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The problem of sharing knowledge about camera's and editing.


Stab

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In another topic about Canon's succes but failing to innovate, I wrote this post. I think it deserves it's own discussion. And it was pretty off-topic anyway.

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Most people don't spend days and days on the internet and websites like EosHD to compare specs and numbers. They go crazy even thinking about it.

 

They go to the nearest camera shop, ask for advice and try something out. Of course the seller says 'here is the Canon 7D, a great camera which we sell all the time'. The customer holds it (feels great!), trusts the brand and the seller, and walks out with the camera. Maybe he looks online for the best possible deal and have it send to him, but he's buying a 7D nonetheless.

 

And that is why Canon is still market leader, and will be for a while. Why do big film studios sometimes use a 5D or a 7D, but never a Panasonic? Because they feel like a toy, have no reputation, different color science, etc.

 

Canon is still the brand to get for everone who is not a nerd like us and spends much of their time on comparing camera's and specs. And the same goes for computers, TV's, car's, etc. People just want to buy something which feels good in the hand, looks good, has a good reputation and is recommended by others / sellers.

And that is why people still buy overpriced iMacs, 5D's, Samsung TV's with digital sharpening and 200 hz modes, etc.

 

But I will say once more, THAT IS PERFECT FOR US. Stop spreading the word! I tell you this is important!

 

Some, like me, make money from shooting video's... Most of us, like me, coulnd't have started this business 10 years ago because of the crappy quality of affordable camera's and computers. Now, everyone with 2000 dollars / euro's to spare can buy a GH4 + lens, download Premiere from torrents, make a simple wordpress website and call himself 'film producer'. Everyday more and more 'competitors' join our market.

 

And we all know that in 5-10 years there will be self composing, 10 bit 8K camera's with 20 stops DR that will focus themselves for 800 euro's in Wallmart... You know what this means for us 'professionals'? It means that you will have 10x more competitors than you have now.

Throw some 'self editing software' in the mix and there you go, almost everyone becomes a video maker.

 

Of course I am exaggerating, but I really believe we should all shut up and keep our secrets. I have learned a lot from the online community and I have given lots of knowledge back in the past, but I am not doing it anymore.

I want my clients to look at my footage and say 'wow that looks better than the rest' and book me. And of course composition and editing have to do with it, but the camera plays a big part in it as well.

 

So if you want to still make money in the (near) future, stop spreading the word about Sony and Panasonic. Stop talking about Filmconvert and explaining everything to people. Stop making easy tutorials for everyone to see.

 

Do you want a future where everyone makes video's which are as good (looking) as yours?

 

We are making it too easy for beginners like this. We are literally raising competitors which will hunt us in the future.

 

I have stopped and I ask you to do the same.

 

Praise Canon 5D's! Praise pricey software. Never give any tips and tricks for free. That is how you get rich.

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You can't buy experience you have to earn it...I've been doing this for 25 years now and seen all sorts of cameras and styles come and go . All the stuff I learnt shooting Super 16 in the early days

You must have very low confidence in your own ability to come out with this stuff. My clients don't come to me because of my secret tools. They come to me because I put much emphasis into the ideas

no 2 people have the same artistic vision   - so I have no problem sharing on this forum which I do regularly -   I'm sure if you gave 10 people the same camera and lens set up you would get 10 to

 

In another topic about Canon's succes but failing to innovate, I wrote this post. I think it deserves it's own discussion. And it was pretty off-topic anyway.

--------------------------------

 

Most people don't spend days and days on the internet and websites like EosHD to compare specs and numbers. They go crazy even thinking about it.

 

They go to the nearest camera shop, ask for advice and try something out. Of course the seller says 'here is the Canon 7D, a great camera which we sell all the time'. The customer holds it (feels great!), trusts the brand and the seller, and walks out with the camera. Maybe he looks online for the best possible deal and have it send to him, but he's buying a 7D nonetheless.

 

And that is why Canon is still market leader, and will be for a while. Why do big film studios sometimes use a 5D or a 7D, but never a Panasonic? Because they feel like a toy, have no reputation, different color science, etc.

 

Canon is still the brand to get for everone who is not a nerd like us and spends much of their time on comparing camera's and specs. And the same goes for computers, TV's, car's, etc. People just want to buy something which feels good in the hand, looks good, has a good reputation and is recommended by others / sellers.

And that is why people still buy overpriced iMacs, 5D's, Samsung TV's with digital sharpening and 200 hz modes, etc.

 

But I will say once more, THAT IS PERFECT FOR US. Stop spreading the word! I tell you this is important!

 

Some, like me, make money from shooting video's... Most of us, like me, coulnd't have started this business 10 years ago because of the crappy quality of affordable camera's and computers. Now, everyone with 2000 dollars / euro's to spare can buy a GH4 + lens, download Premiere from torrents, make a simple wordpress website and call himself 'film producer'. Everyday more and more 'competitors' join our market.

 

And we all know that in 5-10 years there will be self composing, 10 bit 8K camera's with 20 stops DR that will focus themselves for 800 euro's in Wallmart... You know what this means for us 'professionals'? It means that you will have 10x more competitors than you have now.

Throw some 'self editing software' in the mix and there you go, almost everyone becomes a video maker.

 

Of course I am exaggerating, but I really believe we should all shut up and keep our secrets. I have learned a lot from the online community and I have given lots of knowledge back in the past, but I am not doing it anymore.

I want my clients to look at my footage and say 'wow that looks better than the rest' and book me. And of course composition and editing have to do with it, but the camera plays a big part in it as well.

 

So if you want to still make money in the (near) future, stop spreading the word about Sony and Panasonic. Stop talking about Filmconvert and explaining everything to people. Stop making easy tutorials for everyone to see.

 

Do you want a future where everyone makes video's which are as good (looking) as yours?

 

We are making it too easy for beginners like this. We are literally raising competitors which will hunt us in the future.

 

I have stopped and I ask you to do the same.

 

Praise Canon 5D's! Praise pricey software. Never give any tips and tricks for free. That is how you get rich.

 

So funny man!!!! but that is the truth, you're are right, spot on!!!!, you won't believe how many times when I am in a shop I see people ask advices and questions about camera to the sellers who doesn't know f....all about it and send them directly to the most famous brand. 

Lack of education and passion, and loads of ignorance in  photography and videography, they buy just to imitate what everybody else has achieved with that  specific camera  without knowing that maybe you can get a better result with another camera and different brand.

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I have two answers. One is, there are secrets that are safe out there in the open. How to make a good film, be it a short narrative film or just a clip fragment, has nothing to do with an easy advice, and be it the best advice. Two, sadly, state-of-the-art gadgetry enables state-of-the-art junk. The pioneers of filmmaking with their primitive equipment (compared to which a 7D comes close to Trumbulls dream-computer-interface from Project Brainstorm) made better clips than most of us. 

 

A professional photographer went on a safari tour for a travel agency. He asked me for advice because he wanted to shoot video with his 5D as well and try to sell it for the client's homepage. I told him, capture moving motifs, don't move the camera too much. Vary the framing of your shots, that's important for interesting editing. It's almost like preparing a slideshow. He nodded, got it.

 

He came back, disappointed. He made everything wrong. He used the wrong shutter. He panned a lot, at the wrong speeds. He asked me to edit it and to insert some stills where he hadn't got the shots right. I declined the offer.

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Too long, didn't read.. I did however read the post you wrote and are referring too.

I am not intimidated by amateurs having the same gear as me, nor am I worried about sharing my knowledge with people who want to learn.

Sharing is caring.

 

I don't know which business you are in and I understand there is a big difference between someone who is a DOP for feature films and someone like me who makes wedding films and shorts. The latter is much easier to get in to.

 

But you have to understand that video production is a line of work many people would like to get in to, 'if only it wasn't so complicated / expensive'. And the thing is, with current technology and forums / websites like these, it isn't anymore!

 

And the more people will realise 'hey I just need 2000 euro's and I can start a wedding video business?', the more people will do it.

And of course, talent plays a big role, so 90% of those people will stop after a year or 2 because they either suck at it or they can't get their business running. But 10% will continue and have succes in some degree. And 10% of an ever rising population can add up to a lot of future competitors.

 

And I'm not saying we should keep everything as a secret, I'm just saying that the more tips and tricks we share, the more we improve our competitors work. Being a good film makers is hard and requires had work, talent and dedication. I know that. But being a pretty good cameraman requires much less time and effort and with all these tutorials and easy plug-ins like filmconvert and simple tricks like 'use a 35mm 1.4 on a GH4 with Speed Booster' enhances someones work in a short period of time.

 

And I prefer my competitors to shoot an 5DM2 with a kit lens at standard ISO 3200, who has never heard of a ND filter or plug-ins to make your footage look better in an instant. Why? Because my footage will look better anytime, even if the other guy has the same or more talent for composition than I do.

 

Let me repeat again that this indeed only applies for 'easy entry businesses' like wedding films, corporate films and commercial stuff. But I guess that's where 80% of the enhusiasts aim for or are in at the moment anyway.

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If the only difference between you and the 15 year old kid whose parents jsut bought him his first camera is the camera itself, then I've got bad news for you.

 

The reality is - tutorials and web videos can only teach you so much. Unless you have professional experience, understanding, and in most cases mentoring from professionals who are better than you - you're generally not going to get too far.

 

I shoot on a number of different camera bodies. The look of my work comes down to the way I light things, not the camera bodies I use.

 

If Roger Deakins shot on a C300 it would still look like it was shot by Roger Deakins. A newbie can buy an Alexa if they want, but nothing they shoot will look like it was shot by Deakins.

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But being a pretty good cameraman requires much less time and effort and with all these tutorials and easy plug-ins like filmconvert and simple tricks like 'use a 35mm 1.4 on a GH4 with Speed Booster' enhances someones work in a short period of time.

 

I don't agree with that, It takes years to become a good cameraman, it takes just days/weeks to learn to use filmconvert and it takes a day to buy any gear you like. 

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You can't buy experience you have to earn it...I've been doing this for 25 years now and seen all sorts of cameras and styles come and go .

All the stuff I learnt shooting Super 16 in the early days and 4 perf 35mm carries forward to all these digital cameras.

Lighting and lenses are the two most important factors - very often over looked by people on here .

 

Learn to light thats the key to it all.

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If you're worried about technology ruining your ability to compete in this market, you're doing your job incorrectly or you're just not good enough at it.

 

Heck, I've recently seen work (listed in this forum) where a kid with an old Ti is wildly more accomplished than a lot of us tech nerds with the newest and "bestest" camera.

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no 2 people have the same artistic vision

 

- so I have no problem sharing on this forum which I do regularly -

 

I'm sure if you gave 10 people the same camera and lens set up you would get 10 totally different results.... everytime.

 

its not the gear its the person behind the gear that makes the differance.

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Everybody can copy Frank Miller work but there is only one Frank Miller. If your work is original then you should not worry about somebody copying you. But i believe in sharing the knowledge like this community here i head no idea what anamorphic was until i stumbled on this forum. But not haring your secrets with others is like what ever man you can keep them when they are so dam awesome

 
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Never met a professional that hasn't been willing to help/give advice to someone with less experience.

The ones that don't share are probably very insecure people & not worth bothering with.

Anyways, no matter your experience, we are all learning all of the time.

Wasn't it Coppola that said recently,  if he doesn't come home from work having not learnt something new, its been a wasted day.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Okay I am not going to give you the idealistic pretentious answer. This is going to be a very corporate answer and marketing-based rather than art-based, so, sorry!

20 years ago when I graduated from medical college, I started a radiology centre in my city, I started by investing an enormous amount of cash in buying 2 very expensive devices (MRI and CT), therefore patients were sent to us from the entire country's clinics and hospitals to get their tests done, why? Because we had the gear that nobody else has, or very little had. Fast forward 20 years and chinese companies are making these devices for pennies, everybody owns one and there are tens of radiology centers in the market that can do what we can, therefore taking a huge portion of our clients and business. And hence our only quality or asset we were able to attract clients with was our intergrity, sterilization quality, highly trained doctors with high experience and talent in giving accurate results that are safe. This directly applies to the video business I and all of you own:

Exclusivity for owning high quality video equipment has always been a determinant factor for running a video business and competing in the market. A big part of why people hired our video company is because we had the expensive digibeta, or 35mm film, cinema lenses, dollys and cranes and steadicams, and high end microphones and audio equipment, and of course expensive 7K$ Avid suite software. The other part of the reason why they hired us is because of our talent and know how of how to use this equipment. Therefore, it's always been two factors/reasons to hire us, but now it's only one , experience and talent. Cutting the reasons in half is definitely a huge loss for our business, and made is definitly harder to compete and have superiority and exclusivity in image quality, if you think it hasn't affected the business side enormously then you don't have experience in this market. It has.

The transformation specifically occured with the advent of HDSLRs, particularly a certain camera named the Canon T2i, which single-handedly started a revolution we're all a part of now. While the 5D was available it was still expensive for non-professionals and every consumer, but with the release of the t2i every consumer could buy one.

It was exclusive to our business to make images that look like cinema and TV, particularly the depth of field charcteristics and usage of lenses. And suddenly everybody owned a s35 video camera that used interchangeable lenses, had a Log gamma, and was able to shoot at 1600 ASA and up with great colours and film look, and a free full editing/colouring suite at the living room that works automatically with presets. When the consumer got this camera, switched to video mode and pressed record, he found an image that looks like 35mm film, therefore his fascination with our images was suddenly reduced because he's seen a similar image at home, in his own hands for 500$. That changed the business forever and affected the existing video companies.

That was the realistic honest answer to your question, now let's give the idealistic "right" answer and the positive side of it.

Some would argue that businesses that got the work just because they own the exclusive gear is unfair and not preferred, so the advent of the DSLR enormously reduced that phenomenon of people getting the work for owning equipment, it now much more about the actual work. So that's a positive side.

The other positive side is that in the past there was an enormous amount of talent locked-up in people who had the experience, talent and will to produce video and film, but weren't able to to do so because of equipment access, now all the talent can flourish and everybody can try. I can't count how many great filmmakers discovered their talent and passion and produced great work just because of the advent of DSLRs and cheap gear/software. That's another positive point.

So what to do now and where we stand? You are in a market where everyone can but a movie camera and s35 optics, your exclusivity in producing theses specific images is long gone, so don't rely on it for attracting clients, it's not going to work. So your only option to keep a video business in this saturated market it to offer the other aspect, which is talent, ideas, and experience in using the equipment. That's how you should market yourself now, market how talented and experienced you are and how you can do things consumers can't do with lighting, motion, framing, stories, ideas, etc. That's how you attract clients now, and it will be so even more so with the improvement of technology. Keep that in mind.

If you still want to attract clients with the equipment card, then work in the high-end field and offer gear that consumers can't afford. Own a C300 or a Red or an Alexa/Amiraz or an F5/F55, market them as exclusive to your business and that they produce images not possible with other consumer cameras, and you will get many clients based on that. So in a way it still works for a degree. That degree will keep vanishing until it's eliminated when consumer devices match the images of these expensive ones and clients realise that fact, it's almost happened already but not quite still. So for now in the next couple of years you can still use that as a short-term business model. So don't count on having an expensive camreras as a business model for the long term, and definitely don't count on consumers not getting the information because they will get it everywhere by others who make money giving the information and more from those who are willing to help for respect and satisfaction, so hiding secrets is definitely a lost cause to persue, as I said earlier, start marketing your experience,

That's my personal advice and how I read the situation is realisticly at. Re-act accordingly if you want commercial success.

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In another topic about Canon's succes but failing to innovate, I wrote this post. I think it deserves it's own discussion. And it was pretty off-topic anyway.
--------------------------------
 
Most people don't spend days and days on the internet and websites like EosHD to compare specs and numbers. They go crazy even thinking about it.

 
Maybe not on EosHD but they do on EOSHD.
 

They go to the nearest camera shop, ask for advice and try something out. Of course the seller says 'here is the Canon 7D, a great camera which we sell all the time'. The customer holds it (feels great!), trusts the brand and the seller, and walks out with the camera. Maybe he looks online for the best possible deal and have it send to him, but he's buying a 7D nonetheless.

 

Who are "They"? It's such a gross simplification you're trying to pass off as a relevant argument. The audience at EOSHD is mostly advanced amateur and pro. Enthusiasts with high knowledge and those looking to increase that knowledge. The advanced amateur filmmakers I know from my 4 years of running EOSHD just don't do what you're describing. They read reviews first and research the options. They choose the right tool for the job and one that matches their existing lenses. And nobody with high knowledge spending $3000 on a camera simply walks into a shop and blindly buys what the sales assistant recommends. You're talking about a specific type of customer with LOW knowledge who doesn't have a clue and doesn't really know the options inside out like we do... they don't know that Samsung currently have a better APS-C sensor and that Sony currently have better image quality. A Canon 60D is enough for them and it's cheaper, and it feels familiar ergonomically in the 10 seconds they have to try the cameras in the shop, so they buy it. This is the person you're describing and it's completely irrelevant to the topic you're applying it to.

 

Actually many of the general consumers are buying Sony at the moment especially the younger demographics, as they have always used LCDs to compose an image, and the optical viewfinder seems unnatural to them.

 

And that is why Canon is still market leader, and will be for a while. Why do big film studios sometimes use a 5D or a 7D, but never a Panasonic? Because they feel like a toy, have no reputation, different color science, etc.

 

Big film studios have used a Panasonic. There have been major box office hits shot on the GH2. As for colour science, Panasonic VariCam - I say no more.

The big accessory companies in the US like Zacuto and the smaller more specialist ones like Hot Rod Cameras are big Panasonic supporters and these guys are as much a part of the big film studio food chain as top directors and DPs. Their stuff is used all the time in major film and TV productions. If pros never used Panasonic Micro Four Thirds, Hot Rod wouldn't be doing PL adapters for them.

 

Canon is still the brand to get for everone who is not a nerd like us and spends much of their time on comparing camera's and specs. And the same goes for computers, TV's, car's, etc. People just want to buy something which feels good in the hand, looks good, has a good reputation and is recommended by others / sellers. And that is why people still buy overpriced iMacs, 5D's, Samsung TV's with digital sharpening and 200 hz modes, etc.

 

So what? I'm not talking about that market! I'm talking about the high knowledge enthusiast crowd which is where Canon are failing right now.

 

And this crowd contains a lot of "influencers". The herd follow the shepherd eventually.

 

For the record iMacs are not overpriced. 5K screen for a start. Samsung TVs are not overpriced. They have a full range of models right down to bargain prices and the price / performance ratio is excellent on almost all of them.

 

.......

Of course I am exaggerating, but I really believe we should all shut up and keep our secrets.

I have learned a lot from the online community and I have given lots of knowledge back in the past, but I am not doing it anymore.

 

Well that's a great attitude.

 

Says it all really  :rolleyes:

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The reality is - tutorials and web videos can only teach you so much. Unless you have professional experience, understanding, and in most cases mentoring from professionals who are better than you - you're generally not going to get too far.

 

Yes, I absolutely agree. But what lectures on the web can tell you is that everything has become affordable, that Coppola chose a tiny GH2 over Epic and Alexa, that formerly unattainable software is free (Resolve, Fusion), that you can shoot under almost every condition, that - more than a decade ago already - people made 'killer action movies on the cheap' (Maschwitz' book DV Rebel). Who really feels so inapt as he/she isn't up to a stupid >wedding ???

 

I think that was what Stab was trying to say. And he is right. But this is no new development. Betacam won a dumping war in broadcast, industrial films and other areas (against 16 mm film or Highband), and that started end of the eighties. In the sixties, the lightweight Arriflex made guerilla filmmaking possible. And so forth. 

 

I have to disagree strongly... Stop sharing? If you learned from the internet and now are at a place where you can contribute back then you should.

 

From the internet, you can only learn very specific things. It can't offer you an entry to something as complicated and many-sided as filmmaking.

 

 

Learn to light thats the key to it all.

 

And lighting is the most practical task there is. Besides the facts of physics, there is very little you can grasp in theory.

 

What about sound?

 

Sure, it has become cheaper too since the stone age  ;)

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You must have very low confidence in your own ability to come out with this stuff.

My clients don't come to me because of my secret tools. They come to me because I put much emphasis into the ideas and for my very stylised, visual style. They come to me for MY vision and how I apply that vision. My tool selection is just an ingredient of that vision.

People who work with me share information, talk to each other, borrow stuff, debate, exchange skills, ask for advice - because we are collaborators who have strengths and weaknesses, and we help each other to make better stuff. This is simple, basic networking - you never know who you will need in future!

I have no issues writing a blog post telling the whole wide world of amateurs and professionals about my entire music video production structure - from style to logistics. I'll be happy sharing because they will never have the same vision as me, and most importantly they may have something to share too which I can learn from and apply.

The secret sauce is your very self. Your ideas, your style, your personality, your skill, your results - it is this that clients buy. Have confidence in this and what everyone else is doing doesn't matter.

If nobody shared, nobody cared ;)

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I will say - the 'SLR Revolution' and affordable gear has driven prices down. Clients come to you with budgets 1/10th what they used to be and expect work that's on the same level.
 
Commercials that used to be budgeted at a quarter of a million dollars or more are now expected to be done for $10k.
 
Some of the gear is cheaper, sure - but talent still comes at a cost. My Gaffer's day rate didn't change when the SLRs came out with video. Neither did my ACs.
 
If there's a way that the cheap affordable gear is hurting, it's in the budgets that are now so small, and the clients who expect so much for their budget.
 
But, it's mostly just different. I still make a nice living, as do many others I work with.
 

The big accessory companies in the US like Zacuto and the smaller more specialist ones like Hot Rod Cameras are big Panasonic supporters and these guys are as much a part of the big film studio food chain as top directors and DPs. Their stuff is used all the time in major film and TV productions. If pros never used Panasonic Micro Four Thirds, Hot Rod wouldn't be doing PL adapters for them.

Er.. maybe HotRod. But Zacuto make gear very much aimed at the enthusiast/semi-pro (despite how ridiculously overpriced it is).
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