Hardware Advice for a Newcomer.
Hi all. I've been involved in editing for a while now and I'm being presented with the opportunity to branch out into the actual filming of some corporate videos (mostly interviews, but likely to branch out a little bit). I've been asked to put together a list of what equipment I'd need in order to do these right. The videos are destined for the web, so we're talking HD web quality here. The actual budget is unknown to me, but I know we need to keep it in the mid-range. We need two cameras, some lighting and some mics. Below are some specific questions, but I welcome all general advice as well.
Thank you so much for your input. I want to have a good idea about all this before I spend any company money. Lastly, if it matters, I'll be using Premiere Pro for my editing.
Your questions are good, but very broad and I could spend a lot of time explaining all the issues that are involved with your choices. I'll try to briefly give you some things to think about.
[Caleb McLaughlin] "We want 2 angles for these interviews. How important is it to have matching cameras?
Very important, if you were doing a wide shot and a close up you could get away with non matching cameras, but if you're editing between angles it will be VERY difficult to get the cameras to match. Even if you properly color balance and 'paint' the cameras, the way each camera maker (Sony, Panasonic, JVC, etc.) deals with the colors and details is so different it will be difficult to get the different angles to look the same.
[Caleb McLaughlin] "
I had planed on some lavalier mics, but do you think a boom mic is needed as well?"
No, a boom mic is good, but you can get by without one.
[Caleb McLaughlin] "What is the scoop on digital tape vs mem-card? Mem-card seems way more convenient...
I use both types of cameras, but if I were buying new, I would go tapeless. But you should do your research to see if the workflow for the camera you want will work with the editing workflow you have.
[Caleb McLaughlin] "Would it be best to run the mics into the cameras, or capture them with an external device?
This depends on who you talk to, most 'old timers' and professionals that have worked in film will ALWAYS record to another device. I've come up from the video side and have never needed to record to an independent audio recorder. Nor have I ever been burned with a bad recording to the camera. That being said; audio recording is critical (usually more important than the video) and you'll need to make sure you are monitoring the audio levels correctly.
[Caleb McLaughlin] "Lastly, what cameras, mics and lighting rigs would you recommend?
This is impossible to answer without knowing a budget. I could spend $30,000 to do this or $6,000. Keep in mind with the cameras that you'll want pro-audio connectors. XLR preferred. So that will shape what type of cameras you should be looking at.
Mics, low profile and good audio quality is best. Sennheiser, Sanken, or Country Man are my favorites.
Good lights are going to be your best friend, for Corporate work; fast setup, daylight or tungsten, and soft light are important. A good looking interview is 75% good lighting-IMHO. Fluorescence lights are one of the only ones that can fit that bill. LEDs are good, but not sure about tungsten without a gel. You'd also want to get a couple smaller Fresnel's or ellipsoidal to use as background and rim light. Plus C-stands, flags, gels, etc.
Todd at UCSB
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