My first "movie" ever

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by matteusclement, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. matteusclement macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #1
    I have been coming to MR for a while, mainly this section. I was hoping to get some advice on how to shoot an action movie. Some details first:
    1. editing on MP quad core w/ FCP 3 suite
    2. using canon HV30's to shoot with, four total
    3. limited budget
    4. Slew of actors and people in my video program willing to help
    5. My experience has been in music videos, documentaries, and promo videos but I have never made a movie from script to finish.
    6. video will be about 10 minutes long
    7. test footage from now til DECEMBER then full shooting in JAN to MARCH
    8. I have a fight choreographer.

    I have a classmate working on SFX in AE and I will be doing the editing, directing and shooting (3 other cameramen too). My class has been relegated to shooting news broadcast multicam stuff and mini-docs, so the people involved are pumped to do something fun. The script (yet to be made) will be by me and everyone is cool following my lead as I have the most experience in the video field.

    SO... I am curious about:
    1. make up. when and when not to use it.
    2. 60i and 24p. The hv30 can do both, when to use each one?
    3. shooting order. Do I shoot the script from start to finish as a nOOb?
    4. tapes. how to keep order when shooting 4 cameras for action stuff.
    5. syncing. do you using those clicker things to sync with?
    6. fake night time. these cameras arent best for low light. how do you fake night?
    7. mics. I have a seinhausser G3 wireless, a seinhassuer shot gun (# unknown) and a bayerdynamic shotgun (model unknown). with some poles and sound guy, will that be enough?
    8. tips from your first movie?

    this will be a revisted thread for me as I will be shooting for the next 8 months.
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    1. Always use it.
    2. 24p. This will help get the 'look' of film but proper lighting and camera operation will help more.
    3. This is all based on logistics and is unique to each project. You want to work as efficiently as possible so, for example, shoot all scenes at location A before moving across town to location B, shoot all night scenes back-to-back (mixing day and night shoots really takes its toll on people), try and 'bundle' all of an actor's shoot days close together so they don't have to make any more trips than necessary to the shoot, etc.,.
    4. Label the cameras A, B, C and D and the tapes numerically. For example, MyFirstMovie_A01 ("A" being the camera and "01" being the tape number).
    5. Yes. Make sure every camera can see and hear the clapboard.
    6. Shooting exterior day-for-night (shooting in the day time but trying to make it look like it's night time) is a royal PITA to pull off believably. Doing it interior can be easier though.
    7. Depends on the environment, how many people you need to mic, how the scene is blocked, etc.,. Sit down with the sound guy, the lead DP, the gaffer and the sound guy and go over the script together to hash out the technical requirements of the movie.
    7a. You also need to meet with all these people at each location to make sure it can be lit the way you need it lit, shot the way you need it shot and mic'd the way you need it mic'd.
    7b. You are making storyboards, right?
    7c. Someone needs to be in charge of continuity.
    7d. Keep your mic assignments consistent. For example, always use the wireless lav in Cam A and a shotgun in Cam B. If you just plug whatever mic into whatever camera you are going to drive yourself insane in post finding the tracks you need. Using a mixer and multitrack field audio recorder would be even better but I don't know if you access to that kind of gear.
    8. Have fun and try not to fall in love with it because odds are it will suck. ;)

    Check out Crank: High Voltage (shot on consumer and prosumer HDV cameras) and pickup a copy of The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap and make it your bible.

    Lethal
     
  3. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #3
    story boards

    yes, I am doing story boards.
    that book looks great, I'll get it.
    a few other things:
    1. make up. what kind? use it on men and women?
    2. mic set up is for 2 maybe three people tops. any further advice on that?
    3. field recorder might be possible. what did you have in mind? an audio interface with a laptop work?
    4. though I say I am doing story boards, I might be doing them wrong. any tips on that?

    thanks for the advice lethal. it means a lot. I already know that it might very well suck, but we are all pretty stoked on it.
     
  4. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #4
    Always slightly wary of "written, produced and directed by ... " films :)

    Remember that the story is king. I think you already know that, but when it's your baby it can be hard to hand it over.

    Do script readings.

    White balance your cameras. (it's great you have four the same)

    Learn how to "motivate" the actors. They have to get into character to make it believable. Every action they perform and line they say has to be credible as that "character".

    By-theby, I saw a day-for-night on an old episode of Bonanza or Rawhide or something like that, and if I didn't know what "day for night" was, I would have let it slide. As it was, it looked completely fake now that I know what it is.
     
  5. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    Log the tapes daily. Make notes. You probably already know Log and Capture well.

    Don't let any camera operator break the timecode.
     
  6. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #6
    Time code and multicam

    I have never gotten the full scoop from my instructor on time code. He's talked about it, but i'm still lost.

    so when it comes to 4 cameras, what do you mean dont break time code?
     
  7. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #7
    To avoid time code breaks you might want to consider striping all tapes before shooting on them. Otherwise you'll have to rely on your camera men to overlap each time they stop and start the cameras in order to avoid having breaks in the time code. Nothing more frustrating than having breaks while capturing footage! Of course, if you are shooting tapeless, then it's a moot point.
     
  8. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #8
    still lost. dummy it down a little further? I get the breaking part, you want all 4 tapes to have the same timeline on them so that you can to a certain part on the tape and know that it is the same moment right? how do you sync that?
     
  9. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    TC on consumer grade cameras is (AFAIK) as sort of faux-timecode. Pop in a tape, start recording and TC starts from 00:00:00:00 and keeps going until the tape runs out. If you stop the tape, the camera winds a little back so when you hit REC again, it "sees" the TC that's currently there and just continues it.

    Problems arise if you stop and rewind to, say, review something. When you hit stop again, you may have gone a little too far. Next time you hit REC, the camera may not be able to see the TC already written and so it will start from 00:00:00:00 again. This causes FCP all sorts of hiccups in Log and Capture. FCP assumes that 00 is the beginning of a new tape and it doesn't like breaks.

    Ways to avoid this:
    • Never review. Not always practical.
    • Use "Find end of tape" function of the camera (my big Sony has it)
    • When you stop filming a scene, get an extra 10 seconds on each one (and in the beginning too) so if you do review a scene, you have plenty of room to stop.
    • Stripe the tape. Put in a tape. Record on it until the tape runs out. You now have TC striped on it. The professionals hate this because you double head wear and they never have these TC issues because they use cool cameras so they don't understand what we're so worried about. If they do have these problems, they'll do a digital dub from camera to camera using firewire.

    Apple's HDV in FCP 6 manual.
     
  10. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #10
    Just a note: you aren't syncing the cameras together, just laying down an internally consistent timecode on each tape.

    I'd love to have four cameras I could sync timecode to. But no-one will give me the money.
     
  11. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #11
    1. Yes, use it on everyone. Maybe there is someone at a local theater can than help you out (obviously testing will be needed since stage makeup isn't exactly the same as what you are looking for). Here are some basics though.
    2. This is a discussion to have w/the audio guy as it really depends on what is happening in the scene, camera angles, etc.,.
    3. Laptop + audio interface would be too cumbersome and fragile, IMO. I was thinking of a purpose built unit kinda like this.
    4. Not really, but Google is your friend. ;)
    5. If you haven't bought the book I linked to do it now. Seriously. It will answer a ton of questions (even on things you don't even know you need to know to ask about).


    Lethal
     
  12. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #12
    Could do it kabuki-style :D
     
  13. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #13
    wireless option?

    AH!
    I see!
    Timecode: got it!

    In this case, I could actually avoid rewinding for the most part.

    Lethal: while I would love to buy that little unit, budget is limited ;)
    I will look at the laptop/interface option for this project or some sort of stand along unit like the Zoom H4.

    Do you think there would be a serious delay in transmitting to one of the camcorders wirelessly from the Zoom H4?
     
  14. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #14
    the book is on it's way!
    gonna do some test shooting then post here.
     
  15. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #15
    Get this book!

    Hey Lethal, BIG THANK YOU.
    This book has been epic. To say that it is just for action does it injustice! This book is just good for the general film maker.
    For those of you looking to take on a larger project, this book is a MUST. :D

    I have changed the idea a bit, I think it won't be action, but I'm still on the fence.
     
  16. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #16
    Yeah, it's by far one of the best books out there. Stu also has a blog (Prolost.com/) that is well worth following as well. He doesn't update it regularly but even just going backwards through it is a post/production gold mine.


    Lethal
     
  17. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #17
    The book has more questions after it.

    Hey Lethal (or anyone),
    One question that has come up in this book for me is about how high to capture.
    Currently, I capture in HDV 1080 basic off my canon HV30. But since I shoot in 24p (or the version the HV30 has) I convert further into a Prores422. I don't understand the hype around Prores except that I seem to work faster rendering as well as rendring out from Color. In the REBEL GUIDE, it talks about 110% luma and how you loose it in AE.

    Since the book is old:
    Q: do you loose luma or detail when moving between AE or Color with Prores422?
     

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