A plea for understanding between creative and technical people.
To Each Their Own?
I’m going to talk (or maybe rant?) about something close to my heart – the false distinction too many people (especially students) make between the technical and the creative areas of filmmaking.
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Is Automatic Dialogue Replacement (ADR) a realistic option for low budget films?
At short film festivals and student screenings I quite often hear audience members talking among themselves. More often than I would like, I hear comments such as: “That short film looked great, but it’s a pity about the sound quality, I could barely understand the actors”. On low-budget short-films, there often isn’t enough money or time to spend on fixing the sound. But a surprising amount can be achieved with just a little expense and a bit of patience.
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An understanding of “stops” is essential for anyone who wants to be involved in film making, especially in the areas of cinematography and lighting. Stops can seem confusing at first, especially since the word is often used in slightly different ways in different contexts (“stops”, “f-stops”, and “t-stops”).
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Corporate documentaries are an avenue for creation and income that many beginning film makers overlook or ignore. Some don’t feel comfortable with the genre, others actively dislike the whole idea. Yet these films have the potential to offer far more challenges and rewards than, say, your average wedding video – as long as you are comfortable within the genre.
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What is white balancing and why is it needed?
White balance is one of those video functions that separates the weekend camcorder user from the more dedicated video maker. Casual users don’t understand this function, so their images often have an inappropriate orange or blue tint to them. The more experienced or interested users do care about this feature, and their images usually have more natural and life-like colours. So what is white balance?
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In filmmaking, what is the line? Why is crossing it usually a bad thing?
Ever watched a film or video sequence (perhaps one of your own) and it just doesn’t cut together right? It can be painful to watch (especially if it was one of your own). There could be a number of reasons for the edit not working, but in this article we’ll be looking at just one cause – crossing the line.
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How will understanding three point lighting help filmmakers?
Most beginning film makers know that lighting is important to film and video, but most don’t know where to start. If they bother using lights at all, their lighting kit usually consists of a couple of lights which they place without a clear idea of their effect, and they spend too much time on set moving and adjusting them before they are happy with the results. Perhaps you’ve got a built-in lamp on your camcorder – and although it lets you film your friends at night, you’ve noticed that the light is bland and makes your subjects look like they’ve been caught in a hunter’s searchlight.
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What is Foley? Is it worth the effort for low budget filmmakers?
What is it about the sound in many student or amateur films that makes them sound so… well… amateur? Even if the fidelity or clarity of the dialogue is good (see my article on ADR), there is often something empty or thin about the rest of the soundtrack – the action lacks depth and realism. The answer could be that the film makers did not add Foley to the soundtrack.
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A look at the basics of lighting.
Lighting – without it the camera cannot create an image. Yet with it comes a host of questions and potential problems – Where do you place the lights? How many of them? What type? What filters and coloured gels do you use? In this article we’ll take an introductory look at the basics of lighting, by defining a few terms and examining a few key concepts. When you’ve finished this article, you might want to check out my other one on three point lighting.
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