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New to the world of films


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#1 Salah Yousef

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 03:26 AM

Hello everyone. This is my first post in this forum and I have a couple of questions that I get answers for.

 

I am a Kuwaiti student at a vocational college in Kuwait majoring in electronics and communications. I have no experience in films or cameras at all. I never ever held a video or photographic camera before but would really like to. Which video camera do you recommend me to buy for a first timer ? Also, there are no good film schools here in Kuwait unfortunately. I plan on experiencing with video camera and shooting short films and gain experience till I finish college, then role in a good American film school. 


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#2 aapo lettinen

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 06:26 AM

dslr with good video capabilities is usually the best choice for low budget narratives, experimental films etc. and you can also take photos with it, gaining experience in both filmmaking and photography. 

For documentaries, home videos etc. however, it is usually more practical to use real video camera for better usability and speed. 

 

If you're choosing the dslr route, you really should invest also on lenses and accessories. Some basic package consisting of, say, a t3i or similar camera with one good quality, generic zoom lens and two or three basic primes ( maybe a 50mmF1.8 and one or two old manual lenses for practicing) could be a good start. Also remember to buy a tripod with good video head and external microphone for sound recording)

 

I really recommend to start with short documentaries and do the narratives later... exploring real life stories before making your own makes you a better filmmaker


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#3 Salah Yousef

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 07:32 AM

What about super 8 cameras ? Are they good for a beginner ?


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#4 aapo lettinen

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 08:38 AM

What about super 8 cameras ? Are they good for a beginner ?

Super 8 -cameras are excellent for a beginner. 

 

However, you have to shoot  A LOT of material when gaining experience in visual storytelling, video is much better in that aspect (not limiting your shooting to a couple of minutes of material per week) 

 

If you're interested in film workflow and aesthetics, I'd recommend buying both cameras. With film, you learn to choose your images more carefully and plan them beforehand, thus shooting more efficiently and quicker with also video cameras.


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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 10:04 AM

I'm not sure how well you'd be able to deal with film development and scanning in the middle east, least of all for S8mm.

I may be a little bit insane here, but what I would think about doing would be maybe grabbing a black magic camera, to learn RAW, or a 5DMKIII which is a very nice stills camera and impressed me a bit while shooting with it recently for video. But, I would also look into getting a 35mm motion picture camera-- perhaps something like a old used Arri IIC or a Konvas 2M. They are all MOS cameras, very loud and old, but you could use it just to shoot special things requiring the high quaity of motion picture film. They wouldn't ever make money; but they would teach you a lot about forming the image in your mind before you make your exposures.Though, you could learn the same on a stills camera just sans having the frame "move."


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#6 aapo lettinen

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 03:57 PM

5Dmk3 could indeed be ideal for learning, and can also shoot raw with firmware hack if needed.

16mm Kinor, Bolex, Krasnogorsk or Arri could be used for film experiments and learning (good image quality + less expensive than 35mm)

 

If interested in Cinematography specifically, I would buy a dslr or Blackmagic camera with very good optics and accessories, and also some small light kit (basic small fresnel kit + stands, flags, reflectors, etc.)


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#7 Salah Yousef

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 08:20 AM

Alright thank's guys. I will buy both a Super 8 and a DSLR camera with a tripod.

If I have the money to buy a blackmagic camera for cinematography I will buy it too and learn by reading books. Currently am reading filmmaking for dummies which is great for a beginner. What do you guys think ?

I will also read screenwriters bible 5th edition later. Since I have no experience in writing stories. Last but not least, I will read screenplays for my favorite movie directors like Stanley Kubrick and Chris Nolan. :D


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#8 Salah Yousef

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 08:26 AM

Holy hell those black magic cameras are expensive http://www.blackmagi...macamera/models

 

My budget is 700 USD. What do you guys recommend ?


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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 08:57 AM

Some sort of DSLR. What's the current hundred-series Canon?


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#10 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 08:58 AM

Yep, used canon dSLR and kit zoom.

Believe it  or not, the black magic cameras are cheap compared to other makes.


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#11 aapo lettinen

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:00 AM

Holy hell those black magic cameras are expensive http://www.blackmagi...macamera/models

 

My budget is 700 USD. What do you guys recommend ?

you can get a new or used t2i or t3i with kit lens, but that's pretty much about it.  

 

Video camera is not that much cheaper, you need usually at least 10x optical zoom and manual adjustments even when using consumer cameras.

 

Usable tripod with head is at least 300 usd more, but you really really need it from the very beginning so it could be considered mandatory.

 

 

I'd recommend investing at least 1000 - 1500usd for a very basic package if you really want to learn something with it. 

Good package with for example 5Dmark3 and lenses plus accessories is at least something like 5000 usd


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#12 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 09:05 AM

Don't forget batteries, cards, ect.


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#13 Salah Yousef

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 11:10 PM

What's a decent price for a super 8mm camera ?


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#14 Salah Yousef

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 11:58 PM

The only option I have left is to wait and be patient, save more money then buy a good quality camera with accessories for 1000-2000 USD.


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#15 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 08:30 AM

I wouldn't recommend you buy Super8 as your first camera. It costs a lot to keep buying film, and the last thing you need is any reason not to shoot with it.

 

Buy something - buy anything - and get used to it. Shoot a lot. Then you'll have a better idea what you want. Until you've done that, nobody can tell you what the best option is.

 

P


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#16 Salah Yousef

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 08:07 PM

Alright. Thank's Phil. I will save money and get me a DSLR camera with tripod and an external microphone.


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#17 Salah Yousef

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 10:51 PM

Guys, could you recommend me accessories for the DSLR that am buying please ? 


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#18 Salah Yousef

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 09:27 AM

Guys should I get a T3i, T4i or T5i ?

 

http://snapsort.com/...5i-vs-Canon-T3i

 

 

http://snapsort.com/...4i-vs-Canon-T3i

 


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#19 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 09:31 AM

I think all you can do is consider the sort of things that you are likely to shoot, and compare the specifications. I'm sure any of the video DSLRs would be fine as a camera to start out with, but at some point the fine detail is something you have to decide on yourself.

 

P


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#20 Daniel Schulz

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 12:01 PM

Salah, you remind me on myself a year ago. With the slight difference, that I never asked anywhere for help but simply went in the internet, googled for "video DLSR" and read and read and read. I opened one link, read it and got offered 5 more. And read them and so on. Half of my time I spent on amazon. Not to buy stuff, but to read what the people say about the product. That was so helpful. One thing I learned is, that if you want to make it in this industry, you really have to go for it and put all your effort in it. Part of that is not to ask "what should I buy" but to go on the internet and inform yourself as much and deep as possible and then make your own choices. Of course it's good to get help but if you are not able to get to know all the accesiour that is out there by your own, then I doubt you will make it anywhere.

 

Search on youtube for the channel "VnadV". "South - A Short Film" is what I did when I had no idea how a DSLR works. It's bad, I know. "East - A Short Film" is what I did a few months later when I had at least some knowledge and "Stutong Park" was a little project I did a few weeks ago in morning spontainiously with my girlfriend. I did a lot more projects for other people and organisations. So far I haven't earned a cent but it was worth the experience.

 

I'll tell you what I bought but like I said before: Go, and get as much knowledge as you can by yourself. Read about the different lenses. What they can, what problems they have and so on.

I bought:

Canon Rebel T3i

Canon 50mm, f 1,8 II

Canon 18-135mm f3,5-5,6 IS STM

Camerastrip

Lens bags

Tiffen variable ND-Filter 77mm (+Step up Rings)

Rode VideoMicPro

Cheap but big (and not at all fluid) Tripod (will be replaced by a manfrotto soon)

 

I bought it in the order I wrote it down. I borrow tripods before I finally got my own. All together I spend around 1500 USD.

But some of the stuff I bought in Hong Kong, were it is much cheaper.

If you really can not effort all this, choose the kit lens instad of the 18-135. You anyway don't really need more then 55mm for filming, because it's a crop camera. If you still have to save more then wait with the microphone. You can use the build in. The video quality won't be as good but it won't hinder you from learning. Of course you also dont need to have Camerastrip and lens bags but it makes it much more convinient.

 

Sorry for grammar mistakes, I'm a German.


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