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Messages - bluegreenturtle

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EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Entry-level video production
« on: April 17, 2012, 11:45:16 PM »
Looking over my post I think it's a little scattered and more positive than I meant it to be. 

I have a niche.  If they want to succeed in video production they must find a niche.  Very few people who don't have established relationships in niche markets will go anywhere.  There's just too many people with a camera and a semblance of understanding how to use it, which is 1% of success.  With due respect to still photographers (which is a rough and tumble business for sure) videography is an entirely different animal - it just happens that we use cameras too, but otherwise there's not a terrible lot that is in common between the two.  Too many still photographers don't understand that, and seek to flesh out their business by joining the video biz. 

"What do you mean I don't get it?  I've got a (insert camera here) which is the best you can get (in still photo budgets).  I've got all these lenses which cost me a fortune.  I learned how to frame and focus perfectly.  I know color, I know angles, I know exactly how to capture a subject in a great moment.  I even upgraded my little POS tripod that I rarely use to one o' them fancy heavy ones that you video guys use."

When it comes to having an effective video CAREER all of those things, including the learning the hard way all of the skills (framing, color, space, DOF) that go into still photography are basically equivalent of wanting to become a writer and having 1) a pencil 2) a piece of paper 3) being able to read and write.  You've got the tools, now you need to learn a whole lot more, some people will never effectively master the "whole lot more."  You have to learn story, editing (and by that, I mean not just cutting something together, but how to turn 2 hours of people talking about a subject into 30 seconds that are effective) how to move the camera through space, how to move your subjects through space, music (and how it works with images) audio editing, recording, fixing, etc etc etc.  It's a complex biz, just learning and keeping track of the basics.

I tell my clients this: if you were starting a car magazine, who would you hire as Editor in Chief?  Somebody who really knew how to write well, or somebody who knew cars inside and out and was passionate about them?  It's the same with video - you can't just want to start a general video production business, or you're just another slob with a camera.  You must have an area, an area that you are expert in or at least passionate about, or all you'll ever be doing is making pretty moving pictures. 

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Entry-level video production
« on: April 17, 2012, 10:49:59 PM »
I'm quite sick right now so don't have the stamina for a real reply. 

I will say that I did basically what they've been looking to do - started a video production company out of nothing, really (well, I had one client) and that supports me today. 

People have chimed in on the gear.  It both matters and doesn't - at the end of the day it's about the ideas and story telling; the quality of the gear needs to be sufficient to not get in the way of that.  You can go way beyond that but ultimately your clients will judge you on how engaging the storytelling is.  The more experience I get the more I realize this is true - nobody worth working for gives a crap what you're shooting on - they care if their ideas are being expressed correctly and if you have good ideas of your own.  I second the audio remarks - a crappy shot will be forgiven - a poorly recorded interview will not. 

Other advice - somebody on the team that has a very good grasp with after-effects or other similar software is invaluable.  Editorial skills are invaluable, and required to do *any* work.  Shooting is the easy part.  Making meaning out of what you've shot is far harder.   

Expect to get screwed on a few jobs.  Don't take on clients you don't trust.  This is true in any business. 

Ultimately your own experience as a free lance writer should be informative about video production, because we're really talking the same language.  Somebody with a fancy typewriter and a good grasp of sentence structure will get some jobs, but only some, and only for a while.  It comes down to creativity, ability to work hard, and ability to interpret the desires of clients, and maintain relationships. 

I have no idea why they incorporated.  Pointless at this juncture.  A lot of people are more in love with the idea of starting a business than actually doing the work associated with the business.

Margins can be good in video, but it depends on the area you're working in.  I've been in the fortunate situation of having every single check get bigger over the years, even as I hire more and more subs, but at some point I'll plateau out, and I stress about every penny.  I try to do 2 or 3 big jobs per year.

It only uses a portion of the sensor for video so it's smaller than even 4/3rds - you're getting into 2/3" camcorder territory there.

As to the fruit of large sensors - there is no "must" in any of what you've said  - it just is how some manufacturers are choosing to deliver their product and at what price.  DSLRs as video devices have compromises - some required by technology and price points, some to protect other products and their price points. 

This camera is interesting, especially as a first step from somebody who's never made a camera before, but there's still a reason that people chose to shoot with DSLRs - large sensors previously not available at these price points. 

Software & Accessories / Re: NAB 2012: Singular Software PluralEyes
« on: April 17, 2012, 04:02:12 PM »
Everybody doesn't use it because often the software simply doesn't work.  I've been using dual eyes since it came out and have abandoned it - half the time it doesn't create the new files (just extracts the audio) and in the last time I used it it introduced a weird drift in just some of the files.  It basically takes me 5 times as long to try to massage the software into working (and sometimes with no success) as it does to just synch it myself manually.   I went through one tortuous project where the client saw drift in all my videos and repeatedly suggested I use plural-eyes, but it turned out that was the issue to begin with - I was already using it.  I finally had to redo everything manually and then it was fine.

Ah.  Suddenly it's all clear. 

I would suggest picking up your camera, going outside, and shooting some footage with a bunch of movement in it, and see which of these various settings, including Mr. Hurlbut's, looks the best to you. 

All I can say is I've worked on a feature with Shane and he does talk a lot!

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« on: April 03, 2012, 08:48:12 PM »
I think handheld is totally fine for personal stuff or more intimate (more emotional content) work.  I just can't get away with it for my clients.  When I shoot music videos I use some handheld.

I use miller solo legs with a cartoni focus head.  Cost more than my camera.  And I'm beginning to feel like it's overkill for travel. 

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« on: April 03, 2012, 05:30:48 PM »
It depends on what you're doing.  I shoot documentaries and corporate pieces professionally (and have for years) and never shoot without a tripod with a fluid head.  I'm a steadicam operator too (not one of those little handheld things) and I use that occasionally but it's a special effect for what I do.  But never hand held except for the occasional shot when it's braced against something else.  You just can't with a large sensor CMOS camera - it looks like hell. 

I typically shoot interviews at f 1.4 or 2.8 depending on the light and the subject/background if using a 7D, f 4 or so if using FF.   You need to light though usually, and up the f a little as really I'm usually gambling (and have lost, sometimes) when shooting at those shallow of DOF, slight movement will pull the subject out of focus, and if I'm conducting the interview at the same time, I can't adjust every little time they move.   I use a Vari-ND outside often to allow the lens to remain open (if a subject or close up b roll) or just stop down for vistas, as you would with a still camera. 

Lenses / Re: advice re lenses for travel photography
« on: April 02, 2012, 02:20:04 PM »
How did you get into the gig?  My wife occasionally works on Crystal and I've always wanted to get into the video side for a line like them. 

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« on: April 02, 2012, 02:05:34 PM »
I shoot video elusively with DSLRs. I wouldn't touch Cinestyle unless you really have to. Most of the big boys abandoned it after seeing the problems with banding and skin tones. Some of the best vids out there are shot on Netural or standard, but ALWAYS turn the contrast down all the way. I actually leave sharpness at 3. Because of the aliasing, these files don't look good sharpened in post. Still Motion does the same thing in their wedding videos.

You should take a fast prime with you on the trip. Thats really what makes these cameras stand out. a 50 1.8 would be cheap. I'd also buy a polarizer and maybe a grad ND or two for your landscape stuff. I just got back from the Caribbean and had good results. Here is a link to the unfinished test video if your interested.  - Edit for Andrew

That's pretty great Matt.  5D, though?

Act of valor was shot at 30p because it was shot before the 24p firmware upgrade came.  They had no choice.  It was retimed to 24p in post. 

waterdonkey; this is an extended discussion, especially since you are coming from a TV aesthetic, which is simply different than the cinema aesthetic.  Your sony should be defaulting to the correct shutter angle and speed (I believe those cameras can set both) however, I think they have to be overridden from just doing the settings we are speaking of.  However the 60i(p) vs 24p and the jitter you see are different issues from that - the aesthetic is simply different than what you've been trained in and so used to seeing.  I've worked with TV guys too, there is just a different standard and look in broadcast TV. 

As for 30p, it's actually a reasonable choice for certain kinds of work; some corporate video demands 30p as sometimes the client doesn't care for the 24p look.  That's unusual though; my rule of thumb is that I shoot 24p for everything, except when some B roll, I might use 30p and put it on a 24p timeline giving a very slight slow motion which gives everything a dreamy look, especially useful in music videos. 

EOS Bodies - For Video / Re: Need some Video Advice for the 7D
« on: March 31, 2012, 08:57:54 PM »
Can you be more specific?  The quality is either there in the clips out of the camera or it's not - the editing software doesn't matter.  Maybe post a clip and describe what you don't like?

Lenses / Re: Noob first Canon: For first video prime, 85mm 1.8?
« on: March 31, 2012, 04:36:49 PM »
Are you planning on shooting video handheld at all?  If so, nix the 85.  There's a rule of thumb in cinema that anything past about 75 ff equiv is very difficult to hand hold, and it's true for the most part.  On the other hand, if you're planning to use a tripod, the 85 is a perfect interview lens.  I shoot interviews for a living, and on a 7D mostly use a 50 1.4 (and, by the way, it's an old manual lens), which would be about 80mm FF.  I  never ever handhold ANYTHING though (you just can't, if you're working professionally, with these cmos cameras).  A 50 will work on a FF, but you will need to get the camera a bit close to the subject, sometimes that's uncomfortable.  Anyway, 90% of the work I do, I shoot with either a 50mm prime or the 17-55mm zoom (b roll) which is about equivilant to the 24-70 on full frame. 

Consider also the 28-135 ff IS, which is very underrated lens for the money.  A little slow but on a FF you're gonna want to be at f4 or so anyway. 

In short, yes, never shoot at less than double the frame rate, because you're creating a look that no mechanical film camera could do by keeping the shutter open that long.   I came from the feature film world and when I started shooting with dslrs (I only do video - no stills) it seemed clear to me.  But I worked with a lot of people who were essentially stills photographers and trying out their nifty new features on their 5Dmk IIs and they weren't getting it (and ruining some footage as a result).  Photographers are used to thinking of the shutter speed as a way to let in more light or stop movement - obviously when you're working with motion pictures the shutter has a different concept as you never are stopping motion, and we can't drop our shutter slower to let in more light or it gives an unnatural and unpleasing look/effect.  Which is why videographers are so enamored with their fast primes. 

Instead of trying to ape it out I'll just give you a link:


I have to stop reading this thread.  I want my 5 minutes back.

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