Robert – thanks for responding. I'm going to post my question and response to yours in the editing section.
what would be the best options in terms of camera to shoot a shoestring budget documentary which requires a lot of outdoor shootings following a subject discreetly in different local public places and some indoors for interviews- (pretty much guerilla/ news style)?
here are the options:
-Panasonic DVX 100b
-Panasonic AG-HVX200(P2 cards + camera =outside our budget range-unless somone knows a great place to buy it cheap)
- Sony HDR-FX1 (someone told me good but not so great)
now i have been told, since the film style will be pretty much hidden camera style (almost) , to use may be a high end HD consumer camera so i can hide it even in pocket.
does anyone know anything about the quality of these cameras below:
-Panasonic HDC-HS9 (HD & 24p)
Canon HV20 HDV (HD & 24p)
any suggestions or help?
Just saw this info on the IDFA Summer School. Posting it here, so enthusiasts can see it too:
it's nice that IDFA wants to do this, but c'mon, that's friggin expensive. first and second time directors who are currently in the midst of producing their films do NOT have the money to jaunt off to amsterdam for a bit of mentorship. to go from the u.s., you'd have to spend about $2500-$3000 for tuition, airfare, and accomodations. no IDFA Summer School for me.
This might well be a question for the mentoring section.
That said, the Canon HV20 is probably the best disposable high definition camcorder you can buy. Because of its plastic parts, it is unlikely to last you much more than one film. But for what it is, a disposable HD camcorder, it can't be beat. It has a very nice lens and superior image stabilization. Ranked as product of the year (2007) by Videomaker magazine.
I must add that one nearly fatal flaw in the Canon HV 20 is the sound. In my book, any camcorder that uses mini-jacks for its mike inputs is completely unacceptable for almost all serious work by any documentary professional.
You can, however, bring the sound quality of the HV20 up to a level that will be acceptable to the vast majority of viewers by using good mikes connected to an XLR adapter (such as a Beachtek). That XLR adapter then plugs directly into the HV 20.
or use new Sennheiser shotgun
(recently posted by D-worder Rafael La Luz in members-only "Sound and Music" topic)
Matt, I was interested to know how you went about getting permission to film in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
An XLR adapter will do nothing to improve sound quality for an HV20, or any camcorder. The adapter plugs into the mini-jack, so you're still dealing with that bottleneck. Plus, you're adding another noisy connection to the path between mic and tape, and the pots in the adapter itself which will get dirty and add their own noise. In fact, even when they're not dirty they're pretty noisy.
There are some decent mics available (Rode, Sennheiser,?) with 1/8 inch plugs. I'd go with one of those, or record audio to a separate recorder altogether.
Thanks for the clear thinking Joe!
Nigel, one of the qualifications for being a Member here is that I need to be of demonstrable use and benefit to the professional documentary community. As things appear to stand now, I need to wait until completion of one of my films before I am granted membership. Unfortunately for me, that will be next year.
I do not object to that requirement. I am willing to play by the rules; that's fine. I am not complaining about the rules and I am not attempting to change them.
If you can assist me in becoming a member sooner, then I am willing to share what I know about this with you and others immediately upon receipt of Group Membership. I am aware this decision is not up to you.
As a member, you have much more power in this group than I do. You have access to all sorts of discussions that I am not privy to, that I would benefit enormously from.
Until that fine day when I become a member, I have to zealously guard certain crown jewels which I do possess. Otherwise I would be at a complete and absolute disadvantage to every member here.
Nothing personal at all. It's just part of paying my dues.
Very best wishes to you.
Thank you for the info. I am going to post the question on mentoring as per your suggestion. This is one crew person filmmaker who is trying to reach a professional as much as he can. so any help about shooting tips (camera, cinematography, sound) is VERY VERY welcome! :-))
Thanks for your support.
No worries Matt. The question comes from just an inherent interest for 'all things production' in the Middle East. I worked there for a few years and wondered if there had been any significant changes in access to Mecca. You stated you are a newcomer and I was impressed that you had this kind of access, the assumption I made was that you weren't affiliated with any large media group. I wasn't looking for any hard earned personal contacts just some basics, in the past we used crews out of Egypt because it was difficult to get any non-muslim producers into Mecca. I should have phrased the question differently, apologies. My days working in the Middle East are, in all likelihood, over.
You are right in assuming that I have no influence here and can do nothing to help you become a member quicker, I'll leave that to Doug and the more senior members here who have invested years of their lives creating this invaluable resource and support network.
I will say this though, it surprises me how little the mentoring section is used by enthusiasts, you mention you are not privy to a wealth of information, I disagree, all you have to do is ask a question, the members are incredibly generous with their time and advice.
In reply to Matt Dubuque's post on Sun 24 Feb 2008 :
Matt, I may be speaking out of school here, as I'm a fairly new member and not one of the hosts. This forum is, in my limited experience (though I have read every post since the beginning and found a wealth of useful information) one that is, almost above all, based on a selfless spirit of generosity and community. Established filmmakers help each other, and they also help newcomers to the field in public forums, such as this one. I haven't seen any quid pro quo requests here... if someone requests information or assistance the response is always generous and unqualified. Paying it forward, to use a trite phrase. I should think that your providing a member with requested information would be automatic and not come attached with conditions. You could request the member's e-mail and provide the info in private if you did not want to share your "crown jewels" with the public (members do this all the time). It's only my way of thinking, but if you demonstrated through your posts in the public threads that you could indeed be a productive participant in this little village by EXCHANGING information unconditionally with both members and enthusiasts in an intelligent, thoughtful, and professional manner, it might very well accelerate your admission as a member even though you are an inexperienced filmmaker. Food for thought. And don't get me wrong: it's great to have you here participating.
Lenville, well said.
DOCUCLUB â€œIN-THE-WORKSâ€ AT SILVERDOCS – CALL FOR ENTRIES
DocuClub is pleased to announce its participation in the 2008 SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival with an â€œIn-the-Worksâ€ program.
The deadline for submissions is APRIL 18, 2008. SILVERDOCS takes place June 16-23, just outside Washington DC. For more information about the Festival, go to:
DocuClub is currently accepting submissions for an â€œIn-the-Worksâ€ program at SILVERDOCS. The â€œIn-the-Worksâ€ program offers filmmakers a safe environment to screen a rough-cut of their documentaries before an audience of their peers and lovers of the form. The audience is encouraged to give constructive feedback about the structure, content, characters and clarity of the film in a post-screening discussion facilitated by an experienced filmmaker.
Past films that have screened â€œIn-the-Worksâ€ include BORN INTO BROTHELS, METALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER, and THE BOYS OF BARAKA, which won an Audience Award at SILVERDOCS.
Submission requirements for the â€œIn-the-Worksâ€ program at SILVERDOCS include the following:
â€¢ Films must be in rough cut stage and thus ready to be screened;
â€¢ Films must be no longer than 90 minutes and no less than 45 minutes;
â€¢ Filmmaker should be able to articulate specific challenges that you wish to workshop.
To apply, please mail a clearly labeled DVD screener to the address below. (Please note that your screener will not be returned unless you provide a SASE.) :
Filmmaker Services Coordinator
Arts Engine. Inc.
104 W. 14th St. 4th floor
New York, NY 10011
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: Friday April 18, 2008
For more information, contact:
(646) 230-6368 x 221
In reply to Jamila Gaskins's post on Sat 6 Oct 2007 :
Hi Jamila, Kent is fine. Not much film activity but my teaching is going well. Sorry it took so long to reply, I don't always check this site.
I'm still looking for projects to work on.
I introduced myself, now let me introduce Ginger Ink Films.
Ginger Ink is a film and television production company based in Nairobi, Kenya and, as you will see from the following, we give creative input and practical support for any production from commercials through to documentaries and feature films filmed all over Africa.
â€¢ We have recently filmed documentaries for such clients as Crocs Inc in Malawi, â€œSoles United in Africaâ€ http://www.solesunited.com/solesunited.mov,
and DHL in South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana;
â€¢ Facilitated crew and equipment in Ethiopia on the feature film, â€œThe Athleteâ€, for the German-based Grand Hotel Pictures/Invicta Entertainment, which will be released in 2008;
â€¢ Filmed and produced television shows for National Geographic â€“ â€œHunter, Huntedâ€ & â€œIs it Real?â€ ; the Travel Channel â€“ â€œStranded with Cash Petersâ€, and Virgin Media TV â€“ â€œTake Me to the Edgeâ€ , the latter of which is to be shown in the UK in July 2008;
â€¢ Produced commercials for the African market for blue chip companies as Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser and Diageo and have a team of producers, directors, cameramen, soundmen, art department, location scouts and managers, casting agents, assistant directors, production assistants, grip and lighting crew, etc.
We also have inhouse camera and sound equipment. Grip and lighting equipment can be hired in Kenya.
For your next project in Africa, give us a shout.
Kenya has been one of my all time favorite places.
Nowadays it seems to be in a big storm?
I'm not complaining. But I think it would be incorrect to state that being a Member is identical to not being a member.
I remember as a law student the first time I entered the Stanford Law Library. The wealth of information there is staggering. The general public is not allowed in, for good reason.
But being allowed to study in those stacks of 18th and 19th century books, where the majority of thoughts are in complete paragraphs, was a revelation indeed.
And I have lots of questions about Vertov. For example, what influence did his films have on the very famous German actress Leni Riefenstahl before she started directing many years later? She must have seen his films; they were a smash in Europe. What influence did Vertov have on Bunuel?
And James Longley (member and 3 time Academy award nominee) is the only person I know of who has spent 2 years in Russia absolutely immersed in Soviet montage. I know he's a member here, but I've never seen him post in the Mentoring section. And I'm sure he has the kind of deep, specialized knowledge I seek.
I'm not being ungrateful or complaining. I'm simply able to make distinctions between my specialized inquiries and the general needs of others.
If you are ever at the SF Doc-u-Link I'd love to meet you.
And I'm glad you understand my point about crown jewels, even if others do not. One thing I can say, for me it just seems essential to have an Islamic film crew filming in Saudi Arabia, especially given what I intend to film there. All my analysis starts from there.
In reply to Robert Richter's post on Fri 29 Feb 2008 :
The big storm slowed to a tiny squall. Now it looks like it's a beautiful breeze!
Things have gotten back to normal(what is normal anyway?)... and i have a deep-seated feeling that they will stay so.
Hey everyone I'm helping out with marketing and distribution for this feature documentary "Rapping With Shakespeare." Directed by Emmy Award-winner Michael King, it tells the story of how five Crenshaw High School students integrate Shakespearean literature with modern day urban music culture to express adolescence in South Central LA. We had a sold-out debut in Wisconsin and our next screening will be at the Palm Beach International Film Festival. Any support or help getting the word out on this project would be greatly appreciated!!!
My email if you have questions
I sincerely hope you are right! I look forward to another visit, and this time a side trip to Lamu.
CALL FOR ENTRIES [Deadline April 9, 2008]: LOOK Presents: Things To Come... A Sci-Fi Film & Music Festival
FILMMAKERS: Deadline: April 9, 2008: We are seeking short films with themes of Innovation, Man vs. Technology, Globalization, Conspiracy, Big Brother, the Apocalypse, Time Travel, Alternate Reality, etc. –- all are welcome.
Go to http://www.LOOKpresents.com/events/thingstocome.html for further details.
Also Appearing that evening will be DJ Chris Alker on the mix spinning a unique blend of space dance rock,
go-go dancers decked in the height of futuristic chic, and to close it out a very special performance by one of our interplanetary live bands.
GUESTS: Open to everyone. We hope to see you all there April 27th.
Otto de Owl
Cozy private office space with a great view in Midtown West Manhattan. 130 square feet. Would easily accommodate 2 desks plus extra storage and receptionist area. We are filmmakers and would like to share our space with others in the filmmaking community. The rent is $800 plus minimal extra charges. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-216-9315.
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