View Full Version : Not HD, is it okay?


SquaretheJon
03-21-2009, 04:17 PM
Hi,

I asked my friend if I could borrow his video camera. He said, yes. It's a pretty old camera, Sony DSC TRV-30. It's a Mini DV camera, pretty good quality, but it's not HD. Since I don't have a camera, he is glad to help me by lending me his camera, and I like the camera. However, if I am going to shoot any other films, what if it's not in HD? Is it such a big deal to film festivals?

Thanks.

SquaretheJon
03-21-2009, 09:05 PM
Anyone?

indietalk
03-21-2009, 09:39 PM
Focus on the story and don't worry so much about the tech wars.

Zensteve
03-21-2009, 09:47 PM
I don't know squat about cameras, but i do know that it's quite possible to make excellent films on non-HD equipment. (You sure that's the right model type, btw? Google didn'thelp me out with it)

If all your other pieces are in place:

Good Script!
Good actors
Good lighting
Good sound
Good editor
Good logistics

... then you could shoot it on a chintzy webcam, and still have a captivating film. :cool:



Is it such a big deal to film festivals?

Film fests need to be able to show/project it, and will tell you what format it needs to be delivered on. It doesn't matter what it was originally shot on (unless it's a niche fest, like Super-8 only, or something). Most of them are quite happy with a DVD, for digital projection, as the format. Some may require different formats, but that's not hard to overcome (if they insist on DVCAM, for example)

Ultimately, it's not about what the film is shot on (though it can certainly add to the quality of production).

SquaretheJon
03-21-2009, 10:26 PM
Okay. I feel better now.

When you mention "lighting," I am planning on shooting it in a grocery store which will have great lighting, but do I need anymore than that?

indietalk
03-21-2009, 10:31 PM
Okay. I feel better now.

When you mention "lighting," I am planning on shooting it in a grocery store which will have great lighting, but do I need anymore than that?
Yes. Not having the technically best camera doesn't mean your production cannot be technically superior. You'll need to light each scene. Do you have a crew? A DP or Gaffer that can help you with this?

SquaretheJon
03-21-2009, 11:09 PM
Yes. Not having the technically best camera doesn't mean your production cannot be technically superior. You'll need to light each scene. Do you have a crew? A DP or Gaffer that can help you with this?

Not really. I don't have much of a crew. I have a few friends, but they are not experienced in any lighting. I don't know how to film this film when I'm so inexperienced, without lighting. And I don't want to go out and buy hundreds of dollars of equipment. I don't know what to do...(lighting wise)

btw, I'm shooting in a lighted grocery store. (if, hopefully, the manager will let me....)

indietalk
03-21-2009, 11:12 PM
You will need a basic lighting kit which you can buy or rent. Search the forums on how to light, lots of info.

Zensteve
03-21-2009, 11:19 PM
And I don't want to go out and buy hundreds of dollars of equipment. I don't know what to do...(lighting wise)

You won't need to buy hundreds of bucks of stuff.

You will, probably, need a few things though.

You can look through the forums for good ideas on cheap Home Depot kits, or maybe find someone in your area with a kit of their own.

There's no way of knowing exactly what you need, without seeing the place. Just 'cos a building has good overall illumination doesn't mean there won't be shadows all over your actors' faces. Especially if most that light is coming from directly above.

Also, if like many stores, there is a wide glass front - you might then have conflicting light colour. (Daylight from outside, and either tungesten or flouro on the inside.) You might need to look at "correcting" some of the light sources, or at a minimum... boning up on "white balance".

directorik
03-21-2009, 11:24 PM
That's a nice camera, so you're okay.

Does this first movie of yours need to be top of the line
perfect on the technical end?

SquaretheJon
03-21-2009, 11:40 PM
Okay. I forgot to tell you this before. Here's the deal:

My high school was invited to participate in a film contest by www.Schooltube.com. The contest is to make a 30-60 second film fighting against the prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse by teenagers. http://www2.schooltube.com/Contests/DARERXandOTCDrugAbuseContest.aspx
Although it's a "film contest," it may not be as you seem.

Since it's not a real "film contest" and mainly a film to fight the abuse, are all the legit equipment stuff necessary? (Not to mention, Director said it, this is my first film as writer and director...:D)

Whatever happens, I'll post the final video when I'm done.

Zensteve
03-22-2009, 12:08 AM
Since it's not a real "film contest" ... are all the legit equipment stuff necessary?

Why is that not a real "film contest", as you put it? :hmm:

Go into it with the best of your ability. What you can't do, find people who can do. Nothing wrong with delegating the best person to the job. It's the finished job that counts - not just what "I" could do.

Additionally, go into it trying to bring the best of what you can. Since this is a school project, you might have access to school resources - including cameras, as well as other gear. Hit up your A/V department, and see what you can get.

*Extra* - additionally... you owe it to every single person who works on your project, to make it the best you can. They will be volunteering time, effort & sweat to give you what you need. If that means trying to arrange the best lighting (or sound, or sammiches for lunch, or whatever)... everyone involved wants the project to be a success.

If that means trying to find the best lighting, then do it.
If that means trying to find the best sound, then do it.
If that means trying to find the best camera-operator, then do it.

Maybe you won't end up with a masterpiece (or maybe you will!), but you'll know that you did everything you could to make it work the best you could.

By the way, this will also be a good exercise in paperwork. You taken a look at the film contest's legalese (http://www2.schooltube.com/Files/Tabs/Contests/stcontestguidelines2.pdf)?

First time writer & director? Oh lordy. Noone's ever done that, before. ;)



Whatever happens, I'll post the final video when I'm done.

I'll be lookin' for it. :)

Good luck with the project!

SquaretheJon
03-22-2009, 01:26 AM
Great. Thanks for the help.

I'll do the best I can to get as many volunteers as possible to create a successful film. I'll be sure to ask the TV/Film teacher if I could borrow some of the equipment. Hopefully, he'll let me.

Also, this is kind of a random question but I realized that there are 3 types of cameras: Super 8, 16mm and 35 mm. I don't know what it means by 8mm though. Is it the type of film? What types of cameras use it?

Zensteve
03-22-2009, 01:49 AM
I'll do the best I can to get as many volunteers as possible to create a successful film.

All of filmmaking is a collaborative effort. :)

I'll be sure to ask the TV/Film teacher if I could borrow some of the equipment.

Always remember this: Don't ask? Don't get.

Sometimes you may not get it, but you'll never get it unless you ask. Same goes for any aspect.


there are 3 types of cameras: Super 8, 16mm and 35 mm. I don't know what it means by 8mm though. Is it the type of film? What types of cameras use it?

Super-8, 16mm & 35mm are all cameras that use actual film, as opposed to recording to video-tape/dvd/flash-cards.

There are also a few other sizes of filmstock. (70mm is pretty big)

The "mm" refers to the size of the frame of film, in millimeters.

Don't confuse 8mm tape with 8mm film. (Many early consumer video cameras used videotape of a similar size, though completely different from film.)

Example:

8mm, Digital-8 & Hi-8 are all video formats. All use the same type of videotape. (8mm)

8mm, Super-8, Double-8 (and a few custom variations, like Max-8) are all film formats.

Eh, it's getting complicated. :lol:

EvsFX08
03-22-2009, 08:34 AM
I think I once read that portions of the Blair Witch Project was filmed on Hi-8, look how well that movie did, so I agree with IndieTalk. Story and structure is more important. Sure, HD would be nice, and that was my concern at first too, but I shoot on MiniDV believe it or not. My most recent music video I just filmed and edited got great reviews from everyone who has viewed it on the Artist's website. My website has gotten hits everyday since the release of his video. Yes, potentieal clients ask about HD, but I'm not working with Jay-Z or Beyonce, most of them simply want a video for YouTube. Once I tell them that the video they just watched was shot on a simple Mini-DV and see the prices I charge compared to what other companies charge for HD, most are happy with what I can do for them. Now, once I save up for a nicer camera, I'll definitely move into the HD realm, but, baby steps......I still need to get a better understanding of lighting before I tell myself I'm a pro. :) I learned a lot from my first shoot, and even more from these forums. You'll be ok.