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Help regarding style of cinematography


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#1 Claire Watkinson

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 10:24 AM

Hello, I am new to this forum. I am a Uni student at Manchester and currently undergoing a personal film. I have decided to go back to where I used to live when I was younger, see how it has changed and have a voice over over the images, with images also. However, my weakest point for film making is the cinematography and I am really stuck on what way I could film my documentary styled film? Shall I be in it or shall I record the locations without me in it, also my Dad will be with me as he is driving me there.
Any tips on how I should use the camera to full advantage would be much needed.
Thanks
Claire
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#2 George Simpson

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 03:33 PM

I would make sure that the majority of the film was done handheld. And then if you are doing interviews place the camera on a tripod. But it also depends on what sort of documentary you are doing? Fancy telling us a bit more about your idea.....
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#3 Claire Watkinson

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 04:37 AM

I would make sure that the majority of the film was done handheld. And then if you are doing interviews place the camera on a tripod. But it also depends on what sort of documentary you are doing? Fancy telling us a bit more about your idea.....


Hey, thanks for reply, I've been thinking more about my idea and realised it had know substance.
However, I really want my film to look good cinematography wise, such as I think I'm still going to be doing interviews any help in ideas how to shoot it?
Thanks
Claire
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#4 Marcus Phipps

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 01:52 AM

Claire,
I am a newbie here as well. Nothing wrong with it. However, it will serve much better to put yourself on the receiving end of your questions. Post them in bullet points such as :

1) I am shooting with a Canon XL-1 camera.
2) I am shooting in daylight and mainly indoors / controlled shoots. Or, mainly outdoors / uncontrolled lighting.
3) I am preferring a commentary versus a documentary, what is everyone's input on putting this story together?
4) Do I need clearance from the schools and businesses that I document?
5) My end result is video distributed for city documentary free download. Or I plan to sell direct to DVD. Etc.

I hope this helps
. It should help answer the specific questions you have in your head. There are allot of helpful people out here. But no one is at the same place the other person is. Thus, bullet pointing where you are and what you need should certainly land you better results. If you are selling the end result video, just be sure you have the necessary paperwork taken care of. I think if it's a free video, then it will result in less restrictions. Someone can likely elaborate more on this. I might suggest downloading a DP Template - or checklist.


Most Respectfully,
Acastle
;)
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#5 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 03:11 AM

A Castle, please go to My Controls above and change your user name to your real name, full first and last. Those are the rules on this forum. Thank you.

Claire, this sounds like a potentially interesting project. I would recommend that you start by figuring out what ideas or emotions you want to evoke in your film - this will help you determine what structure and visual style will be appropriate. For example, how do you perceive that your old neighborhood has changed since you left? Do you have warm nostalgic memories of how it was, and now see it as a cold empty shell of its former self? Or do you remember it as a hard tough place to grow up in, and now see that it has blossomed into a verdant garden? Or is it still the same after all these years, it's people eternally unchanging?

In the first instance, I would probably try to shoot the neighborhood in a cold sterile way - static tripod shots on a wide angle lens, symmetrically composed framing, bluish desaturated color tone. Voice over. Cutting between these shots and old family photos (B&W? faded color prints?) from a happier time. In the second instance, I'd probably do the opposite and go for a fully color-saturated, telephoto lens look with lots of motion in the frame. Add some pans and tilts to add life to the frame. In the third instance, with the focus more on the people I would shoot static portraits of the neighborhood characters over music and maybe voice over from their interviews, intercutting those with lots of old stills, film clips, scans of newspaper clippings, etc.

Anyway, there are many ways to make documentaries. You could follow a character (maybe your Dad?) around with the camera and let him introduce the audience to the location. You could appear yourself in the documentary, making the camera a character and putting the audience into a first person perspective. You could even shoot silent poetic images and cut a montage together for a more abstract film. There is no wrong way. You just need to figure out what you want to say, then figure out a way to say it.
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#6 Marcus Phipps

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 03:14 AM

Hey, thanks for reply, I've been thinking more about my idea and realised it had know substance.
However, I really want my film to look good cinematography wise, such as I think I'm still going to be doing interviews any help in ideas how to shoot it?
Thanks
Claire


Done.
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#7 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 03:46 AM

Done.

Thanks Marcus.
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

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Broadcast Solutions Inc

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

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