film-look Practice makes Perfect???

CamBlamo

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indiePRO
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What's everyone's favorite ways to hone your skills and get better at filmmaking? Primarily camera work?

I'm trying to come up with ways to engage in projects, without the need to make a big production. Volunteering for other productions would help, but I find it hard to apply as the DP for those jobs, usually they come pre-packaged with the Director or Producer.

I was thinking of taking up photography, just to get some work with lighting and framing. Anyone else doing something to touch up skills or improve their work?

Could apply to other things too, not just Cinematography.
 

sfoster

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Moderator
I mix up what i'm doing and go wherever my limited energy will take me

currently i am analyzing films quite tenaciously. there is that 10S back button and i'll use it 8 times in a row sometimes.
I'm trying to memorize how many edits and what camera moves are, where music starts and stops for entire films.

if the action is fast i take it into an NDE and count the frames. 11 frames of a kids face while franke castles wife drives away in her truck.
Four edits for denzel and ethan hawke to get into his car for the first time. denzels face, ethans face, denzels face as he gets in, wide shot as ethan gets in. 3 setups with 4 edits. What happens exactly after sean connery says welcome to the rock? whats the next frame, where does the camera move? I can tell you that now. I have 400 films in my collection and I will hopefully continue to study in this exhaustive manner for the next 4-5 weeks
 
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CamBlamo

Pro Member
indiePRO
IOTM Winner
I mix up what i'm doing and go wherever my limited energy will take me

currently i am analyzing films quite tenaciously. there is that 10S back button and i'll use it 8 times in a row sometimes.
I'm trying to memorize how many edits and what camera moves are, where music starts and stops for entire films.

if the action is fast i take it into an NDE and count the frames. 11 frames of a kids face while franke castles wife drives away in her truck.
Four edits for denzel and ethan hawke to get into his car for the first time. denzels face, ethans face, denzels face as he gets in, wide shot as ethan gets in. 3 setups with 4 edits. What happens exactly after sean connery says welcome to the rock? whats the next frame, where does the camera move? I can tell you that now. I have 400 films in my collection and I will hopefully continue to study in this exhaustive manner for the next 4-5 weeks

That's a good idea! I might have to analyze some stuff myself too in Davinci or something. I was watching a colorist analyze film color spectrum on Davinci using the spectrum tools. Don't know how accurate that would be without the RAW footage, but I imagine it doesn't hurt to copy the color profile and try it out on homemade footage.
 

CamBlamo

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I'm a team captain in a 48H in November... also I find the best way is to have a workshop with restrictions. Restrictions trains your creativity. Restrictions like in the five obstructions.
A restriction or rule could definitely help.

Maybe the overall time length of the short? Keep it a little challenging, but not too intimidating so I don't talk myself out of doing it.
 
Are you talking about operating your own camera? (Let's forget lighting for the moment) Operating a camera is all about following the action and keeping everything in focus while doing it. If you want to practice following action while keeping everything in focus, set up your tripod on a street corner and follow people going about their day...walking, driving, whatever moves. Do this while zoomed in tight and you will see how much focus comes into play. You learn the feel of your camera lens...push the focus barrel right as things get closer...push the lens left as the subject gets further away. Know everything there is to know about your camera without getting out the manual. What about exposure? What about white balance? Oh, and then there is lighting...
 

CamBlamo

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indiePRO
IOTM Winner
Are you talking about operating your own camera? (Let's forget lighting for the moment) Operating a camera is all about following the action and keeping everything in focus while doing it. If you want to practice following action while keeping everything in focus, set up your tripod on a street corner and follow people going about their day...walking, driving, whatever moves. Do this while zoomed in tight and you will see how much focus comes into play. You learn the feel of your camera lens...push the focus barrel right as things get closer...push the lens left as the subject gets further away. Know everything there is to know about your camera without getting out the manual. What about exposure? What about white balance? Oh, and then there is lighting...

I'm fairly good at navigating my camera menus, but yes focusing could use some work! Good tip, I will look into doing that for sure. Most pro's have a dedicated camera assistant to focus pull, which probably helps a ton during complicated rigging and movements... But I'm not at that level yet.

That's why I think photography will be a good tool to do while working. It can't hurt, and I will only get better at framing and composition over time by working with the environment and what's on hand.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I'm fairly good at navigating my camera menus, but yes focusing could use some work! Good tip, I will look into doing that for sure. Most pro's have a dedicated camera assistant to focus pull, which probably helps a ton during complicated rigging and movements... But I'm not at that level yet.

That's why I think photography will be a good tool to do while working. It can't hurt, and I will only get better at framing and composition over time by working with the environment and what's on hand.
I'm so glad i dont have to deal with any of that shit anymore.

the auto focus on my a7siii is next generation. and the dji rs2 gimbal is too.
The 2020 camera tech is such a game changer
 

CamBlamo

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I'm so glad i dont have to deal with any of that shit anymore.

the auto focus on my a7siii is next generation. and the dji rs2 gimbal is too.
The 2020 camera tech is such a game changer

I've watched the vids for the new A7Siii. It's very impressive, but a reviewer who was testing it said the camera doesn't do so hot auto-focus wise in low light settings. Still, seems like a great camera.

I just can't see myself shelling out more money for anymore gear, I have too much as it is! I need to get good first, then earn my new shiny.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I've watched the vids for the new A7Siii. It's very impressive, but a reviewer who was testing it said the camera doesn't do so hot auto-focus wise in low light settings. Still, seems like a great camera.

I just can't see myself shelling out more money for anymore gear, I have too much as it is! I need to get good first, then earn my new shiny.
yeah in conditions that are so low light other cameras can't see anything at all lol
its not 100% but i love that i can dolly in without a focus puller. so nice.
 
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CamBlamo

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yeah in conditions that are so low light other cameras can't see anything at all lol
It was actually a pretty standard indoor scene from what I recall of the video review. Had problems with the eye/face tracking, and they had to actually turn the auto-focus off to get the shot. But, still... It seems like a really nice feature for a camera to have. Hopefully, this new camera knocks down the cost of all other brands because everyone wants one!!!!

I'm gonna stick with whatever my lenses fit... Which right now is MFT. I can't shell out for more new glass each time one camera company beats the others.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
It was actually a pretty standard indoor scene from what I recall of the video review. Had problems with the eye/face tracking, and they had to actually turn the auto-focus off to get the shot. But, still... It seems like a really nice feature for a camera to have. Hopefully, this new camera knocks down the cost of all other brands because everyone wants one!!!!

I'm gonna stick with whatever my lenses fit... Which right now is MFT. I can't shell out for more new glass each time one camera company beats the others.
Interesting, I've been using mine as a webcam and to do zoom auditions and its been fine with just practical lighting inside at night, no autofocus issues. but yeah i hear you about the cost ive bought 1 camera in 7 years.
 

CamBlamo

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Operating a camera is like editing...you either love doing it or you hate it. My biggest weakness is coming up with ideas for a script.

I getting footage and editing, but to me the camera is just a tool. I'm not in love with it by any means. Haha. Honestly, my passion has been flakey in general lately because of the state of the world.

I'm really just trying to stay motivated and moving in a slightly uphill trajectory. Even just thinking about new projects helps with my overall good vibes.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I getting footage and editing, but to me the camera is just a tool. I'm not in love with it by any means. Haha. Honestly, my passion has been flakey in general lately because of the state of the world.

I'm really just trying to stay motivated and moving in a slightly uphill trajectory. Even just thinking about new projects helps with my overall good vibes.
I met someone off model mayhem and we made a deal that I’ll help her create an acting reel and she will let me practice photographing a model.

Gives me something to do besides preproduction planning
 
You should go for it. Why not? Probably couldn't hurt.

You remind me of this photographer and the weird sort of filmmaking-still photography-hybrid work he does. I'm not sure if I find it inspiring or off-putting. And of course you aren't going to spend a million bucks on a photo shoot. But talk about framing and composition work. You may dig it, or it could give you some ideas.



You might like to look into strobing, if you haven't already. Then again, the use of continuous lighting might cross over better to help you with your filmmaking.

Strobist

 
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CamBlamo

Pro Member
indiePRO
IOTM Winner
You should go for it. Why not? Probably couldn't hurt.

You remind me of this photographer and the weird sort of filmmaking-still photography-hybrid work he does. I'm not sure if I find it inspiring or off-putting. And of course you aren't going to spend a million bucks on a photo shoot. But talk about framing and composition work. You may dig it, or it could give you some ideas.



You might like to look into strobing, if you haven't already. Then again, the use of continuous lighting might cross over better to help you with your filmmaking.

Strobist


Ohhhh dang. That's really inspiring actually!!! Thanks for sharing!

This stuff is right up my alley.
 
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