extreme amateur with tons of questions

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    • #37280
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hello everyone,

      I am 23 yrs old 5th grade teacher and would like to jump into the movie making buisness. I am an extreme novice as I have never shot anything. However, before I throw my hat in as a teacher and go to film school. I want to make a documentary chronicalling my last year of teaching. I have all summer to learn as much as possible about equipment, shooting, editing, and anything else associated with shooting a film. Please, please help me by answering some of these questions:

      I am shopping around for a new laptop- although I am a PC loyalist I am willing to switch to a mac if it is more effiecient. What do you suggest?

      I of course need to buy a camera and tripod for when I cannot hold the camera myself. What are some good choices on a budget of about $450?

      What are some good websites to learn about shooting, editing, etc.?

      Are there any sites that have free documentaries just so I can get some ideas?

      Any and all tips would be helpful as I embark on this project!!!

    • #165081
      AvatarchrisColorado
      Participant

      However, before I throw my hat in as a teacher and go to film school…

      First of all, I don’tparticularly recommend going to film school.You will learn better by reading/watching on your own and making your own movies. Go read the forum called “Newbie with Questions” http://videomaker.com/community/forums/topic/newbie-with-questions-2?replies=11ifyou haven’t yet.

      Please, please help me by answering some of these questions: I am shopping around for a new laptop- although I am a PC loyalist I am willing to switch to a mac if it is more effiecient. What do you suggest?

      I amnot just a PC loyalist, I’m a PC freak.Stick with PC if you have a PC. I THINK THE BOTTOM LINE IS TO SPEND AS LITTLE MONEY AS POSSIBLE AT FIRST. Later on, when you learn more about what you need/want, go spend your money wisely. As we say on all these types of posts, this whole “best computer/camera/editing software” is very subjective.

      Just remember to defragmentthe harddrive before you start a new project(Macs don’t have to be defragmented, I’ve heard).

      I of course need to buy a camera and tripod for when I cannot hold the camera myself. What are some good choices on a budget of about $450?

      IlikeFlash Media Camcorders, the kind that record to little SD memory cards. You don’t have to worry about tapefor your camera and they are smaller/cheaper as a group and good to learn on.I don’t use a tripod, but that’s a very good idea.

      What are some good websites to learn about shooting, editing, etc.?

      Videomaker isgreat!There is a TV website I found once that is also good. I will post it here later.

      Are there any sites that have free documentaries just so I can get some ideas?

      I don’t know about websites, but the History Channel on TV is great!

    • #165082
      AvatarchrisColorado
      Participant

      Here is that TV website I mentioned:

      http://www.mediacollege.com

      as well as some others:

      http://www.actioncutprint.com – The Director’s Chair, a free email magazine

      http://www.4filmmaking.com – Free Film School

      http://www.cybercollege.com/tvp_ind.htm – TV knowledge

      http://www.softweigh.com/video/diy.html – Build dollys, cranes and other gadgets for you camera.

      Enjoy and good luck!

    • #165083
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Your project sounds ambitious, start with small clips of your goal, you will be able to put them together as you get more experienced. Putting together all the elements computer, software, camera, learning. My estimated cost is 4 to 5 thousand dollars any one else like to guess. Classes where and how much?

    • #165084
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      If you have a PC with the power and software that can adequately edit video, then I would agree with chrisColorado on staying with the PC. If your computer is entry level, however, then it will require certain amount of experimenting with hardware and software to produce a PC that will process video unreliably and quickly. In the video business, time is money. If it takes many hours to render your movie projects into a format for burning on a DVD, that’s less time you have for each project.

      I use a Power Mac with quad processors – liquid cooled system. For one hour of video, it takes about a little over an hour to render, compress, and burn it to a DVD. The question is – how fast will your current PC process a movie to a DVD? If it takes an hour or two, then stay with the PC.

      If your current PC is not up to the task, you should consider at least an entry level Mac – the 13″ Macbook 2.5 gigahertz. It costs $1,200-$1,400 – you can get a teacher’s discount. Last month, my wife got the Macbook (not the Macbook Pro) with the 2.5 gig intel dual processor. It performs almost as fast as my G5 Power Mac – which cost $2,500 new. If you get a Mac, you then download for free the iMovie6 program which is a better editing program than the current iMovie version. If you get real good at editing, you move up to Final Cut Express, then to Final Cut Pro.

      Understand that the Mac is a turnkey video system. It comes with the basic video processing software. The operating system is more stable than XP and lots more stable than VISTA.

      Regarding camera equipment – I would suggest getting a camera that uses DV tape. Also, I would not get high definition (HD). For the cost of an entry level HD camera, you can get a camera with more features using regular DV tape. In addition, most clients today don’t have HD equipment to view HD, so I would not waste my time yet on HD. Wait until HD becomes the norm in the next few years.

      One line of business that can help you learn editing is the business of converting VHS tapes to DVD. You don’t need a video camera but you will learn to edit video, create DVD menus, and burn video on DVDs. You will need a converter box if you have a Mac. For PCs, you’ll need a video card with RCA inputs and/or S-Video input. All of the advice above is good and would follow the links provided.

    • #165085
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks for all the great suggestions…. I can’t wait to get started this summer

    • #165086
      Avatarfaqvideo
      Participant

      It’s not only about equipment. The big part is a storytelling. There must be a story in your documentary, with the opening, development, climax and good ending. Think about building the story while shooting raw footage.

      Just today I was reading “The Beatles Antology” in the part where they were reminiscing about filming the Magical Mistery Tour and discussing all the mistaces that have been made.

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