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Old January 3rd, 2010, 07:08 PM   #1
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Do actors care what camera your using?

If you show up on set with a Canon HV40.. are the actors going to leave?
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Old January 4th, 2010, 03:50 AM   #2
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Not if you're paying them.

The actors camera expectations will depend on on how the production has been sold to them. If they're expecting a studio feature they will be expecting something different than if they're expecting to work on a dogma film.

Actors want to play great characters in a great script with a great story that's well told.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 05:20 AM   #3
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Actors want to perform - it's script & character that interest them. If you explain what you are using and why (to those that are interested) that's fine.

The only thing I ever asked as an actor was - what's the framing? so I could alter my performance to suit.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 06:55 AM   #4
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I don't know if you do any freelance video production, as opposed to filmmaking, but I hear CLIENTS sometimes care about the camera's appearance. Heard of people tricking out smaller cams with matte boxes etc. to make them bigger.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 10:48 AM   #5
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In my experience with local actors, they could really care less about the camera. I've shot films with the HVX200 and I've shot them with the HV20. No difference either way. I think they care more about whether I'm accidentally burning their retinas out with the lighting.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 12:42 PM   #6
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I've had a couple of interesting experiences with this.
Last week I spent 2 hours meeting with an actor for a project of mine who asked all kinds of questions about what lights, mics, sticks and camera i planned to use for my film.
When I asked him why any of this, especially the camera model mattered to him at all he responded that he expected a certain level of professionalism on a set and if I showed up with a handycam he would walk.
This made me laugh until I pee'd. Then I told him that he wouldn't work out for our production.
I planned on shooting with an HV40 (with some cool bells and whistles) and couldn't imagine the look on his face when I took it out of its case (ya know, before I screwed in the Jag35 and put it up on it's rails, box etc.)
This is irritating as hell but it happens. That was the last time that it happened to me, but not the first.
Upon seeing an HV30 that I was using to shoot a wedding one time a DJ saw the camera and remarked to me, "So this is the kind of crap you use when people are paying you for a professional production?"
I smiled and continued to shoot.
A half an hour later I asked this DJ if it would be okay to hook up a cam to his audio board so that I could record the speeches. He said it would be fine.
Later in the reception I overheard him telling the groom that he should have a talk with me as I didn't have any idea what I was doing. I was using a "handycam" to shoot but I was using the "Professional Film Camera" to record the audio off the board....The Professional Film Camera was an old beat up Canon gl1....
The only thing that I have found to silence this amongst actors or clients is to take the time to sit them down and show them some footage from the camera you intend to use.
This will give them a good idea of what to expect and in the case of the hv40 it will silence the detractors.
I always have such a problem with this though that I usually do what I did with the actor in my example, just say thanks but no thanks.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 10:03 PM   #7
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Actors shouldn't be asking about sticks and lighting... cameras are understandable, afterall if it isn't a studio project, nor an indie feature, they are more than likely not getting paid, or "deferred payment" which we all know still means the actors aren't getting paid. Therefore, the actors are giving you their time to collect the footage for their acting reel, if they feel the quality won't be up to par, then yea... however if you run your sets professionally, even Jason Statham will do amazingly on sets w/ HF10's [Crank2]
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Old January 5th, 2010, 12:52 AM   #8
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I'd love to show up with the Sony or Panny full HD helmet cams and just have a 4" long camera with no buttons but with a mysterious cable that runs into your coat pocket. See what kind of comments you get! People annoy me with crap like that!

Used to get that back when I did audio recording, I'd occasionally get some musician who knew enough to be dangerous, saying "Don't you have any Neumann mics?" and I'd say "Yup...got three sitting over there but they're not the best choice for what you want to do!" I'd make it a point after that to not use them on any part of the session!

I was scoffed at for using my HMC-150 on a shoot! The guy, I think a friend of the client, actually said "Well I use an EX1 and EX3 which are REAL cameras". I felt like giving him a piece of my mind and then a right uppercut BUT just replied "those are nice cameras too if you have the budget!" Could that be the reason he wasn't hired to shoot this project? HaHa!
Bottom line is the end product! Not the gear you use to get there! Now if the rest of the world would just learn!
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Old January 5th, 2010, 09:02 AM   #9
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Everythings within context. To the OP, alot depends on how you position yourself. If you post an ad on Craigslist saying "Major Motion Picture Production Company is now casting for new Feature Film. Deferred pymt upon films profits when released" and then the first day of shooting show up with just you and you seem to have little directing skills, just saying "Ok action. Cut. Good job, let's move onto the next scene. Ok action. Cut. ok next scene". Yeah, as an actor, I would realize this isn't worth my time. You may want to explain what it's being shot on, but what would be best is to send a demo reel of your previous work, so they grasp what you are capable of.

Now, can some people here back it up & probably shoot a Quarantine or Cloverfield quality film on a HV30?! Yeah, probably, or at least pretty close. But I think alot of actors can tell who's getting close to that, and who isn't. As to what others said about other scenarios, yeah that's other people getting involved in other peoples business. Videographers I would guess are the ones most apt to being judged by equipment, unfortunately (as opposed to photgs & DJ's). & Rob thats a funny situation about the j/o commenting about "What he would have shot it with"... I can't stand people like that in those situations. It'd be like a car mechanic having a customers friend stand there & watch, making comments about what he should & shouldn't be doing to fix it.
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Old January 5th, 2010, 09:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Leonard View Post
I've had a couple of interesting experiences with this.
Last week I spent 2 hours meeting with an actor for a project of mine who asked all kinds of questions about what lights, mics, sticks and camera i planned to use for my film.
When I asked him why any of this, especially the camera model mattered to him at all he responded that he expected a certain level of professionalism on a set and if I showed up with a handycam he would walk.
This made me laugh until I pee'd. Then I told him that he wouldn't work out for our production.
.
Jason, Maybe this actor frequents DVinfo.net, and has determined from your earlier posts that you were not quite on game, but was giving you the benefit of the doubt by asking a few basic questions to see if you have upped your abilities.

Let's put the shoe on the other foot... do you care how well your actors can act?
Of course you do, you want the best possible performance from your actors.
So why shouldn't you expect your actors to want an equally professional performance from the rest of the crew?

All the Best!
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Old January 5th, 2010, 10:57 AM   #11
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Sorry to chime in...

@David W. Jones- Although I would be interested in the actors ability, I will have gleaned it by watching their audition and would probably ask questions to determine their method, if they use any, and how to better direct them... not to judge them because that's what the audition is for. The actor should watch a demo reel and judge the director and cinematographer/dp before they go to the audition and they might find that their questions have no relevance and would just serve to make them sound egotistical and shallow. Plus, who wants to hire an actor, paying or not, who seems to be more worried about the gear than acting?

Others have good points in having a demo reel available to assuage the doubt of people, but the fact is that if the crew works professionally and gets great shots that tell a great story then it really doesn't matter what people use to do it. How many times in how many posts has it been said that it is not the equipment but the person using it? Better equipment makes things easier, yes, but it doesn't make things happen.

Again, I am sorry to have butted in on this but I must reiterate-

"Bottom line is the end product! Not the gear you use to get there!"
-Robert Turchick
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Old January 5th, 2010, 04:34 PM   #12
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Thanks for the Kind words David.
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Old January 6th, 2010, 11:56 AM   #13
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If you are paying standard union rate or better - they will not care about the cam
If you have an imdb profile with substantial credits - they will not care about the cam

But if you are relying on a "demo reel" that you have cobbled together out of self-assigned beauty shots you better have something to back it up.

That could be a great personality, some solid talent already signed up, top-notch catering or some impressive equipment.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 09:19 PM   #14
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I would say that if your actors walk when getting to the shoot based on the camera you set up, you probably haven't explained your project very well to them.

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Old January 8th, 2010, 08:15 AM   #15
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I think that as a Producer/Director, we have an obligation to let the actors audition us too, especially since they are often underpayed or working gratis.

If I'm shooting with an HV20/30/40, or an HC1, I would take the intiative in demonstrating my ability and professionalism to the actor who has concerns, and I wouldn't be defensive about it. Afterall, I want them to have confidence in my ability so I can direct them effectively. While we know that the camera doesn't make the production, it does make a first impression in many cases.
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