Getting the right video feel

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 11:29 PM | comments: 0

I've really let my filmmaking desire take a backseat to most of life in the last year, which is probably not surprising to anyone who has procreated. On the plus side, I'm surprised at how often script ideas come to mind, and how carefully I note the writing structure and technique in movies and TV shows I watch. What I really want right now is to find is a short that someone else wrote, and run with that. Shoot this summer.

The question of gear still comes up all of the time. My HVX has been an awesome tool for shooting proper video, and the results have been pretty great. The run-and-gun ENG-style stuff I shot at Cedar Point for several years worked pretty well, if you ignore my lack of tripodedness. In late 2009, I bought a second Canon body, the 7D, because it was an SLR that did video, with all of the goodness that comes from using the amazing lenses I have, namely the shallow depth-of-field. About a year ago, I bought a rig to use it on my shoulder, which is a step in the right direction for sure, but still ergonomically weird. Still, the 7D does an OK job with image quality, and I made a fish market kinda dark and grungy on a sunny day. That was only my first attempt.

I enjoy documentary-style shooting, and for still photos I've done it a lot, especially since Simon was born. I'd shoot more video, but I always feel like it's impossible awkward compared to the days I was shooting with a shoulder-mounted pro camera. The HVX gets me pretty close, but it's so much of a traditional video lens that I can't get that look (people call it a "film" look, but that seems like an obsolete term) with the shallow depth.

What I should do is try to sell the HVX, since I don't think I've used it since I moved. It was my pride and joy, and I got some great use out of it over the last five years. Granted, if I sold it, I'd probably want to buy the new Panasonic that you can mount SLR lenses on. It's like a proper video camera, only with a big ass sensor, proper XLR audio, metering, scopes, neutral density filters, a hand grip, and best of all, it records on cheap SD cards. The only negative is that you have to buy a lens adapter for Canon lenses (to the tune of $700 or so), but that's cheaper than buying thousands of dollars of new lenses.

Anyway, I got to thinking today about how I haven't shot much video lately, and it's time that I did.


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