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Film-making


Chris B

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Looking at putting Christmas money towards a camera. If you were going to buy a £300-£500 camera for film-making, what would you recommend and why? I'm really new to this (everything I've personally filmed before has been on my phone), but I need to upgrade to step up. Depth-of-field is currently a pipe-dream until I do, so yeah... any recommendations? 

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On 1/4/2019 at 11:05 AM, Chris B said:

Looking at putting Christmas money towards a camera. If you were going to buy a £300-£500 camera for film-making, what would you recommend and why? I'm really new to this (everything I've personally filmed before has been on my phone), but I need to upgrade to step up. Depth-of-field is currently a pipe-dream until I do, so yeah... any recommendations? 

Entry level dslr ( canon 600d /550d / 700d) with a 50mm 'plastic fantastic' lens is the go to for starting off with a DSLR. 

If I were you I'd get the camera second hand from CEX, they still give you a 12 month guarantee so it'll last as long as a new one and you can put the savings towards the lens / a mic. 

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On 11/5/2018 at 12:11 PM, Chris B said:

Technical question, which turned up yesterday at a screening.

My video file, when projected or switched to a screen via HDMI degrades really noticeably from either my phone or laptop. I'd expect some degradation because of the larger screen, but not to the level we're seeing - it's also not low-res or anything. But I could literally see it on my laptop screen and the TV at the same time and they looked totally different. The stuff on screen looked more blurry and out of focus. I've seen my stuff on TVs/Screens before and never had an issue like this before.

One thing I also noticed was that when I had 'Video Enhancer' turned on on my phone, it did exactly the same thing - brightened up the colours but degraded the quality. So I'm wondering if it's a default setting on some TVs/screens and if I'm falling foul of that (a bit like the 'Soap Opera Effect' with motion smoothing).

Any ideas why this has happened and what I can do to avoid it in future? @chokeout? Bueller? Anyone? Bueller?

Hey Chris, I'm not a video expert by any means but (and I'm sure you've worked this out by now) you need a proper calibrated monitor for editing and grading purposes.  The best way of ensuring your film looks as consistent as possible on various different tvs/monitors/projectors is to edit and finish on as neutral and accurate a setup as possible.

The same is true of my field, sound - you need to mix on high quality, professional monitors that are properly calibrated otherwise you're pissing in the dark about how your mixes translate.  I've had a similar experience to you in the past.  I've made cracking sounding (to me) trailers and then when I've heard them in a cinema alongside other people's efforts it's sounded all wrong.  That was down to an uncalibrated mix environment.

 

 

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On 1/5/2019 at 10:01 PM, chokeout said:

Entry level dslr ( canon 600d /550d / 700d) with a 50mm 'plastic fantastic' lens is the go to for starting off with a DSLR. 

If I were you I'd get the camera second hand from CEX, they still give you a 12 month guarantee so it'll last as long as a new one and you can put the savings towards the lens / a mic. 

I've ended up getting a 750d with a 17-85mm lens (although going to pick up a 50mm too). I reckon whatever I bought, I'd end up feeling like I bought a lemon, so I just gritted my teeth and went with it.

On 1/5/2019 at 10:32 PM, Loki said:

Hey Chris, I'm not a video expert by any means but (and I'm sure you've worked this out by now) you need a proper calibrated monitor for editing and grading purposes.  The best way of ensuring your film looks as consistent as possible on various different tvs/monitors/projectors is to edit and finish on as neutral and accurate a setup as possible.

That makes an irritating amount of sense - thanks. 

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2 hours ago, Chris B said:

I've ended up getting a 750d with a 17-85mm lens (although going to pick up a 50mm too). I reckon whatever I bought, I'd end up feeling like I bought a lemon, so I just gritted my teeth and went with it.

 

Honestly, you won't regret it. The options open to you now, compared to using a phone, are amazing and the 50mm will give you that depth of field that DSLR shooters use. There's a 1001 videos on Youtube giving tips on starting with DSLRs but if you want any tips or are getting stumped by anything, make sure you give me a shout. I'm filming a talking head video for a corporate job tomorrow, I'll happily chuck a 750d with a 50mm next to the main camera if you want a sample of what you can get out of it?

 

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22 minutes ago, Sphinx said:

I'm travelling at the end of the year and thought I may try make the most of it and record some videos. Any tips on cameras to get?

My budget for the body is around £600. I don't really know anything about lenses. It'd need a mic input too.

If you want to go down the DSLR route then you're in a similar price bracket to Chris B. What sort of stuff is it you want to film? Vlog, location stuff, interviews, candid people shots? 

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2 hours ago, chokeout said:

If you want to go down the DSLR route then you're in a similar price bracket to Chris B. What sort of stuff is it you want to film? Vlog, location stuff, interviews, candid people shots? 

Sorry, I should have been clearer on that. I'd like to film a travel vlog, documenting my travels as a project for myself. Portability would be key, so DSLR or mirrorless would be handy.

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New short film I made for a challenge by Raindance. Had to be 60 seconds on the theme of 'heartache', with a dutch angle in it. Used my new camera for the first time, and also edited in DaVinci Resolve, which I wanted to try out. If anyone's looking for a free editor, it's really worth checking out. Pretty user-friendly for the most-part, and the free version is pretty comprehensive.

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Nice and easy to use. It's the first time I've used an actual zoom lens. Before that, I was doing the old Viz 'Don't buy expensive binoculars - simply stand closer to the thing you wish to view' thing. It makes setting up so much easier and faster. And the focusing is lovely - I played around with it more in some shots (with her and the coffee), but they ended up on the floor to fit the timing. Obviously, I then set the last half of it against a wall, wasting that kind of fun, but the red balloon and the wall were just too nice a visual to resist - and besides, don't want to play with things for the sake of it.

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Made this for the London Sci-Fi challenge this weekend. Started on Saturday lunchtime and submitted Monday morning. For the first time, got to use more of a full lighting-kit, as a friend lent me their green-screen set-up, which had a couple of standing soft lights and diffusers. Made a huge difference for the warm scenes - we didn't use the green screen, but the white screen became a cover for the (hideous) duvet.

For the blue light, it was a cut-up document wallet as a filter, with the lights underneath the monitors they're looking at, with the background black-curtained off, so it wouldn't show up - we cheated the alternate angle, having them sat against the same wall with blue light bounced off a reflector underneath them.

For the scenes with me in the contact lenses, that was me holding a light underneath - far from flattering, but we needed the contact lenses to come out.

Edited on Resolve again, which is mostly easy to use (although sometimes things jump about on the timeline when I delete something, so I need to figure out that not happening). The sound came out a bit muted on two scenes, which I'll fix for the version I put on FilmFreeway for screening opportunities.

Overall, done on a budget of £70, with people being generous with time/equipment/locations.

Happy to answer any questions about what/how we did things, if anyone's interested.

 

Here was our criteria:

Title: TALK BACK

Prop/action: A character rips a page from a comic/graphic novel

Dialogue: Did anyone else hear that?

Science (optional): A strange man claims to have travelled to us from the past

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54 minutes ago, Chris B said:

 

Edited on Resolve again, which is mostly easy to use (although sometimes things jump about on the timeline when I delete something, so I need to figure out that not happening). The sound came out a bit muted on two scenes, which I'll fix for the version I put on FilmFreeway for screening opportunities.ÔĽŅ

 

Check your ripple delete options. By default its pressing shift and delete at the same time and will delete a clip and move everything, as if the clip wasn't there (essentially shifting everything back in its place) may be the reason things have been moving

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