Gear Q&A


The Art of Filmmaking and Editing


Lesson Info

Gear Q&A

We stabilize the boom pole by sliding it horizontally over the shoulder and counterbalance with our hands along the pole. Any problem with doing this? No, as long as you're tall. If you're short, then you could have a problem, but, yeah, me, I would not be able to do it. Jeff would have no problem doing it 'cause he's tall. But really the old uncomfortable pose is just to kinda get your hands outta the shot and to get it high enough, 'cause sometimes you have to go higher than eye level of your own body. So really, the, it's whatever pose you need to make the shot work. If you've got it on your shoulders, you're generally gonna have to have an angle to it, which is fine. The end of the boom poles have a rotating mouth on them so you can adjust the angle of the microphone. Just be sure to adjust the angle of the microphone so it's proper. All right, great. Let's do these rapid fire. We've got a question from Twitter from Des Sergeant @stilldes. Can you use a lav mic and a Rode stere...

o mic at the same time? Absolutely, and I do. A lot of times what I'll do... I have this thing called no child left behind. I didn't really invent it. But it's no audio left behind. So I'll use every audio source available to me. A, failsafe plan in case something does fail, and B, a lotta times I have done this in the past where I have somebody lavved and I'll have someone booming and I'll take those two audio samples, line them up perfectly, and then mix them together so you have, you know, you have the lav mic giving you sort of a mono, up close and personal signal, and then the boom giving you that more full sound, and when you mix them together, you get a really nice sound. And in a lotta situations, a lotta sound you're hearing in movies and things like that, that's actually what they do. In our Filmmaking for Photographers DVD that we talked about, we actually have a whole section in there where we take the sound off of a lav and then we take the sound off of a Rode video mic pro and mix them together, and we show you one scene with just the lav, and how the dialogue sounds great, but you don't really feel like you're in the scene, and then we show you with the lav and the video mic pro sound mixed together, so not only are you getting great dialogue, but you feel like you're in the room. So it's a great... And the other thing, backup, backup, backup. You never know when there's gonna be some sort of problem with an audio source, and to have as good a quality audio source as possible as a backup source is really, really smart. And an audience will be quicker to forgive a bad visual, but they're not getting, they're not gonna forget bad audio. It's just not gonna happen. That's correct. You can't mess up audio. You can't. Good to know. Thank you so much. So Brookes SC asks, that's a lot of gear to carry around, referring to what we were discussing earlier. What's the best setup for weddings without being invasive with gear? Actually, believe it or not, it looks like a lotta gear spread out, but we traveled with this on the plane, so it wasn't that much. But for a wedding, I would say you could bring, you know, your one man army setup, a tripod, you could fit the tripod and the monopod in a bag with the boom pole if you need to bring it for whatever reason. Obviously your mics can all go with your lenses and your cameras and that, and then really the extra stuff you're bringing is a slider. And if it's just you, the tripod may be optional, because you, if you're, if it's just you, you're gonna be at the camera at all times, right? So you're gonna be able to hold onto the monopod and use that. The slider obviously will give you that extra opportunity for production value, but you can make a great wedding film even if you can't bring the slider with you. So the one man army setup will suffice. Add a slider to it if necessary. All right, so we have some more wedding-related questions while we're on the topic. So from Inisco in Ontario, if you have an H4N and a lav mic at a wedding, who do you mic? And then somebody else had asked, do you mic the bride and the groom? And then there was a question about, does it, do you, how do you monitor the audio if you pin the lav under clothes? So let's take that one at a time. Okay. What's the first one? So, sorry, the first one was, if you have an H4N and a lav mic at the wedding, who do you mic for the ceremony? So if we're at a wedding and we have an H4N and a lav mic and an H1 so that lav mic can be plugged into that, we'll mic the groom. There are a couple of reasons. First of all, his clothes tend to be less... Revealing. Difficult. Yeah, difficult to deal with in terms of affixing the lavalier mic. Normally you don't have to hide it because it's black, your lav mic is black, and people are forgiving if they see a lav mic on a tie or whatever, or on a black lapel, because they're kind of use to the groom being miked anyway up there. It's really hard to match the white and, you know, conceal it on a white dress. When you record, you'll actually, there are a couple of different kinds of lav mics. There's omnidirectional ones and unidirectional ones. You'll want one, an omnidirectional one that'll not just pick up something, like, directly in front where the mouth is, but something that's out in space also. The Rode does that. And that'll allow you to pick up really good audio from the bride from the groom's mic. In post, and Ross'll show you how to do this tomorrow, you're gonna have to bump her audio up anytime she's talking... Right. ...since she's obviously farther away. But yes, we would mic the groom. And so what's the next question? Great. The next one was from Starting Video. How do you monitor the audio if you pin the lav under the clothes? You don't. Unless you're using transmitters. If you have the Shore FP series, then the transmitter will go wherever your subject is. The receiver will go with you plugged into your H1N and then you put... H4. H4N. And then you'll put your headphones on and you'll listen to that live, and so you can hear the rustling. I don't know if you noticed earlier, they actually came and fixed my lav because my clothes were rustling against it because they were monitoring in the booth. You would do exactly the same thing. Through headphones, monitor that live. If you don't have the wireless transmitter, you're not gonna be monitoring. You're gonna have to have that recorded, like, on an H and then just hope that you get it right. So that's why the wireless transmitters really add an extra level of flexibility and, you know, cross-checking into your system. Great. Excellent. Another question related to weddings. How do you coordinate with the photographer so that you don't get in their shots, vice versa, setting up shots. So I walk up to the photographer at the beginning of every wedding and I say, listen, man, if I'm in your shot, just Photoshop me out. Just kidding. You just try... I'm sure you have so many friends. You just try to stay out of each other's way the same way two photographers should stay out of each other's way. And, you know, the thing with filmmaking is you, and even photographers, you're moving around so much that, you know, you try to avoid each other. But you can see even in the wedding that Clay's in a lotta my shots, and, like, me as a filmmaker, if the photographer's in my shot, I'm okay with that, because that's a big part of a wedding, so it's part of a story. So I'm not so concerned with it, and I just, you know, I just coordinate with them and say, you know, if I'm in your way, let's just make eye contact and I'll get outta your way, 'cause I can move, so... Communication. Communication. All right, great. Next one is from AJ. Is there a tripod head that works for both photo horizontal and vertical shots and video pan-tilt? I think it would be really hard to keep changing heads during a session. Okay, this is actually a question he didn't ask, but I'm assuming he's trying to do photography and film at the same time. Oh yes, sounds like it. Which is sort of a no-no. Okay. You chase two birds, you're not gonna catch any of 'em. Okay. Yeah, and if you're trying, if you're responsible, if you've bid out a job where you're responsible to deliver quality photos and a quality film, I mean, I'm not saying it can't be done. Good luck. I'm saying it's, you've put yourself into a, you've backed yourself into a corner, and it's very, very difficult to be responsible for both. One of the reasons why Ross and I put this presentation together for photographers is because even though many photographers will never say, okay, I'm done photographing. Let me go into filmmaking. It's gonna be a part of their studio environment. It's gonna be part of their artistic, creative world now, since the gear does all this. So you have to understand the principles involved in filmmaking just so you can have a good conversation with people who are actually responsible for it. And if you have a successful studio, what you should do is use your client base... Hire people. And, yes, and use the, kind of the general knowledge that you're obtaining here. If you're a good photographer, stick with that. There are so many young kids out there who would love nothing more than to make money doing films, and let their creative energy and their passion for this allow you to add that as an add-on in your business. Clay Blackmore, one of our great friends, he has a full service studio. For the first few months, he was trying to do it all, and he's the one who came up with the phrase go after two birds, catch none, and the reason he came up with that was because after trying to do both, he realized, man, that's not gonna work. My clients aren't happy. I'm not happy. He went back to doing all the photography, and now he has a crew of a few people that handle any of the filmmaking needs for him. So understand as much of it as you can 'cause it's gonna make you a better artist and make you a better businessperson, but really, if you're a great photographer, unless you wanna just start a new carer, bring in other people to cover these kind of things with you. Yeah, and you can oversee it. That's part of being a producer. You don't actually have to be hands-on touching the camera, editing in those situations, but you need to know all the parts of that process. So A, editors, I can tell you firsthand editors will take advantage of you, charging by the hour, telling you how long things take. You know, if you don't have experience in how long something takes or what something should look like or what a good story is, you know, you can get sucked into the eye candy version of films and, you know, miss out on the story, and you think it's good, but it's really not as good as, you know, what your neighbor's doing when they're, you know, storytelling and things of that nature. So, you know, being able to oversee it doesn't mean you don't know anything. You should know it all, and then you just don't necessarily play hands on. And if you wanna do both, you can do both, just don't do both at the same time. Right. That's the thing. Unless you're pulling video stills and trying to make an album. That's, that'd probably be the workaround. Okay. Like a birth announcement film, you'll get great photographs directly off of the footage.

Class Description

Have you ever thought about using your talents, training and equipment to design moving images to tell a story? This film workshop is your opportunity to learn how to become a visual storyteller with Jeff Medford and Ross Hockrow. Whether you're a photographer or an aspiring filmmaker, you will come out of this class with all of the skills to produce web commercials, wedding, birth, family and event films.

Discover what you'll need for your camera bag, lighting, how to shoot a conversation - all during a live shoot! You'll learn how to create a story throughout the editing process. This film workshop is 3 days of non-stop information, all of which will allow you to expand your business and increase your profits.