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Old May 12th, 2006, 03:48 AM   #1
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Several questions about Canon XM2 shoot

I hope it's okay to post each question here - it seemed more sensible than checking multiple posts. They are all 'general' I think.

I have just bought a Canon XM2 to eventually start shooting a 'run and gun' style documentary centred on one indivdual over a two week period. It's for my own benefit .. just to make a little film as a first project. No pressure, no expectation.

Firstly .. I would just like some advice on a good starter level tripod (this being my first attempt at shooting anything). I will be doing both static and seated interviews in addition to the run and gun. I would also like to do slow panoramic pans of various settings. I'm more concerned about quality than price - I'd rather get something half decent now, but I won't need a quick release mechanism or anything elaborate as there will be plenty of time to structure the interview parts.

Secondly .. I have researched a great deal on the forum here and also taken many books from the local library, which was surprisingly well stocked. I have also purchased some tutorial DVDs on three point lighting, shooting tips and so on (all for beginners). However .. I was wondering if anyone that has or does regularly shoot run and gun style could give me any tips, be they technical, creative or general. Little things that as a beginner, simply will not occur to me perhaps .. that only someone with experience would know. (For the sound / light aspects I will post on the relevant sections).

Thirdly .. a question about the 'Nick Broomfield' style of documentary. As a novice, it appears that some of his work (the Heidi Fleiss documentary springs to mind immediately) is probably not 'overly-technical'. That may be my naivety, or would it be fair to say that if the content is 'gripping' or interesting enough .. the technical aspects will be forgiven? I mention Nick Broomfield in particular as it is this 'feel' I am going for with my own project (although I will not be seen or heard on camera).
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Old May 12th, 2006, 08:36 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Mazzola
I hope it's okay to post each question here - it seemed more sensible than checking multiple posts.
Actually it's not a good idea. You'll get much better and more useful answers by splitting your questions into separate posts and putting them in their respective forum categories. Yes it is more work to follow up on each one, but doing your own homework is part of the process here if you really want answers you can use. It may seem more tedious but you get a better, higher information payoff in return.

Quote:
I would just like some advice on a good starter level tripod
A frequently asked question. Please browse through a variety of discussions about affordable tripods in our Tripods forum at http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=118. For what it's worth, there are no "beginner" tripods; you should buy what your camera needs in terms of its weight and your budget. Our Tripods forum is already brimming with advice on this topic so I won't go any further here.

Quote:
I was wondering if anyone that has or does regularly shoot run and gun style could give me any tips, be they technical, creative or general. Little things that as a beginner, simply will not occur to me perhaps .. that only someone with experience would know.
Not quite as easy to do. There's no substitute for learning by experience, and the best lessons you'll ever get are the mistakes you encounter by yourself when you learn as you go. That said, there has been so much input on this message board on this particular topic that it too could count as a frequently asked question. You just have to be willing to do the research. Our search function is a great way to begin looking for these kinds of discussions. This site has a huge database of contributed content and it's just a matter of rolling up your sleeves and digging in. No reason why you won't get any additional input based on your post here, you never know what someone will offer in reply. My point is that some incredibly helpful advice has *already* been given, many times over, in the form of past discussions on this same topic. If you make an effort to find those threads, you'll be richly rewarded by the wealth of information you can gleam from them, far more so than the best replies you'll get out of this particular post. In other words, if our ten best experts gave you feedback here, it still wouldn't equate to all the great stuff that's waiting at your fingertips by exploring older discussion threads.

Quote:
would it be fair to say that if the content is 'gripping' or interesting enough .. the technical aspects will be forgiven?
Yes, it would be fair to say that. You'll still need to familiarize yourself with the most basic technical considerations such as proper framing and composition, audio, lighting, focus, exposure, and shooting with the edit in mind. With those key concepts down, you're moving beyond the "content is king" level of fundamental understanding into the world of "content is king and it can look good too." You don't need a stabilizer, a crane, a greenscreen, nor do you need to move the camera during the shot to effectively tell a story. Save the advanced techniques for the future. For now, if you can see an image and hear the soundtrack clearly, then you're off to a great start and you can concentrate on the most important aspect of making a video: and that is, telling the story.

Welcome to DV Info Net. Hope this helps,
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Old May 12th, 2006, 02:48 PM   #3
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Thanks very much indeed Chris for such a thorough answer on all counts.
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