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A few musings on what I missed in my month off from EOSHD!


Andrew Reid

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I think the creative side is a very personal thing.

I don't really get a lot of creative value about reading articles about other people's processes or ideas, which is why I don't ready NoFilmSchool very often for example...

EOSHD as a gear blog will remain focussed on the equipment because it is useful for people trying to decide between cam A and B to know which one suits them before they lay down the money.

Creativity is quite instinctual and life-experienced based, requires a strong personal voice I think.

That's the way I thought 30 years ago.  After years and years or watching movies and TV and reading books I've flipped the other way.  Just as there is a technical side to depth of field, or resolution say, there is a technical side to story-telling, how much is focused on one character, what is shown with dialogue.  For example, a filmmaker could be sold on the low dynamic range of a RAW camera.  But if he used it on a comedy it would probably fall flat.  Comedy is always sharp and bright.  Or it could be the other way around, a filmmaker looking to tell the story of a Syrian refugee for example, and shoot with bright camera that can't get a thoughtful mood.  

I know many people will read what I'm saying and think 'what about this exception, or that exception'.   It's not about rules.  It's about what works, and has been working for centuries, though the technology and cultural styles may change.  Creativity, to me, isn't this "personal" thing that is unique to an individual, it is personal to that person in his/her PLACE IN TIME.  An artist serves their generation.  They seldom come up with anything new.  Of course, when you're young you feel omnipotent, powerful, creative, immortal. I can only say from my experience that young artists who try too many things that haven't worked in the past end up with the same result.

So it is important that one understand the basic technical aspects of story telling before they choose camera A or B.   There's a big difference between shooting people in a comedy, a drama, a documentary, or random scenes of buildings and fountains.  The technology of the camera should fit the technique of the story.

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it is important that one understand the basic technical aspects of story telling before they choose camera A or B.

I enjoy this website because I'm a gear oriented guy.  Even better because I'm a CHEAP gear oriented guy.  I like consumer stuff.  But gear is only one aspect of making films.  The slant of user conversations on this site might imply to a neophyte reader that camera gear is the primary consideration of the film making process.  That's not right or wrong, it's just the way it is. 

I certainly think gear should only be a secondary consideration.  I'd even argue that these days it could almost be an afterthought, depending on what one is trying to accomplish.  As in, "Well, we have a t3i already, let's just use that."

But, really, those creatives that are going to be successful at this motion picture stuff will be able to figure that out for themselves.  Those that don't, well, there's a lot of us around to write words on the internet.

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Cool.

I had a similar approach a few monts back when the A7rii was released. I looked at the price and thought "why".

Bought two 16mm film cameras and a bunch of film instead. And still had over $2000 left before reaching the cost of the Sony.

Thats why I have the G7. But now Im back to DSLR + BMPCC.

Us swede's know how to stay simple, Scandinavian minimalism? Hehe, joke aside, I did some tests of the G7, GX8 and then decided to stick with my LX100. Which I pair with the BMPCC (men fan, önskar jag hade råd med alla kameror du äger!)

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Us swede's know how to stay simple, Scandinavian minimalism? Hehe, joke aside, I did some tests of the G7, GX8 and then decided to stick with my LX100. Which I pair with the BMPCC (men fan, önskar jag hade råd med alla kameror du äger!)

Good choice,  I will be selling the G7 this weekend. I'm impressed but still very underwhelmed.  (Jag har inte så många som man kan tro, byter ofta :) )

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Great move and good luck to you !! 

I didn't know what to make of this article when I first read it, but I understand now.

I love this site and forum but pretty much ignore all the high end gear reviews thread topics so your move is welcome by me :)

Not sure if it's on your radar or not, but more articles on filming technique would be awesome too. I know there are a lot of professionals and experienced people here but there are also a lot of newbies here like myself who gravitate to the site because it's chilled and and has great gear articles. I'm not quite sure how to express the following, and I'm not sure how many are in the same boat, but people like myself who are not working video pros but into video more for the fun of it don't know where to start half the time. Sure I grab a cam and do some "test" shots and that's about it ... it never really leads anywhere. I like the little clips you put together for your camera reviews (like the NX1 clip from Portugal)  and it would be nice to hear more about the techniques behind filming and not just the gear review ... how you set up shots, angles,  pull focus, editing to music, camera settings ... and the list goes on and on. Sometimes I find myself wanting to start a little project but it seems all so complicated. Coming from photography it's easy ... you buy a cam and you take photos ... easy. As soon as you get interested in video things are not so easy :) Anyway, I thought sticking with lower end gear that punch above their weight and some articles on technique would mesh pretty well together. 

I hope my incoherent ramble made a bit of sense. LOL 

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people like myself who are not working video pros but into video more for the fun of it don't know where to start half the time.

Start with your story.  It flows out from there.  That's the fountain.  If you know you have a good story, then you do the things and make decisions to make sure it stays a good story.

As a documentary guy, I've shot things more or less identically for a film with dry information vs. a film with emotionally resonating stuff.  And a good compelling story always elevates the production.  

I don't think it works too well in the other direction.  You can decide to begin with awesome gear and base a production around what the technology offers you, but I just don't see that being the smartest way to approach a creative endeavor.

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Start with your story.  It flows out from there.  That's the fountain.  If you know you have a good story, then you do the things and make decisions to make sure it stays a good story.

As a documentary guy, I've shot things more or less identically for a film with dry information vs. a film with emotionally resonating stuff.  And a good compelling story always elevates the production.  

I don't think it works too well in the other direction.  You can decide to begin with awesome gear and base a production around what the technology offers you, but I just don't see that being the smartest way to approach a creative endeavor.

I definitely think the heart of this post is the truth. Story is king, it always will be, but...

Some stories can only be told due to the technology or equipment...

A sweeping epic without the ability to record wide panoramics and your story isn't given the justice it deserves.

In micro budget filmmaking, the story is predicated upon the location and production elements you have access to and you build the story around them.

You can't exercise your craft, if you don't own the proper tools for the job, luckily in this age, you can get a suitable camera and some lenses for less than 500 bucks...

So ignore everything I just wrote...

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A sweeping epic without the ability to record wide panoramics and your story isn't given the justice it deserves.

Agreed, but when you know that your story is the type that demands that sort of treatment, then you make the decision to go that route.  Thus, your main consideration begins with the story --and not the fact that you just bought a cool anamorphic lens and need to figure out something to make with it.

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Andrew, you mention something about the Nikon 1 J5. Is it any good? I'm also intrigued by it, but I cannot find any serious video-orientated review online. How are colour, DR and 120p modes?

Cheers.

The high frame rates aren't a patch on the RX100 IV but the colour, resolution, quality of the 1080/60p/24p overall is really very good.

Dynamic range is good, more in keeping with a DSLR than a compact but there's no S-LOG, so 1-2 stops less than the RX100 IV can manage.

Apart from that it is really like an interchangeable lens mount on the RX100 IV... and nicer ergonomics actually.

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The high frame rates aren't a patch on the RX100 IV but the colour, resolution, quality of the 1080/60p/24p overall is really very good.

Dynamic range is good, more in keeping with a DSLR than a compact but there's no S-LOG, so 1-2 stops less than the RX100 IV can manage.

Apart from that it is really like an interchangeable lens mount on the RX100 IV... and nicer ergonomics actually.

Thanks! Will give it a chance. I think it could be a nice slo-mo companion to the bmpcc and use the same lenses actually (c-mount, s-16). I still own the Nikon 1 adapters that I used to make my burst videos, featured in this blog by the way.

Cheers,
Javi.

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