First time filmmaker needs technical advice : LUSENET : Shooting DV Films : One Thread

I am a screenwriter who is planning to shoot a feature late summer 2000. While I have some experience working with actors and have confidence in my ability to choose and block all the set-ups required for a feature, I have no technical experience. (Excluding a few small Super 8 video projects shot and edited in Grad School.) I am in need of advice on everything required to shoot on digital video. My aim is to buy every piece of equipment I need to shoot, record, and edit for under $8000. (Is that possible? I want the best picture and sound quality I can get that fits into my budget. I eventually plan to transfer from DV to film.) Any help on the following topics would be greatly appreciated. Please keep in mind that I'm a technical babe in the woods. I really don't know much more of what it takes (from a technical standpoint) to shoot a movie than your average person off the street.

1. What's the best camera to buy? (The Canon XL-1 look promising.) 2. Should I record the sound using the camera or should I buy a separate recording unit? If I should buy a separate recording unit, any recommendations? I want to have a professional sound mix (music, effects, etc.) What do I need to record separate audio tracks? 3. What editing software should I buy? I want to edit everything on my home computer. What do I need to buy so that I don't lose any picture quality when I transer back and forth? 4. What do I need to know about transferring from DV to film? What do I need to do while shooting to make this transfer easier? How much does this usually cost?

E-mail me any help you can give me at KCB@RIORDAN.COM


-- Kevin Bowen (, November 11, 1999


Make sure to set aside some money in your budget for Lighting. Even outside, you may look at the bright sunny day, and think, "why do I need Lights, I have this Sun?"

Well, a camera is not as sensitive as your eye, and to compensate, you will need to control the light with gear. Gear like white material (foamcore) to bounce light back into the subject, for instance.

Lighting is about control, and you need Stuff to control it. After all, a camera is only designed to record Light, not Beau

-- (, November 28, 1999.

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