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Old December 8th, 2006, 10:27 AM   #1111
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Thanks for the kind remarks. I was using the GO35Pro 35mm adapter for many of the shots and they give a very DoF at the expense of considerable light-loss. In most of the shots I had additional lighting from a diffused daylight 100W battery powered light which I put quite near the subjects. It would have been much better if I had a 1K or more but as Rob correctly noted, this is a one-man-band. That really makes things a lot hard but I'm trying.

Doing things on your own has it's pros and cons. On the positive side, you gain a lot of mobility and flexibility. You can get in and out of situations where a big group of guys with equipment would be frowned upon. Furthermore, you spend less time getting to the shot (less equipment to set up). This helps with run-n-gun types of documentaries like I'm doing here (see for some others).

Then there's the downside - you're doing it all yourself. This means I'm dependent very much on the lavalier microphone since I don't have a boom operator. I have a second gun mic going as a backup, an NTG-2. You really have to get used to multi-tasking because you'll be keeping an eye on the running of the equipment, the framing, while interviewing the subject, and so on. It helps if the subject feels comfortable with you so things look natural and relaxed. I usually set the camera up and explain to the interviewee what I intend to do, including camera movements while they're talking, where to keep their eye focused, etc. This way when I do get up and start moving things around for a different angle, for example, they just keep going naturally.

You will notice that a lot of the shots were not locked down - which I would have preferred. The reason is that I was shooting guerilla style and some of the places, though public, were not welcoming of cameras. I was chased away a few times while trying to get a shot. The key is to be prepared, and once you start, to get the best shot the first time round - before security comes after you. This relates more to the B-roll stuff. As for sound, in this particular documentary - I did not realize that when the deaf sign, the sign for "me" or "my" involves a movement of the hand to the chest - which resulted in the tapping on the clip-mic or the wire, producing some noise and distortion.

Lighting is key to beautiful footage - we all know that. This is even more important when using a 35mm adapter, of any kind. My portable battery powered 100W light gives me about 40 minutes of run-time so I try to keep things short. I also try to shoot near windows on a nice sunny day. Unfortunately this video was shot mostly during the monsoon and the skies were dark and grey everyday for the most part. I try to avoid night-time interviews if I can help it.

On 35mm adapters, it gives you an inverted image so that took some getting used to and working around. The thing is that I don't want to be lugging around any more equipment than absolutely necessary (such as an external monitor, cables, and power). The stuff can add up in weight real easily. In the end you think to yourself, sure the setup could be better and the pictures and sound could have been better. But with this kind of documentary, often it's the content that drives the story most - though good footage definitely helps. So if I had to choose, I'd go with good content with okay footage, that great footage and missing the content altogether. Of course, when you can have both, go for it.

Working with people, can be a hassle, in more ways than one. A lot of stuff people say - they say naturally. You don't really want to script what they say so you have to work the interview and plan beforehand what you want to cover. There's a lot of scenario planning that must happen before the interview. This includes thinking about what kind of shots you want, camera angles, and then the sort of direction you want the interview to go. You want to think about what the vision of the final documentary will look like, while staying open to changes and adaptations. Lots of stuff cannot be planned but having a skeletal plan will help a lot. You really don't want to just go in and wing it although in a pinch that might work. When things happen, that you don't expect, always be ready to grab the shot - some of these may be a one time opportunity. And, try to have a Plan B because Plan A has a tendency of not working out.

Know your equipment well. Fiddling with the camera or the sound to get things right while the interviewee s waiting is a dampener on the spontaneity of the interview. Get in, set it up right and set it up quick. Also, know the people you're interviewing. I try to get to know my subjects and get to a point where the interviewee is not so conscious of being on video as he/she is of talking to you. Explaining to them the procedure and showing them how the video works sometimes helps them feel a bit better and more settled. Also, start with some trivial stuff for the interview so that they can get relaxed and you get into the "groove" of things before hitting the meatier parts. I also try to get the camera rolling a few minutes before I tell them I'm starting. This way I get some candid shots which can be used for cut-aways. The worst thing that can happen is forgetting to check the audio during a shoot and coming away with unusable audio, or no audio at all. This can easily happen when in a rush or when you're not familiar with the camera and the multitude of switches for audio and line assignments. Get into the habit of checking the sound levels before you start shooting.

Other important aspects are the selection of music, the VO scripting, keeping the flow, yada yada ... lol. There's tons more stuff but I'm sure all this is common knowledge and I really don't want to bore anyone. Furthermore, I'm sure there are many more competent documentary producers than myself who can give even better advice. I'd be willing to share anything I can, especially if you have some specific questions.

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Old December 8th, 2006, 03:43 PM   #1112
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Not really into extreme sports, motocross, etc,....but the trailer for your doc looks really interesting,........and well done. Even someone like me would be interested to watch. Well done!!
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Old December 8th, 2006, 04:55 PM   #1113
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hey thanks rob, i will try and re cut it and post it up soon. i get how some scene just drag on a bit to long now that i look at it more closely. oh lol and by the way i'm only 16.
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Old December 8th, 2006, 05:53 PM   #1114
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16??? Man when I was 16 (about a hundred years ago) all I could think of was girls and how to make my car go faster. Did I mention girls? ;-)
You've got the talent, now you need to hone it and craft it and by the time you're 21 you could be all world.
I guess I should start my 8 year old grandson on the camera now!

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Old December 8th, 2006, 07:06 PM   #1115
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lol, girls girls and more girls and a bit of cars. lol yeh i do think about them. I was wondering if you guys could show me any books or videos about color correcting? oh and if u could have a look at this other experimental video i'v been putting together just to test my camera out a bit.
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Old December 8th, 2006, 07:59 PM   #1116
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Headshot (Short Film)

Hi all,

I'm new on this forum, not as a reader but as a poster
Here's a short film we shot a few months ago

Let me know what you think
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Old December 8th, 2006, 10:20 PM   #1117
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Thanks, that was my one and only goal, to get people outside the subculture to maybe give it a look. You made my day, one down 6 billion to go.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 08:10 AM   #1118
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Admittedly, sound is my weakest point.

I need to order some books on sound editing... :)

Anyone have any suggestions?
Robert M Yannetta, Loud Orange Cat Productions
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Old December 9th, 2006, 08:53 AM   #1119
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Friendswood, Texas
Posts: 4
Two animated short films (feedback is appreciated)

Hey everyone, here are two of my short films I've decided to put on youtube. Once I get my site up and running I'll be able to put more of my work online.

Any feedback is good feedback.

Killer Date:

The Waltons:

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Old December 9th, 2006, 09:45 AM   #1120
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Hi Allen,

Oh, is it not working well? It looks absolutely fine on the three pc's I've checked it on but someone else has also said they've got a problem viewing it. Don't suppose there's any chance you could fire off a screenshot if you get a moment?

Just catching up on activity at so I'll be putting a comment up there about your excellent Hallowed Ground video!

Hope you're having a good w/end.


Ian . . .
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Old December 9th, 2006, 10:10 AM   #1121
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Great stuff Love the camera work the most its what I pay attention to the most,,acting if good too and love the DOF

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Old December 9th, 2006, 12:27 PM   #1122
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Season's greeting holiday video card

My wish for a happy holiday season and lots of jobs for everyone! Shot on HVX200 P2 at 720P 24 with a Brevis35 mounted with Canon 35mm wide open @ 2.8. Compressed through FCP to H.264. It loses a lot of quality going to youtube...sorry. Happy Holidays!
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Old December 9th, 2006, 12:42 PM   #1123
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Not bad kid =)

Couple of things I noticed. Some of the shots were not in focus, or very soft. Also I think you can edit it a bit tighter. Seems to me some of the lines are coming in late. Obviously you can't do anything about the performances, but next time I would get more convincing actors, not that they were terrible, just that you can find better and more compelling performances. Last, some of the framing and composition was a bit off to me.

Otherwise good work.
Visit me and my work at
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Old December 9th, 2006, 01:38 PM   #1124
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Short Film (Unfinished)

This is a short film i did a few months ago. Its unfinished and i still have to put in some special effects and clean up the video and audio some more but i decided to post this anyhow and get some feedback on the Movie. This is my first short and i plan on doing more of them. Hope you all like and please feel free for any type of critism. It is very well needed to make it better. Thanks!!!
This is what i do for the love of Video Production..

Derrick Jones..........
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Old December 9th, 2006, 03:48 PM   #1125
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Hya..from what I can see is you are wanting to capture a real moment but the shakiness of the camera in some scenes is not nessesary,,for the opening you need to get yourself a tripod and keep you finger of all video camera zoom buttoms..use the ring and lessen the start and stop of the zoom if you have to use it..

You need a mic or you need to ADR everything because you cant hear much at all..

I think your on the right path and I know its hard to find help in this biz, im by no means Mr proffessional so Im just posting my thoughst hope it helps

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