in the right spot or collect it, and once to actually film it.

Well worth watching and the DVD set is great.

- Stevan
Stevan Arychuk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 9th, 2006, 04:48 PM   #17
Major Player
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Woods Cross, Utah
Posts: 310
I saw that on TV the other day. He was climbing down a cliff and said something like "I had to do this twice, once to setup the camera, then for the shot".
He had a cheap camcorder that he broke apart to use the lens as a magnifying glass to start a fire...
Crazy man, but interesting! I couldn't stop watching.
Chris Luker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28th, 2006, 12:26 AM   #18
Regular Crew
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Las Vegas,NV
Posts: 41
Hello All!

I am currently in the process of taping my personal documentary of my battle with Severe Ulcerative Colitis. I will also feature those with a related disease called "Colon Cancer" which I am sure most of you know of!

The main purpose is to raise awareness and prevention.
I am only 28, have had it for 4 years and would never want anyone to go through what I have to go through on a daily basis.

In the doumentary, I will feature the following:

* My day to day struggle living with this ravaging illness and my journey back to optimum health by a change in my diet and lifestyle and habits.
* Various visits and travels to doctors along with interviews from them as well as taping various tests for progress like blood tests, emotional tests, etc..
* A weekly update/diary of my progress
* Various interviews and stories of others who have had or currently have these illnesses
* Informative pieces such as Symposiums and factual footage of these illneses

I figure that my challenge to change my lifestyle and dietary habits will be hard and that will be good footage and a good storyline and provide the emotional element. I can kinda give the viewer someone to root for! maybe?

I have never done anything remotely close to this type of video. I have mainly been a home video type until I got this idea and the documentary bug bit me hard! OUCH! in a good way! =)

I will be doing this as a 1 man crew with the exception of the occasional help with holding the camera by a friend or relative that will go with me to doctor visits and such.

The camera I will be using is my new Sony HDR-HC1 which I just bought for this purpose. It was the best camera I could afford and it is small enough to get into places I need to go.

I have he following amateur setup

*Sony HDR-HC1 HD Camera
*Beachtek DXA-2s XLR adapter (cause I know how important sound is!)
*Rode VideoMic mounted on the camera via a custom made cold shoe adapter that I am very proud of!
*Wired Lav mic
*3 batteries!
*tripod of course!!

Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone has any opinions, suggestions and/or advice?

I hope it will eventually come out as good as I anticipate. However, given my lack of experience i don't expect a masterpiece. Just a good hearted informative doc.

I just want people to become aware of these illnesses and know that they can be prevented. I think some people just need to see first hand what we have to go through.

I'm sure it will be quite a while before this Documentary is completely finished because of my illness! Somedays I feel great and others I feel like crap!

Well, Wish me luck!

Thanks in advance
Charlie Vankirk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28th, 2006, 12:50 PM   #19
Major Player
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Ventura, California, USA
Posts: 751
Good luck with both the project and your fight!

From my perspective, when I'm watching a doc with someone filming themselves, I find myself more attentive when the person changes framing from time to time, even something as simple as cutting back and forth between close and medium shots.

Last edited by Bill Porter; May 28th, 2006 at 01:57 PM.
Bill Porter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28th, 2006, 11:33 PM   #20
Major Player
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 905
Originally Posted by Quito Washington
you lose the one of the most important visual effects...the moving camera...no dolly, no tilting, no panning...your shots become really static....of yourself, you can do all that when you are shooting something else for the video
About 15 years ago, I read about a gadget called, "Cameraman", that used a self-targeting tripod motor-drive. The subject would wear a transmitter that it would detect and track with a camera. I never saw one and I don't know if they are still made. There may be some high-priced systems that do a similar thing.
J. Stephen McDonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 30th, 2006, 08:16 AM   #21
Major Player
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 475
Originally Posted by J. Stephen McDonald
About 15 years ago, I read about a gadget called, "Cameraman", that used a self-targeting tripod motor-drive. The subject would wear a transmitter that it would detect and track with a camera. I never saw one and I don't know if they are still made. There may be some high-priced systems that do a similar thing.
From Parkervision, I remember seeing them as well.

I do some self filiming at my day job, usually news anchor style, and I set up a monitor so I can see myself, check framing, lighting (that's the hardest part!) I also run the prompter (was a handy skill I picked up back in my days as a tv news boy).

I did produce a documentary where I did some on-camera "host" scenes, but didn't want to chance it, so i set the shot, and had my wife monitor to make sure I didn't go out of frame. ;)

Back in my tv days we had some guys who did news as a one man band, one guy used a light stand set to his height to gauge headroom and framing. The ND then got into reporter participation, and action in the stand ups, so the solo gig didn't last too long.

Personally I don't like that much camera movement. I prefer to have the action take place within the frame, but that's not to say I don't use some pans and zooms, but judiciously and with a purpose, to follow the action, or reveal something important.
Bill Mecca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 17th, 2006, 01:04 AM   #22
Regular Crew
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Victoria , Texas
Posts: 123
My first doco. was self filmed. I used a glidcam and the DV sporster while walking and had the camera turned toward me (including a .7x lens) creating a dolly shot from my neckline up. I also attached the glidcam to a wheel chair. The wheelchair and I were on a slight incline and I put 10ft 2x4s inbetween the wheels of the wheel chair to keep if from turning and walked toward it at the same rate at which it rolled backwards (of course I had stop-blocks at the end).
I have also aquired a drainage thingy (for the love of me I can't remember the name of it...the thing that catches water running off your roof...lol) that was attached to a platform (it was used for sailboat racing from one of the local BSA troops in the area) and I attached my camera to those mini RC cars (3 to be exact & on the same Freq.) and let it run the 20ft while catching me and another person walking along-side and behind it. (I wish I kept a pic of it) The controller was easy enough to hide in my pocket.

I know there is a machine that attaches to your camera and will "track" you b/c of a transmitter you wear. I'll have to go find it now....I think it was at either marketek.com or B&H...hmmm

Hope this helps. Have fun!
MSProductions - Victoria, TX & Waco, TX
Matt Sawyers is offline   Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

(800) 223-2500
New York, NY

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Texas Media Systems
(512) 440-1400
Austin, TX

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

(800) 323-2325
Mineola, NY

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Documentary Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Banner ads help sustain this site. DV Info Net is sponsored in part by:

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:49 AM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2018 The Digital Video Information Network