November 11, 2008 at 11:50 PM #37414YourOwnVideosParticipant
When you look at someone who as made a movie that comes out in the cinema the quality of the movie is excellent and you almost forget that its being shown through a camera, compared to my video camera that i use you can clearly tell im using one because of the quality etc .. i don’t know if you know what i mean, its hard to explain, but do the movies in the cinema have a touch up on them like, adding more saturation and contrast when they edit them or something?
Sorry if you still don’t understand what i mean, its kind of hard to explain Hehe!
November 12, 2008 at 12:05 AM #165870bmillsParticipant
There’s a lot factors that go into making a video/movie that entertaining, visually pleasing etc.. Lighting, camera angle, jibs, dollies, etc.. Never mind post production work.. Would need to see some of your vids to get an idea of where you’re losing your video…
November 12, 2008 at 3:56 AM #165871EarlCMember
Not to mention that the cameras being used are priced in the upper stratosphere, costing sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars and using lenses that are vastly superior to ANYTHING in the consumer or so-called prosumer arena.
In addition, as has been mentioned, there’s professional lighting, and often LOTS of it, highly controlled and manipulated during each and every shoot and setup. There’s often blue, and green screen components, with graphics added in post by highly skilled and extremely effective and creative folks, also using dedicated and highly refined software to generate realistic backgrounds.
There’s color adjustments, and other enhancement that come into play…
…and the list goes on. In truth, nothing beyond use of the tools above and even more than I haven’t begun to mention, will get you the levels of production quality you see on the big screen with commercial entertainment releases.
That being said…
…people like Soderberg (SP?) and others who know all the rules well enough to break them, and who enjoy experimenting with basic digital tools, handhelds, etc. People who like, prefer and apply the use of natural lighting because it is the effect and/or end result they want, who have the money to do what they want to, and pay others to do what they want them to do “outside the box and who go beyond the traditional standards established and accepted by Hollywood, etc., have often produced compelling stories using the capabilities (or lack thereof) of standard off-the-shelf camcorders, hand-helds and palmcorders ranging from the Canon XL series and even GLs, as well as Panasonic HVX200s, JVCs, Sonys, Hitachi and others that were (so THEY say) never intended for high end commercial production use.
Know the rules. Know the limits of the tools you intend to use. Have a compelling story and script and shoot it well, and you can generate a commercially viable production. I even saw evidence of someone somewhere who actually produced an entire movie production, and got some positive reactions to it from some of the big boys in commercial production, using ONLY a phone camera.
November 15, 2008 at 4:27 AM #165872chrisColoradoParticipant
I agree with EarlC. Use the tools you have now and work and learn.
I also agree with you, YourOwnVideos, and wish I could make my video look better.
I have noticed after making 7 films that most people subconsciously pay more attention to audio, editing and story than they do video (lighting/camera). I have based my latest films off this point of view and have done fairly well. My video expertise is coming on slowly in the background. My last film was done on a tiny Flash Media camera and I’m surprised at the video quality it already has.
Good luck, Chris
November 16, 2008 at 7:05 PM #165873paulearsParticipant
There’s always the issues of quality, but you can spot ‘real’ movies even when recorded on ancient grotty VHS. The movie signature is all about conventions, and if you break them, you must do it in certain ways. Pick your favourite movie – anything really, but probably something from a major director. Select a scene, and convert what you see to a shot list with timing.You will probably note many things – the most obvious one being the framing and camera movement. Count how many time (if any) you see a zoom. Probably there won’t be any. The camera angles may change and the camera might track in towards or away from the subject, but it won’t zoom. It’s all to do with perspective – a zoom produces a closer picture, but the foreground and background sizes remain locked together. With a track, the foreground and background sizes change. If the camera is on a jib or boom, changes in height are not that noticable, unless there is something in the foreground – so check shots that have vertical movement to see what things are in the frame, and what happens to them. Check when the director cuts and when they pan – remember that movies mainly use a single camera, so reverse angles might mean a re-light for the alternative angle. Everybody is familiar with Steadicam type shots, but Cinema Verite where the camera does show movement is an alternative. It isn’t, though, an excuse for bad camerawork – it’s a chance for the camear to become ‘part’ of the scene, rather than being a fly on the wall, looking into a scene. If you want to look at techniques, then old Hitchcock movies are great – packed full of pretty obvious techniques. Even sci-fi films are good technique sources – the baddies get shot from below, with the camera below the eye-line, with the goodies shown from eye level or above in the fight scenes. Look too for wide angle lenses in close, distorting the faces. People make a lot out of depth of field, but in general, most movies have the entire depth in focus, unless they really want to grab your attention onto certain aspects of what is going on. Sometimes they do have shallow depth of field, but it’s always for a reason. It isn’t always the background that’s out of focus. As I’m writing this, Star Wars is on TV and there’s a scen during the battle where the main characters are grouped together in a control room – there are characters at the edges in the foreground and they are soft – and make a kind of ‘gateway’ into the tension in the centre. (Just saw a video vision mixer/switcher being used to fire the Death Star – never noticed that upteen years ago when I was a kid!) Back to Star Wars – some really nice tracking shots at the end – something easily done. This takes me on to the other pro technique – decent, rock steady pans tilts and jibs, no wobbles. If you have a decent, level floor, see if you can borrow things like flat trolleys – the DIY stores have them. Set up a tripod on one, and a little stool for the cameraman, and get someone to push it around – the pictures have a different quality.
Boiling it down to basics is quite easy. In schools and colleges an early assignment given to media students is frequently along these lines.
Tell a story – maximum running time 3 minutes.
NO editing at all – start and stop the camera only.
NO hand held cameras
Apart from one shot up to 20 seconds, no other shot more than 10 seconds in length
NO zooming in or out whatsoever – Camera on widest setting, if you need to get in close, move the camera
This makes you plan and more importantly, think!
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