Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Mxsmanic, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. A figrig is probably enough for what you need; there are DIY tutorials
    out there to build one out of 1/2" PVC pipe and fittings. It's cheap,
    easy and works just like the real deal, for less than 1/10th of the
    It needs to be rebalanced, but that's not necessarily tedious. Once
    you're familiar with a piece of gear, you learn how to work with it -
    it's a little tedious at first, but then again so is loading the film
    into a K3 (or a Bolex, or anything else). You do it 10 times and it's
    no longer tedious; it's just a step in the process.

    And the flip side is that most people aren't using a wide variety of
    different rigs on a StediCam (or off-brand substitute, like mine).
    I've had to rebalance mine between my XL-1S and an XL-H1 (which is
    heavier) but I haven't had the need to use it for a lot of other
    rigs. Once I bite the bullet and BUY the XL-H1, I'll probably not
    have much need to rebalance the rig at all; that camera will record
    SD, HD, NTCS, PAL, 30f, 30i, 24p, etc, etc, just with a click on the
    menu. If I'm on a show where everything else is being shot on a PD-
    Whatever or even some crappy little DSLR, it'll just make more sense
    to record the StediCam stuff with my rig than to re-adjust it to use
    theirs. Shallow DoF is pretty (I guess) but it's not really conducive
    to shooting when the camera's in free motion through 3D space.
    Steven J. Weller, Jul 19, 2011
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  2. Mxsmanic

    Mxsmanic Guest

    I see your point, but my videos are touristy documentary things, without many
    people in them (I have to be careful about showing people in the videos, in
    fact). Close-ups might still be a good idea, but I'm not sure what to show in
    close up for a travelogue-style video. I sometimes try to do them, such as a
    close-up of flowers at a flower shop, but then when I try to edit the
    close-ups and the wide shots into a coherent whole, it never seems to turn out
    very well. Either my shots aren't right, or my editing isn't right, or
    probably both.
    They are highly documentary videos, intended to show my city as it actually
    looks. They probably don't have much artistic merit in themselves, but I
    presume that the people watching them will be interested in learning about the
    city, rather than being entertained, so hopefully the lack of art will not be
    too much of a problem.
    When you mention these, they seem logical, but when I'm actually shooting, I
    never seem to be able to come up with such ideas. I know I should be shooting
    some sort of close shots periodically, but my choices tend to be rather lame.

    There's also the practical problem of people yelling at me or assaulting me
    for taking close-ups.
    I do look away from the monitor periodically, for precisely this reason. It
    seems to help a little (in terms of avoiding harassment from others).
    Sounds effective, albeit a bit cloak-and-dagger.

    Doesn't a monopod still sway a lot? I've thought of them before but assumed
    that I probably wouldn't be able to keep it from swaying back and forth.
    Sounds great, if I can avoid being sued or prosecuted. The place where I live
    is one of the most hostile environments for photography in the developed
    world, legally speaking.

    Nevertheless, great advice! I'll try to implement it. Thanks!
    Mxsmanic, Jul 21, 2011
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  3. Make a list. Sit down with some more-experienced shooters' work, in
    the same general category (travelogue, travel, PR, etc) and look at
    the kind of stuff the use as cut-aways, and start to generate a list
    of things you need to remember to pick up. It's called B-roll and
    it's absolutely vital if you want to take your work to the next
    level. None of it has to be elaborate but you need a lot of it, so
    you have options in the edit bay. I shoot a little bit of doc stuff
    for rock n' roll bands - mostly just live performances and recording
    studio footage - and the first thing I do is shoot the crowds cheering
    (even if it's for the act on before the one I'm there for) and the
    bartenders pouring drinks. the lead singer tends to be really, really
    chatty onstage and a lot of that's going to have to get cut out for
    the video, so I know I have to have something to cut to. In the
    studio, I always get some B-roll of the mix board, the VU meters,
    someone napping on the couch in the control room, etc.

    After you've done it with your list in hand a few times, you'll get
    the hang of looking for interesting things to pick up.
    Steven J. Weller, Jul 21, 2011
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