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The Mentoring Room - Ask the Working Pros

This is a Public Topic geared towards first-time filmmakers. Professional members of The D-Word will come by and answer your questions about documentary filmmaking.

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Ben Kempas
Tue 5 Feb 2002Link
Well, {LINK NOT IMPORTED} is "popular" in the sense that it is public.
{LINK NOT IMPORTED} is for members only. Topics in the Community
tend to be more specific than the ones in this rather general forum.

Post wherever you feel comfortable. We don't bite. Well, I don't.
Maybe Doug does?

Doug Block
Wed 6 Feb 2002Link
Naaaaahhhh, not me.

James Hannon
Wed 6 Feb 2002Link
Well, glad to see that two of you dont bite! Thats always a plus in
any conversation ;)

Ok, Ill ask a probably-covered-numerous-times question here...

Ive got a lot of jpeg/gifs of the band I am doing a documentary of
back from the 1960's - They're not the greatest quality, and the
original pix are pretty much lost (and werent the greatest quality
either) - You can see some of the pix i have here -
http://richardandtheyounglions.com/ryl-legend-page1.asp and
http://richardandtheyounglions.com/ryl-legend-page2.asp

These will definitely be going into my docu in some shape or form, and
i was wondering the best way to show them..

For example, if youre looking at the website, theres a pic of the
Original Kounts on page 1.. If you're not looking at the site, theres
a promo pic of 5 guys hanging around a cannon..

I was planning on doing a closeup of the guys faces as they get
introduced by the story (only 3 of the members of the pic have agreed
to be interviewed, and only 2 will have video interviews (the third
will send me an audiotape)

Being that i only have this pic as a computer file, how would i best
film what i explained? Print an enlarged pic out on a good printer,
then film the enlarged photo? Have the pic maxed out on screen and
film a portion of the screen? Or if you have a better solution, im
all ears...

Any ideas? I am shooting using a Sony VX-2000 DV and editing with
Final Cut Pro 2(still learning) on a Mac G4/867 with beautifully
working Firewire...

Thats my current dilemma :) Thanx!
-=James

Robert Goodman
Thu 7 Feb 2002Link
Stage Tools, After Effects, soon to be announced version of XpressDV
with built-in rostrum camera effects.

James Hannon
Thu 7 Feb 2002Link
Hi Robert, whats a rostrum camera effect? Rostrum in the dictionary
is like a birds beak or an elevated platform, and i cant see the
connection there... I also dont have any of those programs to see the
effect...

P.s. if your message wasnt directed at me, ill keep quiet now...;)

Take care
-=James

Robert Goodman
Fri 8 Feb 2002Link
Rostrum camera is what we used to call an Oxberry or any camera
mounted on or over a motion control platform. You mount the
photograph on the platform which can be moved in the X, Y, or by
adjusting the height of the camera - in the Z axis.

These are all programs that allow you to do the same thing using
software. For examples - see any Ken Burns production.

James Hannon
Sat 9 Feb 2002Link
Ok, now i know the effect you mention - It was actually what i had in
mind - just didnt know the name of it..

So the software packages you mentioned can do this effect on a
jpeg/gif already loaded on the system? I recently got an old copy of
After Effects (i think 3.1) that I havent used yet - Ill look in there
and see what it can do...

Thanx a bunch!
-=James

Robert Goodman
Sat 9 Feb 2002Link
uncompressed images work better. Try Tiffs or Picts.

James Hannon
Sat 9 Feb 2002Link
Ok, will do - just started looking at after effects 3.1 - couldnt find
it so i hit the google newsgroup search (used to be Deja) and found
out that rostrum effects ony came out with version 5...

Oh well, ill see if i can find it on ebay...

Thanx!

Nina Gilden Seavey
Sun 10 Feb 2002Link
I was going back through postings in this discussion and was struck by
the filmmaker who was having trouble shooting at construction location
- people on the site where he was filming an independent project were
hostile and suspicious to his activities.

I was surprised that no one mentioned to this individual that in order
to use the footage that he was shooting that he needs releases from
these people or he can't use the material at all.

Thankfully, we have privacy laws in this country that allow action
against people who surveil us in any location of our lives without our
consent or a court order -- this prohibition even applies to
well-intentioned filmmakers.

If this filmmaker does not go back and try to procure permission from
the individuals he was filming, they can sue him. If it has gone to
air, his errors and omissions insurance can be revoked and he will
have a hard time getting any future support to have his work seen
anywhere.

One of the great challenges, it seems to me, in making documentaries
is garnering both the cooperation and trust of those who we are
filming -- in all circumstances. The onus is on the filmmaker to
engage his or her subjects in the filmmaking process, for both ethical
and legal reasons.

Nina Seavey
Director, The Documentary Center
George Washin

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