Serious novice here needs advice

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    • #37711
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hello all,

      This is my first post and I hope it is the correct place to ask my question. Just a brief back ground I work for a large financial company. I am on the operational side so I am somewhat technical. I have been ask to head a project to record a 10 to 20 minutes segments about the financial markets. They would like this video to be available on our website the same day. I am good with computers but I have no experience when it comes to video. I have a budget of $10K. Can you advise on what type of gear I should get? I am assuming a flash drive based camera for quick uploads? Tri-pod, lighting, wireless mic.

      Also, what type of software is recommended? We only use Window’s based computers here. No Mac’s.

      Sorry for all the newbie questions. I appreciate any advice everyone may have.

      Regards,

      Eric

    • #167121
      AvatarRob
      Participant

      LOL. No offense, and I wish you the best, but I love how companies are now trying to have current employees who have no video experience do their video work. A 10-20 minute segment? And they want it on their website same day?! Please direct me to the website when it’s all finished. I want to see this. And please understand this is not a shot at you, but a shot at the company you work for. Not the best decision on their part.

      Anyway, since you only have 10 grand and will only load this onto a website, I suggest shooting SD with a miniDV camcorder. Sony PD170, Canon GL2, Panasonic DVX100B…all great cameras.

      You want to buy a good set of lights. Proper lighting with SD video ALWAYS beats no lighting with HD video. Get at least 2 250W and 2 500W Arri lights. Might want to get some softboxes to go with those lights.

      You want a fluid head tripod. Tripods in the $500 – $1000 range will be great for the cameras I listed.

      I diunno what you’re shooting, so I dunno what kinda mics to suggest. Do you want a lavalier mic? Hand held mic? Wireless? Shotgun on a boom pole? What are you shooting?

      Since your on a PC, Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere seem to be common.

      Good luck buddy. You’ll need it. And we’ll be here to provide you with all the advice you need.

    • #167122
      AvatarRob
      Participant

      B&H is a good place to buy your gear. Can’t find better prices anywhere else…unless you’re being scammed.

    • #167123
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hey Robert,

      Thanks for all the great tips. I am feeling a little bit overwhelmed with this project so I don’t know how it will come out. If we can actually get this project off the ground I will definitely post the link haha. It definitely does not sound like a one man job. Again no experience with mics. I automatically thought wireless. Since it is one man job I don’t have another guy holding a boom. Looks like a find the right place to ask my questions. Have a great weekend!

      Eric

    • #167124
      AvatarRob
      Participant

      I understand you don’t have much experience with mics, but we will be able to provide better guidance if you describe what you’re shooting, what kind of video you are trying to make, and what your shooting situation will be. For example:

      Will this be a round table discussion? For that, hard-wired lavalier mics would be your best option. If it’s more than 2 people speaking around the table, a mic is needed for each person. Then each mic is fed to a mixer, and then the mixer is fed to the camera. Cameras only have 2 mic inputs, which is why the mixer would be needed if more than 2 people are miced.

      If you are out walking the streets and you have a “host” doing news style interviews, you would want a handheld mic. For less of a “news look”, you could use a shotgun mic on a boom to eliminate the mic from the shot altogether.

      Or maybe you want to do documentary-style interviews. A lavalier and/or boom would be suitable in that situation as well.

      So those are just some examples. I know you said you don’t have someone to hold a boom, but if it’s needed, hire someone. Bad audio will KILL your production. It’s worth doing right. I only recommend wireless mics as a last resort – in uncontrolled situations when you’re running around. If you can’t get a wired mic on someone or can’t get a boom in there, then the only choice left is wireless.

      Provide us with some info about what you hope to achieve and we’ll guide you in the right direction.

    • #167125
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      Ouch!

      Eric Rob’s given you some good advice. When is this thing due? 10 – 20 minutes huh? Yeah, I agree with Rob about what style of video this is supposed to be. Yeah, you can get some great advice here but you seriously need someone on-site who knows what they’re doing to give you a hand. It’s hard enough for someone who’s been freshly trained to juggle a gig like this. Talk about getting tossed into the shark tank.

      Okay, first off you need to understand that you will not be able to pull off a fully ‘pro look’ right off the bat. Not going to happen. However, if you keep things simple and don’t try to get too ‘creative’ you will be able to pull this off well.

      Since you’re starting from ‘balls zero’, go back to whoever commissioned this thing and ask them specifics about what they expect to see and the depth of the topic they expect to hear. Don’t be surprised if they have no real idea, you’ll just have to ‘lead’ them. In the meantime, since you’re using PC’s unless they have Win 7 there should be a perfectly good copy of Win Moviemaker already installed. If it’s not there have the IT guys put it on the computer you plan do to this on. WMM is stupid easy to learn and use. It won’t be fancy, but it will work and you can use the money for other things you’ll need.

      Far as cameras go again Rob’s right. Stick with SD, it will make your life easier at this point. Also make sure the camera you get has a Firewire input/output plug-in. You’ll need that to connect with the computer (make sure the ‘puter has an active firewire port.) Trying to edit with USB is like trying to herd Glaciers. Yeah, it can be done it’ll just take a while…. Also get a portable harddrive with firewire inputs to stave off that glacier herding thing. Also you’ll need the extra drive to store the video footage.

      There’s a lot more like what kinds of mic’s to get, lights, camera support, etc. But don’t buy anything until you get some more specifics on this production. Truthfully, this thing needs to be planned out with a script or at least an outline to point you in the right direction. You need to nail down your people and get this from them before you spend money and time on a potential ‘goat rope’.

    • #167126
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hello, I also am a new bee, but if I was in your shoes and had 10k to burn, just hire a pro, you will get the most bang for your buck and you could learn the ropes before you dump a grip of money into the wrong direction. We have made a few videos http://www.youtube.com/user/LowandMEANcom but forsure if we have more budget I would have a pro make us look better than what we have. Poor video could really make a good company look under rated.

      Best of luck!

      Chris
      http://www.lowandmean.com

    • #167127
      AvatarSafetyMan
      Participant

      I assume that this is going to go on to You Tub or similar so video Quality will not be a major factor so an SD camera may work out fine. I am starting to experiment with Multi-Cam shoots using the Kodak Zi8. These are HD Cameras, but very portable and very cheap, and are focused on the “upload to YouTube” user. The Zi8 do have some drawbacks…you can not smoothly zoom in, so it is best to set up the shot and leave the camera alone. It is best to mount them on a tripod. They come with an 1/8″ microphone jack. This may not fit your needs, but it is something to look at. I use a Sony Pro cam for most of the shoots that we do.

      I work with a company that wanted to get into video, so we designed a starter kit and have slowly been expanding and upgrading as money and needs dictate.

      1) Light kit – Something with an umbrella or diffusers will work best as it will help to eliminate some harsh shadows. We purchased a 3 light set for about $250-300.

      2) Microphones. Wired microphones will save you some money, but they limit the talent’s movement a bit. If you will be shooting someone at a desk or in a chair, wired should be fine. If they will be doing a lot of movement, wireless.

      3) Mixer – All of our shoots that we planned were going to be stationary shots with the talent sitting at a desk or in a chair, so we were able to use a desktop audio mixer that we had sitting around for some audio projects that we had done in the past.

      4) Teleptompter – We decided to make our own. I had an old LCD monitor sitting around. I took the stand off and laid it down on a desk. I built 2 wooden frames, one to go around the monitor, and the other to hold a piece of glass. Tilt the glass at a 45 degree angle over the monitor, put the camera behind the glass, and drape everything with a dark cloth. Thereis some inexpensive ($30)teleprompter software on the market that will mirror the text so it is readable in the prompter.

      It helped that I had some lighting, sound and video experience. I was by no means an expert, and we made a few mistakes along the way, but every piece of gear that we purchased we still use, and we purchase more equipment or upgrade as necessary.

      If this is a 1 shot deal, hire a pro, they can come in set up, shoot and be out in 1/2 day and get you a product that you will like.

      Even though we have a decent setup, there are still times that we will call in a professional just because the results are that much better

      If this is something that you want to do long term, I would start off on the low end and upgrade as necessary. It sounds as if the expectations are low from management on this, and when they realize how much time and effort and experienceit takes to do this they will likely scrap the project.

    • #167128
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hey Rob and guys,

      Great feed back so far thank you!

      I believe they want to shoot this video clips inside an office with a “nice view out side”. So the lighting will be those office fluorescent light bulbs. I think I should be concerned about the outside ambient lighting?

      The way I see them envisioning this project is something like those reports on MSNBC or Bloomberg TV. They will have a guy sitting down describing today’s market activities. A guy in a suit camera focused in from the chest up. So it sounds like a wired mic might work. Since the guy is going to be stationary. I think I need to go to management and let them know this is not something that can be done over night. Last thing they want is to look bad and to make the rest of the company look amateurish.

      I will also check B&H Photo and see what I how much all of these items might add up too.

      Thanks again everyone,

      Eric

    • #167129
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      You need to worry about light ratios and color balance.

      a few ways ways to go about it…

      use daylight balanced lights(or ctb gels), or cto gels on the windows. to match the colors..

      really bright lights on the interiors and or nd grey gels on the windows.. you need to keep your background (outside window view) from overexposing..

      then there is my way, (the cheap way)…

      Shoot early in the am or late in the evening when the outside light is dim enough to easily balance with the interior lighting, and use warmer (cto gel or in my case halogen) lighting on your subject and let the background stay cooler bluer temperature… give a nice seperation of subject from background using color.

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