Complete beginner in need of a few pointers!

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    • #90733

      Hi Everyone,
      I was wondering if you could help me out here? Im an actor and along with my best mate and our lovely director we are trying experiment with some filming. We’re together next week. We have borrowed 2 cameras one is a Sony HVR-V1E

      And the other one Im not sure what it is as yet. We need some advice on sound. The set up will be us 2 woman in front of camera and our director doing all the filming!-we MIGHT be able to get another person to help but best to presume we won’t. We will be using my flat as our set, we will be improvising so won’t necessarily have defined shots or set ups, more of a fluid set up. We will obviously find out what works as we go. Other equipment includes working lamp and gels (blue and white), 2 quite new Macbook Airs which we are hoping to do edit on in iMovie. The sound on the camera’s aren’t great. What would you advise in terms of sound set up for this kind of project?

      Hoping you an give me some pointers πŸ˜‰

    • #214165

      Best sound would be from a lavaliere mic on each actor, one input to camera Channel 1, the other to Channel 2. That will give you control in the edit and provide good clean sound. In a small flat you might possibly get by with a good shotgun mic on the camera, but the lavs will be ever so much better.

      The blue and white gels may create problems. Experiment before you shoot. Neither color is particularly flattering to skin tones. Since you’re shooting in your flat you may be able to use lights within the place — e.g., floor lamp, table lamps, etc. Using a bit of foam-core you can bounce light into the dark areas and create a very realistic atmosphere. The incandescent lamps will give you a nice warm feel to the room.

      If daylight from a window is required, use it as your key and use the foam-core reflector for fill. Try not to use incandescent lights with daylight, however, as one is quite blue, the other quite yellow.

      Trust your monitor. If it looks right on the monitor you’ve done a good job, regardless of your light sources.

    • #214170

      Hi Lisa,
      I agree with the stuff that Jack said. In addition to what he said, I would add the following:
      For audio, if you’re going to use lavs, you can use the RodeLink Wireless Filmmaker Kit, If you have it in the budget to buy 2 of the kits, both mic packs can connect to the same receiver pack, or so they’ve said, and, theoretically, you can have the already mixed audio going into the same input on the camera, which will save you a step in post having to mix the left and right channels from having separate systems plugged into the 2 different inputs of the camera. Personally, I prefer to have a person running a shotgun mic, so that you don’t have to worry about hiding the lav on the actors. If you can get that extra person that you talked about, I would recommend they run a shotgun mic for you.
      As for the lighting, you may consider simply bouncing light off the ceiling and walls. If you can make this work, you can use minimal light fixtures, and your light will already be diffused. This, of course, may not work for you, depending on what your goals are and what kind of look you want. But if it will work for you, it’s extremely easy, and cheap, to do.

    • #214173

      Thanks for your advice Jack and Mike, I really appreciate it. Our director has ordered 2 Smartlav mics to plug into our iPhones using the app voice recorder pro. So hopefully that might work?! We don’t really have a budget at all at the moment to be honest! This is a sort of “try out” of ideas, our very first step so doesn’t have to be the best best of quality all round luckily. Down the line if this has any “legs” we will have a production company on board. We are working in natural light of which there is quid alot of in the open space living/dining room, but the bedroom and the kitchen can be rather dark, the lighting guys I was filming with on another project last week gave me some 1/2 and full diffusion paper and some blue gels and advised that if we were trying to use the working lamp (similar to this: ) to help darker areas that we might be able to experiment with a bit of blue gel to match a bit of daylight and some diffusion paper to soften the light too.. Im going to order some foam-core too based on your advice as trying to work with the light we have and bouncing might be a better option. Good advice about trusting the monitor! As it’s improvised we might just have to suck it and see as there will no doubt be quite a bit of movement! Im sure we are gonna learn loads by getting things wrong and that will be the fun part !

    • #214174

      Would you recommend some bigger pieces of foam core?

    • #214177

      I believe the pieces we have are about 3′ on a side. That’s plenty large enough, yet not cumbersome.

      Here’s a suggestion with using audio separate from the camera: turn on the sound recorder, point the camera at yourself, and clap your hands together. This will give you a reference for synchronizing audio and video.

      Mike and I disagree on one point. He suggests you run both mic inputs to the same receiver pack. The trouble with this is that in post you can’t adjust the level of one mic without effecting the other. Even though it appears to be a bit more work, I’ve found that having control over the input from each mic by placing them on separate channels makes for an easier edit in the long run. There’s no right or wrong here, just two different approaches.

      Sounds like you’ll have a grand time experimenting with all of this.

    • #214179

      Jack does have a good point about the audio. Doing it his way would definitely give you more control in post.

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