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Old May 7th, 2004, 03:17 AM   #1
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My Sound And Lighting Options

Hey Friends,

I'm preparing for a short shoot in July.

The place that I'm renting the DVX has these equipment for lighting and sound... what are your suggestions

For lighting kits... 3 options

a 4-light Dido Max kit with dimmers, and two Omni/Pro Tota Lowel kits with Chimera light banks, and one red head.

For Sound...

the basic SHURE FP33 3-channel mixer with boom pole, Mic, rycote, etc. ($90 per day)

Or

a 4 channel PSC mixer with boom, 415 Sennheiser, and rycote and one Wireless unit is $175/day (transmitter and receiver), and another 55/day for every extra wireless package.



There are also lighting and sound equip at my local film groups I'm not sure if they are good with the dvx ... but here is the list of the sound and lighting equip...


http://www.winnipegfilmgroup.mb.ca/rentalrates/rate-member.pdf

the other film group place has this...

Lighting Kits |

Strand light kit: $5.50

Lowell Light Kit: $5.50

Inkie Light Kit: $5.50

Individual Lights: $2.20


| Microphones |

Sennheiser Dynamic 421, 441, 461: $3

Shure SM58: $3

AKG Shotgun CK9, Cardiod CK5, CK22: $3

C1000S, Crown Lav GLM 200, LAV CK567E: $3

Realistic PZM: $3

Sennheiser 416T shotgun w/ windscreen and pistol grip: $10

Neuman TLM103: $15

Shure FP31 field mixer: $2.20


Not sure if these are capable with the dvx?
Maybe they are and I can save tons of money.
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Old May 8th, 2004, 02:22 PM   #2
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?

Any of you familiar with these lighting and sound equip?
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Old May 8th, 2004, 04:52 PM   #3
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You may want to give some more details on the shoot for the best responses. Indoors, outdoors, times of day, how much natural light, ambient noise that you either want to include or be isolated from, nature of the shoot i.e. action, drama, conversations... what are the physical details of the job?

For interviews and glamour work I'd make softlights a priority.

A lot also depends on the level of the shoot. Are you going to do double sound? Will there be more then two sources that are mic-ed? If no on both questions then I don't know why you'd need the complex audio packages with the mixers.

Mixers are great... but you may or may not need one for this job.

One of the luxuries of the DVX is that it almost saves you from needing a sound guy. I say ALMOST 'cause it depends on what you're shooting... if it's an otherwise simple shoot don't complicate it just to complicate it.

If it IS a complex shoot then I'm sorry for insulting your intelligence.

Tell us what you're going for and I can offer a shiney, new .02
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Old May 8th, 2004, 11:24 PM   #4
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my first short

This is going to be first short about 12-17 mins in lenght, most of the action will take place in a big room/hall in a buidling, so most of the action will take place indoors, the outdoors shots will include a person walking at picking something off the street, this will be a short scene, and will be the only outside shot.

I am not a professional, but I want to learn and see what I need, this is my first short which I will be directing and mostly doing the crew work. (there will be some people helping out) But I will be doing the camera stuff, lighting, sound and directing.

There are 9 characters, most of the action in the room is by them sitting in front a desk. There will be some shots on a staircase in the building. The room has lights and is pretty well lit cause it has lots of lights on the ceiling. There are alot of gory and special/make up effects done to the characters of some of the scenes.

From reading this book on shorts, I heard that the Lowell light kit is a great lighting tool.

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Old May 9th, 2004, 12:11 AM   #5
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Matt W.,
The reason you're not getting more active response is probably that definitive answers are impossible for anyone here to offer. It's completely meaningless for someone to crow, for example, Lowell lights are good or bad.

Lights are instruments, much like surgical instruments. That is, different lighting instruments have different ranges of applications. Open-faced lights are good for some tasks and not others. Ditto for fresnels, flourescents, HMI, etc. One assembles the lighting plan based on the space, the shot plans, and all of the other details of your short just as a surgeon assembles instruments appropriate for a specific operation.

If you really want to spend your rental money most effectively and want the best outcome for your work, hire an experienced lighting technician and work with him/her on your scene plans. You'll learn a great deal and probably get a far better end product.
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Old May 9th, 2004, 12:42 AM   #6
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I agree with you Ken, just maybe from people here that shot with the dvx, I thought maybe someone would say what they have used for sound and lighting with the dvx, or maybe if they have used any of the equip I listed here. Hiring a lighting technician would be very expensive in my town, so I have no choice but to do it myself and learn the best way I can.
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Old May 9th, 2004, 01:00 AM   #7
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I understand, Matt. I shoot with a 100A and use Arri fresnels, Lowell Totas and Omnis, and a Lowell Caselight 4. I've also used plain old household fixtures and even Maglite flashlights! But, again, selection of the lighting instruments is a decision independent of the camera.

One idea is to make inquiries at your rental house. You may find that there are other indy filmmakers experienced with lighting and sound in the Winnipeg area that might like to work on your project gratis in exchange for a reciprocal agreement on their projects. Rental houses can be great sources for networking in this manner.

Good luck on your project, Matt. Let us know when/if we can see more about it.
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Old May 9th, 2004, 02:17 AM   #8
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thanks

Thank you Ken for your advice, I will be taking a Workshop on lighting at one of rental houses in town, also I just got the book by John Jackman on lighting so hopefully I will gain some knowledge about this issue.

Thank you all again for the support and advice.
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Old May 9th, 2004, 02:35 AM   #9
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Ok Matt, you get my last post before I go to bed... Here's just a possibility based on the information given so far.

Forget all the listed mic choices except a hyper-cardioid and be sure you've got a Softie or Blimp for it... as well as a mount. Set up a boom over your talent splitting the (hopefully close) distance between two speaking actors. The closest actor to the mic will have the loudest voice, all else being equal. Factor that into mic placement.

If you will have several actors speaking at once then use a cardioid and accept that you'll get plenty of room interaction... but still stage your shots individually so that you can have that mic boomed JUST BARELY out of frame... I mean mere inches overhead.

For either of these mic-ing techniques make sure that nobody is speaking more then 3-5 feet away from the mic or they will sound distant and hollow. All voice within 3 feet or LESS will sound good.

If you don't like the above approach and you'll only have two people speaking at a time then I'd put a lav on each and run two seperate channels of the DVX... you'll then have to switch between the two in post... but this will be a lot of work so try to make the cardioid or hyper-cardioid work first.

Next for lighting you need to decide between flattering and drama. If you want drama then go open-faced on the lights... if not then go with softlights or fluorescents... Softlights/fluorescents are easier to work over hard lights which create specific shadows that require good actors to stay and move where you want them. Bring cardboard/foamcore for flags and keep stray light away from everything but your subjects. Once you get your talent lighted properly go to the camera and analyze the background. Does it need something? Should you point a weak light into an area of the background? Is there a stuffed TweetyBird in frame that you didn't notice before but it will cause hell in post?

Plan your shots as an assembly-line... get all the shots for a given setup even if they don't follow chronological order... then switch to the next setup. Storyboarding and scripts and shot-sheets make this easy... otherwise just jot a plan down on a legal pad.

About the most important thing I can tell you is SCOUT YOUR LOCATION AHEAD OF TIME... that can save you TONS of aggravation. Bring a light... any light. Take notice of outlets, ambient sound, how much space you have vs. how much space you need... listen for traffic or other unwanted sound. Clap your hands and speak at the volume the actors will. What is the room doing? Get a serious handle on your location and possible problems. Get to your shoot with at least one guy and begin setup 3 hours before everybody else is to show up. You'll be amazed at how fast that 3 hours goes by... otherwise you'll have actors showing up while you struggle to get the lighting and sound right. Then you'll get reckless as you try to keep your actors from getting bored or anxious. Good planning will save the day and poor planning will ruin it.

When you get the cam stay aware of the sound levels. The little dials seem easy to nudge off a setting by inexperienced hands. Also get a feel for the focus numbers so you can rack focus quickly. Before you start shooting set the WB and lock the iris and focus to manual. Hopefully that extra time I suggested will give you some time to experiment with the scene files and get the cam setup for the look you want... The DVX has so much capability to change the look of what you shoot with it that it would be nuts to not spend some time choosing a look. You can crank up the Master Ped and force drama and blacken shadows... otherwise you can tweak the camera for a neutral look and manipulate it in post.

Record several minutes of ROOM TONE... meaning have your mics set up and record while EVERYONE is silent or not yet there. That way you can add dialog later and lay it over the room tone and it won't sound as much like "piped-in" sound. If you add any foley or extra dialog over a dead audio track you'll hear what I mean.

Hmm, anything else? Well it's the middle of the night now so I'll add to this tomorrow if I think of anything.
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