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Author Topic: A really naive person  (Read 4490 times)

adhocphotographer

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A really naive person
« on: November 14, 2013, 12:46:59 AM »
 Hi all,

I am an amateur/part time photographer living in Bangalore (it is not my day job). Last night a friend of mine who lives in Delhi who is a documentary film maker asked a favour of me; to film a short interview with a guy near by. It was a situation where this was the only time and place it could happen. Despite having had my 5D MKIII for nearly a year now, I had not shot more than 1 minute of footage before, but since I was his only/last hope, I went out to shoot. It went OK... I had no sound recording equipment, so as you might guess that was not great, but I muddled through everything, and much to my surprise he and his company liked what I came up with (sent them the files the same night). This morning they asked me if I would like to do some more shooting for them... I realise that this is a great opportunity, and I might as well give it a shot. However I am woefully naive about this kind of work... photography fine, but videography is not something I have any experience with.

I'm not even sure I am asking this in the right thread, but has anyone got any advice for me??? Some kind of sound recording shenanigans would be useful, any recommendations (a good price:quality ratio, nothing pro, but good value and simple)? Camera setting suggestions would also be useful... any useful on-line tutorials too! :) Sorry I really am in the dark here, and instead of fumbling around, I was hoping you guys in the know might be able to push me in the right direction! :)

Equipment wise I have the following:
5D MK III
100D (18-55mm STM)
24mm f/1.4L II
24-105mm f/4L IS
40mm STM f/2.8
50mm f/1.8
70-200 f/2.8L IS II
2x Tripods

Well, that is all I can think of right now... ANY advice would be appreciated! :)

Thanks,

John
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A really naive person
« on: November 14, 2013, 12:46:59 AM »

DanThePhotoMan

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Re: A really naive person
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2013, 01:44:25 AM »
First, congrats on the gig!

Your equipment list looks pretty solid camera wise for video work. I know a lot of other videographers who are fans of shooting on primes, but for documentary work I absolutely love and suggest shooting on your zoom lenses. While doing the interview, zoom in a bit, zoom a little further after a while, then zoom back out. You want to give the editor something to work around and not wind up with a static shot. I'm not talking going crazy with it, but use your intuition. If you haven't ever edited before, it may be a little hard to think in terms of video editing, but simply compose it like you would  picture. Medium, Medium Close, and Close up. Then work between them.

Now, with that being said, I highly suggest getting yourself a monitor with focus assist. Ikan has a 7" IPS for around $449 that is absolutely fantastic. Being that you would need to manually focus between zooming in and out, that is going to save your butt quite a bit of time. That's a little on the pricey side if you're only just getting into it though, but it'll be worth it if it's something you stick with.

Pick up some small LED's. Chromo Inc has a 160LED panel on Amazon for $32.00. Grab a couple of those and some reflectors and you can light just about any interview type set you'll ever come across. They're small, light weight, and super cheap to replace if they break. Manfrotto makes a pretty set of LED's that is built quite a bit more rugged, but considering it's $280.00 for a 80LED panel, I'll stick with Chromo.

For audio, I ran a Zoom H4n with an NTG-2 mic for quite some time, and even still use that set up frequently. You won't find better equipment for the price. Having a lav would be ideal, and if you have the money to spare I'd suggest the Sennheisser ew 112-p G3. I've used those for all sorts of documentary work around the world, and they are as durable as they come and sound great. They'll run you about $650 for a set of transceiver and receiver though, so I'd stick with the NTG-2 for the beginning.

As far as camera settings go, it's really up to you. Standard is going to be 24p @ 1080p for just about everything you shoot. I rarely run into anyone shooting a doc in 30p, but just double check the frame rate of the other video guys to make sure you're matching them.

As a rule of thumb, your shutter speed is going to be double your frame rate. Set it to 50 if you're shooting @ 24p, 125 if you're shooting @ 60p, etc.

As far as coloring, I like shooting Neutral, and then adding a bit of saturation and contrast in post. You would change that just as you would change the picture style during Manual shooting. You'll hear a few people tell you to download Technicolor Cinestyle, but I'd suggest against it unless you really feel like getting deep into color grading, or if you're directly told to.

Hope that's at least a little helpful. Feel free to ask any more questions you have and I'm sure there will be someone here who can answer.

adhocphotographer

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Re: A really naive person
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2013, 02:16:17 AM »
First, congrats on the gig!

Hey,

Thanks! It kind of fell in my lap....  not sure i am deserving, but hey....  It is all moving very quickly. I have already set up the next shoot they want, nothing big, B-roll kind of things. I'm not too keen on any large investments yet, and am working on loaning gear off of friends of friends! Luckily i have a lot of contacts.

I'm throwing myself in at the deep end...  lets see how well i swim eh! :)
It was a good point re- editing...  I think i am going to play around with that a bit as it might give me a better understanding of what you can do with straight-from-camera footage.

I'll let you know how i get on and if i have any other pointed questions! :)
thanks
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ajfotofilmagem

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Re: A really naive person
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2013, 07:00:22 AM »
Whenever you use external microphone , headset must use to monitor and listen to the sound it is distorted , noisy , or plug failing. Beware of cheap LED because they light at an angle of 30 degrees , which is very close. If the interviewee move , you need to adjust the direction of the light. Oth problem with cheap LED is the "color rendering index" IRC is pretty poor, mostly missing the wavelength red, and green has in excess. It is very easy to recognize an LED bad : He has hundreds of units , only illuminates in a closed angle and has greenish or bluish . Each LED has a bad individual power of only 0.1 watt. The LED iluminadore good low volume use as each LED unit has up to 5 watts (50 times stronger), then do not use hundreds , only 9 or 12 units, which are good "short" like a drop which rests on a smooth surface, and they use 12 volt battery. See this site , and can find something similar in your country.

http://www.elediluminacao.com.br/loja/catalogo-118970-27-iluminadores_on_camera
« Last Edit: November 14, 2013, 08:11:42 AM by ajfotofilmagem »

adhocphotographer

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Re: A really naive person
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2013, 10:27:56 AM »
Whenever you use external microphone , headset must use to monitor and listen to the sound it is distorted , noisy , or plug failing. Beware of cheap LED because they light at an angle of 30 degrees , which is very close. If the interviewee move , you need to adjust the direction of the light. Oth problem with cheap LED is the "color rendering index" IRC is pretty poor, mostly missing the wavelength red, and green has in excess. It is very easy to recognize an LED bad : He has hundreds of units , only illuminates in a closed angle and has greenish or bluish . Each LED has a bad individual power of only 0.1 watt. The LED iluminadore good low volume use as each LED unit has up to 5 watts (50 times stronger), then do not use hundreds , only 9 or 12 units, which are good "short" like a drop which rests on a smooth surface, and they use 12 volt battery. See this site , and can find something similar in your country.

http://www.elediluminacao.com.br/loja/catalogo-118970-27-iluminadores_on_camera

Thanks! :)
5D MkIII & 100D
17-40L, 24L II, 24-105L, 70-200L, 500L II
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paul13walnut5

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Re: A really naive person
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2013, 10:31:52 AM »
Headphones and mic.
Cheapest: Sennsheiser MKE600.  AKG-K450s
Typical pro gear: Sennheiser K6+ME66+Softee+Grip, Beachtek or Juiced link interface, Sennheiser HD-25-II's.

Eventually.  A video tripod.  (Big difference from a photo tripod)  Think Sachtler ACE MS.

A choice of ND filter strengths.  A polariser.

Don Haines

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Re: A really naive person
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2013, 12:06:27 PM »
I will start with the fact that I am a beginner at recording video too...

The first thing that I learned was that the in-camera microphone picked up IS noises from the lens.. so I turned IS off.

The second thing I learned was to set EVERYTHING!!! to Manual....

The third thing I learned was that all in-camera microphones are terrible.... I started using an external microphone and sound quality vastly improved...
 
I tried using an iPod as a remote mic.... save yourself the trouble... it only works if the sound source is within a couple of feet...

I hear great things among musician friends about the Sony 4G digital sound recorder.... they say it is about the best "bang for the buck" and can use external mikes.....

Hope this helps...
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Re: A really naive person
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2013, 12:06:27 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: A really naive person
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2013, 01:30:25 PM »
Sound is 50% of the video.  Do it right, get the appropriate mics and external recorder.  Don't use a 5D MK II to record the audio, or just record so you can sync to the external recording in pp.
Some of the newer DSLRs have time code which makes synching external audio easier, but you can do it with a 5D MK II.  There is a lot of online expert information about how to do it.

David_in_Seattle

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Re: A really naive person
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2013, 02:36:09 PM »
Others have addressed the gear you should explore so I'll mention more about technical things for audio/video.

  • When recording dialogue, the closer the microphone is to the person's mouth the better the audio (notice how radio show hosts and singers have a mic right up against their lips).  What microphone is best will depend on the given environment.  Radio Lavaliere mics are great for all purpose dialogue recording but require setup time and constant monitoring for audio issues such as spiking and interference.  Shotgun mics on a boom pole are good for recording conversations between people, but usually require a boom operator that knows what they're doing.
  • Film schools often teach to adjust ISO by increments of 160, but it's not necessary.  Similar to photography, the lower the ISO the better the video quality.  Don't rely on your camera's LCD to measure the video quality because noise, moire, and banding is easier to see on a bigger screen.  I recommend testing your camera at various ISOs and reviewing it on your computer monitor to determine what is acceptable to you.
  • Be aware of DOF.  Yeah, the idea of recording video at an aperture of 1.4 seems cool, but beware of it's limitations.  A 50mm lens at f1.4 gives you a DOF of about 1-2 inches when the subject is 2-3 meters away. So if your subject leans forward or backward they'll be out of focus...meaning you'll have to have quick reflexes to adjust the focus.  I recommend starting at f/8 until you get comfortable with being a videographer.
  • Lighting is very important.  Make sure your subject and environment are well lit to your liking because adjusting exposure in post production is much less forgiving with video compared to photos.  When recording with 2 or more cameras make sure they are using the same color temperature because adjusting it in post can lead to more artifacts.
  • Given all the info I mentioned above, IT'S IMPORTANT TO PLAN AHEAD!  The more complex the video shoot, the more days in advance I recommend planning for it.  My projects usually range between $10,000 - $100,000 budgets and I typically plan 2 weeks in advance at the bare minimum.  Most of the time it's 3-6 months in advance.

Hope this helps. 

Good luck,

David
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sandymandy

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Re: A really naive person
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2013, 03:06:56 PM »
i think most important is...tripod  99% of the time and avoid sweeps and equal unless u have a pro rig and experience.

Rienzphotoz

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Re: A really naive person
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2013, 03:32:44 PM »
The fact that you accepted this job (even if it "fell into your lap") shows you have courage ... and even though the client accepted your first footage (according to you the sound was not so good) you are not satisfied with the quality you want to provide. by choosing to learn, shows you have the heart and soul of professional (even if you think you are not).

You already have some very good advice from the other members, ... but I'll share the little I know ... I am no professional photographer or videographer, but I capture a lot of video footage and interviews (mostly induction/safety kind of video) of our offshroe/onshore rig crew ... over the years I've managed to learn a few simple things for capturing and editing good footage and this is what I do:

1. I use a cheap Pearstone OLM-10 Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone for interviews (it cost me $20 + another $20 for two 10 foot Rode Stereo Mini Male to Stereo Mini Female VideoMic Cables) ... I've been using that set up now for quite some time and it has never failed me.
2. Using a tripod for smooth video footage (in Bangaluru you should be able to get cheap Velbon video tripods for very decent pan & tilt motion).
4. Cheap green screen (I got a 7 feet by 5 feet flexible/foldable one for $47 on Amazon
5. Decent editing software ... I used to use Adobe Premier Pro, but now I use iMovie, as I found that for my kind of work, that is all that I need (I do dabble with FCP once in a while).
All of what I do is basically for small time work similar to what I do, nothing fancy but it works for me ... and if your work is not "big time" I think it will work for you too. Once you do a couple of projects, you get good and quick at doing it.
Wish you all the best.   
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adhocphotographer

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Re: A really naive person
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2013, 03:48:20 AM »
Thanks for all the advice, it helps a lot....  At the moment sound is not a priority as I am mainly shooting B-roll, but I would like to get ahead, so all your advice has been great, thanks!

I'll let you know how it all goes! :)
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Re: A really naive person
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2013, 03:48:20 AM »