How to Get the 'Camcorcer Look'

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by LillieDesigns, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. LillieDesigns macrumors 6502

    LillieDesigns

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #1
    No you did not misread the title (edit although I typo'd the **** out of it), I am doing the opposite of what most low budget filmmakers strive for and need my Sony HDR-HC3 to look less professional. I am shooting a 'Blair Witch' style film and feel like the camera almost shoots too nicely and want to add a little grit to the picture.

    Even if I can just do it in post (I use iMovie because it's quick, but have no problem with Final Cut Express) that would be great.

    Any other suggestions would be great also (how to shoot, tips, whatever).

    Thanks :apple:
     
  2. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #2
    honestly I think the easiest thing would be to use an old 16mm film camera or something. Something not so high def like the Sony. I would think using older equipment would be best.
     
  3. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #3
    I'm no expert, but I think you could start by turning off any stability function on the camcorder.

    Also, if you can, close the apeture so that you get a deeper DOF. This will help give you the video look.

    Also, shoot in 30 fps if possible. Maybe even 60 fps if you can ... I think some AVCHD cams have 720/60p modes.
     
  4. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #4
    You could just borrow someone's crappy old camcorder and shoot with that ;)

    Harsh lighting? Use a video light or flashlight taped to a hot shoe.

    Stark contrast in post? Muted colors, or "too bright" colors might also suggest a "cheap equipment" feel.

    Will you feature sound from the camera? Add a whiny "motor noise" in post (or record the real thing on a cheap camera!) if that suits your film, and/or allow the lens cap to bang against the camera body for a clacking noise associated with cheap cameras and inexperienced operators. Also if it's a windy day, lots of wind noise against the microphone.

    You can ride the focus ring to make it creep in and out like a bad autofocus, combined with the "shakycam" operator who keeps zooming in and out of things.
     
  5. jeffwarrington macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #5
    Camcorcer Look

    Maybe try playing back the video that you shot, using a television, and then aim your camera at the television, and re-tape the original recording this way. Repeat several times. You'll get all sorts of weird distortions. Take a look at Harmony Korine's new movie -- it basically looks like it was shot on home video, buried in a land fill, and excavated twenty years later.
     
  6. LillieDesigns thread starter macrumors 6502

    LillieDesigns

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    Thank you for all the suggestions - I'm definitely going to test a few of them out and see how it looks.

    I also wanted to take a moment and really give props to everyone on this site. I've been coming on here asking questions for years and everyone is always amazing with helping out. It's the best forum community on the web!
     
  7. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #7
    Seemed to be meant as a joke, but why not? You want a crappy camcorder look...use a crappy camcorder. Why jump through a bunch of hoops to produce a look of something that you could easily just shoot with?

    Centainly someone has an old Canon ZR-10 or something from 1999/2000 lying around. Heck I do in the closet! FireWire, MiniDV...etc.
     
  8. xStep macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Location:
    Less lost in L.A.
    #8
    I can't help but think that one of the plug-in companies have this covered. Maybe this, 'Apple Final Cut Pro Plug-ins', will lead you to some.

    Perhaps Creative Cow has tips that could combine. Here is one for a old film look.
     
  9. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #9
    I was serious, and in fact it should be pretty easy to find an older camera to borrow, or maybe even a working older camera from the local Salvation Army store. You don't necessarily need a working tape transport, as long as you can get a video-out to something else.

    Of course, that's only a helpful suggestion if the clip in question hasn't been filmed yet. It does sounds like this is the OP's situation.

    Another thought I had was to record the clip onto a VHS tape, and then recapture the playback.
     
  10. mmoto macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    #10
    Check out Red Giant Quick Looks
    http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/products/categories/color-correction/quicklooks/
    There are 100 "Looks" in this plug-in. Each look can be scaled 0-100%.
    I'm loving it on my 7D footage.
    Occasional sales on the Red Giant site take the price from $100 down to $80.
    There is a free trial.
    -Brad

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #11
    What are the render times using that? I remember Boris (i know, im old) wasnt too kind compared to the stock things in FCP.
     
  12. mmoto macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    #12
    Very fast compared to some plug-ins I've used. I'm guessing 2-3 minutes for a 10 second clip.
    I'm running a MacPro 2.8 Octo with 12GB RAM. The footage was 1920x1080, ProRes LT at 100% quality.
    I did run into one problem that happens to many people rendering varoius effects plug-ins with FCP7. My standard ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics card could not render the effects while driving two monitors. I received a warning dialog stating my hardware was inadequate. The effects rendered fine with one monitor disconnected. I plan on upgrading my paltry graphics card to a hacked PC 1GB ATI 4890 soon.

    -Brad
     

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