Monday, December 20, 2021

Wedding Cinematography for intentional filmmakers

What distinguishes cookie cutter Wedding Cinematography from intentional and more meaningful storytelling?

Deep Storytelling
Creating compelling storytelling through interviews and/or letter reading. Most wedding videographers will just string together a bunch of pretty clips on a timeline set to some dramatic music.  What story is that telling? Yes, wedding vows are a nice addition to begin to tell a story, but where else can the couple's story be found?

By simply adding an interview or two, a videographer's work will have more meaningful, elevated storytelling than 90 percent of the videographers running around who are making a music video and not a documentary.

Who can tell the couple's story?

Parents, siblings, maid of honor and best man, grandparents, or a best friend are great options to capture short interviews during the wedding day.


Intentional Technique
Some videographers get lazy and do things like crank up the shutter speed multiple stops faster than than the 180 degree rule.  The footage will not only look choppy (like an action film), but it can look more similar to phone or camcorder footage because there is less intentional control over the cinematic image. High shutter speeds are intended for very specific things, and they should be avoided most of the time. Using a proper ND filter will avoid the choppy look of high shutter speeds.

Cinematic Look
Filming at 24 frames per second for 90 percent of the wedding day will yield a more cinematic look. Intentional storytelling does not rely too heavily on slow motion to elevate the story. Slow motion has become kitschy and overused in wedding videography. It's trendy and will probably look outdated and ridiculous in 20 or 30 years. It won't be timeless and will be obvious that the wedding was filmed during a certain time period

Building suspense
Telling things out of sequence and utilizing the power of voice over can help build suspense for the couple's unique story. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Why Film Your Projects with a DSLR

To achieve a film look, DSLR's are the closest thing you can get, unless you have $50,000 in your back pocket to buy an Alexa digital cinema camera that is used by some of today's best directors, because it mimics the natural look of film better than most of it's contemporaries.

The cinematic look, partially created by shooting at 24 frames per second looks much smoother and more organic.  Many newer camcorders do offer 24 FPS shooting, but they consumer camcorders don't yet offer the sensor and lens capabilities in a larger camera.

Shallow depth of field is seen everywhere in professional cinematography, from blockbuster Hollywood films, to indie films, to current TV commercials.  DSLR's paired with f/4 or faster lenses can provide shallow depth of field that looks like something shot for the big screen.

Low light filming that was not possible prior to 2008, continues to get better each year with DSLRs.  Full frame sensors are the best option, and can be had for about $2,000 and up if buying a new camera.  Sony and Canon have been offering great full frame camera options.  However, several other companies compete with them, so in a few years, Nikon or Panasonic may offer something even more appealing.

Color profiles will allow you to shoot your footage flat (less color saturation and lower contrast), allowing you to fine tune the look of your project during editing.

Manual settings set DSLRs apart from prosumer camcorders.  Aperture, ISO, Shutter Speed, and Mic recording level can all be controlled in full manual mode.

DSLR cameras with full frame sensors can shoot footage that still looks great at 3200 ISO, something that wasn't possible before 35mm size sensors became affordable and Canon democratized them with the Canon 5D Mark II in late 2008.

See the benefits visually of DSLR Filmmaking in this tutorial.


Monday, April 30, 2018

Kylin Stabilizers - affordable camera gimbal

An IndieGoGo Campaign this spring offered a Gimbal for lightweight DSLR and mirrorless cameras for only about $200 + shipping. Now that the campaign has ended, the cost of the gimbal has jumped to $350 for the base system that can support cameras up to 1300g or 2.87 lbs.  According to their IndieGoGo Campaign page selling the gimbal, it is "compatible with almost all mirrorless digital cameras on the market, as well as mobile phones, action cameras and even some models of DSLR cameras."

Here's a feature comparison of both the regular Kylin M and the Kylin Pro gimbal systems:


Kylin M Cost (April 2018): $349 for base system (shipping is $48 to the U.S.).



Kylin Pro cost (April 2018): $599

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Weight of Canon 6D setup

My Canon 6D lens setups and their weight:

These setups include the weight of the memory card and battery.  Yes, it's small, but it matters when balancing a camera on a gimbal or stabilizer.

Canon 6D body only (with memory card and battery)
26.8 oz. (760g)

Canon 6D with 50mm f/1.4 lens

Canon 6D with 24-105 f/4 lens:

Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens ($330 version)
10.23 oz (290 g)

?? - * with UV filter

Canon 24-105mm f/4 (version made before 2016)
1.47 lb (670 g)  [B&H Photo]
27.820 oz. (788.6g) [Ken Rockwell]


The total weight determines which gimbal systems can be used to effectively support the camera.


Other items to consider when weighing your camera rig:

Lens filters
Shotgun mic

Thursday, March 29, 2018

How to Sepia Tone in Premiere

Premiere CC offers several ways to give an old style, or old film look to your footage and color grade it to have a sepia effect.

Tint Effect

From the Effects Panel:

Video Effects > Color Correction > Tint
Choose a color to Map Your Blacks
Choose a color to Map Your Whites





Lumetri Looks

Effects Panel

Lumetri Looks > Style > Back in the Day

Drag this onto a clip (or an Adjustment Layer above your clips, if you want to apply the effect to several clips on your timeline).



Tuesday, March 6, 2018

A+ and Other IT Certifications



A+ is the go-to certification you can get if you're looking to go into IT.  It's the whole backbone of IT; the best and broadest certification you can get.

There's tons of material to study because it covers so much.

What is the exam like:
The entire exam is a multiple choice test.

Topics on the test:
* How different IPs work
* Sound options



Exam prices from the leading A+ certification group




Monday, March 5, 2018

Learn Essential Exposure Control and Movie Shooting Concepts

Aperture (also called F/stop)




Shutter Speed




ISO



An introduction to why DSLRs are special for shooting video:




Topics:

* 24 frames per second (cinematic look)
* Shallow depth of field