Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Camera Settings for Video on your DSLR



Deejay is back with DSLR Film Noob, giving some good advice for some basicsettings for your DSLR video camera. His major point is setting the ISO (and shows the same shot to illustrate his point) and how to avoid grain in your image. He also gives some basic shutter speed settings. I'd also like to add the 180 degree shutter rule to Deejay's recommendation. Just take your fps and double it for the bottom fraction to set your shutter at. I shoot at 30fps, so my shutter should always be at 1/60 of a second. Simple.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Zoom H4n & H1 Protective Case



Deejay is on the prowl for an inexpensive way to protect his Zoom H4n digital audio recorder. In another DSLR Film Noob, he shows off his H1 hard case (which Zoom sells) and wanted something similar for the H4n. He comes up with a good find on eBay. I own an H1 as well and have my own ideas for a hard case, but that'll have to wait. Deejay is much younger and faster than I am.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Year's Supply of Lens / LCD Cleaner for $3



After a long break (thanks holidays!) I'm back with another, albeit very simple, video about something I think you'll use more often than anything else found on this blog. It's a great and inexpensive recipe for a cleaning solution that allows you to clean your camera's lens and LCD screen as well as a slew of other glass or glass-like surfaces. I use mine almost every morning to clean all the schmutz off of my cell collected from the previous day. Enjoy!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Canon t2i Magic Lantern Overview



In today's episode of DSLR Film Noob (complete with a new intro) Deejay goes more into depth about this alternate camera firmware that give you some really great features. Zebra stripes and audio level control would be enough for me to install this (if I owned a t2i), but there is a ton more of good stuff here. I really like the ability to set thresholds for zebras. That is something I've never seen on any camera.

The wiki page on what Magic Lantern is and how to install it can be found here.

Weekly Recap Link List 1-17-11






Affordable lighting options for DSLR filming
http://filmflap.blogspot.com/2011/01/affordable-lighting-options-for-dslr.html

More insight into successful crowdfunding
http://www.microfilmmaker.com/tipstrick/Issue62/BetwnUs.html

Canon Magic Lantern t2i upgrade
http://filmflap.blogspot.com/2011/01/canon-magic-lantern-t2i-upgrade.html

Kickstarter, Indiegogo and buckets of cash
http://www.diysucks.com/2011/01/kickstarter-and-indiegogo-and-buckets-of-cash.html

Charlie Waugh's dry erase slate
http://filmflap.blogspot.com/2011/01/charlie-waughs-dry-erase-slate.html

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Charlie Waugh's Dry Erase Slate

Hey Scott,

I like your post about the dry erase slate for $8 back in October. I never thought I would need something like that until my boss came to me with an assignment to shoot 4 commercial spots. I work at a small ad agency out of El Dorado Hills, California and one of our clients asked for 4 spots to be produced in Spanish.


I don't speak any Spanish whatsoever so I knew it was going to be a challenge working with Spanish actors. The day of the shoot I was trying to figure out a way to mark the takes so post would be easier. I started to make something on my own then remembered your post!

I printed out the production slate you made available. I didn't have time to laminate it because the actors were on their way to our office so I folded it in half, cut the back of a legal pad the same size for strength and slid them both into a plastic page protector. I folded that in half, taped it down and it worked great!

With 2 actors and 13 parts to record I ended up with 107 takes (not the most professional actors). Marking each take was especially important because no habla espanol. Editing took forever but without this simple production slate it would have been impossible!

I appreciate your site and all the info! So far I've made PVC Camera Stabilizer, slate, 2 PVC light stands and I've purchased 2 work lights all from suggestions and posts from your site.


Charlie

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Canon Magic Lantern t2i Upgrade



Today Deejay tells about the latest Magic Lantern software hack that enables some really nice features on his camera. If you don't know what Magic Lantern is, look here. We also get a good look at his external monitor setup, an 8" Lilliput monitor that accepts HDMI from the t2i.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Affordable Lighting Options for DSLR Filming



This is the first embedded episode of the soon-to-be-named DSLR Film Noob, a YouTube show that has a lot in common with The Frugal Filmmaker. Show creator Deejay will appear regularly to give us advice on shooting with a DSLR camera. His show should fit in well with the content here, which tends to be more video camera oriented and less DSLR.

This time out, Deejay fills us in about some low-cost lighting options we can all use.

Weekly Recap Link List 1-10-11






What is focal length, field of view and why does my head hurt?
http://philipbloom.net/2010/12/27/lensfov/

You should self-publish
http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2010/12/you-should-self-publish.html

Sanyo waterproof digital E2
http://ca.sanyo.com/Digital-Camcorders/Waterproof-Digital-CameraCorder-

Should we self-distribute?
http://filmflap.blogspot.com/2011/01/should-we-self-distribute.html

How to improve engagement with your webisodes
http://workbookproject.com/culturehacker/2011/01/04/how-to-improve-engagement-with-your-webisodes/

Filmmaker sent to Google jail for building THE NEW MODEL
http://trulyfreefilm.hopeforfilm.com/2011/01/filmmaker-sent-to-google-jail-for-building-the-new-model.html

Becoming a filmmaker for ultra-cheap
http://eugenia.queru.com/2011/01/06/becoming-a-filmmaker-for-ultra-cheap/

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Should We Self-Distribute?

I am a really big fan of successful ebook author J.A. Konrath. He blogs all the time about how he is able to make money hand-over-fist by publishing his work electronically vs. the standard publisher route. He has bypassed the middleman and created quite a revenue stream for himself. Some say he is an exception, but he constantly encourages others to do the same and has guest posts all the time from those who have--successfully.

He recently wrote a great post called "You Should Self-Publish", which hits the same points that he harps on over and over, most notably: he makes more money per book doing it himself than he ever has with a traditional publisher. I find all this very inspiring, but being a filmmaker I have to ask, "can we do the same thing?"

It should be noted that the publishing world is a little different than the movie world. Konrath finds a lot of his success (I believe) by selling his work at a very low price, something we filmmakers can't really do. What do I mean? He can sell an ebook at $2.99 (which he gets over $2 for), which dramatically undercuts typical prices from the majors. If I was looking for something to read on my Kindle in an genre I liked, you bet I'd try an indie for that price.

For filmmakers, it's not that simple. Redbox rents movies for $1. Netflix, cable and satellite will stream a whole slew of films right to your TV as part of your subscription, some for "free". How do we compete with that? No one is going to buy my microbudget flick (and therefore not see it) for even scant buck when they can easily and cheaply watch a gargantuan budgeted studio movie for the same price. It just won't happen.

That's why I'm a big proponent of the "giveaway" model, which seems like the only way to compete, even on a global level. Put your movie on YouTube and everyone with a computer or smartphone can see it. Submit it to Netflix and everyone with a Netflix subscription can watch it on their TV. Get it on iTunes and anyone with an iPod is a potential audience member. Put it on a P2P network and it gets downloaded (potentially) by the world. Not bad, eh?

The challenge is always how to monetize all this. I've written about possible ways before, but that's not really the point of this article. Exposure is more important than money anyway. Why? Get exposure and the money will follow. You still have to market and promote, but once you get millions of trackable views, how hard will it be to get sponsors the next time around?

It should be noted that J.A. Konrath is an established author with a lot of material already out there. He markets and promotes. He's active on the web. He writes and writes and writes and writes.

Why can't we?

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