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Novice To HD?


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#1 alexandroff

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 04:02 PM

Hello everyone. I'm very new to HD & cinematography overall but looking to start with HD since that's where it's all going...

can anybody recommend a decent & simple resources where to learn basics?
(e.g. things like 720, 1080i, what do all of those formats mean and so on).

anything related to this topic explained in an easy-to-ready approach.


thank you.
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#2 drew_town

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 05:12 PM

"Digital Moviemaking" by Scott Billups is a useful book. It's full of hands on suggestions about digital filmmaking. It is rather one sided and unrelenting, though.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 May 2005 - 11:43 PM

You're new to cinematography and want to "start" with HD???

Well, I guess with the new consumer HD cameras coming out, that's possible but you could learn the same lessons with a consumer DV camera.
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#4 Rik Andino

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 01:52 PM

If your title is correct--you're a Director...or are aspiring to be one.
Why then do you want to learn cinematography particularly HD...?

You can learn some of the basic to help you out, but if you really want to Direct...
Study directing.
You'll have your hands full with that already...
I mean learning how to compose shots, direct actors, tell a story...
Man that's hard work--->and then try being good at all of them! :o

Anyways I recommend to start out with DV because HD is video and DV is video
And all video formats function on the same principles just different resolutions.
Once you understand DV you can easily move up to HD.


Good Luck
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#5 alexandroff

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 11:03 AM

Thanks everyone.
>>If your title is correct--you're a Director...or are aspiring to be one.
>>Why then do you want to learn cinematography particularly HD...?
yes, my ultimate goal is directing. and I'm slowly but steadily going towards that dream in my evening time & weekends. I have a full time job as a programmer. So oficially i'm not in the industry and doing it on my own so trying to learn as much as I can of everything with main concentration on directing... And I clearly understand that even one area of cinematography can get your hands full...

There are great books on areas of directing I'm currently reading... but I have to do the camera work as well, I will start with shorts and in those will have to do most on my own...

I guess I'm somewhat close to Robert Rodriguez approach in a way... Rebel without a crew...

Thank you.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 11:13 AM

HD or DV is only a subset of overall cinematography knowledge. Wanting to just learn just that is a little like wanting to learn how to do fractions in math... but skipping addition, subtraction, and multiplication because you think the future of math is only in fractions.

However, assuming that you don't want to learn cinematography in general, there are a number of basic intros in DV that would be applicable to the new consumer HD technology. There is also Paul Wheeler's book on pro 24P HD cinematography that is pretty basic.

But the truth is that good digital cinematography means learning basic cinematography, and that also means learning basic photography (lenses, f-stops, exposure, shutter speeds, etc.) and lighting in general.
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#7 alexandroff

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 11:24 AM

Thank you David. I agree with you about good digital cinematography.
Are there good books on cinematography in general that you'd recommend?

My HD start with this was based on: looks like it's all coming to HD now and good HD cameras are now available to consumer for below $5K. So I thought, starting today, I might as well start with HD camera & standards.

but I definitely need general cinematography knowledge regardless of HD or DV.

thank you
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#8 Ilmari Reitmaa

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 11:50 AM

Are there good books on cinematography in general that you'd recommend?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Here's a compilation: http://www.cinematog.../shop/books.asp
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 11:55 AM

Here's a compilation: http://www.cinematog.../shop/books.asp

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


We all contributed to that list, so it's a good reference for what to read.

I just wrote an updated version (the 3rd Edition) of Malkiewicz' "Cinematography" that comes out in bookstores by late summer, so I'd wait for that. It doesn't cover digital cameras though.

It was one of those cases where the editor said "update the book but don't make it any longer" so we pretty much ruled out shoehorning video cameras into the book, or else it would be as heavy as the Ascher & Pincus "The Filmmakers Handbook" (another good book.)

By the way, is Saul Pincus any relation to author Edward Pincus? Can't imagine it's a common last name...
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#10 Ilmari Reitmaa

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 12:06 PM

Oh, and also might recommend reading/subscribing to the American Cinematographer magazine http://www.theasc.co...azine/index.htm.
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 05:26 PM

I got a notice from the ASC that they are publishing a new edition of "Image Control" by Hirschfeld with new material. Stephen Burum, ASC also wrote a little pamphlet -- maybe only one sheet with text front & back, don't know -- for student cinematographers with some helpful charts and formulas on it. I assume it is all for sale on the ASC website.
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#12 alexandroff

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 08:36 AM

Thank you! I will look into all this.
I'm already a subscriber of american cinematographer magazine.

I'm currently reading "The Five C's of Cinematography". I like it a lot.
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#13 Mark Sasahara

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Posted 16 May 2005 - 11:14 PM

As David mentioned, you may want to consider starting off with basic still photography. I suggest getting a manual film camera and take some classes. If you shoot digitally, the controls on the camera will be that same, f-stop and shutter speed, but I'm not sure how Photoshop, or similar programs will relate to programs that control the image in HD, or DV.

Learning still photogrpahy will help you with composition, understanding the basics of how lenses, shutter speeds and f-stops work, plus some other things. This will help you understand the language and how to communicate with the DP. But if you want to direct, learn the basics and then hone your directing craft. Learn about how to write and read a screenplay, take some acting lessons, find and make opportunities to direct.

Don't worry too much about owning a camera, esp if you want to direct. Spend that money on your projects. The technology is always changing and you may find that you have spent all your money on an electronic hockey puck. Learn how to direct, that is compatible with any format.
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