Micro Budget Filmmaking
Jeff Medford, Ross Hockrow
Micro Budget Filmmaking
Jeff Medford, Ross Hockrow
10. Micro Budget Filmmaking
Class Introduction17:55 2
Shot Sequencing30:35 3
Storytelling Theory35:22 4
The Structure of a Story25:00 5
Storytelling Techniques51:08 6
Understanding Conflict in Storytelling59:35 7
Camera Gear20:50 9
Lighting Tools38:56 10
Micro Budget Filmmaking33:42 11
Audio Gear29:03 12
Camera Movement20:45 13
Gear Q&A10:44 14
Shoot Preparation1:02:25 15
Shoot with Kevin Kubota1:12:45 16
Shoot with Kevin Kubota Continued1:16:55 17
Introduction and Script Formatting17:45 18
Adobe Premiere 1011:03:28 19
Building the Film1:19:36 20
Building the Film Continued1:23:15 21
Finalizing the Film54:59
Micro Budget Filmmaking
This is fun because for all the people who don't wanna go out and buy all this equipment, it's fun, it gives you production value. It makes it a lot easier and it makes it obviously, the production value goes up, but there's no reason in the world why you can't make a lot of the films we've shown you yesterday and some of the films we're gonna show you today for $750 or less. One of the reasons why, I think it's great that we're able to come and teach you this course is everybody starts somewhere, right? And a lot of times, you get people who are right at the pinnacle of their career. Twenty years removed from when they were slummin' it. And Ross and I are about... Ten minutes from slummin' it. = Yeah, we're about two years removed from slumming it, and so, because this whole film making genre DSLR film making genre is so new, we started out making things, going to Home Depot, and gradually acquiring gear. We've been through the ranks, very, in a very near past. So, we have an oppo...
rtunity to show you what works and what doesn't. And really, we have film examples to give you where we were using, literally, $750 worth of gear, additional gear, in addition to the camera. Being a photographer, we had the lenses, we had the cameras, so what else did we need? Let's talk about that. = Okay, so the first video we're gonna show you is actually a trailer to a movie I did about two and a half years ago. It was when I had just started working for Jeff and Clay before Jeff and I became business partners. And when, like we told the story yesterday, that i walked on my first day of the job, and they handed me the 5D, and I'm used to using cameras like the ones around here that are 20, 30 pounds, and they handed me this without the microphone on it. And I just thought he was, he had no clue. I try to be respectful and finish out the day, and as I was walking out, the smartest thing he ever said to me was "Just download that footage really quick before you leave. So, I know where to look at it." Once I saw it, the movie, the trailer you are about to see is the one we started putting in pre-production that day, me and my crew. So, while I was working for Jeff, I would just ask him if I could borrow some equipment on the weekends for a little side project that I was doing. He really had no clue, but I wanna show you the trailer for this because this is all Home Depot and 5Ds and very little gear, and this is a feature film. This isn't a wedding, this isn't a one day shoot. This is like a four month epic. So, if you can do this, then you obviously can do a wedding, or a birth announcement, or anything. So, let's take a look at this trailer and see what a $750 budget gets you with equipment. I wish I could describe to you what's happening inside my head. I feel so good. I invented a new drug. It'll give you complete euphoria and enlightenment for 24 hours, and then you will peacefully, and pain free, pass on. Instead of suffering on their death bed. It can be bliss. So, you're afraid of being average. Absolutely. And then, so you move to New York to get away from that, and now what is it you do here? Since we've sat down, I've been under the spotlight, so that's the end of that. It's time for you to be in the situation now. So, what do you wanna know? Where does depression hurt? Everywhere. I have 100 pills already made. I was thinkin' about talking to a couple people, but I feel like who better to talk to then you. Everybody's telling me I need an exit. I need a way out, I need a change. Well, here it is. Oh yeah, killing 100 people is your way out. Not exactly what I had in mind when I said you could do better Joey. How much can we make doing this? Jordan's the master mind schemer. Jeremy created the drug, but he needed somebody willing enough to sell it; you. (laughing) ♪ We don't know who we are anymore ♪ I told you before; I'm a ghost. I can vanish. As for you, I suggest you take the money and you run. Cause the law's not gonna stop until they find someone. And that someone is not gonna be me. I can promise you that buddy. That girl that I love told me she wants to commit suicide. These are murders Joey, not suicides. ♪ We've gone too far ♪ ♪ We don't know who we are anymore ♪ ♪ We've gone too far ♪ If God did exist, he would be in this room right now. = See this as a social rewiring of acceptable ethics, and not to mention, we are not sticking a gun to these people's heads. These people will take this drug, because they know what happens, and they want it to happen. I changed the world. (applause) So, after months of borrowing my equipment, when Ross finally showed me that trailer, I was faced with a very stark choice. Do I hire this guy, cause he's obviously a genius, or do I get as far away from him as possible, because he's got a dark soul. (laughing) Good thing I chose the former. So, let's show you what tools we used to do this. Again, Ross wrote the movie, did the screenplay, right? Yeah, this actually, this script is the first thing I ever did. I wrote it when I was 19, while playing poker. And then was going to sell it to an unnamed company. We'll leave them unnamed so I don't get sued. And then the genius that I am, when I was going to sell it for a good amount of money for a 19 year old, wanted to direct the movie, as well. They, no, not gonna happen. So, they basically threw me out and I had to go get my own experience. So, I made two movies before this, basically just, you know, slummin' it, as Jeff would say. To get my own experience. So, I did not go to film school. I have actually no training at all, whatsoever. I'm just obsessive, so when I need to learn something, I teach myself. I do it a million times. I fail and then, eventually, I'll get it right. Which brings me here today, so. So let's try to have you learn from some of our experience. What are the tools we used? Well, here are the things Ross borrowed from me. All right, we had a camera, a 7D, lenses at 24 to 70 and 70 to 200. And then, we get into the $750. We had a Zoom H1 and H4N, those are portable recorders, $350. We had a Lav mic, $30, a cheap, cheap, cheap one. We had a Manfrotto Monopod 561 BHDV, $250. And then we had a photography tripod at $120. That is $750. Now, here is what Ross provided: Skateboard wheels. Skateboard wheels. A title cutter, you saw some dolly shots in there. That was title cutters, skateboard wheels, PVC pipe, and then I did make a Steadicam at Home Depot with springs, I showed up that first day- Springs and hinges. And you had to put it on like a dress, and then, it was, it... I wish I had it, cause it didn't work at all. And yeah. Ross contributed $0, cause he actually went to Home Depot and stole that stuff. Yeah. So, let's talk about the one man army package. Here's what we recommend now, and this is still $750. One DSLR camera, which you gotta have. That's assuming you own already. Yes, absolutely. A 24 to 70 or a 24 to 105 lens. If you have a full frame camera, we recommend the 24 to 105. If you have a crop factor camera, we recommend the 24 to 70. They just came out with a brand new 24 to 70 Mark 2, which is super sharp. The reason we do that is because of the crop sensor as we explained yesterday. The 24 to 105 on the full frame will get you a telephoto look at 105, and then the 24 to 70 on a crop sensor is going to almost be close to 105 when you zoom in all the way to 70, because of the crop. So, that's why we recommend those on those bodies. And then, as a photographer, you have those things so let's start spending money specifically for film making. $220 for a Rode video mic pro. We're gonna go over all these in detail in a minute. A 561 BDHV monopod from Manfrotto at $250. A Zoom H4N at $250, and one cheap lav mic at $30. So, $750, tax and shipping not included. Let's talk about, a little bit about why we call this the one man army package. You know, there's a misconception that to do things at a high level, have great production quality, and you know, create a compelling interesting film for your audience, that you need a lot of gear. You need a crew, you need assistants, and you really don't. They make it easier and better. Absolutely, they do. But, it can be done without it. But it can be done without it and of everything that we've shown you, with the exception of Ross's movies, it's been just Ross or just Ross and myself, or Ross and an assistant. And even the movie was just me and Scott, who we talked about yesterday. So, it wasn't like a big crew for that either. So, we really wanna make the point that as a one man army, you can make very, very effective films. And we're gonna go ahead and show a wedding that Ross shot for Clay Blackamoor out in the south of France, right? Yeah, and when you watch this, I want, There's a couple of things I want you to pay attention to. A lot of the problem with being a one man army, and Jeff will show you the set up. The reason why that monopod is like a must have, as opposed to a tripod is because you are so mobile. And when you watch this wedding, I want you to see how it feels like I have cameras all over the place. But it is just me, one camera, just running around like mad man, and that's it. And you just have to be confident that you're gonna be able to get the shots, and you're not gonna, you can't be afraid to miss things. And I'll make a couple points about some key moments that I missed, but you, as a viewer, don't miss it because I know how to compensate for it as a film maker, because it's not about what happened, it's about the story you wanna tell, and that's a big deal when you're a one man army. So, I think that video's coming up, and then I can show you a lot of these continuity things where it's a trick to your eye, as opposed to you think I have a camera on the side, a camera in the front. So, let's go ahead and watch this. It is a very rare moment for people to travel as far as these guys have come just to see you two tie the knot. Look into everybody's eyes, and remember the memories that you've had with each individual person here. No, you're all swimming together? You're holding hands. You're just picking. (soothing music) ♪ I lead the sheep, time to freak ♪ ♪ Mountains, rivers, over hills to where the grass is green ♪ We are best friends. You guys started out as friends first, then lovers. Just remain friends, always, be best friends. ♪ Though it's hard to see ♪ ♪ A forest runs so deep ♪ ♪ Painting fades through the dark ♪ ♪ An arrow pierces through the heart ♪ ♪ A warrior stands his ground ♪ ♪ No one can be found ♪ ♪ Silly thing, you silly thing ♪ Oh my God, the outside looks amazing. ♪ Thrown into the sea ♪ ♪ Oh, how we sing ♪ = You're all linked, one to another. May you continue to be blessed and may these families continue to be blessed by the love of children, and the destiny of tomorrow. Let us say together... Amen. ♪ But all the sheep have gone ♪ ♪ Righting by the words I spoke to them ♪ ♪ And yet this is the song ♪ ♪ I sing it til they go home ♪ (applause) ♪ So, please, hold me ♪ ♪ So please just save me ♪ ♪ There's loving in the air ♪ ♪ I think it's only fair ♪ ♪ That you would be the one to hold me now ♪ ♪ And pick me off the ground ♪ ♪ I think you're all I need ♪ ♪ You are all I see ♪ ♪ You are all I see ♪ ♪ You're all I see ♪ All right. There's like a lot of points I wanna make with that wedding. Number one. That was your second wedding. That was the second wedding I ever did in my entire life. I did it alone, and it was in the south of France. I was living in DC, and I didn't know I was going to the south of France until six hours before the flight left. So, just there's a lot of conditions that made that very difficult. Can I? Sure. Thank you, I appreciate it. So, basically what it is, is just me with a one man army set up that looks like this. It's just, it's that set up, and Clay Blackamoor was the photographer, and periodically, I would grab a lens out of his bag, possibly and use it, but for the most part, it was the 24 to 70. Especially in the beginning of the film, when the bride's walking down the aisle, and I have a camera on the side and then all of a sudden, I'm in the front. That's not teleportation, that's editing. That's basically me, on the side, she's at the top of the stairs, and then I run to the back, and then when we're looking at this view, she's at the bottom of the stairs, and there's like 11 steps, so you don't see her feet. So, you don't see what step she's on, so you're not paying attention to that. All you're paying attention to is the body movement, so that's how that works. That's happened so many times in this program with cuts and things that you don't see it, because you're so focused on the action. Like we said yesterday, when we were making the point about the pictures, and you know, time to reflect. And when you're looking at film, at video, your eye goes to the movement, to the action. You have to use that to your advantage when it comes to editing and shooting especially. So, we, I used a 5D on that, or it might have been a 7D, and then the Rode mono mic back then, I was using that and the monopod, which is what made that possible. Jeff, why don't we pull that monopod out? Yeah, let's talk a little bit about the monopod, because, really the key to starting out, and doing it effectively on a budget, even, hold that for a second please. Even if you're not on a budget, this is the first thing you should buy. This is what we told 5,000 people, 8,000 people between two years worth of tours. This is the very first purchase you should make. Yeah, and we have all this gear is ours. And I still use that for 70% of every shot I do at a live event. It's not, just because I have a slider doesn't mean I'm abusing it. That's one thing when we get to the camera movement section, I'll explain psychologically why you use certain camera movements, as opposed to, "Oh, this looks cool." That's something you should probably never utter, ever. Here is why this thing is so effective. Have you ever tried to move a photography tripod on the run, right? You have three legs that are bumping into things, and into people, and you have three things that you have to adjust if you wanna adjust your height. Normally, these things are spread out a lot more. So, you're like, "Excuse me, excuse me." Right? This thing becomes a weapon. As Ross has shown you, being mobile is super, super important because what you're gonna do is wide shot, medium, close-up, wide shot, medium, close-up. In order to do that, you have to be able to move your camera, so wide shot, medium shot, close-up. Just like that, and then of course, if you need to adjust height, it's as simple as adjusting only one clamp. You can go up and down, you can move quickly, and that mobility is what gives you the ability to put together your shot sequences with wide, medium, and close-up in an effective way. One thing, show them the feet. One thing that I wanna say, because a lot of people photographers out there own monopods already. That's obvious, but if it doesn't have these three feet on the bottom, all of you at home, don't be thinking that you can get away with it without these feet. This is what makes the monopod the monopod. No, there's no attachment that goes on the bottom of yours. You do have to get this monopod. And the reason those feet are so important, here, why don't we switch? The reason why the feet are so important, is Jeff showing you how he's faster with this in his hand, as opposed to real life, which is very impressive. So, if I'm doing a wide shot here and I wanna come in close. Let's say I just wanna add a little camera movement to it, I can just slowly move in like that, and I'm just adding a little bit of movement. So, what this gives you the ability to do is simulate movement. I can keep it still and that'll work. I can do, when we get into camera movements, you'll see I can give it a little shake, and that'll give it a good, nice look and feel, and you have control over it. And then I can add the dolly movements to it. I have the ability to tilt, I have the ability to pan, which we're gonna go over all that movement in a little bit. So, in the wedding film that you just saw, Ross used this. Here's a perfect example of what the mobility gives you. You can get the shot on the side, and you can get the shot in the front, because all you have to do is run with a very... Keep going. Run with a very easy set up without knocking the guests over. And the point I wanted to make with not being afraid to move around. At the end of that wedding, so at a Jewish wedding, what happens is, they break that glass, right? So, here's, we're in the south of France, in broad daylight, and basically what I did with the camera was, I lined it up on their feet on the ground to get that, the stepping. And I had a microphone sitting right next to the glass, so that I could get a really loud cracking of glass sound. And in my mind, I always shoot, I'm editing in my head as I go. When I'm doing that, I'm thinking, the moment they step on that glass to transition to the next scene. You step on it, and it's a cut. Well, because it was so bright outside, I do not use a viewfinder on the back for the most part. I couldn't see, and I was completely, I focused on the wrong foot, so I missed it. And I missed the kiss at the end of the wedding, but in the film you saw one, did you not? That didn't happen at the end of the wedding. It was really close in, so when I knew I missed it, there's a, one of my favorite movies is called The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and the book says, on the front, don't panic, all right, and that's what I like to tell people in film making, Don't panic. So, when I missed that kiss, basically, I was like Ross, you're an idiot, come on. So, at the end of the wedding, while Clay was doing some pictures, I just grabbed 'em and I said, "Hey, can you guys just give me, you know, just do a little kiss over here, cause I missed it at the end of the ceremony." I admitted my fault, right? I flopped the shot in editing to get them on the proper sides of where they were in the frame. If you actually go back and watch the shot. The perspective actually doesn't make any sense at all if you look at it, and when they watched the film, they forgot I missed it. Because in the story, it was where it belonged, and they perceived it as reality and it never came up again, and yes. Were you on a 24 to 70 when you were zoomed in on them during the ceremony? 70 to 100. 70 to 100, yeah. Okay, I was like, how did you get in there, okay. No, 70 to 100. I was right there, like, they were right there and I'm right here behind the rabbi, like all up. You know, I don't, I go wherever. If I'm not allowed, I try to get there anyway. One of Ross's favorite movies is Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The first movie Trinity ever watched in her life was Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on a night I asked Ross to babysit her when she was three years old. And we watched it twice. I came home, and there she was. At least it was not- Fight Club. Fight Club. It should have been Fight Club, though. Let's talk about what the monopod does. It makes you mobile. I hope you understand from the demonstrations and seeing here in the film, how important that is. Mobility, often time trumps production value. Think about that. And at a live event, it always trumps production value. It always, yep. The ability to get more shots and a wide, medium, close-up shot sequence is gonna give you a more effective film than having the most perfect footage in the entire world. You can simulate camera movement, as Ross talked about, because of the feet, you get the ability to tilt, and to pan, pan and to tilt. And you can simulate dollying into or out of something with this movement. You can perform staple shots. Make sure it's not a windy day, this thing actually will stand on its own. I know, seriously, this is an act of fate. You may wanna put an embrace around it, just in case. = [Ross] Don't walk away from it. And it's still, even today, when we're on a DSLR used in 70% of every shot that we do. On a live event, it's a must. I don't ever use really use a tripod, even if I'm shooting with a second shooter. I have either, if I trust the second shooter to give good cinematography, ill give them that set up. If I don't I'll put a slider somewhere and I'll say just walk around and get slider shots and I'll just use that for basically B roll, essentially, and I'll be responsible for the main camera. And when Ross said, do not use a normal monopod, if you have one. We can speak from experience, because when we started this process, Clay had a normal monopod. The family movie that we showed, the first video, there was a normal monopod in that. You saw what that can do. Yeah, I don't know if you all got a little seasick watching that one, but that's because there was a normal monopod. The first time, in fact, that Ross ever had one of these was the wedding film you just saw. I handed it to him right before he got on a plane, because we got the last one in the country, just before they went on back order for seven solid months. We got really lucky. AKA, there's no real learning curve with that. So, all right. Don't be afraid to move around. And the one thing, we're gonna get into sound in a little bit, but this is Zoom H4. H4N, and how especially when we showed that wedding yesterday where we were showing Shannon and Amy's wedding with the five words. The reason why we're able to move around and grab so many different shots, and we're not worried about a consistent video source from our camera. A, the DSL's only gonna record for 12 minutes anyway. You should never hit that limit, ever. If you've hit that limit, you're on videography mode, so you need to get off that. You want to be, you know, shooting in like 15 second clips, you know, move around. Keep moving, and I always tell people if you don't know. Somebody asked, how long are the average recording times. If you don't know the answer to that question, challenge yourself to move around every 10 to 15 seconds and go to places where you aren't so obvious. Like try to put the camera in places where it wouldn't normally go. This is your saving grace, because you can walk into any event that has a sound board, a DJ, any sort of mixer. Walk up to them and say, can I get a feed off of your house sound. They'll plug it either quarter inch or XLR into here, and you can record the entire thing. And just get a constant audio source. So, that way, you have all of the audio, in case you wanted to use some sort of narrative that you missed with the film, and we use Polarize to line up all that audio later. Yeah, I'm gonna give 'em more in depth explanation about this at the end of this segment, but suffice it to say, having a portable recorder is a must and why it's part of our one man army, $750 set up. Right here, when the father of the groom was speaking, Ross was able to take advantage of that great sound coming right off of that microphone because of that. And if you think about this, whenever you're at an event and there's any kind of audio/visual, how much money have those people invested in their equipment? Tens of thousands, sometimes if you're at an event like Expedia or Skype, you have hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment in the room. And it's just little ole me, and little ole Ross. What are we gonna do? Are we gonna spend money to try to compete with that? No, we're gonna take advantage of what they have done and just ask them to give it to us. And then, the best thing is they're monitoring it for you. You don't have to even monitor it. Most times, I'll say, we're on a film shoot. Like when we're gonna be shooting later, someone's gonna be wearing headphones monitoring the audio. When you plug into house sound, you know that they have that covered. You just plug it in, set it, set it and forget it. Any reception you go to, the band is gonna have some sort of mixer, and they're gonna be able to give you a feed. And they're gonna have, provide all those microphones and everything. It's also a good way to get music. Because you can actually record from the band's mixer, their live music, and you can mix that into the... Yeah, if you wanna get really Scorsese like with your weddings, and you can open a wedding with a shot of the band and it's the music they're actually playing live, and then you, you know how we sort of justify the light. Justify the sound, justify the existence of the music. That's like, super high in production value. The great thing about the Zoom H4N, it can record from a mixer output, but it has XLR and quarter inch inputs. We'll talk about that later. Four channel recording and ability to monitor audio with headphones, which we'll talk about later. And you can record using a shotgun mic or a lav, either one. Basically, with this, there's a couple of these. This one is more of a mono signal, the video mic pro, and then there's the stereo mic pro, which is this one right here, the little ball. So, the mono, this is more of a mono signal, and basically, it's directional. So, if I'm pointing it at you, and they're talking over there, it's gonna be very faint in the background. Whereas, if I had that mic, it would probably have a more, a wide range of picking up. So, if you're talking and I'm here, I could probably be about here, and get acceptable dialogue audio of you talking. Great for ambient audio and auto gain. What does auto gain mean? Well, auto gain is like auto exposure, right? If you are in a pinch, or if you don't really have a lot of technical expertise, you take your camera and you put it on P for program, P for perfect, right? Or you put it on that little green mode. What that does is it makes its best guess for you, and adjusts on the fly. That does a fairly good job of giving you a usable photograph in most situations. That's exactly what auto gain is. It's a setting on the camera, because just like with digital photography, you can, I'm putting this in quotes, over expose sound. You can record it in such a sensitive way that all you get is garbled, jumbled mess. Or you can record it in an insensitive, or unsensitive way in such a way that you can barely hear anything. Just the way you would adjust exposure. Auto gain kind of monitors the environment for you in real time and adjusts that, and gets it right 99% of the time. Yeah, if you're plugging that mic into your camera, the reason you're doing that is to make life easier on yourself and not think about audio. You wanna rely on the auto gain. When we're gonna do our shoot later, and you have a shotgun mic, or you have a lavoleer mic or something, you want really crispy audio, then you wanna stay away from the auto gain. You wanna have all the control. But when you're in this situation, trying to create a film with all the elements, under your responsibility, just let the camera take care of the audio, because it will do a good job of it. You'll see a lot of examples of that in a second. I think since we've started talk about our $750 set up. A lot of it was audio related, lets' get into audio, but let's make this point first. Back to storytelling. Gear $750, storytelling, priceless. But for anyone else, there's MasterCard. Yeah, you can have no no extra gear, and still make an effective film for your client, as we showed with the family film. Just might be embarrassed to show it later. Yes. No lens hood, so as far as focus. You've got younger eyes than some of us. Yeah. Now, I'm blind. = So, how, and you don't use an external monitor, you're using the back of the LCD, I'm guessing. Yes. Okay, this is a focus question. This is a great question. I'm sorry. = The answer to your question is something a lot of people don't like to hear, and it's practice. Perfect practice makes perfect, right? I'll, instead of practicing during a live event, and just, you know, that's part of my experience. I'll take, I'll go out in my backyard, and I'll set up a table here, a table there, I put like a soda can, and a soda can, and I'll just practice with the lens. What direction you have to turn it is half the battle. How sensitive the lens is to turn is half the battle. I'm not saying, don't use a fall focus rig, because they do make things easier. I just came from a micro budget film making world, and just couldn't afford one. So I conditioned my brain and muscle memory to do it right on the lens. In my opinion, with the DSLR set up, the reason why we do that is because we're low presence. So, the more gear you start to add to your rig, the more presence you have. Which is sort of defeats the purpose for me, cause I'm on the TV shows and on the movies and stuff. I'm using a C300 and big productions, things like that. When I'm at an event, I want to be as low presence as possible. You saw some Grand Central Station shots in that movie trailer? I didn't walk in there with a massive camera. I walked in there with that one man army set up, and when the cops came up to me and said, "What are you doing?" I said, "I'm taking pictures." which you're allowed to do, but you can't take any video. And I shot an entire scene of the movie on a train station. I had that zoom in my pocket, we had, Jeff will talk about wireless labs. I'm monitoring the audio and shooting the scene on a New York train without a permit. Because I'm taking pictures. For me, it's all about the low presence, and focus is just about practice. Yeah, and I just wanna expand upon that a little bit. We're not saying that this is the only way to do this. There are lots of great ideas. There are lots of great products that people use that they find helpful. I know Zakuto makes something called the Z Finder. A lot of people love that. I like it. I'm just not used to it. Exactly. We've used it a time or two. If that helps your process, and still keeps you mobile, do it. I know our assistant Tyler. Yeah, the small HD. Uses a small HD or a Zukuto electronic view finder that's plugged into the camera and then mounted on a rig, and he has his entire set up on this monopod, but it's a little bit bigger. Cause he has the rig, he has the external monitor. He has a follow up focus, he has all that stuff. A lot of people like that view finder, because when you're looking through it, it's a point of contact that you're touching the camera with So, it's almost making it more stable. If that makes sense. The more hands off you are, the less stable it is. When you're looking through the view finder, it's almost like you're putting pressure on the camera, and giving it a point of contact. And I've, as using the C300, it has a view finder. So, I've started to like fall in love with the idea of it. So, we recommend you going out and finding what other people do and seeing if it helps you. We're trying to give you the minimal, easiest set up. How to start basic, because you can go from there and you can do other things. Our assistant Tyler, his set up is about $4,000 additional dollars worth of stuff that he puts on top of that mono head that obviously increases the expense a lot. But it works for him, it makes things a little bit better in terms of the way that he likes to get his shot. So, it's totally acceptable.
Ratings and Reviews
a Creativelive Student
Great 3-day workshop! I work for a college, teaching students to communicate via the video medium, as well as producing video for promo and events. This video is super useful to me... The most basic info was review, but it's great to see another team's approach to explaining and teaching the concepts. Some of the more advanced materials is on level or a reach for what I'm doing, so it's teaching me to move forward with my abilities. Just a note to the Creative Live folks, I love the idea of viewing for free and buy if you like to see again. I was able to catch a half hour here and there, which was enough to convince me to buy the whole thing. I wouldn't have been likely to plunk down $99 for a video when there really is so much out there for free. The difference, and reason it is worth it, is because this is so well organized and complete, and discusses a broad range of budgets as well as info for a range of skill levels. This live for free then pay to download model is great.
a Creativelive Student
TERRIFIC workshop! Extremely helpful/educational ... and rather entertaining, too. (Bear in mind, I'm new to the cinematography end of things.) I'm pretty sure, no matter where you may be on the experience scale, you'll get enough ideas from this program to make it well worth your watching. I love the way they prioritize equipment needs & wants, and help us sift through the PILE of options out there. And their "$750 starter set-up" was definitely an eye-opener. (Um ... that's AFTER your camera and lenses, guys.) It's critical (and difficult) to maintain audience interest over a 3-day course ... otherwise, even the best material will go right over our heads. But Jeff and Ross were perfect together -- playing off, and feeding, each other continuously. Sometimes their banter is used for clarifying potentially confusing concepts ... and other times just for chuckles. All-in-all, I would recommend this to any but (perhaps) the REALLY advanced cinematographers out there. (Scorsese ... keep your wallet in your pocket.) For anyone considering purchasing the videos, consider this: Most of us who've already bought them ... did so AFTER watching a considerable amount of the workshop for free. That should tell you something of the quality of this material. Thanks, Jeff and Ross, and Creative Live!
I am thankful that I found CreativeLive and signed up for this class. For a couple of years I have been looking for a comprehensive course to teach me about filmmaking for the independent artist. I have sought the professional guidance of "people in the business" but they were more interested in taking your money than helping. And they were very condescending and arrogant. At CreativeLive I have found people who are like me and willing to share their knowledge with me. This particular course gave me the foundation to know what to purchase and where to start in my first efforts of filmmaking. This course, though very informative, I would wish if was a bit more technically than theoretical. Ross is great at what he does but I felt spent too much time on too many theoretical aspects of filmmaking and not enough fundamentals. Jeff was better at explaining the technical aspects of filmmaking but did not speak as much as Ross. Overall, I find that Jeff and Ross were wonderful teachers and I learned so much from them. I am looking forward to enrolling in additional classes at CreativeLive and hopefully if Jeff and Ross teach more courses, I will sign up. Thank you so very much Jeff, Ross and the CreativeLive team!