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Old May 13th, 2006, 09:28 PM   #1
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i am new and i have some questions..

Hey there, i am new to this forum and am very interested in learning more about the digital world. I currently have a Canon NTSC ZR100 MiniDV and a SLIK U 9000 tripod. I have made numerous short films for the last eight months and none have really been good. Anyways, one of my questions was, would it be good to get a steadicam to improve my directoral career further in making movies? Also, my MiniDV is not a good camcorder in the dark at all or maybe i just do not know how to use it. In filming in the dark, what equipment is best for lighting? An example of a little movie me and my friends are interested in making is like a blair witch-esq film and when we went out in the woods the other night, the camcorder did not do too well. We even taped a flashlight to my DV to see if it would work and nothing...
I relized over the course of the year in making my films that you must have the equipment and co-operation of the people around you to make a film work. I slowly improved my filmaking over the course of the year. I am a young college student who just haves a desire to make movies and i am just starting out. Once i get older, i'll try to attain better camcorders and equipment. Alright thanks!
Tom Richards
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Old May 13th, 2006, 09:34 PM   #2
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Also, what type of steadicam should i get for how small my MiniDV is??
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Old May 13th, 2006, 11:41 PM   #3
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I'd suggest making your own steadicam and/or track. They are really cheap to build $20-100 and can work fairly well.
For the darkness... well, some lighting equipment is definatly necessary. You can pick up cheap worklights at any hardware store. Also, you can use a windshield cover (shiny one side, white the other) as a reflector, so if you don't want too much light, you can reflect it off this onto your actors.
go http://www.dvinfo.net//conf/showthread.php?t=19944 for a great low budget lighting article.
Good luck,
Glenn
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Old May 14th, 2006, 06:30 AM   #4
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Take a lighting, photography, and acting class while you're in college, they'll improve the impact of your movies much more than the latest and greatest gear.
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Old May 14th, 2006, 07:53 AM   #5
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I would have to add that a Steadycam should come pretty far down the list of priorities for a budding filmmaker IMHO. Get together a decent sound kit and a basic lighting package first. There were lots of great movies made before steadcams even existed, even before dollies existed. Learn how to compose, light and block action in front of a fixed camera and how to capture sound that is clear and realistic. Learn how to cover a scene with multiple angles and cut between establishing shots and cloeups. Later on is the time to work on hand-held moving camera such as a Steadycam might be useful for. Don't fall for the MTV/Hip-Hop style of camerawork where the lens is weaving and bobbing and tilting and flash-panning all over the place, at least not until you've got the basics down.
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Old May 14th, 2006, 08:19 AM   #6
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Yeah Steadycams aren't exactly number one, but do what I did, I borrowed a leaf from Stanley Kubrick and found a wheelchair on the naturestrips (or pavements or whatever they are elsewhere) during a hard rubbish collection week. I took it, cleaned it up good and now I have a beautiful freewheeling dolly that is free of tracks and cost nothing!

Pro steadycams usually need a workshop to learn how to use, but out of EXTREME low budgets (like what most of us operate on) comes great ingeniousness. Who would have thought that a plank of wood, a doorknob and a chair leg could make a cheap shoulder mount?

Most of all, learn to love hardware stores. They are your friends.

Cheers,
Richard
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Old May 14th, 2006, 04:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
I would have to add that a Steadycam should come pretty far down the list of priorities for a budding filmmaker IMHO. Get together a decent sound kit and a basic lighting package first. There were lots of great movies made before steadcams even existed, even before dollies existed. Learn how to compose, light and block action in front of a fixed camera and how to capture sound that is clear and realistic. Learn how to cover a scene with multiple angles and cut between establishing shots and cloeups. Later on is the time to work on hand-held moving camera such as a Steadycam might be useful for. Don't fall for the MTV/Hip-Hop style of camerawork where the lens is weaving and bobbing and tilting and flash-panning all over the place, at least not until you've got the basics down.
hey thanks for the tip Steve. I have a question, what decent light and sound kit can i get for a low budget project? Also how can i cover mutliple angles shots on scenes, do you mean like for just one scene where a person i am filming will have to stand still so that i can go to another angle to shoot the scene or how does that work? I know i have alot to learn as a starter but i really want to get into it.
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Old May 14th, 2006, 04:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Plumridge
Yeah Steadycams aren't exactly number one, but do what I did, I borrowed a leaf from Stanley Kubrick and found a wheelchair on the naturestrips (or pavements or whatever they are elsewhere) during a hard rubbish collection week. I took it, cleaned it up good and now I have a beautiful freewheeling dolly that is free of tracks and cost nothing!

Pro steadycams usually need a workshop to learn how to use, but out of EXTREME low budgets (like what most of us operate on) comes great ingeniousness. Who would have thought that a plank of wood, a doorknob and a chair leg could make a cheap shoulder mount?

Most of all, learn to love hardware stores. They are your friends.

Cheers,
Richard
WOW a wheel chair....not a bad idea...Also could you take a picture of how you set your DV on the wheelchair? just curious.
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Old May 14th, 2006, 04:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski
Take a lighting, photography, and acting class while you're in college, they'll improve the impact of your movies much more than the latest and greatest gear.
Thanks for the tips Micheal, i will def look into it.
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