Monday, September 8, 2008

Introduction to Film Making


If you are a DIY (Do it yourself) type, this is the place for you. You will not stop at anything, you will shoot when you feel low, you will open up the lens cap when you are high, or when you feel nothing at all.

This is an exciting time to explore digital filmmaking. The same camera that director Danny Boyle used for his 2002 movie, 28 days later, is available for just a few thousand dollars ( he used Canon XL1s for the film, manned by Anthony Don Mantle, who may be the best cinematographer in the business). A single miniDV tape, our cheap “film stock” which requires none of the expensive processing film entails. Editing software and necessary computer for both reasonable priced as well, and the software is intuitive and easy to learn.



When buying a camera make sure that whatever camera you buy has a FireWire Port. Known as iLINK on Sony Models and IEEE 1394 generically, Firewire allows you to transfer footage from your miniDV tape in the camera directly to the computer’s hard drive.

Digital Camera falls into two primary categories: one and three-chip. One-chip cameras are smaller, consumer-oriented products that use a single CCD (Charge Coupled Device) chip to process all the color information received by the lens. Three-chip cameras dedicate a different CCD chip to each primary color: red, green and blue. Either type of camera is fine, but three chip cameras offer higher quality.

Learning to use your camera manual controls is vital to really getting the most out of your shoot.

Audio levels
Professional cameras offer manual control of the microphone’s audio levels, which are the equivalent of exposure for sound. Essentially, the camera can’t handle the same range of volume as the human ear. So, in conjunction with audio level meters, the camera must be set to pick up quiet sound (in which case loud sounds will distort) or loud sounds (in which case quiet sound will barely be recorded).

Having a good mics can really elevate a project. A shotgun mic is the perfect choice; you can use it in almost every shoot. It is a unidirectional mic that can be mounted on the camera or on a boom. Most people have doubts if the built-in camera mic is useful. As a rule, this is your last resort for a couple of reasons. First, built-in mics are generally low quality, omni directional mics, picking up nearly as much sound from behind the camera as in front of it. Moreover, since mics only work well when they’re in close proximity to a subject, you can’t position your camera more than a few feet from your subject when using a built-in mic.

Hard Drive prices have dropped considerably over the years, to the point of making them almost disposable. In fact, it is prudent to budget a drive in your every project you take on, and when the project wraps stash the drive on a shelf and hope to never have to use it again. But you know the project is on it and ready to access, should a client call requesting a quick change or update. When shopping for drive, keep in mind the basic formula: 15 gigs per hour of DV footage. You should also look for drives rated to spin at 7200 RPM and have a data transfer rate of about 7 to 8 MB per second.

What follows from here will be primer going into details on the production process and post-production process.{ } will be replete with video tutorials on working with Video Editing suites and expert interview on Video production process. It will be complete resource for a new media artist. From Designing to Filmmaking, a one stop point for creative exposure through your lens of ideas. I am collaborating with {} to bind both the medium together.


Secret Smile said...

2:06 am? Hmm.. so i guess ur back again to ur usual routine.. :)
This stuff is pretty cool... Looking forward to reading n learning more... :)

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