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Old August 17th, 2016, 06:39 PM   #91
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

Hi Michael,

If you buy $3,000 worth of equipment and it doesn't work out, you can probably sell it for at least $2,000. :)

Cameras depreciate a bit (in steps when new models come out). Computers depreciate quickly, but are useful for more than just video editing. Lenses and microphones hold their value for years. Buy used and you might even make a profit.

Chris Hurd mentioned framing and composition. For the work you envision, this will be key. It should be balanced and traditional for a western audience. Construction companies aren't generally interested in avant garde. As an example, in western photos, we might make the bottom 3rd ground and the top 2/3rds sky. In Chinese film, it might be 4/5ths ground and 1/5th sky. Mackenzie might have a unique eye that would lead to non-traditional framing. You might encourage him to practice both. Have him film in ways that appeal to him, regardless of how "correct". Identify what is unique and practice it. Also study tradition and practice that to see the difference. He might develop both a unique, artistic look and a traditional look for paid jobs.

After framing and composition, light and exposure are probably next, but first thing's first. Leave camera motion for down the road. It can get expensive. ;)
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Old August 17th, 2016, 07:13 PM   #92
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

Jon

Thank you for the great and very informative post. Much of what you say in regards to Mackenzie is undoubtedly true. It is my hope, that I can teach him correctly and precise enough, and yet there still be room for his own "expression" The hard part of course is that he is very regimented in everything he does. The likely scenario if I can adequately teach him, is that he will be technically proficient in operating a camera, but the expression of which you speak will be lacking.

Again, Thank you for the reply

Michael

Last edited by Michael L. Johnson; August 17th, 2016 at 09:18 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old August 17th, 2016, 07:22 PM   #93
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

Hi Michael

We have spent two years in Canada not working, while our son attended the Arrowsmith School, so you don't have to explain "doing anything" for your kids to me.

+1 Chris Hurd's comment. Framing and composition.

Cheers

Tim

BTW, I really encourage to keep at this or something else for Mackenzie as 24 is far too young to give up on him, as you well know.
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Old August 17th, 2016, 09:09 PM   #94
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

Tim

Thank you for the reply. I suppose in a few posts I may have been a little short with my answers, but my explaining , to some, that I want a life and a career for my son is the best way that I have to describe it. It actually goes very much deeper than that.

I am not familiar with that school, but I will be. I hope your son is doing as well as he can. I know that for Mackenzie besides conquering the behavior issues, the biggest hurdle was getting him to the place where meaningful learning could take place. Once that happened, he made gains by leaps and bounds. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Michael
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Old August 17th, 2016, 09:29 PM   #95
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
This is what I do when I am not getting payed to shoot: https://vimeo.com/album/2256730, I just pick a random subject, go out and just have fun and shoot and usually edit it the same day. Films like this have been my learningschool for all these years, I can experiment as much as I want and more important, make mistakes which I can use to learn from (or in your case, post work here and ask for constructive feedback), that experience I take with me on my payed shoots.
Noa

Is it permissible, once Mackenzie begins filming things in practice to post some of the footage here , so that my experienced friends here can make suggestions ? If it is permissible, that is great news, I have been wondering how I was going to evaluate not only his results, but also how effective my teaching had been.

If I cannot post his practice footage here to get feedback, is there a place that I could ?

Michael
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Old August 17th, 2016, 09:41 PM   #96
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

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Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
This thread is now on page five and it is a great thread. The DVINFO community is coming together to assist someone who has asked for assistance. This forum at its best!

I am encouraging everyone to post. This thread has an unusual caviotte to it. I'll bet there are even many lurkers out there with knowledge of Autism reading this thread. If you do this would be a great time to jump in the water and join us. We don't bite (much).

This is not really my place to say it, but I will anyway, When posting please read what has already been said :-)

Kind Regards,

Steve

Also: Anytime is a great time to join DVINFO.net Everyone is always welcome here on the greatest forum on the internet!
Steve

Thank you for posting this and the message it contained. I want to thank everyone who have so far weighed in with suggestions, information, and comments. I learn something every day. I have only been here a short time, and I can already tell how special a place this is. Once again, thank all of you very much.

Michael and Mackenzie
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Old August 17th, 2016, 10:39 PM   #97
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

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Originally Posted by Michael L. Johnson View Post
Gary, I get your points, kinda, but to me, at this juncture you are beating a dead horse.
Gary (whom I seldom... actually, never, in my recollection, agree with) is 100% dead-on in this case.

You are getting a lot of good advice from a lot of people. You are asking good questions and getting good answers. Because you haven't done this before (and, if you'll excuse the Donald Rumsfeld-ism, you don't know what you don't know), you are forgetting to ask huge questions, and some (a very few) people (Gary among them) are answering them without you asking them. Forgive him (and me) for being presumptuous.

Gary's advice of buying a <$1k camera and going hog-wild is a great suggestion. I will one-up his advice and tell you to look at the 2010 "best pro-sumer camera" list, all of which will be in the $5k-$10k range, pick the one you like best, and pick it up used off eBay or Craigslist for that same $1k. You will get 5x the camera that you would get brand new, and the depreciation will be practically nil.

Your technical A/V questions are spot on. The elephant in the room is the business of it all. Your thought process of "we'll shoot it and make it great, everybody will buy it" couldn't be more wrong.

You got some great camera and technical advice. Focus on business advice now. Ask questions. Be specific. Lay out your game plan. Tell us where you'll sell, to whom, and pricing. You are assuming a lot of things and your assumptions are way off.

Edit: Please remember... we, the collective DVinfo crowd, want to set you guys up for success. That's why we're grinding you! :-)

Last edited by Mike Watson; August 17th, 2016 at 11:37 PM.
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Old August 17th, 2016, 11:11 PM   #98
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

Michael,

You have been candid, honest, and most of all...a class act. Please keep it up. Remember, "how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time".

Steve
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Old August 18th, 2016, 01:20 AM   #99
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael L. Johnson View Post
Is it permissible, once Mackenzie begins filming things in practice to post some of the footage here , so that my experienced friends here can make suggestions ?
Ofcourse you can post his work here and ask for constructive feedback.
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Old August 18th, 2016, 04:50 AM   #100
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

Michael -
Auto will only get you so far, but most cameras will do "OK" to get you started (aside from 4K shooting, where manual is a must, IMO).

Chris is spot on about framing and composition, which basically means how you get your camera pointed in such a way as to get an "interesting" shot. You can just go around and shoot "stuff" and see how it looks. I've noticed some people have a natural "eye" for it, others, not so much, but with training they can get good results, others, well, their skills must lie elsewhere...

As I mentioned in my earlier post, learn what shutter speed, iris, and gain mean to how your video will look (especially shutter speed with 4K that is typically 30FPS rather than 60). While you can let the camera handle these things, it's better to know how to take control when needed.

White balance should be on that list, along with some study of color correction and various "looks", as those "effects" can be used to enhance the final product. You hopefully will get decent looking "video" results out of most cameras, but to get a professional finished look can be a whole other layer of fine tuning.

Usually it's easy enough to find the "on" button or flip out the LCD, and figure out to hit the "red button", the things above will get you moving in the right direction after that. Keep in mind that editing what he shoots will help him refine his camera skills, and is a good part of what you'll be doing. Not sure if your son is comfortable with computers, but it will help a lot if he is, and he can get into the editing.


We all have to start somewhere, most times with whatever cheap camera we can afford, and work up from there - the skills will translate even if the menus and buttons move (and that's frustrating to us too sometimes!).



As far as monetizing, that's a whole other layer of the onion. You'll find discussions here about various video "jobs", and business models. Especially today, a job or business model that works one day may not work next month, and one that seemed silly last year might be the next big thing with the right twist of technology and social media.

Worst case, it will probably be good for your son to build a set of new skills, even if they don't turn into the big bucks... if he enjoys it, it will be something he will always have with him for his personal enjoyment - the memories of you working together, as the commercial goes, are "priceless". As I mentioned before, don't push it too hard, let it come to him naturally, burnout is always a risk even with something that can be as much fun as creating something "cool"...
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Old August 18th, 2016, 07:28 AM   #101
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael L. Johnson View Post
I know my questions are and will be often a pain in the rear..
Actually no, they are not. I greatly appreciate that you have chosen to hold this conversation on DVi.

I did not mean to sound curt with my short reply of just "framing and composition." My point I guess is that it all starts from there, and I had no time then (nor now it seems) to go into a treatise on the subject. But that is indeed where you begin. Put the camcorder in Auto mode and concentrate first and foremost on framing and composition. Eventually you can graduate to gradually taking manual control of the camera settings, but save that until after the basics of framing and composition have been learned through doing. Hope this helps!
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Old August 18th, 2016, 05:51 PM   #102
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

Michael, one thing you haven't mentioned... Is MacKenzie a visual learner or an aural learner?

It will make a difference in how you try to teach MacKenzie the things he needs to learn.

Another teaching tool are podcasts. There are hundreds if not thousands of podcasts on every subject related to audio/video pre/post production and everything in between.

Everyone from manufacturers to professionals, and amateurs to semi-professionals has produced an audio or video podcast on any topic you are interested in.

There are also free university courses available through iTunes U. These courses include syllabi and reference materials. Some even include material in pdf format.

Last edited by Ed Roo; August 18th, 2016 at 07:45 PM.
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Old August 18th, 2016, 07:39 PM   #103
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Watson View Post
Gary (whom I seldom... actually, never, in my recollection, agree with) is 100% dead-on in this case.

You are getting a lot of good advice from a lot of people. You are asking good questions and getting good answers. Because you haven't done this before (and, if you'll excuse the Donald Rumsfeld-ism, you don't know what you don't know), you are forgetting to ask huge questions, and some (a very few) people (Gary among them) are answering them without you asking them. Forgive him (and me) for being presumptuous.

Gary's advice of buying a <$1k camera and going hog-wild is a great suggestion. I will one-up his advice and tell you to look at the 2010 "best pro-sumer camera" list, all of which will be in the $5k-$10k range, pick the one you like best, and pick it up used off eBay or Craigslist for that same $1k. You will get 5x the camera that you would get brand new, and the depreciation will be practically nil.

Your technical A/V questions are spot on. The elephant in the room is the business of it all. Your thought process of "we'll shoot it and make it great, everybody will buy it" couldn't be more wrong.

You got some great camera and technical advice. Focus on business advice now. Ask questions. Be specific. Lay out your game plan. Tell us where you'll sell, to whom, and pricing. You are assuming a lot of things and your assumptions are way off.

Edit: Please remember... we, the collective DVinfo crowd, want to set you guys up for success. That's why we're grinding you! :-)
Mike,

Thank you for the reply, and the comments, suggestions, and advice it contained.

What I will say for the business is that I have a target audience , I will have multiple ways of reaching that target audience, and pricing will be in the competitive range of what other vendors are charging for their offerings. The wild card as I have said repeatedly is whether Mackenzie will be able to do this. If he can, we will be good to go. If he can not, then nothing else matters.
I have identified a target audience, I have ways to reach them, I have a pricing structure, with Mackenzie doing his part, I will have a product to deliver to that audience, in your opinion, just what more do I need.

Contrary to what some may think, I do not have a "secret" model. The place where I work has a target audience, it has a product, it has a pricing structure, it has ways of reaching it's target audience.

Thanks,

Michael
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Old August 18th, 2016, 07:43 PM   #104
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

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Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
Michael,

You have been candid, honest, and most of all...a class act. Please keep it up. Remember, "how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time".

Steve
Steve,

Thank you for the kind remarks. I would express the same sentiments toward all my new found friends here.


Michael
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Old August 18th, 2016, 07:46 PM   #105
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Ofcourse you can post his work here and ask for constructive feedback.
Noa

Thank you for the reply. That is a relief, and I certainly will .



Michael
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