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Which format to practice with to be prepared


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#1 Bhavin Amin

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 04:40 PM

I've been reading books for both, digital and regular cinematography but I'm not sure which format I should be practicing with. I want to invest in a camera for the upcoming summer, however, I'm on a tight budget.

Other than that - which medium do you think will pay off practicing with in order to become more familiar with cinematography? What do you think production companies and grad schools will look for - experience with 3CCD video/HD or 8mm/16mm films? Which provides the better payoffs?

Personally, I know working with video is cheaper - but also easier to work with and it seems alot of people can pick it up more easily than film cinematography. With the challenge and rewarding experience film cinematography gives you, it also costs more with processing and transfers. So which more cost efficient? What will the medium be for making movies in the next 3 or 4 years? What will grad schools or production companies look for, experience in film or video?

Keep in mind I am looking to enter the movie making industry - not TV broadcasting.

If the experts on these boards can offer advice and/or share how they became who they are - I'd appreciate it!
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#2 Kevin Masuda

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 10:16 PM

Practice with both film and video. Maybe try some super 8, a lot cheaper than 16mm. As far as what camera to invest in, it all depends on how much you're willing to spend. What's your budget like for a camera? Two cameras out there that you might want to look at: DVX-100B or the new Sony HVR-V1U(which is an HDV 24p capable camera).


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#3 Bhavin Amin

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 01:01 AM

College student budget, the extreme is $1000. But I figure, if I get a decent 24p camera (3k, 4k range) I'd be spending the same amount of money buying a decent 16mm camera + film stock price + processing fee.

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Sucks that we're in the transition phase from film to video. I don't even think there are that many places I can send Super 8 film to without covering a shipping fee too.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 01:26 AM

I like Super-8 as a learning tool -- you don't necessarily have to transfer it to video; projecting the original (if reversal) can teach you a lot.

But if you're going to mainly work in 24P video, which is also a good way to learn, I'd at least take up 35mm still photography, and even more ideally, maybe shoot b&w so you can spend some time in a darkroom developing and making prints. You'll learn a lot about the basics of exposure, density, printing, etc.
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#5 Bhavin Amin

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 01:59 AM

Well, it's not like I'm completely new to the scene. I've developed 35mm still photographs since high school and shot a 20 min short using the DVX-100a just last year. I've recently worked with super8 and completed my first 16mm using a Bolex H16 Reflex camera.

Maybe it will clear up if I say what I want to use the camera for - eventually to make a reel to show grad schools. However, I'd like to test the effects gels, scrims, filters, etc have on the lit subject and try various lighting schemes.

Using the film medium seemed very costly, I spent at least 200+ dollars per film after buying stock, shipping, and processing. May not seem like much in the film world, but from the perspective of a student - it's a buttload.

Initially I felt going digital was the ideal and cost-effective way to test these schemes. I was just wondering if anyone had objections to this or had an opinion on which medium gives more useful experience in the long run.

As of now, I'm leaning towards getting a 24p camera - and the DVX100b sure seems friendly.
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#6 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 02:05 AM

Sounds like you do have a fair amount of experiences in all these areas. Good luck with your 24p camera purchase!

Edited by Patrick Cooper, 18 January 2007 - 02:10 AM.

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#7 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 03:33 AM

Film...video...whichever. If you're able to make either look good than you're getting the practice you need.

Never hurts to work in both formats. You can shoot as much video as you want and practice lighting for the performance. Since you're on a very tight budget, you may also want to consider doing a lot of still photography to get your celluloid basics down.
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