This session… Why use dSLRs for filming? With demos and big-screen blockbusters! Getting started with filming using dSLRs Basic cinematography concepts and dSLRs Advanced setups: taking it to the next level Post-production
Why shoot films on a dSLR? Compact and light High-def(1080p), high bitrate(50mbps) capture Advanced creative control (Av/DoF, Tv) High-quality, interchangeable lenses Large, high quality CMOS sensors: Optical capture area is larger than 35mm cine film Unrivalled low-light shooting ability High dynamic range 3 years ago, to get all this in a video camera, the *least* it would have cost is $50,000 (body only)
Demos Vincent Laforet- “Reverie” – the clip that started it all. Shot on 5D Mark II – no colour grading. Shane Hurlbut, ASC – “The Last Three Minutes”. Shot on 5D Mark II. Phillip Bloom – “Sofia’s People”. Shot on 5D Mark II with just one lens, a Zeiss ZF 50mm f1.4 – no lighting or colour grading.
Recent big dSLR productions "if you’re [not] using the 5D [Mark II], you aren’t making your movie the best it can be.“ Iron Man 2 Captain America Black Swan (filmed in Australia!) AFI Movie of the Year 1 Academy Award & 4 nominations including Best Achievement in Cinematography and Best Motion Picture of House – Season 6 Finale (clip), and ALL of (current) Season 7
Getting started… The minimum you’ll need (kits from $600!): A dSLRbodywith HD 720p or better Full frame (35mm) vs crop sensor (“APS-C”) 5d Mark II 7D 60D 550D A lensPrime Zoom
Sensor sizes 35mm Full Frame (5D mkII, Nikon D3s) APS-C (“crop”)(7D, RED One - $25,000) Broadcast Camcorder (Sony EX3 - $10,000) Light from lens falling on focal plane “Full frame” sensor imaging area “Crop” sensor imaging area (1.5-1.6x “zoom”)
Why use primes “Faster” than zooms (esp. “kit” lenses) (Generally) better optics & image quality Many primes are comparatively cheap E.g. Samyang14mm f/2.8, 35mm & 85mm f/1.4 + Canon 50mm f/1.8 for less than the price of a 24-70 f/2.8 zoom - & is optically superior in every way Zooming (while filming) is usually avoided (unless you are Stanley Kubrick, BazLuhrmann, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Andrei Tarkovsky, Robert Altman, Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Bogdanovich, Quentin Tarantino… ) But… need lens changes/less convenient …so less suitable for documentary/event work which needs flexibility (for narrative filmmaking)?
Adapting old/cheap len$e$ Many old lenses can be attached with adaptors – this is a great way to pick up a bargain lens! You will usually lose electronic control - so most adapted lenses need a manual aperture ring! This adaptor has electronic connectors… BUT…
Focal length Refers to the amount of image magnification. “Wide Angle” – perspective exaggerated “Normal” – natural perspective “Telephoto” –perspective compressed
Video exposure basics Exposure - controlling the recorded video image for correct brightness and contrast. Lighting is the foundation of exposure. If you can control the light, you can use the camera’s exposure controls for creativity and finesse - rather than just to get a shot. Aperture, ISO and ND filtersare used for controlling exposure in-camera. Not shutter speed(though it does affect exposure).
Video exposure basics (cont) Fast lenses have a large maximum aperture e.g. f/2.8, f/1.8, f/1.4 (“f-stop”). Note: f/x is a fraction! So the smaller the value of x, the larger the number “f/x” - and the larger the aperture! (e.g. f/1.4 > f/2.8) Larger apertures: Let in more light Narrow depth-of-field so you can Shoot in dimmer light(with good exposure) Blur fore/backgrounds [subject focus/“bokeh”] Create beautiful images! f/1.4 f/2.8 f/8 f/22 More light Less light
Video exposure basics (cont) Doubling ISO doubles the sensitivity of the sensor and makes the image brighter. However, high ISO results in more “noise”, reducing image quality. Multiples of 160 are “real” ISOs for Canons – others aregenerated
Video exposure basics (cont) We can also reduce the amount of light entering the lens with a Neutral Density (ND) filter. This is useful if we want to shoot with a wide aperture on a bright day. ND4 (1-stop) Graduated ND Fader ND
What about shutter speed? The shutter speed of each frame is limited by the frame rate. (Shooting) at 24 fps, the LONGEST exposure possible is 1/24s. To mimic the appearance of film, shoot as close as possible to half your frame rate. E.g. at 24 fps, set your shutter to 1/50s. You can increase your shutter speed, for a stroboscopic, choppy appearance (e.g. Saving Private Ryan, Gladiator).
Frame Rate Most standard film is shot at 24 fps. PAL is 25 fps. To mimic the look of cinematic film, use a setting as close as possible to 24 fps. The 7D can shoot at 60 fps. This can be slowed down to 24/25 fps for flawless “slow-mo” – or even further with software (demo). Video on frame rate and shutter speed.
Technical stuff Compression – How the original video data is reduced for storage. Currently, all dSLR video is compressed (lossy) Codec – how the video data is encoded. H.264 (Canon) is more efficient than MJPEG (Nikon) Bitrate– how much data is used to store video
Advanced considerations Support/mounting systems High quality audio capture & recording Manually controlling focus Controlling video and audio Monitoring video and audio
Support/mounting systems Shake and blur are distracting! Sturdy tripod & fluid head – almost essential I recommend WeiFang EI-717AH head. Sturdy “Rig” – for shoulder/handheld work Weight and/or contact points minimise shake I use this collapsible shoulder rig. Or you can make one for a few dollars. Works fine! Stabilisers/steadicams. 15mm cinematic rails for mounting accessories.
Basic Supports Shoulder rig with integral 15mm rails Use of rails to mount accessories (overkill for most shoots!) Steadicam stabiliser Video fluid head
Supports for camera “moves” Dolly & tracking: Moving the camera in one plane. Fwd-back = dolly; left-right = tracking (Phillip Bloom “Salton Sea” demo with slider) Crane: basically, tracking up and down Pan & tilt: Rotating camera on H or V axis. Don’t do this too fast (causes rolling shutter &/or strobing) or jerkily!
Supports for camera moves Tripod dolly Slider Crane Fluid head for pan/tilt Skateboard as dolly (you can DIY most of these!)
Capturing audio Audio is arguably more important than video for quality filmmaking. Viewers will tolerate poorly-shot images; but rarely poor sound! Turn off Automatic Gain in camera (AGC)! Use external microphone (Lavalier/shotgun) Mic setup e.g. boom, shockmount, windshield Boost S:NR - use amp/recorder (Juicedlink/Zoom) Use shielded cabling for longer cables (XLR) Sync with slate/clapper board (acrylic/iPad/DIY)
Controlling focus Most dSLRs cannot autofocus in video mode But in narrative filmmaking, we use manual focus anyway for more control For “focus pulls”, we use a “follow focus”: Follow focus for shake-free, precise focus adjustments and “pulls” - with white marker disc Industry-standard rail mount (15mm Ørods, 60mm apart) Speed crank for fast focus pull
Controlling video To control flare from light sources, use a lens hood or matte box: Matte boxes also enable use of 4x4” filters “French Flag” – helps cut glare Filter holders: static/rotating Matte box – should attach sturdily! Foam “donut”, snug around lens Attaches to 15mm rail mount
Controlling video (cont) Always shoot in M (Manual) setting Need to White Balance - because we are shooting compressed video (not RAW). To improve final dynamic range, use “Picture Styles” (Canon) to flatten contrast. I recommend Technicolor Cinestyle(free!) Colour-correct in “Post-” (Colour Grading) with Cinestyle Look-Up-Table (LUT) (also free!)
Monitoring audio & video Monitoring video: External field monitor or loupe for camera LCD Use “zebra stripes” and live histogram – not in standard camera… but… Monitoring audio: Use headphones – closed ear, flat response is best Use level meters - not in standard camera… but…
Magic Lantern for Canon dSLR Some talented programmers have written free software for Canon cameras that improves control and monitoring of video & audio: http://magiclantern.wikia.com/ Audio level monitor (int/ext mics) Live exposure histogram “Zebra stripes” (shows over/underexposed areas in image) Focus distance Other data
Post-production One you have shot your footage, it needs to be edited! Some options & tips… Free, open source video editor: Lightworks Used to edit “The King’s Speech” (Winner of 4 2011 Academy Awards incl. Best Motion Picture) Other options: Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 can edit dSLR video natively – saves hours Apple Final Cut Pro Free plugin imports Canon files for best quality Converts to 4.2.2 Apple Prorescolour space
Colour grading Shoot flat for detail in highlights & shadows Colour grading: for hue, saturation & contrast
Summary - and tips! To get started you just need a dSLR and lens: Install free Technicolor Cinestylepicture style Use free Magic Lantern firmware Use free editor (http://lightworksbeta.com/) Use free music (e.g. http://mobygratis.com/or http://creativecommons.org/) for audio Shoot and practice!
Summary and tips (cont) If you have a few extra dollars: Buy a tripod and external shotgun microphone Make a rig, shock mount and boom pole(even cranes, sliders and dollies if you want to!) Use a digital audio recorder (e.g. your phone) Shoot and practice some more!
More information Online dSLR filmmaker community http://cinema5d.com/ How-to Guide http://nofilmschool.com/dslr/ Latest News (Blog) http://www.eoshd.com/ Me! email@example.com | @leonardlow