DVC80 for documentary -- how? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant

Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant
The 4K DVX200 plus previous Panasonic Pro Line cams: DVX100A, DVC60, DVC30.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 30th, 2004, 12:59 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Lower Lake, Ca.
Posts: 33
DVC80 for documentary -- how?

I plan to use DVC80 to shoot documentary footage in Ireland in a few weeks. Looking for general advice.

My mikes are ME66 shotgun, and Sony ECM77b lavalier, not wireless.

Plan to shoot ambient light. Want close-up interior and exterior interview footage and a few establishing shots and landscapes. Will be shooting in countryside, away from cities, and pretty much have to carry everything with me.

Thanks,
tony
__________________
A true friend's eye is a good mirror. Irish proverb
Tony Levelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 30th, 2004, 06:57 PM   #2
Outer Circle
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Hope, BC
Posts: 7,527
If you want to shoot a doc, decide first what network you have in mind. Then inquire what kind of material they are looking for, and how they want that material (footage). Both the BBC and PBS have instructions or guides for this on their website. I heard widescreen is in, 4:3 is out. So research first before you begin. Also keep in mind that the signal must be kept "legal."
Frank Granovski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 30th, 2004, 09:24 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 605
Tony,

I'm in post on a doc. I shot with the DVX100. Your equipment sounds fine. Be sure to have some sort of heavy duty windscreen for your ME66 (Rycote Softie works great). A tripod is a good idea, but these days you can get away without one. I'd suggest bringing all the tape you need with you. Stick with one brand and quality. I'd recommend the Panasonic MQ. There are hard to find at a local photo or video store so you're best off to order all the tape you'll need ahead of time (www.tapestockonline.com has great prices and service). Get a good bag--PortaBrace makes a really nice one for the DVX100 for around $200. Have a couple extended life batts in case you are away from "civilization" for a couple days and can't recharge. Add a protective or UV lens to your cam so the lens is safe and a polarizer would be good, too, especially for the outdoor stuff. That's all I can think of now. Good luck with your shoot!

Peter
Peter Richardson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 30th, 2004, 11:08 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Lower Lake, Ca.
Posts: 33
Hey Frank and Peter,

Thanks!

Excellent advice... Will check on needs of networks.

Will also get rycote, polarizer, 20 panasonic tapes, extra batteries, and bring a tripod.

Was agonizing about tripod , but i'm just not that good at hand-holding. My tripods are relatively heavy bogens... don't think i can afford another one right now. Just have to figure out how to get mine to site.

A friend suggested getting a rain cover. Have been looking at the Kata.

I just got a bag, tamrac back-pack, originally designed to hold 2 35mm cameras. It looks waterproof. So I threw it in the shower for 10 minutes... well, it's 95% waterproof...

With a little adjusting the interior moveable divders form a nice compartment for camera, mikes, and tapes... bag is divided into two parts. Big lower part for camera. Smaller, separate upper part (with it's own zipper) for lunch, clothing, maps, extras... i like the bag 'cuz it is low profile. Looks like a drab black backpack.

We'll see...

However, I like the looks of portabrace a *lot*...

next task, write preliminary shot list and read about pub life...

sla'inte,
tony
__________________
A true friend's eye is a good mirror. Irish proverb
Tony Levelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 1st, 2004, 09:48 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: sounthern maine
Posts: 344
i am in the middle of post on a documentary i shot in january on a dvx-100a

i stressed about all the things that i would forget/not have/have but not need/ etc

batteries were fairly important, i bought five from www.dvxuser.com

tape, i bought 50 tapes (cheaper by the case) from www.evsonline.com

i used a mini-rover and my tripod, i really wish i had used my tripod on 100% of the project, there is maybe 15% i didn't use it on and it just isn't as good as the rest.

get a big bag that can hold as much as you can carry, i got the porta brace one for the dvx-100 and stuffed it full.

audio was the most important part, use headphones, check your levels and listen for background noise all the time.

in the end, the story and the sound are the two most important things. if you have a great story and really good sound a lot of other stuff can be forgiven

matthew
Matthew de Jongh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 2nd, 2004, 12:18 AM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Lower Lake, Ca.
Posts: 33
Thanks Matthew,

I'm pretty paranoid about sound, it's the key reason i got the DVC80 instead of VX2000 (or 2100).

I'm coming to agree with you about tripod. Although I really like the effect of close up, wide angle, hand held interview footage. And I know people who use it to get wonderful stuff. But when i use that approach i become too intrusive.

(But the footage is gorgeous.)

My goal is to have the camera 'disappear' in the background, while I have intimate discussion with interviewee.

After reading many posts and getting excellent feedback from people on this board, i'm considering replacing my bogen with a lightweight Miller DS5.

Agree completely about story and sound.

Do you have a web page for your doc?

I'm thinking i need to create one for mine fairly soon.

cheers,
tony
__________________
A true friend's eye is a good mirror. Irish proverb
Tony Levelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 2nd, 2004, 12:25 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: sounthern maine
Posts: 344
one last tip, i didn't consciously plan this, but i had a friend doing the interviews and i didn't fully realize this until i watched the footage when i got back home and sucked all of it into the computer...

after maybe 7 or 8 minutes of asking basic, boring questions, he would say "ok, are we done" or "ok i think thats it" and then from behind the camera i would just ask whatever stupid question i could think of to keep the person going, and then they would answer that question and start on a thread of their own that wasn't asked, that is the stuff that is going to make it into the program.

and that happened usually at like 7 or 8 minutes, yet we went on for a total of 20-25 minutes and the person in no way seemed like it was dragging on, the later parts are when they seemed to relax and just start telling stories etc.

so for what its worth, in my experience, keep them talking and you might get the good stuff. obviously if they say their done or clam up, then stop.

but that never really happened with me except one guy who just wanted to do the 5 minute basic questions, and his interview isn't going into the program.

matthew
Matthew de Jongh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 2nd, 2004, 12:44 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 605
Tony,

Matthew is totally right about the "last question." My cameraman and I had a "good cop bad cop" thing going where I'd get the interviewees trust and then he'd ask these really blunt questions and just play dumb (we were covering a very touchy subject). I've read about doc. interviewers waiting through 8 seconds of silence before asksing another question. Whatever you do, give people time after the think they're finished--both for editing, and because, as Matthew says, more often than not they are nervous, want to fill the awkward silence, and in order to do that will "dig deeper" and really get to the stuff you want.

I think your comment about being "too instrusive" with the handheld cam is very good. You are right, that is some of the best stuff, and you should go after it. I think the only way to make people comfortable with this "up close" camera is to be around them a lot, or at least to interact with them from behind the camera, make a funny comment or something to break the awkwardness. Just don' t be silent Sam behind the camera. In any case, sometimes, in some environments, the tripod can be a hindrance, so don't be afraid to get "up close and personal", this will be your best stuff. A photojournalist once said, if the shot's no good, you're not close enough. Very true. But for landscapes and b-roll, a tripod is always good to have. Just dont' be afraid to walk up to people and get what you really want. Good luck!

Peter
Peter Richardson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 2nd, 2004, 12:53 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: sounthern maine
Posts: 344
yes!

i totally forgot to mention that, the pause, my friend was too damn quick asking the questions and would sometimes cut the person off when they were about to give a long answer.

make sure when you ask the question that you shut up and wait for the answer and for the person to truly stop.

it also really helps for editing! my job would have been easier if there were more gaps.

i bought every book i could find on documentaries and i learned very little from the books.

matthew
Matthew de Jongh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 2nd, 2004, 04:36 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Lower Lake, Ca.
Posts: 33
Yes. I have same problem, talking before interviewee is done.

It's really frustrating to get to editing room and find i can't use interview answer because my own voice jumps in and overrides interviewee.

I have learned to let interviewee finish and then hold my tounge for at least two long beats... what, 3-5 seconds?
__________________
A true friend's eye is a good mirror. Irish proverb
Tony Levelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 2nd, 2004, 05:20 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: sounthern maine
Posts: 344
it depends, someone mentioned 8 seconds, sound a little long but i'd shoot for that!

i just KNOW from the stuff i'm working on that there are times where the person being interviewed had a great answer and the interviewer made a comment implying that they understood and were done with that question and the person just stopped instead of going on with their full answer or talking about something else that the question brought up in their mind.

the interviewer is the least important person, their job is to ask the questions and not try to share any personal info of their own, no anecdotes, no stupid comments etc.

matthew
Matthew de Jongh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 2nd, 2004, 11:45 PM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Lower Lake, Ca.
Posts: 33
thought more about this last night.

it is true that the interviewer is not there to air personal info, etc. that is very well put.

however interviewer is critical to good interview, and very important. interviewer must establish rapport, listen with third ear, sometimes guide interview, and most importantly must sometimes react to what interviewee is saying.

Charlie Rose is best example i can think of.

cheers,
tony
__________________
A true friend's eye is a good mirror. Irish proverb
Tony Levelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 3rd, 2004, 09:55 AM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: sounthern maine
Posts: 344
true. but sometimes the person has the story inside of them and the interviewer just stomps on their thought/speech pattern.

sure someone like charlie rose can extract great stuff, i just had a friend asking questions because #1. i don't like being on camera and #2. he was a performer along with the people he was interviewing so they knew him.

matthew
Matthew de Jongh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 3rd, 2004, 08:10 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Santa Rosa, California
Posts: 745
Great thread, guys.
__________________
Breakthrough In Grey Room

Shawn Mielke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 3rd, 2004, 09:11 PM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 605
I agree with Tony that the interviewer IS really important. Ultimately the success of an interview rests in the interviewers hand, especially when dealing with a difficult subject. It's easy to interview a professional "talking head" who'll deliver sound bytes in his sleep, but a skilled interviewer can get a novice subject to say things they never planned on saying in front of a camera, make a nervous subject comfortable, coach an unquotable interviewer into delivering good sound bytes, the list goes on. But Matthew's point about an interviewer stopping the flow is also right. You've got to be able to roll with the punches, see where the interview takes you, and always have in the back of your mind what you will ultimately need in the editing room. I always try to instill confidence in my subject, let them know I'm listening and that I find what they are saying interesting. I think the point about the 8 second rule had less to do with editing than to getting the most out of your subject. It's hard to open up when you've got a camera on you and you're miked up and hot lights are beating down on your face. The real trick is to make it seem like it's just you and this person, having a cup of coffee, without a care in the world.

Peter
Peter Richardson 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 > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:08 AM.


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