Too many questions - not enough time - Page 5 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 February 26th, 2009, 11:38 AM   #61
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Gainesville, Missouri, USA
Posts: 26
Thank you to Bryan, Jim and Steve! I would have to be a complete idiot not to take you all up on such a kind and generous offer. Besides getting a professional product, I would also learn a great deal from watching all of you, I'm certain. I don't have any stops in any of your areas scheduled at the moment, but that could change and I will certainly be in touch if it does. There is a practical reason, aside from cost, that drives my choice to keep this project lean and simple. These gentlemen are all in their late 80s to early 90s. Many of them have infirmities of body and mind. I recently wrote a biography about a West Point graduate who flew with their unit and was KIA during WWII. In researching details for that book, I got to know many of these vets very well and became a part of their extended family. As a group, they are the most warm and sincere people that I have ever known. But, like most people of their age, they are not keen on pressure situations. The interviews that I will be doing will be done in their homes and in the relaxed atmosphere of a friendly chat. The more equipment and people I throw at them, the less likely it is to happen at all -- much less productively. So, you see it is a trade-off of sorts between the ideal situation and the viable but less ideal alternatives. For example, the first interview will be shot in Los Angeles in about two weeks. I'm will spend three to four days actually living in the home of the interviewee and will shoot somewhere between five and ten hours of discussion during that period. The location will remain static and we'll stay set up between sessions. Believe me, we won't run out of subject matter in this case. It has to be done this way because the interviewee is a 24/7 caregiver at home for an invalid spouse. With two cameras running continuously, that's potentially 20 HDV tapes, that will probably condense down to about half that in terms of actual usable footage. Most of the interviews will be considerably shorter, but this individual is a gold mine of information with a mind like a steel trap. From these tapes, a variety of smaller projects will emerge and the interviews will not be long tedious talking heads. Some of the inevitable pearls will actually become B-roll for broader narratives. I think you can envision the difficulty of a "team" approach in this environment. Sorry for such a long post, but the better you all understand the situation the more help you can give and the better job I can do.
Wayne G. Sayles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2009, 12:55 PM   #62
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia (formerly Winnipeg, Manitoba) Canada
Posts: 4,087
Find yourself in Winnipeg, Manitoba, I'm yours.
__________________
Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster
www.roaddogmedia.ca Blog: http://roaddogmedia.wordpress.com/
Shaun Roemich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2009, 04:08 PM   #63
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tucson AZ
Posts: 2,206
And as you get to processing the tapes, don't be shy about asking us to help with post or anything else we can do to support this activity.
Jim Andrada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2009, 05:01 PM   #64
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Gainesville, Missouri, USA
Posts: 26
Thanks!! I'm going to reshoot the test clip with the suggestions offered and see if I can improve it.
Wayne G. Sayles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19th, 2009, 11:57 PM   #65
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Gainesville, Missouri, USA
Posts: 26
Some of you might find this interesting:

First To Fall: The Great Abyss

Sorry, no edited clips yet.

Best,

Wayne
Wayne G. Sayles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 20th, 2009, 03:42 PM   #66
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Raleigh NC
Posts: 38
Wayne - Sorry about being late to this discussion, but I just saw your thread.

You may want to try something that has worked for me - become a producer at a local access TV station. My local station accepted my application, trained me on their equipment (all low cost or free) showing me how to convert analog tape to broadcast quality digital formats, taught me the basics of Final Cut Pro (on their machines at almost no cost to me), provides me with free use of digital camcorders, lighting equipment, microphones, etc. In fact, I can become certified to use almost any of their equipment (live broadcasts excepted - you need a team of people for that) and I can also convert my S-VHS tapes, mini DV tapes or HDV tapes to DVD, MPEG-4 or other formats, all for free.

I can also post "help wanteds" on the public acess TV site and can usually find someone willing to help light my scene, or provide "boom pole" holding and other basic tasks.

The public access stations are becomming more popular, but there is still excess capacity and lots of skilled people willing and able to help. Over the last year I've been able to produce a weekly half hour program, edit lots of video on FCP, create usable DVDs for home viewing, and QT files for youtube and other social networking sites. All of this cost $75 for the annual producer pass, and the FCP training was $80 more. The rest was free, but I provided the recordable DVDs and whatever tapes I needed.

Look into it if you are near a public access station - lots of resources, little cost. Sounds perfect for what you are doing.

Final plug - one of the local producers shot a very nice piece about a local "Tall Ships" event at the local seaport. The video was seen on a Public access program in Boston, and it led to the producer getting a full time job on ESPN. Not bad for $75 and some time.

Good luck.
Len Capristo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 20th, 2009, 06:20 PM   #67
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Jacobs Well Qld Australia
Posts: 12
Wayne,
can't help with the video editing stuff as i'm new to it myself but i do shoot for a mob called 4WDTV [ 4WD TV - KEEP IT SAFE- PLAY HARD! ]

with some interviews we sometimes stand beside the camera and ask questions and they edit it later and get the host of the show to voice the questions and you would think he is doing the asking so staying out of frame can be good sometimes.

Perhaps you should also shoot some stills with a decent DSLR ...such as the interviewee, some of the memorabelia he has collected as well as some of the pics he has in his old photo albums.

when you talk about those things later during the interview you can show a higher quality still closeup
Shane Gerrish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 20th, 2009, 11:56 PM   #68
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Gainesville, Missouri, USA
Posts: 26
Thanks Len and Shane for your suggestions. I have a bit of a problem with the professional affiliation and commitment to a local TV station because I'm 66 years old and have a multitude of unrelated career responsibilities that require immense time. This Video project is purely for the satisfaction of preserving information that is about to be lost. I can see it fading and am doing all that I can to stick a thumb in the dam. There is NO CHANCE that I will move into this as a career. But, I want to do as well as I can, which is why I started this thread. It was a wise decision, since I've learned quite a bit in a short time from the many experts lurking here. Having said that, I realize that I'm just an amateur interloper in this field. As such, I press on and do what I can do. The technique of staying out of the frame and asking questions is basically what I have adopted because I'm not content with the sound of my own voice. At some point, I'll develop a narrative (what I AM trained for) and will have a professional narrator presenting the story and posing the questions. I do take a DSLR with me for still shots, though the Canon HV30 has that feature also, and I carry a laptop and a thin flatbed scanner for scanning photographs in high resolution. On the first interview, I scanned well over 100 photos and documents.

One thing that I've already concluded is that my ATR shotgun mike is not the right microphone for a boom in this type of interview. Yes, I know that I was warned about this - don't rub it in :-( It has a distasteful echo component and the gain is too low. Putting a wind buffer on it helped reduce the barrel effect, but it's not nearly as punchy as the ATR lavalier mike that I'm using. So, I've considered using two lavalier mikes - one to each camera. Any caveats about that?
Wayne G. Sayles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 23rd, 2009, 08:35 PM   #69
Tourist
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Plattsburg Mo
Posts: 2
Keith Foster

Wayne'
Please add my name to the list of people who like to offer their help. I am in the Kansas City area.
I am the high school media club sponsor and an amateur videographer and editor. We have a Canon XH a1, a Canon HV30 and a couple of Sony hard drive cameras. We edit with Final Cut Pro and Pinnacle Studio 12.
I don't pretend to be an expert but would love to help you however I can. Since I am a teacher I have my summer free and might be able to travel a few hundred miles to help you shoot.
Our club website is here if you would like to take a look at some of the things my students and I have done.
Welcome

Let me know if I can be of any help.
Keith Foster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 23rd, 2009, 11:26 PM   #70
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Gainesville, Missouri, USA
Posts: 26
Thanks Keith;

I will definitely keep that in mind when I tape some of the more local veterans. I'm concentrating on one specific Army Air Corps unit at the moment and doing only vets from that group. I may expand that though if time and resources permit.

While I'm posting here, I'd like to bring up one problem area that I've run into. I started out using 85 watt (300 tungsten equivalent) daylight 6400K fluorescent key lighting shooting through a translucent umbrella and using a lower wattage fill light (same kelvin) and a back light of the same wattage as the fill light. In my first tapes (sample posted here in an earlier post), the subject had a pretty flat appearance. I added another 85 watt fluorescent to the key and eliminated the fill. It's marginally better, but still too flat looking to suit me. There's plenty of light for exposure, but the facial features just don't stand out like they should. I hate to hammer the subject with a higher intensity spotlight because the sessions are often lengthy. My next experiment will be to use a reflective umbrella with the same lights instead of shooting through the umbrella. Does anybody have other lighting ideas to put some life into the subject's face?

BTW, having finished shooting better than five hours of static interview with one subject, I now have a very good appreciation of what Jim said earlier about pulling the story out of the subject. It is absolutely critical and the equipment setup has to stay self-tending to allow that to happen.

Best,

Wayne
Wayne G. Sayles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 24th, 2009, 12:17 AM   #71
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tucson AZ
Posts: 2,206
Im wondering if the umbrella may lead to too flat lighting even if you bounce the flo off it. I think umbrellas are more commonly used in still photography with a "nearly point source" like a strobe or something, or with some other form of "hard" light.

I've got a couple of ideas - I'll try them out and let you know if they work.
Jim Andrada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 24th, 2009, 08:57 AM   #72
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Gainesville, Missouri, USA
Posts: 26
You may be right Jim. I chose the umbrella because it's very compact to carry in comparison to many other light diffusers. Now, I'm not sure that I even need or want a diffuser at all with the fluorescent bulbs. But, I fear that a focussed reflector will be aggravating to the subject in a long interview. Any reflector would have to throw a wide pattern I think. I like the fluorescents, they never heat up and seem to provide plenty of light. The Canon HV30 handles automatic color balance fine with these bulbs. I'm wondering if a very narrow beam, relatively low intensity, spotlight (maybe LED?) could be aimed directly at the subject's face from some angle other than the axis to brighten up the facial features without blinding the subject? Maybe even an LED flashlight would work. There's a built-in light in the camera, but it doesn't seem to do much. I'm sure that there is professional equipment to do exactly this, but I'm searching for a relatively effective but low cost approach, not a utopian solution.
Wayne G. Sayles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 24th, 2009, 09:09 AM   #73
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia (formerly Winnipeg, Manitoba) Canada
Posts: 4,087
Flat lighting is a function of key to fill lighting PLACEMENT far more than lighting instrument type. Frontal lighting produces flat lighting while traditional 1.5 to 2 stop key to fill ratio lighting for seated interviews will provide much more character and texture (which of course requires it's own due diligence).
__________________
Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster
www.roaddogmedia.ca Blog: http://roaddogmedia.wordpress.com/
Shaun Roemich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 6th, 2009, 11:44 AM   #74
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Gainesville, Missouri, USA
Posts: 26
Just a word or two about this project as it has evolved. I've done four "interviews" now and am getting to the point where there is a certain comfort zone. I've doubled the intensity of the key light and changed from a translucent umbrella to a coated reflector umbrella. I still prefer the umbrella because it packs so handily in my airline carry-on bag. I've found that the fill light is not any great help, so all I'm using is the key light and a background light. I gave up on the boom mike and am using two lav mikes, one to each camera. That works much better for my setup. I eliminated the annoying 60-cycle hum on tape by taping only under battery power. The cameras are in fixed positions, one wider and more frontal, the other tight and more profile. They both run constantly during the session and I sort out all the trash in editing. I have full redundancy that way in case of some equipment failure. It's not Oscar winning photography, but I'm content that it serves my primary purpose of getting these vets on film before it's too late. Since I started this video project, four more members of the 416th Bomb Group have died. I'm going to be doing at least three more interviews this coming week. There's a very short excerpt from one of the interviews (with Ralph Conte) at First To Fall: Forever Young

I really do appreciate all the help I received from members of this discussion list.

Thanks,

Wayne
Wayne G. Sayles 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 03:43 PM.


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