FORUMS: list search recent posts

Introducing Cinematography to Mainly Broadcasting Program

COW Forums : Cinematography

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Nicholas Adamson
Introducing Cinematography to Mainly Broadcasting Program
on Sep 18, 2014 at 9:43:44 am
Last Edited By Nicholas Adamson on Sep 18, 2014 at 9:54:54 am

Background: My school offers a digital broadcasting program that I am a part of. However, the news-casting/reporting aspect isn't much of a passion of mine. However, the budget has some space for new equipment, and I have been speaking to the director about investing in more cinema-oriented gear. We use Canon XF-105s and other camcorders, and have a bunch of audio stuff, green screen, lighting, etc. However, the director doesn't know much about the artistic side of everything, and since I have more knowledge of DSLRs and the technical aspect of that, aperture, raw, dynamic range etc, I am being trusted to choose the new equipment.

Which brings me to a problem, there's so many options. Currently, I'm looking between a C100, GH4, and Blackmagic. The C100 is nice because of the built-in accessories (XLR, ND, ya ya ya) BUT it only records 4:2:0. GH4 is superrrr sharp with 4k, and can record high speed 90fps resulting in 3x slowmo, another negative here is the color depth, spec wise. The blackmagic (and I can't decide on the cinema or production because the cinema has better low light and MFT mount) has absolutely amazing quality, RAW 2.5k+... but, there's a few extra accessories you must buy that ultimately make it quite a hefty unit.

I figure that I should now point out what we're looking and not.
1) Colorrrrrrr. I always shoot raw on my DSLR because I'm addicted to pushing colors as far as possible and just going for that cinematic look.
2) While 2k and 4k are preferred, I am fully aware that we will just be rendering final products in 1080p. The ability to recrop is nice, but, just frame the damn shot. However, I've noticed that the GH4 is REALLY sharp, due to the oversampling.
3) Lowlight performance is almost a necessity, but I'm not sure which would be better to invest in... C100 is amazing with ISO sensitivity, yet get a MFT BMCC and a Voigtlander 25mm f/.095 and there's almost no question.. BUT that's another thing, the depth of field would be somewhat ridiculously small, and I don't think most of my peers could deal with that precise of manual focus (another note, I'll have to teach everyone else about aperture, iso, shutter, zebras, focus peaking, ND, basically everything, and also post workflow which leads me to another point)
4) Obviously, ease of use is important here, because as it is now, the record AVCHD 24mbps, chop in premiere, with basically no CC mind you, and render it in whatever format it defaults to. So.. being able to let them record in ProRes, and allow me to switch over to RAW video is a super nice feature for BM.
5) What I'll be using the cameras for are the more cinematic purposes.. think Tarantino (and in no way am I comparing myself to him). But wide/anamorphic/2.55:1 shots, pushing color grading pretty far, probably no recorded sound on set, but montage-y music overlayed.
6) Ok so price. I think for now, it would be ideal to keep it under $10k. Preferably 8k. If all goes well with this, we will have more funding and can buy even more goodies. My *cautious* list here is, camera obviously, and then depending, we will need a few lenses to cover the bases, at least one fast prime and a zoom, possibly an external recorder if the c100 is picked, possibly XLR adapters for BM, rigs, batteries, SSD or whatever storage, as well as a few TB hard drives, and well that's all that comes to mind currently. We use iMacs in the class and they should be able to handle raw, albeit at low res previews and overnight rendering.

Overall, I know any of these will do enough that we ask of it, but I really am hoping for the best here with bringing a more creative side to the program. Money's not too much of an issue, at least in my opinion ~8k is pretty solid to start out with. But I simply don't have enough experience with video equipment, only the concepts, learned from a DSLR with trash video capabilities.

Any direction would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

EDIT: And then I see things like this,





And question why I just the last few nights spending hours researching cameras, when there's a FULL FRAME camera with absolutely stunning sensitivity that has HDMI out to a recorder that has enough color depth to satisfy me... add another competitor to the arena, sigh.


Return to posts index

Derek Boettcher
Re: Introducing Cinematography to Mainly Broadcasting Program
on Sep 18, 2014 at 6:04:32 pm

I would suggest the black magic Ursa camera. It is their 4k cinema camera designed for a full production use. Its got the same 13 stop dynamic range (which is ludicrous) and has some other great features. In terms of low light, while I understand the tendency to want to push less is better, I would highly suggest that if you are wanting to teach them cinematography that you teach them full blown cinematography. That includes properly lighting your scene for your desired effect (which a lot of the time can be done utilizing the same lighting equipment in a broadcast scenario). A cheap alternative to prime lenses would be a good quality zoom, but still a set of primes, as you know, would be good to help facilitate your point. Cinematography isn't just about the camera, but the utilization of set, lights, motion, lenses, depth of field, framing, etc, etc, etc.

Just my two cents.

Best,
Derek Boettcher
Creative Management
BTH Media Group
http://bthmedia.com


Return to posts index

Rick Wise
Re: Introducing Cinematography to Mainly Broadcasting Program
on Sep 18, 2014 at 6:30:59 pm

The movie clip included in the first post is sample footage shot with the Sony Alpha A7s, a spectacular DSLR. All DSLRs are hybrids and are harder to use than a camera strictly designed for video with good audio. But your budget would allow you several lenses, plus a cage, an audio recording device, etc.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


Return to posts index


Nicholas Adamson
Re: Introducing Cinematography to Mainly Broadcasting Program
on Sep 18, 2014 at 7:09:11 pm

I'm aware of the extra goodies we could get with a DSLR, but is the "trouble" really that much of a trouble? And also would you say the A7S is better than the GH4?


Return to posts index

Rick Wise
Re: Introducing Cinematography to Mainly Broadcasting Program
on Sep 18, 2014 at 7:33:12 pm

Do some youtube sleuthing for visual reviews of the Sony. At least one pro user has ditched his GH4 for the A7s. I have not shot yet with either, and whatever is hot today will be cold, cold, cold tomorrow. But don't let that stop you from making a choice. Otherwise you'll never buy anything.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


Return to posts index

Nicholas Adamson
Re: Introducing Cinematography to Mainly Broadcasting Program
on Sep 18, 2014 at 7:07:16 pm

While I agree that it would be ideal, it just seems overkill. And is pretty expensive, we'd still have to buy accessories for it yes? Even one lens would put it at the higher end of the price range.

Edit: and honestly, while it is a production program, it will still be very indie.. I highly doubt we will have a crew of more than 3 or 4 at a time, and I don't see much lighting equipment being brought to wherever we are recording.


Return to posts index


Derek Boettcher
Re: Introducing Cinematography to Mainly Broadcasting Program
on Sep 18, 2014 at 8:33:21 pm

really the only accessory you need is lenses and a tripod. If they have broadcast studio equipment, I would assume that they have a field fluid head you could utilize. For lenses, you don't necessarily need to get cinema lenses, although there are some decently priced ones made by Rokinon (you can get a 24mm, 35mm, and 85mm for like 1200 bucks). You can utilize Canon EF mount or PL mount lenses as well, just be sure to get the right camera. No need for a monitor either, the camera already has a 10" screen built on, plus other screens for adding metadata and viewing focus scopes, histograms, and other menu options. Its a great camera, and I would highly recommend it.

So with that, you can get what you would need for 7600 or so and still have enough for a shoulder mount and a shotgun mic + SLRs, according to your 10k budget.

-

Best,
Derek Boettcher
Creative Management
BTH Media Group
http://bthmedia.com


Return to posts index

Nicholas Adamson
Re: Introducing Cinematography to Mainly Broadcasting Program
on Sep 24, 2014 at 3:22:15 am

Derek, would you say that the camera can be operated by a single person when necessary? If I just wanted to go downtown and get some eye candy shots? Or is it simply too large for that?


Return to posts index

Derek Boettcher
Re: Introducing Cinematography to Mainly Broadcasting Program
on Sep 24, 2014 at 6:48:50 pm

Well, from reading further down, I think your money would be better spent on what Richard Herd was suggesting. I was under the impression of higher course level than high school. I wouldn't trust the kids around that camera! But to better answer your question, it can be used by a single person, but an AC is always helpful. Just get it on a rail system and a follow focus and you're golden. The only thing to watch out for is recording 4k eats space on your recording medium, so shooting 4k for any length of time can quickly fill your cards and drives.

Best,
Derek Boettcher
Creative Management
BTH Media Group
http://bthmedia.com


Return to posts index


Derek Boettcher
Re: Introducing Cinematography to Mainly Broadcasting Program
on Sep 18, 2014 at 8:41:00 pm

Well, to put things in perspective, the camera itself, for what it gives you is actually relatively inexpensive.

its competition is the Canon c3/500, the REDs, etc. with a base price for only the body and no monitor for 15k+. Attaching everything you need for the camera could got past 50k. The Ursa is relatively expensive at 5-6k.

Best,
Derek Boettcher
Creative Management
BTH Media Group
http://bthmedia.com


Return to posts index

Richard Herd
Re: Introducing Cinematography to Mainly Broadcasting Program
on Sep 22, 2014 at 5:11:25 pm

What age are the students?


Return to posts index

Nicholas Adamson
Re: Introducing Cinematography to Mainly Broadcasting Program
on Sep 23, 2014 at 12:40:09 am

High school students, 16-18


Return to posts index


Richard Herd
Re: Introducing Cinematography to Mainly Broadcasting Program
on Sep 23, 2014 at 4:32:47 pm

Cool. I taught filmmaking to High School students for several years, and I still hold my teacher's license. I taught a bunch of classes and the state required them to cover specific curriculum and be linked to Common Core in both English and Mathematics.

Since your question is about equipment, there is a lot of money here: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/ct/pk/ And a gentleman on the Cow named Bill Davis, who posts frequently in the http://forums.creativecow.net/finalcutprox has a set of curriculum for sale for teaching editing. The details are in his Creative COW signature.

My class was a block of DV1, DV2, DV3. It's worth spending some planning time on prerequisites. I based my program off of my experiences as a student at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco. In general I treated filmmaking as a storytelling medium, first and foremost.

Anyway, the equipment I used was as follows:

DV1: 3 each Panasonic V130 ($200) plus a tripod, and SD card, Microsoft Word, 5 Windows computers CS6, 2 iMacs FCPX.

DV2: this was the cinematography course 2 each Canon XA10, 2 high end tripods, dolly splitter, 2 shotgun mics, 2 Sekonic light meters, 1 Arri kit (1k, 2 650s), leather gloves, 4 c-stands, a few silks. Introduced Motion 5.

DV3: this was multimedia stuff. Same equipment as DV2, but it was less teacher influence, and a bit more film critique posting examples in HTML to an intranet and also posting original work.


Return to posts index

Nicholas Adamson
Re: Introducing Cinematography to Mainly Broadcasting Program
on Sep 24, 2014 at 3:21:35 am

Thank you for the breakdown. The SF Academy of Art is actually the school I hope to go to! And yes, the most important thing to us as well, is the story telling aspect of film.


Return to posts index

Todd Terry
Re: Introducing Cinematography to Mainly Broadcasting Program
on Sep 24, 2014 at 7:04:35 pm

I'll just make one observation about all this...

You seem really keen on getting a camera that has all the bells and whistles... the highest quality available... all the features anyone would ever want... with your discussion of color space, 4K, RAW recording, high frame rates, and a myriad of other things... and you've discussed some very high-end cameras, features/ability-wise (although not really price-wise).

And there's nothing wrong with that.

But on the flip side, you say this will be used to teach 16yo+ high school students, who are apparently starting from zero ("I'll have to teach everyone else about aperture, iso, shutter, zebras, focus peaking, ND, basically everything...").

There's also nothing wrong with starting from scratch, either... we've all been there.

I'm not sure those two things are the best marriage, though. You don't teach someone to drive in a Formula 1 car.

For someone fresh just learning, the ability to shoot RAW, or 4K, or worrying about 4.0.0 vs 4.2.2 vs 4.4.4 are, at least to me, wildly inconsequential. Oh they are important things in the long haul, but they don't even crack the top 100 of things I think a newbie needs to start learning right off the bat, or even be concerned with for quite a long while.

For a ground-up teaching environment, to me a better choice might be to consider cameras that are as easy and user-friendly as possible... something to teach the basics on. I couldn't make any recommendations, as I haven't worked with that level of gear in a long time, but I know there are scads of cameras that would fit the bill and would be a lot easier from a technical standpoint to learn on than the complex ones. To me, I wouldn't want teaching the aesthetics of cinematography to be hampered by a beginning student's frustration over the technical side.

Just my two cents.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



Return to posts index


Rick Wise
Re: Introducing Cinematography to Mainly Broadcasting Program
on Sep 24, 2014 at 7:16:46 pm

I so agree with Todd. Starting out a student has so many basic issues to learn. A camera such as the Sony Nx30 (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/853433-REG/Sony_HXR_NX30_HD_Compact_C...) with it's excellent "auto" functions and amazing stabilizing system might be a good bet. $1,790, and on sale for $200 off up to the end of the month.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


Return to posts index

Richard Herd
Re: Introducing Cinematography to Mainly Broadcasting Program
on Sep 24, 2014 at 7:32:08 pm

You nailed it!

They first need to learn film language ... and have fun doing it, with results they can show people.

They need to see lots of examples.

One assignment I used (and would use again) is called "Pass the Salt." It's 10 lines of dialogue that make no sense whatsoever, so they learn subtext in acting--bringing meaning to the words with the tone of their voice, and then they have to film classmates reciting it in standard coverage (WS, MS, CU, OTS), and then edit it together. Really, the DV1 class I mentioned was a writing class, because it's pretty hard to film a movie without a script.

My curriculum is available if anyone wants it, stored on google docs.


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]