anyone see this?/ kinda neat! at DVinfo.net

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Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.


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Old April 4th, 2005, 12:17 PM   #1
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anyone see this?/ kinda neat!

was looking around the net for learning tools on shooting video and camera work and found this DVD training course. It looks well done and site has clips to preview DVDs.

http://www.hollywoodcamerawork.us/

check it out here.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 12:34 PM   #2
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Steve,

There was a thread on this somewhere... I can never find it though. As best I recall no one here owned it, but a few thought the demos on the web looked good.

It looks very interesting to me... I'd like to get it.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 01:02 PM   #3
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I'd like to get it maybe someday to. If I got it now I'd really be jumping the gun. I don't even have a camera yet. Before I became interested in DV just a few months ago, I never imagined that there could be so much thought and planning involved in composing a shot. Much less everything else involved in a movie project.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 02:37 PM   #4
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HCW

Hi all
have the full set of 6 DVDs
It's pretty much as the demo on the website, just (a lot) more of it.
It's pretty neat to see a 3D plot, then the results of the moves, etc.

A few caveats, though:

a) it's been lit pretty slickly.
b) the moves are CG (heck, everything's CG)
c) the camera placement is also CG

By this I mean:

in reality, we're not going to get close to the results depicted on this set unless we
a) have a great gaffer, grip/electric team and time to light the set (oh, and the lighting equipment that goes with it all). On CG, you just throw up a light "add light" and put it wherever you want it. Some of the lighting setups I saw were definitely studio quality (and studio time-to-light).

b) likewise here. Don't think you're going to be able to get these flawless, perfectly feathered camera moves with rack focus, jib shots, etc., without at least a dolly grip, a tracking crew, and some pretty heavyweight equipment. Somehow I think that a home-made tube dolly and mini-jib won't quite hack it here, at least not without a substantial amount of preparation and a large nuber of takes.

c) especially in the so called "internal" reverse shots (where the camera is placed in between actors), the camera position is set regardless of real life situations - i.e. floating in the air on top of a desk, for instance, or a dining table.

If you're Bergman, you get a 12ft round dining table, cut a 6ft diameter hole in the middle of it, put your camera internal to the actors, pan it 360, float all your lights above frame, and have fun.
For the rest of us, we're going to have to cheat big time to aproximate these effects, and that (cheating) part isn't really covered.

Apart from that, the producer has really spent a lot of time and care putting this package together.

It is what he has said it would be: an almost encyclopaedic compendium of all camera positions and moves available, and he's right about one more thing - most of us will get through almost our entire careers using maybe half of what's in the DVDs.

So from that standpoint, it's well worth the money, especially if you're unfamiliar with some of the terminology you're going to use with the 8 member camera crew that's going to pull some of tehse effects off, in the 80 days or so it's going to take to shoot it all perfectly, the way it is on these sessions...

(no, seriously, folks)
Buy it, it's worth a look.

For me, I've taken what I need, don't really need the rest, so my set is for sale.

I figure I have what I need for now, and the next time I need to watch them is when a major studio or production can buy a set for me...

Cheers
Chris
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Old April 6th, 2005, 12:25 AM   #5
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very insightfull Chris. Thanks for the review.
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Old April 8th, 2005, 07:59 AM   #6
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Just wanted to chime in as another set holding customer.
IMO, Chris's review is spot on accurate.

Having spent a LOT of time reading (and re-reading) Film Directing: Shot by Shot : Visualizing from Concept to Screen by Steven Katz prior to owning this set, I will say that I found the DVDs to be significantly more comprehensive when it comes to camera work.

The biggest initial value the set can have is as a stockpile of camera work ideas. Kind of like having a sound FX library of 1,000 sounds ready to go when you need them. The video animation approach of showing the camera layout from overhead, then the view from each camera and finally a finished "edit" of a scene really drives home the affect/mood/etc. conveyed by each approach.
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Old April 9th, 2005, 02:08 PM   #7
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I just might be sold on these Nick. The "camera work ideas" is what I was thinking for myself too. I think most people would surf through the DVDs to find right camera work ideas for a specific project scene the same way you look through a wardrobe to find an outfit to suite the occasion. This is really a tool that can probably help make someone like myself look like a pro.
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Old April 9th, 2005, 02:21 PM   #8
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Gents, I haven't watched the videos but I think I saw some demo material on the web a while back.

Many, many people post in this board and others regarding how to achieve that magic "film look". Usually they are hoping it's a switch, a filter, a magic box that will transform all, and over and over again they are advised that lighting and composition is a major component of the stew.

As a young hopeful, I learned a lot about lighting from being a PA on commercials and features and keeping my eyes open to what I saw being done. I didn't have access to any of the gear myself, and this being long before DV and affordable film gear of any kind, I certainly couldn't come home and try out the concepts.

Even though one might not be able to duplicate all of the tools and techniques shown in a video like this, just seeing how it is done is extraordinarily valuable. I've done the odd shoot with a tiny crew and a 3-light kit, and although I was constantly thinking "if I had this and that piece of gear, I could do this and that with it", I took the opportunity to get back to my roots and apply what I know creatively. This meant using a white plastic paint tray that I found at the location as a bounce light source (it worked perfectly), etc. etc.

As far as the camera over the table shot, I hear of many folks building their own little jibs, some with remote heads, so this sort of shot is more than doable. In this day and age, there's no need to cut a hole in a table!
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Old April 9th, 2005, 06:03 PM   #9
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hello charles, I'm sure that everytime I go to shoot a project, I'm going to be wishing for this and that also. And I most likely, will be using these homemade "guerilla" techniques that you are speaking of too. You know, that would be a good idea for a DVD learning course too. "Guerilla Tools and Techniques for the Amateur Moviemaker". Covering everything from lights, to Jibs, to
steady cams to who knows what else can be rigged and home-made to take the place of the things that are out of reach for most of us (due to cost).
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Old April 10th, 2005, 03:59 AM   #10
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I guess I didn't really focus on the camera moves/blocking aspect of all this, which is something that is a never-ending collection of tricks, techniques and voodoo. I personally think it is useful to be have a thorough grounding in the "classical" technique of observing the line before learning how to break it, although these days I see many examples (some dazzling) of unorthodox scene construction that possibly defy this.

The near-miracle of DVD's allow us to study virtually any film at our own leisure. I strongly recommend picking a film you admire and breaking down a scene or two for yourself; draw a diagram of the room and create a blocking diagram of actors and camera positions. See how the backgrounds are "cheated" sometimes; think about the possible shooting order, etc. I'm not recommending reverse-engineering your own films to exactly duplicate the masters, but this is the same technique used in many artistic displines. I learned jazz improvisation on the sax by studying and playing along with Charlie Parkers' solos; I never really sounded like Bird (not surprisingly!) when it was my time to play with a combo, but it took my playing to a new level regardless...
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Old April 12th, 2005, 02:40 PM   #11
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I have aquired this DVD Set and it is impressive and IMHO well worth the money; considering all of the accessories we all seem to try and buy for our film fetish that we hope will make 'it' better and we just 'need'. I too have read Shot for Shot and this DVD course blows that away. Everything is detailed out and explained in full CG; just like 'Previs'.

I have already taken in a ton of infromation and knowledge. THis set really opended my eyes to alot of ideas on camera placement and movement and how to use my Dolly I built to its full potential.

I highly reccomend this set and for the money and hours of DVD infromation you will not be dissapointed; I believe they offer a Return Guarantee if not satisifed; after the first 3 DVD's?

I wish there were more courses like this one; this one backs up its claims.
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