Posts Tagged ‘ filmmaking ’

Lessons Learned: 1st All-DSLR Shoot

Here are a few things I learned about running audio on my first all-DSLR shoot.

  1. Run dual system audio and sync it in post. I am so glad we did this. Even my old Zoom H4 picked up amazingly clean audio. An XLR input beats a mini-jack any day of the week.
  2. PluralEyes is your friend. It can save you hours in post by automatically syncing your audio to your video clips.
  3. Even with PluralEyes, you should still slate. If you’re syncing manually, you absolutely HAVE to slate!
  4. PluralEyes (and manual syncing) go more smoothly with a few long clips than a lot of short ones. We were shooting interviews and the B camera was harder to sync, as it had been started and stopped several times during each interview to get different angles. Best practice would be to start the audio recorder first, then the camera(s) and leave the cameras running for as long as possible, even if it means it’s shooting while you change positions for a better shot.
  5. Leave the in camera audio on (and, if possible, use a camera-mount shotgun) to help with the syncing. This is especially helpful if you’re syncing manually.

And here’s the outcome of my 1st all-DSLR shoot! Hope you enjoy it!


Spotted: Childless Man with Diaper Bag!

Recently, my friend Francis Abbey let me in on a little secret. Although, he has no children (that he knows of!), he carries a diaper bag. He has found it to be a great way to carry his camera incognito.

Francis with diaper bag

Fashion Faux Pas or Cool Camera Bag?

After seeing how well Francis’ worked diaper bag for him, I started the hunt for the perfect diaper bag for MY baby! (That is, for my Canon 60D. I, like Francis, am childless, unless you count one very spoiled Boston Terrier.) The selection is almost overwhelming! There is a size/color/pattern/style for just about everybody. So many more options than there are for “real” camera bags! Here are a few things on my must-have list:

  • Magnetic or zipper closures (NOT velcro) – who wants to make noise every time they’re switching lenses? Especially if you’re trying to shoot on the DL!
  • Top flap – to keep the weather away from your precious baby!
  • Inner pockets that will hold lenses – I’ve tried out a few at the store and baby bottle pockets seem to be just the right size for most of my lenses!
  • Style, style, style! – I’ve got to have something that looks like what I would carry as a purse – otherwise, I wouldn’t look very undercover, now, would I?

It has also occurred to me that there are a few other nifty benefits to using a diaper bag for your undercover or casual shooting. First, they usually come with a changing pad, which I imagine would come in handy if you were ever shooting outside and needed to put your gear (or your butt) on the wet ground for a minute. Second, most of the newer diaper bags have clips that will attach to the handles on a stroller. Now, I have a rolling briefcase for my laptop and I bet those clips would work to hook the new diaper/camera bag onto the handle, so I could roll everything together! Third, they have ample room for personal necessities (which is a HUGE plus for us girly girls who have to carry everything all the time!) And finally, do I have to say it again? STYLE! Diaper bags are so much cooler looking than camera bags! Why? Who knows! It makes absolutely NO sense. Why should moms get to look cooler than filmmakers and photographers? Not fair. I’m taking cool back and adopting a diaper bag.

I’m a big fan of the Skip Hop line, especially the Dash, but gentlemen Filmmaker/Photographers may prefer the Eddie Bauer line:

Skip Hop Dash Deluxe Diaper Bag Eddie Bauer Supreme Flap Hobo Diaper Bag

Bottom Line: A great idea for carrying your camera without looking super obvious, but be forewarned: they can be EXPENSIVE! Don’t pull a Tara and fall in love with the $375 one (unless you’ve got buckets of money, in which case, I’d like this one, please)!

BTW: You can (and should) check out Francis’ website and his awesome vlog! His first (award-winning) feature is available on FilmBaby and word on the street is his second film is on its way!

Jar Openers as Follow Focus!?!

So, I ran across a post a few weeks ago that featured a video from Tony Carretti. He found these little jar openers that work beautifully as a follow focus.

Here’s the video:

And here’s the product:

Trudeau Jar Openers

I couldn’t find them in our local Bed, Bath and Beyond, so I ordered some online. And those were back ordered, so I had to wait almost a month to get them. But, I’ve gotta tell ya, they work! They will fit around all of my lenses and they grip beautifully. I haven’t tried it yet, but I imagine you could even put two on a zoom lens and use one for focus and the other for zooms. The only lens that gives these guys a little trouble is my 50mm pancake lens. The focus ring on that lens is very narrow, so the follow focus sometimes slips around a bit, but it I get it on really tight to begin with and check it every once in a while, even that one seems to be fine. And, hey, for this price? I’ll live with a few little imperfections.

One thing to note is that these guys no longer seem to be going for $2.50, as stated in the video. Mine cost me a whopping $4 each. But, I’ll take that over $400 any day!

Bottom line: If you can find these suckers and you don’t have lots of money for gear, they are well worth the (very minor) investment.