Should you buy a Rode Stereo Videomic or the Zoom H4n?
2. The Rode. I recently did a blog post about the Rode Mic a few months ago. You should read it, but to summarize; I love the thing for its straight forward simplicity. It allows me to just shoot and not worry about sound, but…
3. The Zoom. …When I DO need to worry about the sound (such as an interview or a scene in a narrative film) I bust out the Zoom H4n. It captures better files that the straight camera – remember it’s sole function is audio.
Get Lit: Using Sidelight for a Dramatic Effect | Chris Collins | Wide Open Camera
Getting lighting right can be difficult. It takes practice, and in my experience, the fewer lights the better (because every light you add, adds shadows!) Here's a guide for getting dramatic lighting:
I am a sucker for dramatic lighting. That’s why I was so excited when Jared Abrams decided that we should go with a moody look for the interviews in The Board of Education documentary. I decided to go with a fairly contrasty, side-lit look for the interviews which I have accomplished on the road with a few Ikan 312 LED lights. We were fortunate enough to get hooked up by Roman France with a studio in New York for this particular interview. Here are two fairly similar lighting setups.
White Balancing Your Camera (Part 1) | Richard Harrington | Triple Exposure
Auto White Balance can be wonderful; and it can be the devil:
By default, your camera is probably set to use an automatic white balance (sometimes called AWB). The way that auto works is that the camera will analyze the frame and create an automatic setting that attempts to neutralize any color shift. This setting works pretty well for indoor shooting where lighting is consistent.
Episode 39: Building a Flexible Top Handle Rig | DSLR Video Shooter
A flexible top handle rig built from a collection of different manufacturer's parts. It could cost you a bit of money to buy the parts though...
Ed Burns On Making an Indie with the 5D Mark II | Ron Dawson | Dare Dreamer
Tips from Ed Burns taken from a podcast "The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith"
- Shot with all available light.
- Shot with one 5D Mark II and an M audio recorder with lav mics instead of a boom.
- Edited on Final Cut Pro.
- 3 person crew.
eye3 The Affordable Radio Controlled Camera Helicopter | Cinescopophilia
A remote-control camera platform for $999? I got quite excited; until I realized it's a Kickstarter campaign:
$999 gets you a professional quality yet affordable radio controlled camera helicopter called the eye3. Almost anyone attempting to build a platform like the eye3 will be stunned by the complexity involved and the years of hands on experience needed to create a functional, safe device. The incredibly steep learning curve combined with the high cost of failure has kept this powerful tool out of the hands of thousands of creative people until now it seems.
Get Your Own Damn Movie Soundtrack! | Lloyd Kaufman | Mastering Film
Lloyd offers his typically unique perspective and experiences of music licensing:
And what about Nina Paley? She is a genius filmmaker who produced Sita Sings the Blues, the only animated movie entirely in Flash, as far as I know. She, too, has limited resources, so she decided to score her film with public domain music whose “sync” or publishing rights cost zilch. Unfortunately, Nina did not know that the “performance rights” of the folks performing the music were not public domain, and those singers, performers and musicians wanted to be paid. So far this has been a huge problem for Nina and has stood in the way of her making distribution deals.
Sony PMW-F3 & PMW-EX1R vs HDR-AX2000E | Владимир Кольцов | Vimeo
Umm...uhh...okay this is just weird. It might have been interesting if the PMW-F3 was used to shoot closeups like the PMW-EX1R and HDR-AX2000E, but since it's used only for a wide shot it's not very useful.
This video does raise an interesting issue though; if you are shooting with multiple - different - cameras, do you use the best camera for the wide shot or the close-ups?
If I have a couple of different cameras, I usually use the worst cameras for the shots that I'll be using the least (which usually means the wide shot, and any fixed closeups) and then I use the best camera to float around capturing different things.
Sony PMW-F3 & PMW-EX1R vs HDR-AX2000E from Владимир Кольцов on Vimeo.