Need help on getting real good

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    • #36757

      I want/need to learn more about camera techniques, i have a bit of experience but want to learn more. I would like to know where i can learn more. I have been reading every book that i can get my hands on. And am looking for websites and the names of books books that are useful. Thanks

    • #163324

      Here is one thing you can check out, and it’s free. It’s beginner stuff, but it can apply to all video. Being a mac guy you should be familiar with itunes and podcasts; there is a video podcast called Izzy Video. He keeps the episodes basic and about 5min. or so, which is nice. He has about 22 episodes on everything from depth of field, and shutter speed, to lighting and sound. It’s good stuff that everyone interested in video should know (except maybe spectate swamp, because his videos don’t need any help). Videomaker also has a vidcast going with about 4 episodes so far. That stuff should give you some good info and keep you busy while you look for other books, ect. Hope it helps.

    • #163325

      thanks ill try it

    • #163326

      Too Sents
      I concur with Phil that visual media is the way to go for picking up tips.
      You are Very into books! I’ve had this same problem at times. Don’t know that there are any true guru’s out there that really outshine all of the other guru’s; e.g., like Peter Drucker or Tom Peters dominated progressive thinking in the field of "management" for years, decades in case of Drucker.
      I still return to the National Geo Photo Guides for tips on lighting and composition, for stills, but a lot of this applies; and to Truffaut’s book on Hitchcock to fathom what good editing is and what it can do to the brain of an audience. These are still great references.
      I would suggest this, if you are spending 2 hours per night on reading about it, you should cut back to 30 minutes and spend the other 1.5 hours on shooting. Then, watch your footage. I spend a lot of time shooting bands (paid and for fun). Then I spend a lot of time watching my footage, too much actually, because I get sheer enjoyment out of it. Everytime I watch, I discover subtle things I did that I will try to do more of; and, oh yes, little goofs, when I was not concentrating for 10 seconds in a 30 minute shoot; or when my judgment/timing on a camera move was impaired by trying to multi-task; e.g., shoot and eat french fries; doesn’t work.
      A few years ago, I attended a workshop put on by Bill Campbell, a Director of Photograpy for Gus Van Zandt and a B-List Hollywood cinematographer. When he started out, he had a job shooting news. Each day, when his news gig was done or during down time, he would shoot and shoot some more, competing with another news shooter for who could produce the coolest footage that day.
      If you want to work in the industry, there are two ways to break in (per union avenues) camera assistant or lighting assistant. I’d suggest becoming an expert in both. Learn by doing.
      Also, find opportunities to use as many different cams as you can. This means that when an opportunity comes up in an old school production to shoot 16mm, you know how to use AND LOAD a 16mm film camera. One of the top shooters in Portland Oregon started off 10 years ago as the equipment checkout guy at the local film school. He got to know and play with all of the cameras. He took soooo much verbal abuse from serious artists when he volunteered to P.A. on every infomercial that came along. He was dedicated and is today laughing last.
      If is coming to your town, consider jumping in. A lot of pro’s participate and they will use and have access to the cams favored by independent film makers at this moment.
      Finally, I recall a quote from Bob Dylan when asked what it was like to write his bio. He said it was miserable because when he was busy writing about his life he was not living it. Stretching it a bit, but I suggest you minimize reading about camera work and triple the time you are doing it.
      Best Regards … TOM 8)

    • #163327

      Amen to knowing your camera(s), how to use all the functions that you will need for the assignment, and where all the buttons are by feel, without looking. (Also, even when you know your buttons, never leave home without a small flashlight and don’t lose track of it.)

      As far as studying camera moves and editing from visual sources, over the years, whenever I have seen a classic that I thought had particularly interesting camera work, lighting, or a unique approach to editing, I have paid a second admission to see the film again, and try to envision myself where the camera operator is standing to see what is going on.

      These days with hard drives and DVDs, you can put them in slow motion to see precisely what is going on. Or dub commercials or well shot TV programs to hard drive/DVD and run them in slo-mo. (Do this and you may also see some pretty artificial tricks going on to save money; you will see things you will want to avoid; "you can learn as much from a bad buddha as a good buddha.")

      One of the best classrooms for aspiring filmmakers are the "making of" docs on many DVDs. When you find 20 really good ones, it’s probably worth 2-years of film school, except you’ve saved $10,000! (Of course, you are still doing the labs when you pick up your cams…)

      BTW if direct dubbing doesn’t work, you can shoot right off the TV screen, once you figure out the manual setting for doing this, in order to "capture" the commercial etc. you want to study. It may not be perfect, but fine for instructional purposes.

      This is not a recommendation, but I have found myself riding the camera-person’s shoulder and the editor’s on some Law And Order episodes. I am paying attention to their style and it works for me. This is partly a matter of my taste as well as my appreciation of the work, and you will have your own favorites. It helps to study camera/editing technique if the story line is familiar/formula/obvious/or just not that interesting. I don’t do this to study scriptwriting.

      So much film product today, movies, TV, esp commercials are edited at a breathless pace (not just action scenes, All Scenes). This is effective for conveying an impression, emotion, or the perception of an erupting mental tempest. Still, each one of those shots, whether they lasted a microsecond or two seconds (long enough for the character to utter the catch phrase), involved a large crew of skilled technicians to set up and execute the shot, a process often taking hours. The style of editing is to give you an impression. And when you watch the shot at the speed it is presented to you, you will get the general idea. But there is data in each shot that you are missing because the brain doesn’t work that fast. For example, SOMETIMES interesting camera work, lighting, editing, etc. Watching a few of these, the one’s that matter to YOU, in slow-mo could be instructive. Something to thing about anyway…
      REGARDS … TOM 8)

    • #163328

      Just start makeing stuff. If it looks crapy figure out what you did to make it crappy. and be honest with your self. some important things that new people over look is

      1) lighting!!!
      2) filling the frame/rule of thirds
      3) Use a tripod shaky video looks like uncle bob made some backyard home movie.
      4) Tilts and pans are not water, they are soads, use them want to add something not as a must have tool.
      5) pre plan as much as posible.

      other than that what evryone else said.

    • #163329

      Though a tripod is good for almost all good filming. I must say that it’s great to abandon your tripod if your doing an action sequence when the rest of the movie has it. Other than that, go with the tripod.
      Also experiment taking a pair of roller blades and try doing some moving shots. If done right you can really turn a dead shot into a seller. You can also use a rolling tripod or cheaper yet, a rolling T.V. stand. As long as you have a level ground it adds to almost any sequence.

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