Our first workshop session was the introduction to moving image and video as a medium, we discussed basic terminology and techniques used to create video plus tips on shooting and setting up the camera. As a group we focused on the following:
In regards to video format options and technology, PAL is used in Europe and NTSC in North America. We were advised on different frame rates and encouraged to use 25 frames per second as the standard output is 25 fps.Then we learnt about frame size and dimensions –
3:2 is the size of DSLR stills/ 35mm film stills.
16:10 is the size for macbook pro.
16:9 is the size of 4K video, HD tv and current imacs.
When incorporating stills in to a 16:9 sized video, frame aspect ratio needs to be considered. If you wish to fill the frame the image will be cropped from top to bottom so its important to consider this when shooting.
The codec is used to compress/decompress a video.
In regards to shooting settings, shutter speed still controls the exposure with video but it can’t be any slower than the frame rate it should be 2x the speed, ideally.. e.g 25fps, use 1/50.
Again aperture controls exposure and depth of field in video, the same as in stills. ISO increases noise which is much more noticeable in video, it is encouraged to use the lowest ISO possible.
Manual exposure is the best setting to use for video as it avoids changes in exposure whilst shooting, to achieve the best result adjust the settings correctly before shooting. White balance and exposure are already included in video as it is a compressed format and not RAW. To ensure the best exposure possible use the histogram, pay attention to ‘picture style’ settings and use custom white balance where necessary. Storage is also a vital thing to consider as 4GB cards only give a max of 12 minutes recording time, so the bigger memory card size available, the better! Video also consumes battery power as the sensor and screen are kept on for long periods of time, a way to consume power is to come out of movie mode when not using. In video, there are many new techniques in comparison to shooting. Advice given in the presentation is to leave the focus fixed or pull focus manually as the auto focus is generally not great. Position and motion of the camera is important, to achieve best results use a sturdy tripod as hand held filming will create much unwanted camera movement – unless this is desired.
As the cameras mics are so sensitive to sound, considering to record using a voice recorder separately will result in much more fluent and clearer results in post editing.
To kill a mocking bird.
The title sequence for ‘To kill a mockingbird’ was simple but effective, by being shot close-up it gives a personal feel to the film, making each item significant and very much like the audience is prying or being revealed to secrets. Symbolism is a key factor and resulting in this title sequence being so effective. The sequence begins with a childlike voice humming and a drawing being made of a mockingbird which symbolizes innocence so the audience already has an insight to what the theme of the film might be. Pan and tracking have been used throughout, with the absence of human presence making the atmosphere mysterious. The focus of objects moves from the foreground to the background which focuses the audiences attention intentionally. There is also a pocket watch ticking which could symbolize that time is passing by or running out. Fades have been used to cut from one scene to another with the credits doing the same.
Short shooting exercise:
For the following Thursday workshop session we were given an exercise to shoot some footage taking into consideration the details left in or taken out to give the correct message, to try some static and tripod based work. Considering how wide or close to shoot at and an establishing/closing shot.