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Old April 6th, 2004, 07:39 PM   #1
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Film Look Simplified

Alright. This thread's purpose is to break down the basic components necessary for achieving high quality footage.

I'm not referring to the 35mm adapters or software plug-ins that I once thought would magically make my footage film worthy, I'm talking the lighting...the lenses...the microphones...the tripod.

I realize that these forums are broken down into all these different categories to help out with the more specific questions dealing with each component, but what I'm looking for is a simple, more generalized view focusing on film look as a whole. I've done much reading in all of the forums regarding the questions I have, but I find it very easy to get lost in that there just so much information presented that I don't quite know how to process it all and determine the best course of action to take. So I guess I might as well get on with my point.

I've basically mentioned all the things I'm concerned with already...that is, lighting, lenses, microphones, and tripods. See, I'm trying to get on the ball with getting my films to look and sound great, so all I'm looking for is the easiest and fastest way to go about doing that, while also not spending too much money.

Lighting
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What is usually the best lighting set up? Do I necessarily have to purchase an entire lighting kit, or would it be faster and cheaper to just perhaps use those utility lights that you can buy at any hardware store?

Lenses
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I don't even know really what to ask about lenses. I own a VX2100, so is there even any other lenses that I can put on my camera? Or how about filters? Are those important?

Microphones
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Now, I'm really concerned about microphones. What is a good microphone to start out with? Perhaps something that can pick up excellent sounding dialogue even in a noisy environment? Would that require a condenser mic or a shotgun mic? I've read a shotgun mic on a boom pole is perfect for dialogue situations, but when will I ever need an actual boom mic? In general, I'm just looking for an idea of the set up I will need for decent to good audio.

Tripods
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At this moment, I don't even have a tripod. I was about to buy a $60 Sony one simply because I needed something to support my camera, but I quickly learned from you guys that it would be best to save up a little bit and get one with a fluid head. Other than that though, what else should I look at when buying a tripod? And what brand do you suggest? Bogen/Manfrotto? I hear those are nice...

And what am I missing? Is there something that usually gets overlooked that can make a big difference in the quality of the final product? Any help you guys can offer would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for always asking so many damn question.
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Old April 6th, 2004, 10:29 PM   #2
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Lighting questions:
A grip truck will have the best lighting setup. :) Rent one.
Utility lights are cheaper, but not faster.

Lenses:
You can get wide angle or telephoto adapters, but these won't do much for you film look.
Tiffen Pro-Mist filters can help diffuse the sharp video look.

Mics:
This is a question for the Sound forum here, but lots of people like the Sennehiser ME66

Tripods:
This is also a question for a different forum. Lots of people use the Manfrotto/Bogen 501 head.
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Old April 8th, 2004, 11:41 AM   #3
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Sorry for the quick first answer, I was short on time.

You might not be getting much feedback on your post because every question you asked has been delt with several times before, and the answers are all located on other parts of the forum. We have a specific section for lighting questions, sound questions, tripods, and for the VX series cameras. You are best to do a search through each of those forums specificaly, and if you can't find your answer, then ask there.

Thanks
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Old April 9th, 2004, 08:46 AM   #4
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> You can get wide angle or telephoto adapters, but these
> won't do much for you film look.

Actually a non high-end WA adapter (like the ones I have) will somwhat unsharpen your video. This, coupled with turning down edge enhancment in the cam (usually known as 'sharpness') helps a lot in giving you a more 'film-like' look.

> And what am I missing? Is there something that usually
> gets overlooked that can make a big difference in the quality
> of the final product?

Yes, underexpose a bit and try to use manual exposure as much as possible. Don't use video gain. If you use a camera that is not high in noise then you can bring the midtones back up using a non-linear transfer function in your favorite NLE. Actually there is a lot you can do in the camera and in post to make it more film like, like deinterlacing and desaturating.

There is a good thread on this subject where I explained some techiniques I have used, it's referred to a specific camera and NLE in my case but most of the stuff can be generalized:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=14301
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Old April 16th, 2004, 12:46 PM   #5
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Just get a DVX100 and shoot in 24p...that will solve all of your problems.
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Old April 16th, 2004, 01:05 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Cory Moorehead : Just get a DVX100 and shoot in 24p...that will solve all of your problems. -->>>

LOL.... :)

Don't forget to add the "J/K" Cory, lots of people may take you seriously.
I was going to say in my first post "Just shoot on film". ;)
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Old April 16th, 2004, 06:40 PM   #7
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... oh and of course use 16:9, preferrably with a camera that has full resolution 16:9 like the PDX10. Note: the DVX100 is not one of those.
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Old April 25th, 2004, 11:48 PM   #8
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Frank:

you've asked how to make a quality film quickly and cheaply.

the simplest rule I know about doing ANYTHING well is this:

Good.
Fast.
Cheap.

Pick Two.
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Old April 29th, 2004, 01:25 PM   #9
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"the simplest rule I know about doing ANYTHING well is this:

Good.
Fast.
Cheap.

Pick Two."

- That's absolute GENIUS -
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Old May 22nd, 2004, 04:43 AM   #10
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ignacio Rodriguez : ... oh and of course use 16:9, preferrably with a camera that has full resolution 16:9 like the PDX10. Note: the DVX100 is not one of those. -->>>

I'd have to disagree with Ignacio, as even though the dvx100a does use a stretch method for shooting 16:9, it will beat any other camera at or below the same price when shooting in Progressive. Not only does shooting progressive add 30% more resolution to each frame but also setting the line settings to thin will give you the best looking 16:9 footage without an adaptor in this price range. You could always buy the animorphic adaptor and then get the full resolution, but I didn't want to make it too unfare.
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Old May 22nd, 2004, 05:57 AM   #11
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http://www.dv.com has a great, in-depth film look article. I suggest looking for it and reading it for tips. Thanks.

Film look would include shooting for 16:9/widescreen, along with proper lighting, audio and good/creative shooting technique. Specialty filters and perhaps lenses would also be important, I would think. But with no story or plan, all the technical and creative oil put into the piece would be a waste.
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Old May 26th, 2004, 11:49 AM   #12
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the original poster doesn't mention if the video is to be shown on tv (ntsc) or blown up to film.

hence the camera recommendation depends on that.

btw, 24p is the last thing that will make video look like film...
there much more important considerations: lighting, softness, gamma, camera rig (tripod, dolly, etc), sound, widescreen
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Old May 27th, 2004, 01:20 AM   #13
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I was thinking... (happens sometimes)... perhaps the very concept of this thread 'Film Look Simplified' is precisely what cinema is NOT about. It's about not simplifying. Just a thought.
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