Jump to content
HelsinkiZim

Why I am leaving this world behind (a love letter)

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, Andrew Reid said:

People didn't try to do everything on their own in the professional video field of old.

For interviews it would be a team

A sound guy, a camera man and the actual interviewer.

If you're doing all 3 jobs and find it hard, no shame in that... it IS hard

Being a camera technician on top of the other 3 roles is just too much.

Get an Ice Light 2, keep the GH4, keep the tripod and lav, dump the rest.

True...

Keep it "relatively" simple if or when possible. Expectations and the focus of things and perspectives change along with the technology and accessibility provided. It's something that has to be accepted or adapted to, but hopefully whatever the content one creates, it can still maintain its intended purpose. I'm always looking for ways of working smarter, not always just harder or longer hours. It is always an evolving process.

This short interview is very applicable to the conversation...

https://vimeo.com/171153045

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Thid was  one set up  I enjoyed  as all  went well on  my  own.  mke60  going into tascam. Rodelunk on the boss. I hire shotguns as they hire here for 15  euros perday for the  best. My key is off camera, pixapro mk-something, an aputure lightstorm rip  off. Micro cinema camera as b cam  off camera at about 70mm focal  length. phone acting  weirdx, sorry  for typos.

IMG_20161201_134137.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the day-rate for an assistant over there? Going by your setup, I don't think you need more gear or even different gear.

Better to invest in fellow humans than peripheral gear that gets replaced every 9 months and that you already regret immediately after buying. That assistant of yours might actually grow with you and your business, take away your stress of trying to manage a million little technical details, provide a different creative view outside of your own echo chamber and let you step back a bit from worrying about nuts and bolts and concentrate on direction and vision. I mean think about it, instead of monitoring levels on your audio, you can actually listen to the content! Instead of pulling focus you can really direct the talent and assemble the frame you want quicker. The better your work the higher you can request for your budget too no?

Oh and hey, everyone on set (including yourself) might actually enjoy some keen, eager, not yet jaded energy around!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a recent project, where I shot interviews in New York, London, Mumbai, and Barcelona, I filmed interviews in the following configurations:

- with an additional shooter and sound person (me on the b-camera so I could concentrate on asking questions, and the shooter on the A)

- with additional shooter, no sound person (me on b-cam, set-and-forget sound levels with a lav and boom mic feeding into Zoom recorder)

- one-man-band: lav mic on the interviewee, and boom mic on a chair or stand feeding into Zoom H4N recorder. Maybe my Westcott Flex light.

A-cam was Canon DSLR (or c300 mk1 for a couple interviews), B-cam was Canon DSLR or GX85, Zoom H4N (boom and lav mics), Leica R lenses, and usually one light.

There are tradeoffs in every scenario. With a crew of three there are less worries about gear. Everything is taken care of and you can really focus on the questions you're asking, how you respond, and ensuring a strong connection with the subject. This is by far the best. There's nothing worse than being in the middle of a powerful interview where someone may be bursting into tears, or relating the heart of their professional work, and you're sitting there nodding to keep them talking while wondering if your audio levels are too hot.

With just one additional shooter, I find that there's a nice balance between finding the perfect shot and covering your bases on the technical level. That said, something goes wrong on the audio side in these types of setups at least 10% of the time.

I've had nice results working as a one-man-band and keeping the camera setup minimal (sometimes with the GX85 on a table as a second camera). But again, the stress of someone leaning out of focus, the audio levels not being right, camera drifting, or the dreaded 12-minute limit on the DSLR can be intense. On the one hand these interviews are very intimate - it's just you talking to the subject with maybe one light, so sometimes they may feel more comfortable. The conversation can be very free-flowing. On the other hand, on the technical side there is invariably some nagging issue with exposure, focus, audio, or framing.

Picking crew size is like picking the camera, lens, and setup for any shoot. Not every setup is right for every situation. It is important to consider what you'll be shooting and how you'd like to capture it. That is the simplicity you're looking for. The choices about gear and crew size should flow from there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Raafi Rivero said:

There's nothing worse than being in the middle of a powerful interview where someone may be bursting into tears, or relating the heart of their professional work, and you're sitting there nodding to keep them talking while wondering if your audio levels are too hot.

Absolutely! But there is something worse : watching your Sony A7R II overheat and stop working as well. Or working for the first time with a sound guy who is rude to the client you have been cultivating for the past year because he thinks they're badly organised...

@HelsinkiZim - Don't worry, your frustrations are normal, this is very hard to do alone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Kisaha said:

wrong camera choice/wrong people selection!

 

Probably for the camera, certainly for the person. But my experience is that certain things only go wrong on a job ;-).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, DPC said:

Probably for the camera, certainly for the person. But my experience is that certain things only go wrong on a job ;-).

I have a DP that I have similar issues! He is 55 years old, a bit ild schiol(Old school)and before any job I am like "don't do this, be careful with that, don't talk like this" etc!

The equipment is another thing though, I could never depend on unpredictable equioment. It is too much of a stress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/16/2016 at 4:20 PM, HelsinkiZim said:

The only things I am now used to is small size. So maybe it's the fs5, I guess I'll see how next year pans out.

I bought an FS5 after experiencing excatly all the troubles you have listed. I do not regret. For what I do (mostly journalism, news, some feature stuff) the FS5 is a dream: Small, easy to handle, no need for any accessories except a good microphone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, chinaski said:

I bought an FS5 after experiencing excatly all the troubles you have listed. I do not regret. For what I do (mostly journalism, news, some feature stuff) the FS5 is a dream: Small, easy to handle, no need for any accessories except a good microphone.

Besides an ND filter which goes on top of the lens in stead of being in camera before the lens, what actually is the difference in workflow?

You still set the exposure manually right? You don't let the camera decide on which ISO, shutter speed or F-stop it uses I suppose, right? You still focus manually I suppose also.

So, what is the difference with a GH4 in terms of workflow? Battery is great on the Panny's. The form factor of a FS5 might be better, but do you really shoot handheld? If so, why don't u just buy a cheap Camframe or rig for the GH4?

I don't see the fuzz. What really would make your life easier is filming with a Sony Handycam. Autofocus, auto exposure, 1/3" sensor, mic on top. But any videographer who takes his craft seriously, will want to control all variables and will never let a camera decide everything for him.

The only thing I can say is, it will get easier. At first I was also overwhelmed with everything you have to take into consideration with every damn scene, shot and situation. But now, after having filmed 50 weddings, getting the a great shot everywhere I am dropped is as natural as breathing. 

Yes, I'm still absolutely destroyed after a 14-hour day, but framing, exposure and focus come naturally to me now. And I film with a GH3. Just don't overcomplicate things.

I have a rig with a microphone and monitor on top on a hot shoe. The GH3 only uses 3 batteries on even the longest shooting days. That's 2 swaps on a day. One 64GB card does the trick, no more thinking about it. I leave my aperture mostly on F2 or F2.5, shutter speed on 180 degrees and ISO on 200. That means I only need to play with the variable ND for exposure, at least in the daytime and exteriors. Because of the monitor I don't need to zoom in to nail the focus.

It's just point, focus & ND, shoot. 1 camera, one lens, one rig. Spare battery in my pocket. Good for the next 10 hours. 

Of course shooting interviews is a slightly different craft. You need to do more, like lighting and sound, but you also have more time for that. If you keep getting overwhelmed, ask an assistant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 18/12/2016 at 11:15 PM, Kurtisso said:

What's the day-rate for an assistant over there?

We have general national guide lines that categorise production jobs into 4 categories. A self shooting assistant, ie someone who handles gear and shoots behind the scenes etc, is around 250 euros for the day. However, you can roll the dice on students and recent grads for less...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/16/2016 at 1:22 PM, dbp said:

I think sometimes people are too quick to jump on using monitors/cages/recorders when they don't necessarily need to. 

I have mixed feelings on this.

On one hand, I definitely went through a phase with my company where I NEEDED every accessory out there that made my rig look cool. Follow focuses and matte boxes and gini rigs and all. And then there was nothing like rigging up and calibrating a follow focus for a shoot and then never using it, or making a creative decision to switch lenses on set and having to recal. Most of the times we would just say screw it, rip off the follow focus, and just shoot it with peaking. Not like our work is being projected for awards on a 4k cinema screen anyway. Or just being sick and tired of lugging around a 20 pound rig monitors and all, ripping the camera off and shooting it viewscreen style on my painted PVC pipe ghetto rig instead. On set, time is so much money especially when you're paying 1099s.

On the other hand, I had a situation once where the CFO happened to be on set and struck up a conversation with my DP. Asked about the camera (shooting 5d2 ML Raw which was perfect for our overseas shoot) and my DP went blabbing on on how cheap these cameras are today, you can get em for $1k used, etc. And he's blabbing on about this to the CFO, who doesn't see ML Raw hack and raw post processing, he doesn't see Zeiss or Leica glass on the front, he sees an ordinary $1k DSLR camera. And that's a problem too.

Regardless, it's very interesting to hear perspectives of others in this thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/20/2016 at 8:12 PM, Stab said:

Besides an ND filter which goes on top of the lens in stead of being in camera before the lens, what actually is the difference in workflow?

You still set the exposure manually right? You don't let the camera decide on which ISO, shutter speed or F-stop it uses I suppose, right? You still focus manually I suppose also.

So, what is the difference with a GH4 in terms of workflow? Battery is great on the Panny's. The form factor of a FS5 might be better, but do you really shoot handheld? If so, why don't u just buy a cheap Camframe or rig for the GH4?

Yes, I shoot handheld very often. Auto-ND is a dream for filming docs, especially when moving in and out of places with diffierent lighting while having to film continuously. For example I filmed the street protests in Korea, with tight spaces and people always touching you and and your gear. Super happy to just have the FS5 with a wireless microphone on the correspondent, and not having to worry about all that fiddly stuff. The handgrip is great. I film with the Sony BUP60 batteries and they hold forever. XLR jacks are great and strong. When the camera is in my bag, I pull it out, switch it on, and film.

When I work with a tripod I do most of the things manually, and then you're right, the difference to a GH4 is not that big. I the end it depends on what you're filming, but for my case, the FS5 is the perfect package, and I'd never ever switch back to something mirrorless/DSLR as my main camera.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...