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Old January 9th, 2006, 10:43 AM   #1
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Video Recording Guidline Assistance Needed

Hello,

I recently purchased a GL2 and want to create an instructional DVD. The majority of the recording will be in a basement and some of it ouside at the farm.

Is there any online documentation that someone can email me or that I can download on all the basics of video recording such as story line, lighting, camera angles, audio, background, foreground, etc. I am guessing that the majority of my filming will be on a tripod for the various segments. How high should the camera be, etc? As for the lighting, (ugh!) I don't have the budget for full blown quality stuff, and plan on using work lights with some type of filter (shower curtain maybe??) or the clamp on lighting for the lower lights. It's all a learning curve for me now, but I'm really excited and want to get started.

I am new to this and need to get working on this ASAP. My brother is a freshman at USC school of video production, but he doesn't have any of this just yet.

Here's what I have so far:
Canon GL2
basic accessories such as small battery and cables, charger, etc.
5 hr battery
H58 Wide Lense
Nova 5 AW Black Filter
Heavy Duty 6' Tripod (fluid head)
10 dVC Tapes (60 min each)
carrying case
lense cloth

Do I need a wired clip on mic to wear? How about a "shotgun" microphone?

I did get the DV Rack Express, but I haven't been able to get it running on my laptop, and may try to get it running on my home server. A friend recommended that I get a copy of "Premiere Elements". he thinks the latest version is 2.0. It costs around $100, and is a LOT easier to learn than Premiere Pro. Anyone got ideas on this too?

Thanks for any and all of your help. It will be greatly appreciated. As you can see, I've got the ambition to learn, and am excited to get started.
Joel
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Old January 9th, 2006, 02:10 PM   #2
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You'll find a lot of the information you're looking for on DV Info itself. Use the search function and you'll find more information than you could possibly absorb for this project.

To get started, check out the Filmmaker Resource Thread in the Techniques for Independent Production forum. It's useful even if you're not making a "film".

At this point, I'd recommend setting up your location and taking some test video and sound. That will help to narrow down your questions and searches.

As a general guideline for instructional videos, try to come up with video and images that "show" what you're talking about instead of just having a talking head.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 02:27 PM   #3
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I did spend almost a day reading on there and found out a bit about how to make some cheap lighting, but I didn't see exactly where I could learn the fundamentals though.

Thanks, I'll continue to search and read. Does anyone have a direct link to what I'm looking for? How about my equipment list? What am I missing?
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Old January 9th, 2006, 02:42 PM   #4
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Some light reflectors would be useful.

For sound, think about getting the mic up close to the talent. You'll get better sound than having a shotgun mounted on your camcorder.

And make sure to monitor your sound through headphones.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 02:52 PM   #5
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For software, check out the Sony Vegas line, specifically, Vegas Movie Studio + DVD
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Old January 9th, 2006, 05:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Sommer
I did spend almost a day reading on there and found out a bit about how to make some cheap lighting, but I didn't see exactly where I could learn the fundamentals though.

Thanks, I'll continue to search and read. Does anyone have a direct link to what I'm looking for? How about my equipment list? What am I missing?
For the fundamentals of telling a story visually, take a look at the book "The Five C's of Cinematography" by Joseph Mascelli. Even though it is written from a film-making perspective, almost all of the points it discusses apply equally well to video. Another couple of good little books to get would be "Grammar of the Edit" and "Grammar of the Shot" both by Roy Thompson. You can find all three of these on Amazon.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 05:58 PM   #7
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Joel I know you're looking for something online, but check out the Read This forum for some good recommendations. Look for the DVD tutorial Advanced Broadcast Camera Techniques, I think you'll find it useful.
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Old January 9th, 2006, 10:29 PM   #8
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Joel, a few of my instructors at UNLV were USC graduates and they assigned some books for our classes that I refused to sell back because of their usefullness.

One is is called "Film An Introduction" by William H. Phillips - it goes into the history and theory of film as well as mise en scene, sound techniques, lighting, sets and many other paths that have been paved for us. I have implemented much of what I read in this book into my work.

Another book is called "The Filmmaker's Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the digital age" - this is a more technical book that teaches you about all corners of the film making world. Again, very useful, and you can find both of them at most bookstores.

Good luck!
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Old January 10th, 2006, 11:24 AM   #9
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All good stuff. I've downloaded the Vegas Movie Studio + DVD Platinum demo. It seems pretty slick, and I'll have to play with it some. I've read many of the web sites, white papers, posts, and documents. I just still haven't found what I'm looking for just yet.

Any additional info is greatly appreciated.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 01:57 PM   #10
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For instructional DVDs:

1- There are various companies out there that produce these. I would look at their websites for example clips.
VASST.com
lynda.com
totaltraining.com

2- I don't think equipment is all too important for instructional DVDs. In my opinion, the most important things are:
A- Not being boring. A lot of training material is boring.
B- Explaining things well, having good examples and providing understanding on why you push what buttons. Other content-related things.
C- If it's a commercial project, then making the product look slick will help advertising/marketing. This is a combination of things, but it mostly happens with design (i.e. broadcast design... the video equivalent of graphic/print design).

3- Audio: The main technical thing is to make sure the audience can understand what the presenter is saying. A lav is a good choice because you don't have to deal with background noise much. Go wired where you can, otherwise go wireless. You will need someone on headphones to monitor for rumbling (when the wire hits something, or if the clothing makes noise) and "nose breathing" (my term; the talker breathes air into the mic).

Putting a mic onto a stand will also work. They will pick up a bit more room noise, but if you have controlled conditions that shouldn't be too much of a problem. If you need to capture non-dialogue audio, then it may make sense to get a shotgun or hypercardioid microphone.


It doesn't take much money to get sound with excellent technical specs... look for equipment that has little enough self-noise that it's masked by the background/ambient noise.

4- Lighting: If you're just shooting in a controlled situation and have lots of setup time, it doesn't matter much what you get. To get formulaic three-point lighting, go for soft sources for key+fill and anything for the back light. Then some other lights for the background.
Soft sources can be had various ways... the cheapest solutions would be to shoot through a shower curtain. Or bounce the light off crinkled tinfoil (tape it to cardboard), a laminated card, or anything white.
A hard source for backlight can just be a worklight, or one of those halogen spot lights.
For the background, you can just light it with really strong soft light. i.e. bounce two powerful lights off the ceiling behind the talent. The light has to be strong/powerful since you 'lose' a lot by bouncing it (since the light reflects everywhere, not all of it is going where you want it).
If the background is not very interesting, then you need to light it creatively to add interest to it. Lighting can add color (put gels on the lights) and texture (i.e. cookies).

You will need some stands to position everything.

How you light a scene best depends on what you want to shoot.
If you can't figure out what you want, look at some videos and figure out what lighting you like. And then folks on the lighting forum would likely be able to tell you how to achieve that particular result.

5- Really though, probably the most important equipment you'll use for a training video is pen and paper (or a keyboard). The content will likely be the most important part of the video.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 05:42 PM   #11
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before you get too hung up in the logistics of the shoot, at the minimum draw yourself up a shot list of what you want in the video... everything revolves around the script, tho, so the script is where you want to start.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 02:23 AM   #12
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Lol - and before you do a shotlist, make sure you do a location scout so you know that your shots ARE possible. ;-)

Sorry - just a few bad experiences as of late.
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Old January 13th, 2006, 11:14 AM   #13
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