What should i do? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Open DV Discussion
For topics which don't fit into any of the other categories.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 8th, 2007, 11:46 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 288
What should i do?

I posted this in another thread but i think i came out the wrong way than i decided it was in the wrong thread all together. Ok so, my birthday and holidays are coming up soon and being 14 thats really my only source of money at this point. So my question is. Should i buy a DIY RedRock adapter kit with all the material, and the rods and maybe a nice tripod. OR should i just buy it already made, and that would be it. OR should i buy a nice light set?

P.S. This is to all go with my Canon XH A1.
Thnx =D
__________________
Loren Simons
Loren Simons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 8th, 2007, 06:00 PM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Little Rock
Posts: 1,383
What wonderful parents you must have, who have already purchased you an expensive Canon XH-A1 video camera by the age of 14.
And now for your birthday are willing to spend another $4k + dollars for a 35mm adapter and necessary items to make it functional.

I guess my question for you would be... What is the intended use of the camera?
Do you have a tripod to support it now?
Do you video things that would require a light kit?

By installing a 35mm adapter, you would loose a stop or 2 depending on the adapter. So you would need even more light than you do now to achieve the same results.
David W. Jones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 9th, 2007, 01:59 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 288
Yes yes they are very wonderful, although i paid for it myself out of the last bit of my Bar Mitzvah money, but aye im sure i wouldn't have gotten there with out them ;) aahahah well yes i am hoping on getting around $700 dollars for birthday and hanukka and all those joefull holidays and since my birthday is so close to them i usually just get it all a tthe same time. So abotu 700 from everyone. I was looking at the redrock micro and i already have lenses that go with my canon rebel. I was plaing on building it so total cost, around 350 400, or should i just buy one already built? Next i found a pretty good reviewed light kit at B&H for bout 200. I should be able to grab a manfrotto tripod from my dads work, hoping, and that should leave me with enough money for rods and support. Sound good? Im just really not sure what would help me get that film look that really everyones looking for.
And yes i just want to shoot funny ironic films, kinda like if u watch "On The Lot" stuff like that.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR LISTENING TO ME AND UR INPUT, my dad, although in the media, doesnt like me "counting my chickens before they hatch" but well i just call it preparing =D
__________________
Loren Simons
Loren Simons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 9th, 2007, 10:44 AM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 64
Loren, I envy you - you're one lucky kid to have access to such equipment at such a vital and enthusiastic age!!!!!

I won't be surprised at all to see your name on the credits in 10 or 15 years.

Remember - Content is King!!!!!

The A1 is a great cam, no doubt about it,
35mm adaptors are 50% of the "look",
BUT - just make sure you are filming stuff that is unique and interesting - the equipment should serve you and your artistic goals. Never become a slave to the equipment!!!

Best of luck kiddo!!!!

Content is King!!!!
Paul V Doherty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 9th, 2007, 11:14 AM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Angelo Texas
Posts: 1,510
Loren, Paul's advice here may contain your best "hint" of all. For an example of how powerful the "Content Is King" concept is, see if your local Hollywood Video still has a rental copy of "Transit".

This is an example of what a guy did with a rented Canon XL1, a total crew of about 7 (some of who were cast), and got into distribution straight to DVD.

It's probably not particularly good by cinematic standards, but being a "nitty gritty" look at the LA graffiti art and "tagging" scene, it had the "content" that one distributor bought and it did give me a look at a sub culture I would never have seen.

I rented it primarily to see what that crew accomplished with very limited resources.

My advice: Don't stay "hung up" on that "film look everyone is looking for". There are a couple of ways to do some of that without much in the way of DOF adapters that can limit your mobility and can add some extra problems.

DOF: Add neutral density filtering until you can get you aperture wide open or close to max, zoom some more towards tele end, using these two together can get some degree of selective DOF.

Mute the colors somewhat in post processing, adjust the gamma. A few camcorders use this for their "cinema" mode but some non linear editors (NLE's) let you do this.

I'd try some of this and "hang on to" most of the gift funds to pool towards what you may really need in the future.

If you're relying on the built in mics on the camcorder, a good quality external microphone (or two) may be more in order. Getting good audio helped my work better than anything else I could have "added on".
Bruce Foreman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 9th, 2007, 12:44 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 288
Thank You All

Thank you all so much for the wonderful advice, compliments, and technics. It's all very helpful and being as I just came out of a kind of audio phase (my dads work had a Mackie 1604 VLZ Pro waisting away in a dark drewy corner) audio is of very importance. I used to record my friends bands until they cuaght on, bought a mac, and ust used some usb mic and midi intstruments,hahahaha. I do even have sort of a "crew" being as how i have infected all my friends with my love of Macintosh and film, two things which seem to go very nicely hand in hand. =D So maybe i would even think about getting a boom, or maybe some lavaleir mics. I already have some very good country man wired mics, also waisting away in that avery same corner, so does anyone know of a way i can just make those wireless? Like just some XLR recivers and transmitters, if that would be cheaper?
__________________
Loren Simons
Loren Simons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 13th, 2007, 06:47 AM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Mills, MA
Posts: 52
As stated above, you need to know you can make a movie even with a 1ccd sony (although you have a a1) but for me, im using a HV20 with redrock cause ive made movies nd proven myself To myself that i can make films..


Do you haeve any previous work online?
Zac Crosby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 13th, 2007, 09:21 AM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 1,961
All cinematographers need to learn lighting before anything else. I would recommend that you don't spend a penny before you understand lighting. I would rather have SD with no 35mm adapter and great lighting than crappy lighting with HD and a Redrock Micro. I promise you that lighting is more important. Next to content, lighting is most important, then locations and props, then filters and other enhancers like 35mm adapters.

Learn lighting and you can shoot anything. If you don't learn about lighting, you can shoot crappy reality-style videos.

The great thing about lights and tripods is that they last almost forever so it is a one-time expenditure. They also hold some value for years. They are also expensive. If you only have $700 available, you have just enough for a basic video tripod and one decent light.

Go here:

http://www.bluesky-web.com/new-page6.html

and here:

http://www.efplighting.com/

...and don't spend a penny (except on lighting tutorials) before you buy anything else. A good camera is always a good idea, but there are a few things more important than a 35mm adapter regardless of how nice an image they make. Learn the basics and work your way up to the advanced.

I'm not trying to talk down to you. I'm just trying to make sure you know that lighting is everything when it comes to image quality. For the composition it is your own skill, taste, and how you move the camera. Once you have good basic image quality, your editing and post coloration are most important for the image.

Of course, as said before, content is the most important of all.
Marcus Marchesseault is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 13th, 2007, 10:44 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Marin & Davis, CA, USA
Posts: 418
Sure, it's great if stuff looks good, but the films you make right now aren't professional productions and will, I can say with 99% certainly, end up making you very little money.
But that's not a bad thing.
Consider that what you learn now will be a huge help in getting you to a position where you do have the resources for expensive equipment.
If you can light, know what angles to use, how to frame, how to direct (and especially how to produce), then you'll end up with something that can get you somewhere, both in your experience and your actual films, even if they weren't the highest quality on the tape itself.

If you're bad at all this stuff, the nice camera won't save you. If you're good, you'll be able to make something great, no matter what you're working with.
Now, of course, it's great to have a good camera, equipment, etc.
But just consider Speilburg working with a webcam. Laughable, perhaps, but it would probably still be worth watching.

Anyway, you have made it clear that this will be the last big purchase for a while. I'd say save up.
You've got a camera. Now go find something to capture with it. Filmmaking is never free, but it's our job as low budget filmmakers to find a way to make it work. Remember there are lots of hidden costs. Gas money, etc. Even if you get your locations, actors and crew for free, then you'll still need to feed them. Could easily be $500 right there for a shoot.
Now of course you might not quite be there yet, which makes things easier on you financially.

The "film look" is a personal annoyance of mine. People obsess about it so much, and, in the end, it's still just DV that looks mostly like film. Even if it looks a lot like film. It's... DV (or HDV, in this case).

You're not (and won't be for quite a while) shooting on 35mm or high end HD (pro quality).
And that's very important to remember.
You don't have top of the line, and it's impossible to. Even if you did buy the top of the line camera now, you'd still have an outdated one by the time you're done shooting. (Annoying, isn't it?)
As time goes by, you'll start replacing your equipment, too. No reason you can't end up with better stuff soon. (And also, you might just replace the XH-A1 in a couple years. So.... still want to buy the adapter? [but of course that could be 2 years of great looking footage... true.])

If you find a way to spend your money and time efficiently and shoot something without the adapter, and someone else just spends that money on the adapter, and your film ends up better, then you'll ACTUALLY work with a real film camera soon, and he'll still be stuck with his imitation ;)

Anyway, I'm not saying it's completely worthless to have an adapter and such. The camera is certainly great to have.
But don't worry a huge amount right now, and just start filming stuff. Lots of it.


As for the other items--
A tripod is a must. However, you don't necessarily need the best. Get a good, solid tripod. Especially with a somewhat heavy camera, you don't want cheap flimsy plastic. Something in the $200 range, perhaps? (At varying price ranges, you'll find some with a level on it to see if the framing is straight. That's a nice feature to look for, and not one that is too hard to find even on a tight budget.)
Lights are important. But, hey, you can get away with some cheap worklights if you need to*. Depends on what type of setup you have for shooting.
(*I'm sure some of the pros here might laugh at that, or may post explaining why I'm wrong, but for now, I don't see a big reason that shouldn't work for you. Most importantly, learn ABOUT lighting, and be sure to light stuff well, no matter what actual equipment you're using.)

I think one thing you might not consider is sound. With that price range, you could get a VERY nice shotgun mic, a mixer of some sort if needed, and still have enough left over for other items (lights, probably).
Don't waste money on a boom. Get a cheap $3 broomstick, and you're done.
For my last project, we were working with a fairly experienced boom operator and he said ours was the lightest he'd ever used. It was just a $3-5 mop handle from home depot, made of some extremely light composite plastic.
We did, however, have a shock mount for the mic, and we attached that to the end of the boom. Very good idea.

High quality sound is so often lacking in low budget DV/HDV films, and there's no real excuse for that. Having a good audio track really makes the whole film feel better too.
Daniel Ross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 13th, 2007, 07:59 PM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 1,961
I like Daniel's thinking, but I would like to add that you will want/need barn doors on your lights. There is a tutorial on coollights.biz for making your own barn doors for worklights.
Marcus Marchesseault is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 15th, 2007, 10:43 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Marin & Davis, CA, USA
Posts: 418
Black wrap can be a cheap fix for that, but barn doors would certainly be a big plus.
Daniel Ross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 15th, 2007, 06:11 PM   #12
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 1,961
I've found that black wrap is a good addition to barn doors but it too much of a pain to use alone. So much time is spent lighting and it is so important that some shortcuts aren't worth the money saved. That is why I recommend spending the money on lights before a 35mm adapter. I already had lights before getting an adapter, but I should have concentrated more resources on lights. One really good light saves a whole lot of time. Also, I think a decent tripod with leveling head was already mentioned. That will also save a bunch of time. Playing with tripod legs all day to get level shots is a huge waste of time.
Marcus Marchesseault is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 15th, 2007, 11:32 PM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Angelo Texas
Posts: 1,510
Daniel just about nailed it all in his post above. But I'm going to expand a bit on one of his suggestions:

Get out and use what you have and do something with it. One excellent way is th participate in the two kinds of "challenges" we have going on this site.

Look at the entries in the dvinfo.net challenges (DVC9 just finished and Dylan made us all use youtube so long download times weren't a pain), and the current UWOL challenge is underway with the deadline on Sept 24th. But you can look at past UWOL entries at http://www.uwolchallenge.com to get an idea of what I'm talking about.

These challenges and the final goal of getting an entry on a suddenly assigned theme done in 10 days (dvinfo.net) or 3 weeks (UWOL) is like a free film school and will do more to improve your abilities than anything you can buy.

Check it out, save the funds you get, and jump in. The feedback you get from around the world is FREE TEACHING!
Bruce Foreman is offline   Reply
Reply

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

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

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

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

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 > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:12 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network