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The 3-hour 1-minute Film Challenge

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So, this thread has been on my mind, but being that I'm an introvert who mostly doesn't leave the house, and also that my family aren't interested in being on-camera and neither am I, I've struggled to think of cool ideas for this challenge.  

The reason that I've been trying to push myself to do more stuff like this is that if you practice when it doesn't matter, you will be better for when you're on a real shoot and it does matter.  When I was doing stills photography I joined some photography Meetup groups, and that was really cool, but there aren't equivalent groups for film-making.

This video is interesting, talking about how to train as a film-maker, listing a number of 'drills':

TLDR:

  • Practice setting up your camera rig, which helps with making sure you can do it quickly and don't forget things
  • Mess up your camera settings deliberately then practice setting them all back to normal
  • Practice manual focus, even if you use AF most of the time, MF is still something you probably need occasionally
  • Practice moving shots, especially if you're hand-held or using a gimbal, but sliders and tripod moves too
  • Practice going into new locations and finding compositions
  • Same as above for lighting
  • Get some work and do it, even if you're working for free it's great because there aren't high expectations, but weddings are also great because you have to do everything well and also quickly
  • Sports people train to get better, so why wouldn't you do that as a film-maker...  an hour a day would really help

Interesting list of things, with an emphasis on speed (IIRC Matti has a documentary background so he talked about needing to work quickly) which can only be a useful skill.

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Filmed this yesterday:

Some thoughts:

  • It's both a camera test but also a real video - if you're going to go through the whole process then why not get a nice memento out of it :)
  • I've realised that I'm comfortable with the point-my-camera-at-things style of film-making, but my videos are about my family so should also include me, so this is a test to try and get better at that
  • This was shot with my positively geriatric GoPro Hero3 and was kind of a test at using it as a selfie camera
  • It's shaky as hell, and if you apply strong stabilisation in post it becomes wobble-vision..  I plan to replace it with the Sony action camera which has OIS
  • It was convenient, small, and easy to get a variety of shots with, so I think the form-factor is good
  • 2.7k mode isn't great, the Sony in 4K would be much improved

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I think it is surprisingly good for as old as the camera is. I guess good grading helps lol. Just goes to show, skill helps. I don't know, the Protune 2.7 on the on the latest GoPros is not that bad, as is the stabilization.  What are you talking the new Sony RXO mk II, or the Sony FDR X3000? I think I would rather have an Osmo Pocket over the X3000 unless you want an all weather camera. The form factor of the Sony is just, well..odd.

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1 hour ago, webrunner5 said:

I think it is surprisingly good for as old as the camera is. I guess good grading helps lol. Just goes to show, skill helps. I don't know, the Protune 2.7 on the on the latest GoPros is not that bad, as is the stabilization.  What are you talking the new Sony RXO mk II, or the Sony FDR X3000? I think I would rather have an Osmo Pocket over the X3000 unless you want an all weather camera. The form factor of the Sony is just, well..odd.

It is good, although the footage is so mushy.  In a sense an action camera is an over-capture device because you're probably going to crop into it in post, either through re-framing or stabilisation or de-fishing or a combination thereof.  

I read an article from the guy who shot the girls snorkelling section of the Hero3 demo video, which was fascinating.  It took them a day to understand the camera needed crap-tonnes of light and needed to be set to mostly manual (which was limited for this model).  The next day sorted out which profiles were the best and the limits of the slow-motion mode, and how to grade things.  The third day was a test shoot day to work on framing and operator technique and refine the grading, then the last two days were shooting a crap-load and hoping to get a shot that looked good, framing and waves were good, and there happened to be the exact right lighting that makes it look good.  It was a shoot where they were stretching every single variable to the absolute maximum to shoot the demo video.  The reality is that there's no way in hell that the average person can make anything like the demo videos, and most pros would have difficulty too.
I wish I could find it again (I've looked unsuccessfully several times) because it shows what it takes to truly get the best out of a camera.

I think better sensors in newer models help, getting enough light into these things is a huge factor in good image quality.

The above was shot in ProTune but I am not that sure there's much advantage over the standard mode TBH (at least for this model).  I did a series of tests with different modes last night in controlled conditions and setting it to the non-protune mode where it grades and sharpens the image seemed to produce a slightly nicer image than I could manage in Resolve with a decent degree of trying.

I'm thinking of the X3000 because it's got nice 4K and because the OIS eliminates movement during the exposure, which helps with RS wobble as well as in lower light.  I actually think that the form factor is well suited if you have a mic on it.  The GoPro is strange because it's wide and shallow, yet any directional mic will be narrow and deep, so having a Rode Video Micro style microphone would probably work much better with the X3000 than a GoPro.

I've also been tossing up a 360 camera, but by the time you try and crop in, the picture falls apart.  IIRC a 28mm lens is something like a 90degree horizontal angle.  If your 360 camera is 4K and you crop to a 90 degree angle then you're getting under 720p resolution and throwing away 94% of the bitrate, so a 100mbps 4K file becomes 6mbps 1000 x 560.  6K resolution isn't that much better....  6mbps is not a good look!

I also need underwater, and for the price of having to point the camera, I think the extra IQ is worth it.  When we get 20K 360 cameras then we'll be set, but until then :)

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I kind of like Mushy looking stuff better than eye bleeding sharp stuff.  Year the X3000 has really good stabilization no doubt. And sure, adding a mike on top does fit the Sony better.

Philip Bloom is into 360 pretty big time and he seems to think 8K or better or go home. 20K Ought to get the job done lol. I am not too big a fan of 360. I am doing good to see 90 degrees, maybe even 60! 😲.

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