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Great cinematography with low budget equipment


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#1 Andrew Perry

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 05:01 PM

Hey guys - new to the forum so thought I'd say hello!

I'm currently writing a script for a short film, and going to be starting the storyboard soon and got me thinking about angles and cinematography. I don't, like many people, have the funds or access to expensive/high end equipment (I'm gonna research funding and see what my options are) and became intrigued at the idea that - if correct cinematography is applied, surely the overall effect would be the same even when using budget cameras?

Of course the "look" and "feel" would differ from better to worse equipment, and much can be achieved in Post, but if the same principals are applied then it would still look 100 times better than if not. Right?

Anyway, just a thought I was having.
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#2 Vincent Sweeney

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 07:37 PM

Wrong on the "Post" comment. Not a lot can be solved in post other than tweaking color and contrast intensities. Best to get with your DP (find one soon) and discuss what you want in the end.
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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 07:40 PM

Although actually the idea isn't wrong.

Give a brilliant DP a crappy camera, he'll make it look like a movie. A soft, clippy movie, maybe, but a movie.

Give a nobody a Panaflex, on the other hand...
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 08:02 PM

It's not an either/or scenario... it's not that gear matters the most ultimately, but it's also not that it doesn't matter, the truth is in-between.

A good DP can do wonders with mediocre equipment and knows how to misdirect the eye away from some of the technical limitations, but they are still there, and if you are ever rushed, the weaknesses of the technology can come through when you make a mistake (and everyone makes mistakes, even good DP's.)

But yes, there are other factors than the camera that contribute to the feeling of a cinematic and professional-looking project.
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#5 Andrew Perry

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 04:31 AM

Although actually the idea isn't wrong.

Give a brilliant DP a crappy camera, he'll make it look like a movie. A soft, clippy movie, maybe, but a movie.

Give a nobody a Panaflex, on the other hand...


Exactly. It's like a bad sound design - a great looking film can be ruined by bad audio. I find good use of depth of field helps exponentially (Alex Roman's - The Third & The Seventh for example) but never looks perfect in Post.

@ Vincent Sweeney - yeah that's what I meant. at least in Post you can mess with colours, and add some things later, but it won't change a crappy angle.
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#6 Robert Costello

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 10:45 AM

Dont let anyone dissuade you.

I became intrigued by a similar idea a few years ago. Without money for motion picture film, all I had available was a Canon SD780.

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#7 Andrew Perry

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 05:55 AM

Awesome! Yeah I have couple of older camcorders and thinking of using one of them on a project.
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#8 Matt Stevens

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 06:16 PM

Mice. I love that look. For a short film, B&W is a big time option. For a feature, not really anymore. But a short... You betcha. Low resolution? No problem. Just light it properly.
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#9 Paul Brenno

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 10:40 AM

A good mature/talented DP can make " hamburgers into filet mignon " if given substandard equipment....if you have VHS camera and home-made lighting, you can still shoot a great movie, esp with a good cast and story....plus ALOT of time and patience
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Tai Audio

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Technodolly

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

Opal

Willys Widgets

Visual Products

CineTape

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS