November 2, 2015 at 9:30AM

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What Filmmaking essentials am I missing?

Hey guys,

I am going to shoot my first serious project (a music video) with a talented director who is a friend of mine.
It's my first shoot, where it seriously matters to me that it looks good as it has my name attached to it. To have a pleasant on set experience and be well prepared, what essential parts am I missing?
Big stuff but also small ideas that make your life easier.

My Stuff:
GH2 hacked
Set of Nikon AI Primes (28,50,85) with Speedbooster
Panasonic 14mm, 14-42mm
M42 135mm Lens
H005 5,6" Monitor, terrible colours, for focus okay, no exposure tools
DIY Slider, DIY Jib, Tripod, Monopod
Pilotfly H1+ Gimbal (love it)
3 Yungnuo LED lights (daylight/tungsten) with diffusion paper
Lightstands

Camera movement wise I am well off I guess.
I feel like I am missing tools to set exposure right like ND and a monitor or EVF with much better exposure tools/colours.
Anything you can recommend? (on a budget)

But what else am I missing? (experience of course, but what else?)

Cheers,
Tim

10 Comments

A plan? Seriously, a plan?

If you have one, you will very well know what gear you are missing, if any.
Do you have a script, a storyboard, a shotlist? What is your location/set; have you been there; do you have a lighting plan? Is it interior/exterior? Are there practicals? Do you have a schedule?

You may not need NDs, especially if it is an interior only shoot. You may not need exposure tools other than an old-fashioned light meter, which is more than enough for consistency. And consistency is what exposure is about.

November 2, 2015 at 11:57AM

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Ezi Seel
480

Well. I am well aware, we got most of what you are talking about. I guess I need to rephrase my question. It's more about being on a limited budget and wanting to know what next investment would enhance my camera work most.

Tim Vautksch

November 2, 2015 at 12:16PM

Or even being crucial without me actually knowing it.

Tim Vautksch

November 2, 2015 at 12:17PM

I used to use my GH2 LCD display and the built-in histogram to judge my exposure before I bought a decent monitor. Just make sure you keep your ISO to 800 or lower, as the GH2 sensor becomes super noisy in low-light once you go past ISO 800.

I would also try and rig something like a GoPro for behind-the-scenes footage, which could be useful to promote yourself and the music video itself.

November 2, 2015 at 2:46PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30677

Yeah I saw that. I have read about an "ISO bug" with the GH2 but seem to find only one Blog to refer to it. Have you had any experience with that, Guy?
Not yet have thought about the BTS stuff! I am gonna organise 1-3 GoPros asap, thanks for that. Would be cool to make some timelapses of the outdoor shoots.

Guy, it's awesome how invested you are here to share your knowledge.

November 2, 2015 at 4:22PM, Edited November 2, 4:22PM

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>>>Yeah I saw that. I have read about an "ISO bug" with the GH2 but seem to find only one Blog to refer to it. Have you had any experience with that, Guy?

What I was referring to was NOT the ISO bug, but rather that the image from the GH2 sensor falls apart once you go higher than 800 ISO. ( the GH3 is good to about 1600 ISO, and the GH4 is usable up to about 3200 ISO depending on your camera settings )

It's easy to avoid the GH2 ISO bug by ALWAYS setting the ISO speed from a higher ISO, so NEVER go from a lower ISO to a higher ISO. So if you want to set your GH2 to 800 ISO start from any ISO higher than 800 ISO and then move down to 800 ISO and press the SET button to select 800 ISO.

>>>Would be cool to make some timelapses of the outdoor shoots.

They are fun to watch and a great promo for yourself and your work. You can even add your own voice-over to describe what happened during the shoot.

>>>it's awesome how invested you are here to share your knowledge.

It helps to kill my boredom when I am rendering my color-corrected editing masters, which can take hours to finish before I can start editing.

i.e. plan shoot---> do shoot---> dump media---> make audio and video corrections---> render editing masters---> edit the masters---> export finished video---> archive all project media

November 2, 2015 at 5:56PM, Edited November 2, 5:57PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30677

"What I was referring to was NOT the ISO bug, but rather that the image from the GH2 sensor falls apart once you go higher than 800 ISO. " - Yes, I know that! Did write it clearly obviously. Thanks for the tip.
Okay, so I am going to practice some more for the shoot ;-)

Tim Vautksch

November 3, 2015 at 1:40AM

Food.
A good mood.
Humor.
An extra set (or 2) of hands to help on set.
A plan.
A plan is most important. I once was asked the shoot a music video the next day (it was already past midnight), there was no real plan, there was 1 camera, 2 tapes and 1 Arri redhead (500 W). We had time to shoot between 10 AM and 4 PM.
Believe me, it wasn't easy with a plan and without additional crew.

:-p

FWIW
This was the result of no plan, no crew, 1 light, 1 camera, a fashion student bringing some designs and someone cutting it in 1 day plus some grading I did afterwards:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHK_anHNzbI

Have fun!

November 3, 2015 at 11:27AM, Edited November 3, 11:27AM

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avatar
WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
8958

Most common mistake for filmmaker is still the same - not enough preproduction. As an indie filmmaker you should spend minimum 4 times time more than on production. If you're making a video clip, I would even say -> 1-2 weeks of preproduction, 2-3 days of shooting. You need to make a storyboard, before you shoot & analyze every shot/scene you want to make. You will save a ton of time by doing it & final result will be much better. Always light your scene, even if your camera is good in low light with additional lighting your scenes will look better. Practice with your actors before shooting, even if acting seems simple. I would say 1 day for practice with actors before shooting should be fine. Remember that image quality is probably the least important aspect of visuals - framing, movement, lighting, perspective are much much more important & they're what makes 95% of good visuals.

November 23, 2015 at 6:10PM, Edited November 23, 6:10PM

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Andy Tokarski
Director, Editor, Colorist
1114

So. We shot the video! It was just released, if anyone is interested have a look. I am proud, its the first serious project I have done. I shared duty with another cameraman, credit were credit is due.

https://youtu.be/4rcNxtDh7Hg

March 8, 2016 at 4:35PM

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