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Complete newbie wants to film


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#1 Rishi Jha

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 04:09 PM

Hello everyone.
I just registered on this website because I have a rather embarrassing query. I am a student from India currently in Canada studying the art of writing films, ie Script-writing.
I have zero technical knowledge but I harbor a desire to make my own film one day.
If I can make a film like Tarkovsky's Solaris or Ridley Scott's Alien, I would die a happy man.

It is currently snowing heavily in Ottawa and the atmosphere is ethereal. To make things worse I chanced upon the trailer for Mallick's Tree of Life. I want to make something right now ! It does not have to be a proper short even, just a few shots in HD of things I consider artistic like snow capped trees or a frozen pond next to my house.

I borrowed a Sony digicam and a tripod from my college and shot a few scenes which looked amateurish. I have been wanting to upgrade to a HD camcorder for sometime, since the price is at an all time low but I am confused about the choices. Budget is also an issue and I do not want to spend more than 250 CAD $.

One more thing- I am illiterate as far the technical jargon goes therefore I usually look for cameras which are compact and basic-point and shoot.

Let me put it this way....Would this Kodak camcorder suffice if I wish to create the feel I saw in The Tree of life trailer(or Tarkovsky's Solaris) ?
Tree of life trailer(check the tree scene at 0.19-0.21)



and this is the camera:


http://www.amazon.ca...k/dp/B002HOPUPC

Thanks a ton.
Rishi

Edited by Rishi Jha, 08 January 2011 - 04:11 PM.

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#2 Anton Papich

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 05:46 PM

Short and simple answer to you is - no. No, you cannot make anything like that, because it is made on film, and last thing with which you can achieve that look is that hand held crap from Kodak.
I totally understand you, because I like also works from Kubrick, Tarkovski and Malick, but I'm just realistic.
You can maybe get something similiar with some very expensive HD camera, but not that look.
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#3 Richard Boddington

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 07:02 PM

Um, don't forget the rather small point that you are talking about works from top industry professionals with years of experience and training. No matter what piece of gear you get your hands on you will not be creating Mallick or Scott like imagery for a very very long long time. If ever.

R,
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#4 Stephen Floyd

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 08:47 PM

It is easy to see environments like that and itch and contrive to exploit them, when you can't. Don't sweat it, since there will always be another tantalizing environment to find you again. What you are describing, however, sounds pretty slick and you should shoot it with whatever you have on hand.

I would make something like this scene from Sword of Doom.
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 09:12 AM

Sadly, as mentioned, you'll need a lot more than a camera (and a lot better of a camera) to get something that you're after. It's not impossible and I do think you should be TRYING, but I'd recommend buying yourself a Stills camera, which shoots on film, and has interchangeable lenses, and shoot film. I know it's more expensive, and that's the exact point, you'll need to think about each thing you shoot, think about your exposures, and think about your compositions. And you won't be able to just shoot everything willy nilly.
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#6 Anton Papich

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 10:47 AM

Sadly, as mentioned, you'll need a lot more than a camera (and a lot better of a camera) to get something that you're after. It's not impossible and I do think you should be TRYING, but I'd recommend buying yourself a Stills camera, which shoots on film, and has interchangeable lenses, and shoot film. I know it's more expensive, and that's the exact point, you'll need to think about each thing you shoot, think about your exposures, and think about your compositions. And you won't be able to just shoot everything willy nilly.


Good advice I must say.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 12:06 PM

If he's learning to be a director, not a cinematographer, then the medium matters less than his ability to control it with lenses, composition, movement, etc. The problem with a pocket HD camera isn't that it is digital, it's that it's not designed to allow you to play with focal length, exposure, color temp, etc. very easily.

Personally, I think he can practice on a digital still camera that shoots video, particularly one with interchangeable lenses.
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#8 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 01:16 PM

Hello everyone.
I just registered on this website because I have a rather embarrassing query. I am a student from India currently in Canada studying the art of writing films, ie Script-writing.
I have zero technical knowledge but I harbor a desire to make my own film one day.
If I can make a film like Tarkovsky's Solaris or Ridley Scott's Alien, I would die a happy man.

It is currently snowing heavily in Ottawa and the atmosphere is ethereal. To make things worse I chanced upon the trailer for Mallick's Tree of Life. I want to make something right now ! It does not have to be a proper short even, just a few shots in HD of things I consider artistic like snow capped trees or a frozen pond next to my house.

I borrowed a Sony digicam and a tripod from my college and shot a few scenes which looked amateurish. I have been wanting to upgrade to a HD camcorder for sometime, since the price is at an all time low but I am confused about the choices. Budget is also an issue and I do not want to spend more than 250 CAD $.

One more thing- I am illiterate as far the technical jargon goes therefore I usually look for cameras which are compact and basic-point and shoot.

Let me put it this way....Would this Kodak camcorder suffice if I wish to create the feel I saw in The Tree of life trailer(or Tarkovsky's Solaris) ?
Tree of life trailer(check the tree scene at 0.19-0.21)



Let me stop you at the camera part.

You say that you want to make movies and are studying script writing. Then why on earth would you want to know how to become a Cameraman and buy a camera? That is the conceit of years of "filmschools" pushing the idea that a "filmmaker" should OWN a camera is silly.

I really think you should take a look at this site: www.wordplayer.com

Figure out what it is you PRECISELY wish to do in the industry (ie Screenwriter, Director, Cameraman, Editor, etc) and concentrate on that. Read through all of the articles in www.wordplayer.com and if Screenwriting IS what you wish to do, move on to other great books like:

http://www.amazon.co...94596924&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.co...94596937&sr=1-1


I'd also like to recommend these other two books as well which may help you in determining what you really want to do:

http://www.amazon.co...94596990&sr=8-2

http://www.amazon.co...94597002&sr=1-1





and this is the camera:


http://www.amazon.ca...k/dp/B002HOPUPC

Thanks a ton.
Rishi


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#9 Rishi Jha

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 08:05 PM

Hello there,
Thankfully I am not completely clueless. Its my dream to make films-direct my own film of my vision someday, but as of now I would rather write screenplays and try to find a place.
My friend is really rich and currently he is at NYFA in LOS ANGELES for the one year film makin program. The cost ?
19000 dollars per semester ! and this is only tuition. Living expenses are extra(which would be high in a city like LA)
I cannot afford nor ask my father to loan me 60,000 dollars so that I can pursue my vision.
He gets to shoot with RED and film even but the price is way too high.
Other film schools are also similar(Vancouver film school charges 34,000 dollars for scriptwriting) so I rather pursue a course in a normal college.

To think of it you don't even need to attend college to learn scriptwriting. I have learnt more from the books of Syd field than in my classroom but I gave it a try.
To succeed in this field, I would say you need to have contacts and this is where my friend is way better off in LA(or NYC,Toronto,Vancouver) and I am way off in a dead film town.

So basically what I meant to say was- Yes, It is my dream but I would rather write and make contacts and try to make a name for myself in this department, and then I would earn my rights to shoot a film of my own.

PS- The Brian Dzyak book looks very informative and fascinating. Thanks for the recommendation

Edited by Rishi Jha, 09 January 2011 - 08:07 PM.

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Opal

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Visual Products

Metropolis Post

Tai Audio

CineLab

Paralinx LLC

Glidecam

The Slider

Willys Widgets

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CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

FJS International, LLC

Technodolly

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

Ritter Battery