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Filming a documentary


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#1 Bmorgan

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 10:38 AM

Hi, I'm a new filmmaker and I know literally *NOTHING* about filmmaking. That said, I want to film a documentary shortly.

I have some questions.

1) What type of camcorder is best for under around $2000? I need a camera that is going to do well under low light conditions as well as outdoor conditions. Something small-ish as well... (to be honest, I'm thinking of just going to Circuit City, buying the camcorder on credit, and then returning it within 30 days, thanks to their generous return policy)...

2) How do I edit the film I shoot? What types of programs out there exist for my purposes? Are there programs out there I can learn how to use very easily?

3) Anything else I should know about filming a documentary?

I really am clueless, so I appreciate your help with this.
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#2 Evan Luchkow

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 09:43 PM

i would advise you to go buy some books or take a class about documentary filmmaking....you dont seem to know a whole lot about video editing etc. and before you just go and spend a whole bunch of money, maybe you should take the time to learn how to make a decent documentary....somehow i cant see someone making an interesting doc in less than 30 days, but you maye very well prove me wrong.

to answer your questions:

1)you can get panasonic ag dvx100b for less than $2000...if you need to BUY your camera, maybe look at the some higher quality 3 ccd cameras, or maybe an HDV camera...i doubt you can get a dvx100 at circuit city...you proably have to go to a photography shop or a pro video shop or something....if you only need it for a short amount of time i suggest you perhaps rent it.

2)you edit your VIDEO by connecting your camera to your computer with a firewire cable and capture the footage to the computer....you can use any kind of program...iMovie or windows movie maker are standard on most computers these days. they arent too hard to use, but they arent the most professional programs available. more professional programs would be (for apple) Final Cut, and Adobe Premiere.. there are others, but i am not very familiar with them.

3) if you know nothing about filmmaking, i dont suggest you jump into making a documentary with no knowledge of film....make some short docs, and read some books and watch a bunch of docs and pay attention to how they are structures, and how they are shot.
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#3 MILLONPHOTO

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 09:58 PM

Don't worry you can do it. all you really need is a camera any camera will do. the heart and soul of a doc is the subject it's the content that's most important. any editing program like VEGAS, PREMIRE or what ever you can find will do. the key is in the doing not the not doing . the award winning doc of the past didn't have one tenth the amout of gear you have available today just shoot the dame thing and get it in the can. find a really interesting subject that informs, educates and entertains thats' all B)
i would advise you to go buy some books or take a class about documentary filmmaking....you dont seem to know a whole lot about video editing etc. and before you just go and spend a whole bunch of money, maybe you should take the time to learn how to make a decent documentary....somehow i cant see someone making an interesting doc in less than 30 days, but you maye very well prove me wrong.

to answer your questions:

1)you can get panasonic ag dvx100b for less than $2000...if you need to BUY your camera, maybe look at the some higher quality 3 ccd cameras, or maybe an HDV camera...i doubt you can get a dvx100 at circuit city...you proably have to go to a photography shop or a pro video shop or something....if you only need it for a short amount of time i suggest you perhaps rent it.

2)you edit your VIDEO by connecting your camera to your computer with a firewire cable and capture the footage to the computer....you can use any kind of program...iMovie or windows movie maker are standard on most computers these days. they arent too hard to use, but they arent the most professional programs available. more professional programs would be (for apple) Final Cut, and Adobe Premiere.. there are others, but i am not very familiar with them.

3) if you know nothing about filmmaking, i dont suggest you jump into making a documentary with no knowledge of film....make some short docs, and read some books and watch a bunch of docs and pay attention to how they are structures, and how they are shot.

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#4 Chien Huey

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 03:30 AM

1)you can get panasonic ag dvx100b for less than $2000...if you need to BUY your camera, maybe look at the some higher quality 3 ccd cameras, or maybe an HDV camera...i doubt you can get a dvx100 at circuit city...you proably have to go to a photography shop or a pro video shop or something....if you only need it for a short amount of time i suggest you perhaps rent it.


Where can you get a DVX100B for less than $2000? The cheapest I've seen it for is about $3000 new. And since the new 100B model is less than a year old I doubt there's a huge used market out there.
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#5 Robert Hughes

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 02:47 PM

Hi, I'm a new filmmaker and I know literally *NOTHING* about filmmaking....

Welcome to the club, dude. Everybody starts somewhere.

(to be honest, I'm thinking of just going to Circuit City, buying the camcorder on credit, and then returning it within 30 days, thanks to their generous return policy)...

I think you have your terms confused. That is considered dishonest.

Seriously, if you're thinking about starting a career, any career, you'll be better off in the long run by pursuing honesty. It's better for your reputation and allows you a better night's sleep, and you'll be less likely to become a sucker to people who are really dishonest and smarter than you about hiding it. Occasionally you must cut corners temporarily to get by, but people who make it a habit often feel like they're getting a raw deal when the piper demands payment.

Edited by Robert Hughes, 03 February 2006 - 02:51 PM.

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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Glidecam

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Broadcast Solutions Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Technodolly

The Slider

Tai Audio

Wooden Camera

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

Metropolis Post