I was recently contacted by a young person searching for advice as a writer looking for ways to grow as a writer into directing and producing in the film industry. Since this is a somewhat common trend, I figured it’s time to post my reply to be of help for others on the filmmaker journey!
Here it is…
The Canon C100 was a weapon of choice for a project I shot nearly a year ago in Guatemala (documenting poverty and the impact on children & families by charitable giving) and then recently in Peru where small form factor and a filmic image were desired. Also, shooting with a documentary format would require both location sound via a shotgun mic and interview sound from a couple lapel mics. For those who have done run-and-gun work with a DSLR, they know that it can be a struggle double-checking to be sure that the sound recorder is functioning properly and that the resulting separate audio and video files stay organized. Likewise, constantly changing locations can have a significant impact on the ability to set the correct aperture, shutter speed and ISO for accurate imaging on a DSLR in extended lighting ranges. While still of concern on the C100, the 4K imager provides the shooter with a broader range, allowing significantly more flexibility to record images that will be adjusted and color corrected in post. Here are some of my thoughts on the gear and how it performed.
Some time ago, I read Mike Sessler’s article “Do a Good Job,” and I was reminded that it’s rare for most church tech guys to get what they feel they need in order to perform their jobs as well as they think they should. Mike’s bent is more on the fact that doing well will result in growth and an increase of tools – a biblical model that effective stewardship results in greater trust, reward, and added responsibility. Yet, the current scenario in the local ministry where I serve has found us milking as much as we can out of our gear, pushing for excellence, yet still seeing a reduction of output. Here are my thoughts on the matter…
After all the footage is captured for a film/video project, the video editor holds the most powerful set of tools to set the tone, create interest, and to move the story forward in a logical format. Shot angles are chosen, bad shots are tossed or fixed, and the sequence of events are adjusted to retain viewer curiosity and build through the climax to conclusion.
I’ve found in working with editors that they bring their own sense of perspective to the table, and a director must acknowledge that.
Most people think of the bottom line when it comes down to purchasing new equipment, and cost is certainly a consideration. However, if cost is your only connection, you are likely a bit short-sighted. Trinity’s Media Department has been recommending the benefits of newer camera technology for years, noting greater creativity and enhanced connection of online & TV viewers to the captured shot. Obviously, this doesn’t pay the bills…
Okay, first, watch “I Need a Car” and see the clip on facebook, then read how it was completed.
I usually don’t do stuff last minute, but it must have been fate that I was thinking about WJXT’s Morning Jam Contest when I was approached by a guy who asked me to help him win a car. Unfortunately, I only had two days to complete the project. GULP! So, I threw all caution to the wind and did a true “run-n-gun” production.
Over the past few years, handheld, jerky, and erratic motion of the video/film camera has become widely accepted for use in documentary, thriller, action, and suspense films. I’ve tried to do some research into the purpose of the method and to glean a set of standards for how it should be done, but there is not really much to be found. Below are my own observations on the subject, realizing that there will likely be some objections to my thought process. This is welcomed, as I also want to learn how best to use the lens as effectively as possible. A sample video is provided, below, to go along with the discussion.