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Old 08-01-2009, 05:39 PM   #1
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Default Seeking Recommendations/Suggestions for Video Creation/Editing

So I finally got out the video camera I bought over a year ago and have decided to use it to satisfy some creative urges.

Does anyone with experience in filming/editing have any recommendations? I'm open to suggestions on what programs to use, any sites/books worth reading, etc.

At the moment, I'm just experimenting with short videos, typical YouTube stuff (in stature, at least, if not content.) Once I have some experience with my tools and am comfortable I can do it properly, I intend to film a parody of a scene from a movie that I have a feeling will go over big with the geek crowd.

And, eventually, I'd love to do a full length movie, although I have several steps to take before that's a potential reality.

So, yeah, I'm open to any suggestions that anyone might have regarding the technical aspects of producing videos.
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:56 AM   #2
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Wellllllll since this is a little more than a personal hobby for myself, I can offer a great help.

I've personally never read a book on just general filming, I've had excellent instructors though, got the oppurtunity to take a crash course in broadcasting led by big shot news producers in the Seattle area.

One thing I can tell you is just start taking notes when you're watching films, of any kind. Pay attention to the lighting, the angles of shots, the speed of panning used in a shot or the zoom.

What kind of camera do you have? For professional editing, I'd recommend Uncompressed video in digital format. Hard disk cameras always implore some sort of compression. MiniDV is the cheap way to go pro, getting more highend, we have systems like XDCAM, Red, etc.

Software wise, I use Sony Vegas pro 9. GREAT piece of software and is in my opinion, one of the best editors on a PC. Nothing can compare to the expandability of Adobe Premier, but it comes at a very, very high price. If you're on a mac, Final Cut Pro is the best, the ONLY way to go. All 3 programs I mentioned are all used in the professional field, and are recognized credible by many directors, studios, etc.

There's actually a site that is a REALLY good resource, it felt like a vast library when I was browsing through it... If I find it, I'll let you know what it is.

Some other tips to regard, on the hardware portion, Try, Try to have as good lighting possible, you want your shot to be perfectly exposed (that is, not too dark, not too over-exposed, or appearing to be radiated). If you MUST hold the camera by your hand, don't zoom in, physically move closer. Zooming in causes the earthquake effect to be much more of a problem, from the shaking of your hand to the camera. to zoom in, use a tripod, or a flat surface. About audio, most internal microphones are crap, unless you get a camera that's at least $1k or higher. because of this, I'd recommend investing in some other audio equipment, Hand mics work great, but are hard to hide. Lavalier's work wonders (clip on mics) and are also very easy to hide, we have a few battery powered sony lavaliers around here, pretty much on par with broadcast quality.

I'm open to specific questions as well, so feel free to ask away
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Old 08-05-2009, 01:00 AM   #3
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The camera is a Canon ZR500, nothing fancy, but I got a good deal on it and it seemed decent enough for a starter camera. It is MiniDV and I already have a tripod, so score 2 points for me.

I have Vegas Pro.. 8 or 9, not sure which. Acquired it several months ago and haven't even installed it. I'll definitely look into it. I might have Premier, as well, not sure what all Adobe stuff I have stockpiled. (I am on a PC, obviously.)

The microphone is something I was definitely wondering about. The internal mic is okay for closeup stuff, but worthless for most distance stuff that's not really loud. (It sure as hell picked up my neighbors ATVs just fine the other day, though.) I'll look into the clipon mics, I hadn't even thought about those, though I did realize that holding a hand mic all the time would probably be a major pain in the ass. (And doing a quick Google indicates the clip ons are a lot cheaper than I would have expected, so I suppose I'll be going that route, though I'm guessing it's a good idea to have a hand mic, as well. I'm guessing it would be a bad idea to put a clip on mic on an animal, for instance.)

The primary thing I'm interested in doing is journalistic style mini-documentaries, ala Current TV. I've contemplated doing some free publicity style videos for local museums and such, just to get some experience.

First step: I'll figure out where I have my copy of Vegas stashed and get it installed and try editing the videos I shot this weekend. I'll put up a link once they're online.

Thanks for all of the advice.
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