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Poor student film maker.

billwillbillwill Registered User regular
edited October 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
My friends and I have an idea for a short film, and we desperately want to film it. I have the actors, the script, a storyboard, and all the props.

Now all I need is a camera. What would be something that is above the level of your average camcorder but not a billion trillion dollars?

My budget is open, but (obviously) the cheaper the better.

I hate you and you hate me.
billwill on

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    iglidanteiglidante Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    You can do some really decent work on a $1000 camera. I don't know if that's outside your range or not.

    ASIDE: I would strongly recommend doing dialog in post, if you can manage that. Camera audio, even with shotguns, is inconsistent unless you're really good at getting it right. Plus, you don't want hiss and ambient noise.

    iglidante on
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    DeathPrawnDeathPrawn Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Are you actually a student? I know that my university TV station has a bunch of really nice cameras that people can borrow or rent.

    DeathPrawn on
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    iglidanteiglidante Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    My university had crappy ones for kids to borrow, so I guess it depends on the school. But they were free.

    iglidante on
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    JinnJinn Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Look for rental houses in your area. If you aren't a university student, go to the nearest university and find the film nerds. Make friends. Profit.

    Something else to consider: some new fancy DSLR still cameras actually record stunning HD video. Ask around for one of those if you can't find a legit video camera.

    Or try pawn shops. Use an old camera. Make it look crappy on purpose to add some charm. If the story is good, your acting is semi-decent, and you take in to account other production values, you can do a lot with a little, equipment-wise.

    Jinn on
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    neonoodleneonoodle Registered User new member
    edited October 2009
    Something that you really need to consider is sound. This often goes by the wayside in low-budget films, but it's one of the most important things you can focus on. People don't really care if the video is fairly low-quality and grainy, but if it sounds like crap and you can hardly hear it, it's a huge turn-off. Be sure to get a decent shotgun mic for a couple hundred bucks or find a person with that equipment. Whatever you do, don't rely on the microphone off of your camera.

    neonoodle on
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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Regarding sound, you really want to ADR it but it is probably not possible to get studio time for your limited budget. I'd go with an external mic on a boom.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
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    iglidanteiglidante Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Regarding sound, you really want to ADR it but it is probably not possible to get studio time for your limited budget. I'd go with an external mic on a boom.

    This. If you've got a limited budget, limited shooting time, and everything else that comes with student film making, you really don't want to be redoing takes constantly because the audio wasn't quite right - Oops, car in the background. Cops drove by. Someone slammed a door. Etc. Just get the take right and then do the audio in post, if you can.

    iglidante on
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    SceptreSceptre Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    What sort of microphone would you guys reccomend for someone who plans to re record voice overs and what not?

    Sceptre on
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    VortigernVortigern Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Mic's are a HUGE topic in and of themselves, but for a solid general mic stick with a Shure SM57. It's a solid dynamic mic that can record anything. Yes, you can get better mic's for different purposes, even better general use mics, but if you're on a budget, the SM57 gets decent results for a damn good price.

    Vortigern on
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    DeathPrawnDeathPrawn Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    The SM57 is in general a fantastic choice. If you're going to be using it predominantly for vocals, though, you're better off getting a SM58. They're essentially the same mic (they use the same diaphragm), but the SM58 is slightly geared more towards vocals.

    In the grand scheme of things a SM57/58 isn't what you want to use for top-end audio recording, but for a hundred bucks you can't beat it.

    DeathPrawn on
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    kitchkitch Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Don't forget the lighting!

    kitch on
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    Brodo FagginsBrodo Faggins Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Sceptre wrote: »
    What sort of microphone would you guys reccomend for someone who plans to re record voice overs and what not?

    Cardioid.

    Brodo Faggins on
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    billwillbillwill Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Alright thanks. One of my friends is very well off, so he is footing the bill for the majority of this (he loves the idea of being called "producer" haha).

    I haven't even thought about the audio, so I will definitely look into that.

    Any other things I should take into account when making an extremely low budget student film?

    billwill on
    I hate you and you hate me.
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    rchourchou Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Plan things out. You have infinite time in preproduction. Use it.

    rchou on
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    Brodo FagginsBrodo Faggins Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Put out a notice asking for crew members that at least have a little experience. As said by rchou, preproduction is everything. Location scouting is important, as is feeding your crew.

    Brodo Faggins on
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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    If people are working for you for free, respect that. Let people go home if you can, make sure it's an enjoyable experience, etc. I've seen a ton of productions ruined because the free help wasn't treated too great.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
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