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Question from a newbie filmaker

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Jordan McGehee
Question from a newbie filmaker
on Jun 12, 2013 at 4:41:25 pm

Hello everyone,

I have been reading numerous articles on DSLR setups for documentary film making. Perhaps some of you could answer some of my questions.

1. Is a matte box really necessary for indoor interview work and some simple outside shots or can the lens hood for the specific lens work wonderfully?

2. What kind of ND filters should you use and for what situations?

3. What kind of audio setups work best for indoor interviews and which setup works for some simple outdoor noise and occasional short outdoor interviews?

Thanks from a true newbie!


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Bill Bruner
Re: Question from a newbie filmaker
on Jun 13, 2013 at 11:35:30 am

Hi Jordan - welcome to the world of digital filmmaking!

To answer your questions in order:

1. A lens hood will work just fine to reduce glare indoors or out. The only reason to use a matte box is to be able to slide filters in and out without screwing and unscrewing them on and off your lens.

2. It depends on how much you want to spend and what "look" you want. I use a $30 set of Cokin P ND filters outdoors with a $50 matte box to keep the lens aperture open in bright sunlight, which shallows out my depth of field.

3. Again, it depends on how much you want to spend and how good you need the sound quality to be. You can spend tens of thousands of dollars on audio - or a few hundred. On a budget, I would use a $149 Sony ECM-AW3 Bluetooth wireless mic. Here is what this mic can do:



Hope this is helpful,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Steve Crow
Re: Question from a newbie filmaker
on Jun 13, 2013 at 4:54:24 pm

As Bill said:

1) No, a matte box isn't needed, in fact I hard ever even used a lens hood for video although I own one

2) On the more expensive side - the usual recommendation I give for ND filters is the 8 stop Fader ND but there are other "Fader" type ND filters that allow you to use one filter instead of having a set of filters each at a different level of light reduction. It's so super convenient I practically rate this as a "must have" piece of kit. There's a company that is very well regarded called B&W that makes great ND filters but their prices are going to be up there and it sounds like you are looking for a more economical solution.

3) If you are looking for inexpensive solutions for mic'ing interviews, have you seen the Rode lavalier mic that works with an iphone? I've been considering these for when I need to quickly mic someone on the cheap and I've already used up my two Senhessier G2 lavaliers on other subjects. With the Rode iphone lav you just have the talent put their iphone in their pocket (after installing the free recording app) and then hide the cable which clips to a collar or something. At the end of the interview you have to make sure to get the audio file from the person's iphone of course, - the app handles that.

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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Jordan McGehee
Re: Question from a newbie filmaker
on Jun 13, 2013 at 7:43:58 pm

Thanks Bill and Steve, the info is very helpful.


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Rob Manning
Re: Question from a newbie filmaker
on Jun 17, 2013 at 7:42:43 am

I have the Samson ear piece USB wireless, this Sony is an excellent low end tool for close range.

I cam see one for two way, another couple for multi sources, and a small mixer.

Batteries, rechargeable ones go much longer than typical toss away versions. Thanks for that!

Rob Manning


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charles meadows
Re: Question from a newbie filmaker
on Jun 24, 2013 at 4:54:13 pm

A matte box is what a lot of guys use to pimp their cameras.

A variable ND filter is a must. Don't skimp on budget. We're using Marumi variable ND's and they're excellent.

The Azden FMX DSLR screws to the bottom of your DSLR and you can connect any mics you like to it.

"There's no point in filming if you don't have fun"
Charles Meadows
Creative Director
Incubate Productions South Africa
http://www.incubatevideo.co.za


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