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Matt Dubuque
Sat 23 Feb 2008Link

Fredric-

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.

Edited Sat 23 Feb 2008 by Matt Dubuque

Matt Dubuque
Sat 23 Feb 2008Link

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.


Christopher Wong
Sat 23 Feb 2008Link

or use new Sennheiser shotgun

(recently posted by D-worder Rafael La Luz in members-only "Sound and Music" topic)


Nigel Walker
Sat 23 Feb 2008Link

Matt, I was interested to know how you went about getting permission to film in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.


Joe Moulins
Sat 23 Feb 2008Link

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.


Matt Dubuque
Sun 24 Feb 2008Link

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.

mdubuque@yahoo.com

Edited Sun 24 Feb 2008 by Matt Dubuque

Fredric Lean
Sun 24 Feb 2008Link

Hi Matt,

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.


Nigel Walker
Sun 24 Feb 2008Link

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.


Lenville O'Donnell
Tue 26 Feb 2008Link

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.


Boyd McCollum
Tue 26 Feb 2008Link

Lenville, well said.


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