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Old November 23rd, 2007, 02:32 PM   #16
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1) buying the cameras - don't forget B&H or any of the other DVInfo sponsors. Amazon is great but the specialty stores actually are staffed by people who know cameras. I know B&H has a HV20 kit that I've been eyeing for a while:

And most people don't know this, but you can haggle with specialty stores. You can't haggle with amazon.

2) As for film school... Your parents are right, go to to University. I won't repeat what the others have said. But I will add that people always focus on the monetary cost of school but they never focus in on the cost of not going to school. In 2006, the US Census Bureau did a study and found that the average College graduate earned a $51,206 a year, while the average high school graduate earned $27,915, and those with no high-school diploma earned $18,734.

University is a four year investment that will likely double the income you make over the course of your life. That's a no brainer.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 04:18 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Brandon Smith View Post
Those are like 5000 dollar tripods though... :(
That's why it's better to wait until you are a bit farther along before spending the money to buy such gear. Use the school's when you get there, or if you need it in the meantime, rent. If the desired result is quality that appears on the screen, $100 spent on a day's rental of pro gear is money better spent that would be $250 spent on purchasing marginally performing consumer stuff.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 06:28 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
Higher education has nothing whatsoever to do with acquiring job skills, even in a technical area such as filmmaking. Education has to do with shaping one into a perceptive and critically thinking person who is aware of the cultural path that has led to his existance and shaped his world and who is able to contribute something to the future. Any employment benefits or career related skills that may arise from that crucible are purely coincidental.
That sounds very noble, you have to aknolage that you don't NEED higher education to do what you just said and in fact may be better for certain people to choose NOT to do higher education, especially with the internet so full of information. A naturally gifted person with a vision may be hindered by higher education and may even put him/her off that path alltogether there by robbing the world of a talented filmmaker . life lessons (simply being alive) can make you a critically thinking perceptive person, we don't all wonder around bumping into walls untill we go to university. i believe that if a person wants to better themselves through knowlage there are many ways to do so, if Brandon for example chose not to go to uni he would seek the information else where.

higher education is one of many paths and not always the right one

Actor: "where would that light be coming from?"
DP: "same place as the music" -Andrew Lesnie-

Last edited by Andy Graham; November 23rd, 2007 at 07:04 PM.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 10:14 PM   #19
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Those are like 5000 dollar tripods though... :(
I wasn't suggesting a $5,000 tripod. For prosumer cameras, you should be able to find a very reasonable one for maybe $600-700. I haven't played around with tripods in that price range so don't take my word on it. Maybe something a lot cheaper than that would work too.

This looks interesting...
though I have a feeling it's crap (I seen a Velbon tripod fall over and break). But look... if you can physically get your hands on a tripod like that in a store and see if it pans smoothly... then it might be worth getting. For that price... it's a reasonable amount of money to spend.

Beyond that tripods have frills that are handy but you don't need any of these. The frills:
Quick release plate. (Convenient; this is worth getting)

Bubble (to indicate balance/levelness). Really high-end tripods have a light for the bubble to help you see in the dark... though you could just use a flashlight.
Adjustable ?friction? (not sure what the right term is. Helps you control speed of panning)
Locks (lock off movement... e.g. if you want to pan, you can lock tilt.)
Counterbalance (many cheaper tripods don't have this); HV20 is too light to need this.
The tripod's weight (e.g. carbon fibre legs lower weight)
Adjustment to move the camera forward/backwards so everything is balanced.
Easy to adjust height
Ball level (if the ground is uneven, you can just level the head itself without having to mess around with the height on two legs)

$100 spent on a day's rental of pro gear is money better spent that would be $250 spent on purchasing marginally performing consumer stuff.
In my opinion, it's reasonable to own some cheap gear to play with and learn. It sits in your house and you can take the equipment out any time and play with it and test things (e.g. play around with lighting). This is not something you can do with rental gear. You can buy some minimal gear and get your feet wet. And the HV20 is *really* interesting in that it can put out some really nice images (given some talent of course).

On the other hand, if you want to shoot some more serious stuff then rental is definitely worth looking at.
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Old November 24th, 2007, 12:39 AM   #20
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Alright, I hate to say, but this threads getting out of hand. I have a budget, and I cannot go out and buy a tripod that's 80% of all the money that I have.

If anyone could reassess my situation, link, and budget from main post I'd really appreciate it.
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Old November 24th, 2007, 03:30 AM   #21
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Brandon i suggest dumping the tripod you picked out and the wide angle converter and buying this the quality of the tripod is more important than a wide converter and the 503 head is a good solid head, that thing you picked looks tension compensated which is really no good. Get the converter when you make more money.It may be a little bit more of a streach but you'll thank me later. BTW i use the 501 head and its great.

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DP: "same place as the music" -Andrew Lesnie-
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Old November 24th, 2007, 04:08 AM   #22
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If you're going with the Canon HV20 then a tripod with the Manfrotto 701RC head would be a decent choice. Skip the Canon DM-50 and get a mic you can boom, like the Rode Videomic. If you advance any further, you will upgrade everything I just mentioned, but then you already knew that.

If I was in your position, I'd skip the technical school, and get a degree from a good liberal arts/sciences college. I believe it will offer you a more well rounded view of the world to inform your filmmaking. The more well rounded your point of view, the more interesting your films ... well that's the theory anyway, right?

[EDIT] I suppose there's always the school of hard knocks, but either way, there's a price to pay.
"Ultimately, the most extraordinary thing, in a frame, is a human being." - Martin Scorsese
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Old November 24th, 2007, 08:31 AM   #23
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I will give my one post on the subject...

Don't waste your money on Full Sail!
Go to a local school and get a degree you can use in any field.
Get your BA, and live at home so you can save your money for things you will need.
Then visit all of the production houses in your area, and let the owner know that you are getting your business degree,
but you would like a job in the film world when you graduate, and that you would be willing to learn their business from the ground up if they would give you an internship.

1. That would give you access to professional gear, so you don't waste you money on consumer quality crap.
2. Training from industry professionals.
3. Camaraderie with your peers, and networking with local professionals in the industry.
4. A degree you can use in any field!

Thousands of people visit this site, and I would wager that the majority of them would love to be film makers.
While they may have a passion for film, great ideas for a short, or an eye for the shot, most lack the essentials to run a successful business.

Good Luck with your Life!
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Old November 24th, 2007, 07:38 PM   #24
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I thought about the previous suggestions and am weighing them heavily.

Perhaps I could go to my state university, as it is almost free with grants from the government, take a lot of classes (18cr), live in a dorm, and perhaps try for an internship at a nearby film production company (perhaps 9 hours per week or something). That might work... I'll feel a little more secure knowing I have a bachelors degree in something that I can apply anywhere. I'll then have some financial backbone to pay for a film setup, and if I want, go to film school (New York Film Academy) for 2 years and get my masters degree (they accept anyone with a bachelors in any field). I'll be away from home (living in a dorm), learning aspects of film in spare time, and not abandoning all my friends just yet, and I can work on a side project with them.. Sounds good...

Now if I knew the best place to start...
Heres a list of production companys in milwaukee:

I don't know which is best, however. We do have a Film Festival in town, and they have internships/volunteer work:

But am unsure as to which is best again. Any help appreciated.
-Oh, Edit: Any idea on which degree I could take that would not only be in great demand, pay well, but also apply to helping me create films? I've already taken some PC classes, and considered taking more and perhaps majoring in a computer science degree but am not sure.

Last edited by Brandon Smith; November 24th, 2007 at 08:27 PM.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 07:21 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Glenn Chan View Post

1- "Sticktion" is a (silly) made-up word (and I don't think many other people use it). Don't worry about it.
Actually, "stiction" is short for "static friction" as opposed to dynamic friction. It referrs to the initial "grunt" you need to give things to get them moving from a standstill.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 10:20 PM   #26
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i would have to agree with going to school in-state, and not for film. I am not up to date on full sail, but do you actually come out with a degree, or a diploma? I went to film school, the only thing it was good for was to have the words "film school" on my resume, and I made some good friends. as far as what I learned....I could have learned it all out of a book, and on my own. like it was said before, you cant learn creativity. so if you need school, do whatever you want, but save the money, dont spend it on film school, and buy some awesome equipment later....but in the end, its all up to you man.

also, how much FILM will you actually get to play with at full sail, the school I went to, we shot like 1500 feet of film and that was it, everything else was video......laaaaaaame. make sure full sail is actually where you want to go before you spend the money.

good luck bud.


so I checked out the website, and at least you do walk out with a degree, thats nice. but cmon....math? you have to take a MATH course??! glad its you, not me.

Last edited by Ian Planchon; February 3rd, 2008 at 10:28 PM. Reason: felt like it...
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Old February 4th, 2008, 05:24 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
My 2 cents worth? Go for the degree, it's worth every cent. CS
I'm with Chris on this. Before I went to film school, I knew how to write stories--but not how to write screenplays. I knew how to take photos--but not how to compose a shot with actors moving in it. I didn't know how to take a story idea, shape it into a screenplay that works (a complicated matter!), put together the many, many elements needed to shoot the film, edit it, and finish it. I didn't know how make a movie, even though I had the desire to do it.

Now I do, thanks to school. And no one can ever take that--or my degree--away from me. So go to film school--it's a great opportunity. Think of the people you'll meet! They will feed your creativity. (You'll need them to crew for you. You do the same for them, too!)
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