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Starting questions

OK, I'm finally ready to begin making some shorts after taking a hiatus for the fun known as real work. I'm full of questions and in need of suggestions, so any help would be much appreciated.


Here is what I have:

Canon HF10 - Hardly any manual controls everyone loves, but it has a great picture and it had a great price for me. :)

Sony Vegas Pro 9 - I've tried it and Final Cut at my college, and quite frankly I prefer Vegas. Don't know why exactly, I just feel more comfortable with it. I got it with a great discount through my college, plus the option of upgrading to 10 at a reasonable price. If anyone knows anything about 10 and could let me know if it would be worth the upgrade, let me know.

A nice tripod

A computer capable of handling HD editing


And that pretty much covers what I have right now, I have lights that I can play around with, and the first short we're working on will be silent, so no need for microphones just yet. So anything else?

--
Here's what I'm looking at getting, and I would like opinions and maybe alternatives.

Cineform NeoScene - I used it before for a project, but it was the free version. I loved it, so I'm going to shell out the money for it, though if anyone knows of a free alternative I would love to hear it. AVCHD is a beast to deal with.

After Effects - For grading purposes everyone tells me I need to get this, I've used it before and I don't particularly care for it (or its price). Does anyone know of any cheaper/easier to use alternatives? I think I just don't care for Adobe :lol: .

Also, what's the difference between color correcting and color grading, and what programs would I need for correcting?


Lastly, a DOF adapter, probably a Jag, though again, if anyone knows of any other affordable options, I'm all ears. With my adapter I assume I will need to get a lens, any suggestions?



Sorry for the rambling questions, but I appreciate anyone that can take the time to answer any of this.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
The reason everyone loves manual controls is so we have more
control over the image. For now the HF10 is just fine for what
you’re doing. If your goal is to be a cinematographer then you
will need to upgrade at some point. If your goal is to be a
director then at some point you will want to work with a dedicated
DP who owns a better camera.

Since you prefer Vegas and feel comfortable with it there is no
reason to change software. I don’t know that software from
experience, but almost always the upgrade is worth it.

I’m not a fan of lens adaptors, but then I’m also not as obsessed
with shallow DOF as many movie makers are. I go back to my first
point; I don’t think you need one right now. After you make a few
short films with what you have now you can upgrade your equipment
or you might meet someone who owns a better camera to work with.

So my suggestion is to look through the posts here about lenses
and adapters to get a lot of info on affordable options and what
lenses to get. And in the meantime, before you start spending more
money on equipment, spend your hard earned money on making a few
films.
 

Alcove Audio

Business Member
indieBIZ
You should also consider investing in some sound gear - a decent mic and a DIY boom pole at the least.
 
@directorik

Thanks for the advice. I don't know why, but lack of DOF bothers me so that's why I'm thinking about the jag... then again the power of the dollar (or lack of) plays a large part in my decision as well. My want is to direct, but for this project I'm mostly doing the camera work.

@Alcove

I'm most definitely going to have to invest in some sound gear. That's partly why this project is a silent. That way we can save up and invest in decent sound gear instead of settling for crap.
 
1. Cineform NeoScene - I used it before for a project, but it was the free version. I loved it, so I'm going to shell out the money for it, though if anyone knows of a free alternative I would love to hear it. AVCHD is a beast to deal with.

2. After Effects - For grading purposes everyone tells me I need to get this, I've used it before and I don't particularly care for it (or its price). Does anyone know of any cheaper/easier to use alternatives? I think I just don't care for Adobe :lol: .

3. Also, what's the difference between color correcting and color grading, and what programs would I need for correcting?


4. Lastly, a DOF adapter, probably a Jag, though again, if anyone knows of any other affordable options, I'm all ears. With my adapter I assume I will need to get a lens, any suggestions?

1. It doesn't get much cheaper than NeoScene and that's under $200?

2. You can do basic color correction/grading in most NLE software packages, but the detail and quality will vary with the software.

3. Color Correction usually means making each shot match each other. Color Grading usually means giving the entire piece a specialized color scheme (ala the Matrix having a severe green tint in the virtual world or Saving Private Ryan's desaturated look).

4. Again, they don't come any cheaper than the JAG models. A simple 50mm lens will do most of what you want and are expecting.
 
Everything you've listed is good and can help you out in some way or another, but if you don't have the cash don't worry. Start shooting stuff, and as you save up buy the extras.

If you start learning lots of new gear and software at once it'll be frustrating anyway. Focus on what you have, get the next piece and learn it, then the next piece and learn it etc.

On the topic of 35mm adapters, you might be better off with a t2i instead. Then you get your manual controls and the ability to use good lenses for not much more. 35mm adapters are good when you have a killer camera like an EX3 or something but want to use slr lenses. even with that said, I'd take a 5D over an EX3.
 
Just chatted with my friend who goes to a tech college down the road. Apparently they can get Adobe Creative Suite 4 or 5 (not clear on which at the moment) for about the same price (if not less) that I will be plunking down for my student purchases of of Vegas and AE. From using google it seems as if I can get a whole lot more bang for my buck with the Adobe. Is it worth it, because with Vegas I have to render out of everything each time, whereas with Adobe Creative I don't have to... Correct? Thoughts? I'm not a fan of *Premiere*, but for the convenience I can learn. **Edited because it's Premiere not Final Cut d'oh!**

@ sonnyboo

Great info sir, thanks so much! A question about the color correcting/grading. So if I can do correcting in an NLE, would I put the video on my computer (and use NeoScene), take it to my NLE and do corrections and then take it to AE for grading? Rendering out to QT or AVI each time?

@PaulGriffith Though I would love to have a 5d it's outside my price range right now, plus they almost look to pretty to me. For right now I love the HF10, and while it may not be as sharp as some other cameras, it's sharp enough with a little gritty thrown in. :) if that makes sense. Though the biggest drawback I'm finding from the HF10 right now is the lack of control.
 
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Yeah, go with the adobe tool set.. not because its better in anyway.. but I do think there is a larger community for support, AE tuts abound..

Im a big supporter of 35mm adapters as a useful tool to extend the life and functionality of your existing camera, but there are draw backs, and to get over those draw backs you almost spend the same $$$ as you would on a new T2i DSLR so its a diminishing returns thing...

I might suggest you put off the 35mm adapter and invest in a mic and recorder or at least a box that will let you interface with your camera..

Either way, dont wait for ANYTHING.. go film something today!
 
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