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Author Topic: Handicam, lens or other?  (Read 1953 times)

thepancakeman

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Handicam, lens or other?
« on: May 04, 2013, 07:44:17 PM »
Hey all,

So I've got into my head that I am going to film a sports commercial.  I do pretty well with stills and sports, but have no clue what I'm doing video-wise.

The subject matter will pretty much be full body-shot or closer up of individual athletes (actors).  So the question I have is this: are there must-haves missing from the following equipment list?

  • 5d3
  • 7d
  • Tamron 17-55
  • Canon 24-105L
  • Canon 70-200L 2.8 IS
  • Canon 85 1.8
  • Canon 50 1.8
  • Rode Videomic
  • Adobe CS4 Production Suite
  • Some misc lighting and stands, both flash and constant
  • Crappy tripod

So should I be able to make due with what I have, or am I missing essentials?  The biggie that comes to mind would be a handicam or some sort of stabilizer.  Maybe other lens options?  A boom mic?  Something I'm completely missing?

Much thanks!

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Handicam, lens or other?
« on: May 04, 2013, 07:44:17 PM »

BrandonKing96

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Re: Handicam, lens or other?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2013, 10:23:28 PM »
One thing I noticed is "crappy tripod".  I think for filming, you need a very sturdy tripod for film.
Filming sports, I think the 24-105L and 70-200L IS would suffice.
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sanj

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Re: Handicam, lens or other?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2013, 11:05:19 PM »
These lenses work but you will soon realize their limitations when it comes to video.
You need lenses with wider zoom ring, hard stops. The Zeiss 15, 35 and the new 135 are better suited.
In a sports commercial there is going to be movement and you need to be able to focus fast and good.
The lcd on the camera is not a good place to judge focus. How do you intend to tackle this problem?

A tripod with good panning and tilt (video tripod) is necessary.

Best wishes.

Axilrod

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Re: Handicam, lens or other?
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2013, 02:48:11 PM »
You need some kind of stabilization better than a "crappy tripod."  I'd try and get a slider of some sort, since they can add a lot of professionalism to the look of a video.  Your lenses should be fine, but lenses that are optimized for video will be much easier to shoot with (even the cheap Samyang/Bower/Rokinon 14mm/24mm/35mm/85mm). 

Sanj is right, you need some type of monitoring outside of the LCD screen on the camera.  I can't tell you how many times I've seen people "think they got it" but then they pull it up on the computer and it looks horrible.  Some type of monitor/EVF, especially one with zebra stripes/peaking will help alot. 

I'd also say you need some ND filters, since you'll probably be shooting during the day.  With the shutter speed fixed at 1/50 even with the ISO at 100 you may have to stop down to f/16 to get proper exposure, so ND filters will help if you need shallow DOF during the day. 

A glidecam will help if you're trying to get moving shots, but if you don't have any experience with them you'll end up spending 1/2 the day trying to get it balanced.

I would honestly try and plan as much as possible in advance, there is no such thing as too much pre-planning with video. If you go out there and try to wing it things aren't going to turn out well.  I shoot video with DSLR's all the time, and while I know how to shoot pictures pretty darn well I still wouldn't feel comfortable taking on a photo gig.  You have the gear, but experience is definitely more important.  Either way, best of luck.
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thepancakeman

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Re: Handicam, lens or other?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2013, 11:44:55 AM »
So sounds like I need a tripod.  Considering that I don't really use one for photography, what is a "good" but reasonably priced tripod option for video usage?

Axilrod

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Re: Handicam, lens or other?
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2013, 12:28:10 PM »
So sounds like I need a tripod.  Considering that I don't really use one for photography, what is a "good" but reasonably priced tripod option for video usage?

Well, you could always rent the gear from lensrentals.com or Aperturent.com.  Aperturent is based out of Atlanta but they don't require deposits and they ship out of state, and their rates are pretty darn good. 

If you're looking to buy one, I'd check out: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/859138-REG/Manfrotto_701HDV_MVT502AM_701HDV_TRIPOD_System_with.html

Pretty much any Manfrotto with a fluid head should be just fine, but they start at $299 or so.
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thepancakeman

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Re: Handicam, lens or other?
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2013, 02:54:03 PM »
In a sports commercial there is going to be movement and you need to be able to focus fast and good.
The lcd on the camera is not a good place to judge focus. How do you intend to tackle this problem?

The good news is that much of the "sports" in my case is going to be fairly in place--think weightlifter or hockey goalie.  But I there definitely will be some with movement such as running, and I haven't really thought thru how to handle the focus other than with a wide DOF.  Any suggestions appreciated!

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Re: Handicam, lens or other?
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2013, 02:54:03 PM »

Etienne

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Re: Handicam, lens or other?
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2013, 05:08:59 PM »
Audio ruins most low budget films.

Get off camera audio: Zoom H4, Tascam DR40, or even Zoom H1N. Spend a lot of attention on the audio.
Zoom H1N with cheap lavalier mic (I think olympus has one for $20) on talent works really well.

Rode videomic is crappy on a boom pole, it will pick up every little movement of the pole. Get the Rode videomic PRO; it doesn't pick up boom pole sounds, big difference.

Premiere CS4 will crash constantly and frustrate you to no end in editing. Get at least CS5. CS6 is great!
Plural Eyes will sync the multi-source audio.

paul13walnut5

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Re: Handicam, lens or other?
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2013, 05:54:14 PM »
    My suggestions in green.

Hey all,

So I've got into my head that I am going to film a sports commercial.  I do pretty well with stills and sports, but have no clue what I'm doing video-wise.

The subject matter will pretty much be full body-shot or closer up of individual athletes (actors).  So the question I have is this: are there must-haves missing from the following equipment list?

  • 5d3
  • 7d
  • Tamron 17-55
(28mm-90 effective) no real UWA here. Either a tokina 11-16 for the 7D or Canon 16-35 for the 5D3
  • Canon 24-105L
  • Canon 70-200L 2.8 IS
  • Canon 85 1.8
  • Canon 50 1.8
  • Rode Videomic
You need to consider sound more, what is your audio, foley audio? fx? ambient? Rode mic is passable for run and gun ambient.  Not a serious production mic.  Perspective all wrong on camera.  Not balanced cable run for off camera.  Think K6/ME66 mic.  Think audio interface such as the new Tascan DR-60D, or a beachtek (I'll sell you one)
  • Adobe CS4 Production Suite
Need 64bit which means 64bit OS as well.  CS5 or more recent.  Will import and edit your camera h.264s without constant rendering, and when you come to final render shall be much quicker depending on the amount of RAM you have (you want a lot for H264 work, you also want a RAID drive, pref 2, made up of at least 2 HDDs each, or ideally SSDs)
  • Some misc lighting and stands, both flash and constant
Misc lighting? And you want to shoot a commerical.


Reallllly?

I prefer CFD bulbs in a softbox, reds are often cheaper but more difficult to work under because of the heat, yiour light will also bounce like mad, so you'll need black drapes, board and maybe some matt balck paint


  • Crappy tripod
Yep.  Any old tripod will do.  Plastic head.  $20 in walmart.  A penny saved is a penny earned.  The cheaper the tripod the more money you can spend on the fun stuff.

No, I'm being a fool!  Buy a Sachtler ACE. It's the only decent counterbalanced tripod available for near the money.  Nothing else is even close.  Yeah it's a heap of cash for something quite boring.  But I would rather shoot on a T1i with a decent tripod than a c500 with a crappy tripod.

[/list]

So should I be able to make due with what I have, or am I missing essentials?  The biggie that comes to mind would be a handicam or some sort of stabilizer.  Maybe other lens options?  A boom mic?  Something I'm completely missing?

Much thanks!
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 07:05:01 PM by paul13walnut5 »

thepancakeman

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Re: Handicam, lens or other?
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2013, 10:24:50 PM »
Thanks for the long detailed reply Paul!

I'm well aware that I don't have any idea what I'm doing, other than an idea of what I WANT to do.   8)  That's why I'm soliciting input from y'all!

One of the reasons I'm doing a "commercial" is it's only 30-60 seconds long--a whole lot less to deal with than even a short.  And since I'm writing it, I am doing what I can to script around my equipment and knowledge shortcomings. 

So  for audio for example, I think it's probably going to all be just foley/music (think gatorade commercial--pretty much heavy breathing, crowd noise, sports sound efx and no dialogue).

Sorry that my lighting options aren't up to snuff, but again, my background is stills in sports--I don't get a whole lot of lighting options shooting a bike race.   ;)  Any suggestions on how to work around this limitation?

And since there's no dialogue and it's just sports, the "actors" are simply athlete volunteers/friends doing their thing in the respective sport.  It's all going to be on me getting the right camera angles and point of view (and lighting...grrrr) and script.  (Is it called a script if there's no dialogue?)

paul13walnut5

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Re: Handicam, lens or other?
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2013, 03:19:39 AM »
Any of your friends got a rolling trainer?  Set that up against black.

Big soft light above pointing down.  White board on ground reflecting up .

Gopro on bike?

If outside shoot 2-3 hour after dawn, 2-3 hrs before dusk.  Wb for shade, shootinto the sun.

Cvp sm-1 (or clone)  is ideal cheap shoulder mount.  Keep the lenses wide.

If anything a 30s narrative is harder to coherently fill than a short which is harder to fill coherantly than a programme or feature.

Write your treatment / script.  Make friends with a sub editor.  Cut to the bone.
Shoot lots.

Get a cheapish macro lens for bike bit cluse ups.

thepancakeman

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Re: Handicam, lens or other?
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2013, 11:46:40 AM »
Thanks again Paul!  Unfortunately the commercial itself isn't cycling (although now you've given me some ideas, commercial #2 may have to be)--cycling is one of the primary things I shoot with stills.  ;-)  Sorry for the confusion.

This effort is going to be indoor sports.  Would I be wrong in guessing that putting the athlete on a whiteboard under a "big soft light" (does a 30"x60" softbox fit this requirement?) has value here that's not just for cycling?

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Re: Handicam, lens or other?
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2013, 11:46:40 AM »