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Old May 3rd, 2004, 03:53 PM   #1
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Tips on shooting manual

Hey guys, I'm going to be renting a DVX100 to film a movie in June, and I've never shot a movie with manual yet (only automatic settings). I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of how to do good manual shooting. For example, what settings on the DVX count as "manual" (Id hate to turn off 90% of them only to find that the most important setting is actually on "auto"). I'd also like to know what changes when shooting in manual, as you have more control over your image (or more room to mess up :). I guess Ive just been hyping myself up so much over "manual" that its almost become intimidating, so if you could clear me up on this I would appreciate it.
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Old May 5th, 2004, 12:38 AM   #2
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Hey, it looks like the movie will actually be filmed in July so Ill have time to film a couple shorts (not the kind you wear :) with the DVX100 before then. Any tips you could give would be much appreiated.

*cant wait to use the Dee-Vee-Ex-One-Hundy*
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Old May 6th, 2004, 08:46 AM   #3
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At the bare minimum, you'll want to have the exposure and focus set to manual.

If your exposure is on auto, it could potentially fluctuate depending on the content of your shot (e.g., if you pan from a dark wall to a bright window). So once you determine the proper exposure for a shot, set it via the iris dial, and leave it on manual.

With manual focus, you'll often have to pull focus during a shot, in other words, adjust the focus if your character or subject matter is moving closer or further from the camera during a shot.

This is typically done by zooming in to your subject at their starting position, focusing, and either marking down or remembering the focus indicator number (so you can return to it), then moving your subject to their second position, focusing on them there, marking that focus indicator number (either on paper, or a piece of tape you stick on your lens, or, if you can afford it, the follow focus rig made for the DVX by Century Precision Optics), and then manually adjusting your focus from one point to the other as the character moves from their starting position to their concluding position during the shot.

You will also have to adjust focus during the shot if the camera moves closer to or farther from the subject.

Sorry if this isn't entirely clear; I'm a little tired right now, and I'm also not sure how much experience you've had with movie shooting, so I don't know how detailed to make my response. Let me know if you need additional info.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 01:20 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot Stas, I've never shot anything in manual before (just automatic) so your response is much appreciated. I have one question now though: Say I want to do a lot of camera movement in a shot, should I go through the camera movements beforehand (with actors in the proper places) and write down the numbers as well? Thanks again!

Evan Clare
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Old May 7th, 2004, 10:53 AM   #5
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You got it!
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Old May 7th, 2004, 11:33 AM   #6
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Sweet! Thanks! I'll be manually shooting in no time :)
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