October 10, 2016 at 8:19AM
A huge list of questions from a budding film maker (numbered and categorized)
Dear members of Nofilmschool,
First and foremost I would like to apologize for such a long thread, I didn't know if I should make one thread or multiple threads on each topic, if you would prefer individual topics please let me know so that I may recreate them. To make things easier I am categorizing my questions and numbering them so you can answer those you feel are relevant to you. Thank you for taking the time to read, consider and answering my naive and ignorant questions. Sample photographs are will be shared.
I am primarily a documentary and portrait photographer based in India. My aim is to use the creative art forms of photography and film making as a way to support various social causes and the people who work for such causes.
Currently my main work is to document an intervention project in schools for low SES children and disabled children (currently 10 schools in total). I intend to expand into product videos and documentary/short films (again for various causes). I am not, for the moment, aiming for Hollywood-esque quality but I do wish to learn and do as much as I can.
I will be shortly creating a video for an NGO for fundraising purposes. They make affordable CNC machines for low income communities (the central tool for a workshop concept that they have) and as such this (product) is the focus of the video. Apart from this I aim to work with an NGO that offers education to cancer patients (children), this I hope with be more of a documentary. These are just examples for what I would like to do in the near future.
A. Technical (camera gear related):
1. What is the relationship between 35mm sensors and APS-C sensors in film making? I know the relationship (DOF/low light performance etc) from a photographer’s point of view but is there anything else?
2. What is the ISO range that a film maker would use when shooting in ‘low light’? For my stills I shoot between 400-3200 ISO on an average, but the ISO I seem to use when shooting videos is different (200-2000 ISO), why is that?
3. Other than the recording format (including bit rate/depth/compression etc) and the tools (can be read as features) is there any reason to go with a camera such as the Sony FS5/Canon C100 over my current Nikon D750? Time limit per clip excluded of course.
4. Still photographers seem to have few ‘types’ of lights but more modifiers where are the reverse seems to be true for filmmakers. What is the difference between HMIs/PARs, when and why would you use them?
5. Do the same lighting principles apply for film making as the ones used by photographers? I ask this because video lights are often hard light sources rather than the diffused light commonly used in stills work.
6. What are the other types of lights that one can use? Other than LED/florescent banks.
7. Are there any books/resources which talk of lighting specifically with relationship to film making rather than a generalized approach?
8. If you had to shoot as a one man crew, what is the most versatile (basic) lighting kit you can get? Assuming that the aim is for a nice 3 light set up.
9. My long term project is to document the happening in the schools where an intervention program is underway. The videos are taken with the intent of record reality without any ‘creative’ outlook. Is there a way to make a story out of ‘every day’ footage and how would you approach such a thing?
10. In the above scenario, I would like to start shooting with an end goal in mind, say a documentary/short film. Is it possible to do something like this on such a long term project (this is year 2)? What are the (kind of) steps I would need to take to plan for this?
11. Shot list, does it apply in the above scenario? If yes how does one plan and execute such a list? Since this is journalistic in approach and scenes are not enacted.
12. Shooting to edit, how do I learn to do this? In future projects I will need to learn to plan a specific outcome (a product video or an interview etc). This would mean I need to plan ahead the kind of shots I will need not just for the primary content but also B roll and transitions/camera movement etc. Are there any principles/guidelines on doing this?
13. Nikon does not offer any Log profiles. I currently just set my contrast and saturation to its minimum. Is there any point in shooting in this manner when dealing with high contrast scenes? The places I shoot are often poorly and unevenly lit.
14. Having some camera movement adds a bit of life to the video, if you had to pick one piece of kit to use what would you choose? Assuming that you are focusing on things like interviews/product videos with a relatively stationary subject.
15. Does it make sense to have a follow focus system with photography lenses? I use the 50 f/1.8 and a 90mm f/2.8 Macro.
16. Given the contrasting scenarios of run and gun work (in the schools for example) and more controlled conditions (on location interviews/product videos), would it be better to record high quality audio track to sync in post or is it better to just get a (hot shoe) mic and record internally?
17. How do I deal with very high contrast, back lit working spaces? Assuming that you can’t modify/flag the light. Would an ND filter help?
18. How does one raise capital for non-commercial work? The working expenses I can charge but the target organizations I want to work with are the ones who need the service but cannot pay the commercial rate.
19. Are there people/organizations that would help with this? I will be a registered Not for Profit as of the end of this week (15th Oct).
20. Given that I shoot on a regular basis there is no point in renting gear out. What is the best way of building up a comprehensive set up? My current gear list is at the end of the post.
21. Are there good (online) sources of learning? I neither have the time nor the funds to enroll in a full fledged course. The so called good courses are also not based in my city.
22. Are there any good books? Are there any films/works that would serve as good case studies etc.?
• Nikon D750: Shoots 8-Bit; 4:2:0 video. Clean HDMI out. Mic and headphone jacks.
• Nikon 50mm f/1.8 G: My primary, go-to lens.
• Tamron 90mm f/2.8 VC Macro: Multipurpose lens and the only one with VC/VR.
• Zoom H5 audio recorder: 2x XLR jacks, line out and headphone ports, with the X-Y capsule.
• Local brand lav mics: These are rather old, wired lav mics that I am free to use as needed.
• Nikon D5200 with 18-5mm kit lens
• Nikon 35mm f/1.8 G DX
• Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 (no VR/VC)
• Elinchrom Dlite 400 w/s strobes
• Local brand 250w/s strobe
• Local brand hot shoe flash (with optical trigger built in)
• 150x30 cm Strip, 40x40cm (I think) kit soft boxes that came with the strobes, 2x White umbrellas.
• 3 Standard light stands
• 1x Background stand
• 1x White background cloth and 1x Dark Grey background cloth.
• 1x 42 inch 5 in 1 reflector
I once again thank you for any response/advice/guidance that you may give me. I also apologize for the huge list of questions. I seek to learn so please do not hesitate me towards resources instead of merely answering my questions. I hope that I have no offended anyone with this post.