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How do you do....it? Thread, Filming/Marketing school productions in Technical; Does anyone here get invloved in filming editing and selling DVD's of school productions. What kit do you use? Having ...
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    Disease's Avatar
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    Filming/Marketing school productions

    Does anyone here get invloved in filming editing and selling DVD's of school productions.

    What kit do you use?

    Having filmed the school production last night on an 8 year old camcorder the footage is rough to say the least, if we were thinking of settingup filming properly with a view to selling decent quality DVD's what would we need?

    Thanks

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    The cheapest and best thing to use is a mac with iMovie but the greatest thing to use is final cut express or pro but its expensive express is around 150 and pro 1G!
    If you don't have a mac though a good software to use is sony vegas.

    I'm only on work experience but making videos for youtube gives you some idea of things

    oh and if looking for a good camera a good one to start with is a Flip HD as they are cheap for what they are and have a USB on them that charges it also.
    Last edited by user17; 15th July 2011 at 12:10 PM.

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    tjay (not teejay) does - she does a huge amount of filming, editing and the like. Could be worth a word with her?

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    Cyberlink PowerDirector 8 or 9 does a very good job editing and adding effects/titles.
    You can lighten and stabilize footage, speed it up etc etc plus export it to lots of formats or burn to dvd - you can also create your own dvd menus using film footage, stills, music etc...

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    I do a fair bit. I use a Canon XM2 as the A camera and a Canon HFS200 as the B, which is locked down on wide angle. I edit with Adobe Premier CS4 in Standard Definition but record on 1440x1080 on the B camera. This allows me to edit motion without losing resolution, so it looks like the camera is operated. Sound is quite difficult, especially with kids. Some bellow and some squeak! CS4 has a dynamic sound compressor which lets you balance out the loud and the quiet. I put a radio mic. directly in front of the stage and a shotgun on both cameras.

    One of other problems is lighting. School productions tend to work on the principle that they will throw everything they have at it and trying to correct this can be a nightmare.

    One final thing to remember is that if the school has purchased a production, there is normally an additional charge if you produce dvds.

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    We use Canon XM2 cameras here with iMovie and iDVD to produce the final tool.

    The quality of the video is always good, but the problem as laserblazer says is lighting! If you have poor lighting, you'll get poor video.

    We haven't done it yet, but we now have all the equipment to record sound properly also (well, except the radio mics). Like lighting issues, the problem with filming a show is also the sound quality - even with good directional mics, your camera is usually a fair distance away. So, you need to have microphones on the performers or at least mics on the stage - either recording directly into the camera, or to a sound recording device (we got a Yamaha mixer which has USB output to record channels individually). However, if you go with the latter, you need to have something like a clapper board audible on all mics and visible to all cameras at the start - so you have something to sync to!

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    We use directouts on the sound desk to record multitrack audio into cubase... Typically each individuals radio mic, 4 shotguns across front of the stage, 2 ambient mics recording audience, and if band, then the band multitracked. Finally, we also record the fx returns. Lets you do a full remix of the audio.

    For the video, we use a sony hd1000e locked off for wide shots, and 2x canon manned hd cameras for closeups and tracking shots. Before each performance, the stage is set with a white lighting wash, and all cameras whitebalanced against an a4 sheet of paper held up o n stage. All cameras on manual focus otherwise you get refocussing blur when coming out of blackout.

    Audio remixed and processed in Cubase then imported into Adobe Premier CS5 where it meets HD video. Menus knocked up in Photoshop, then the lot chucked at Encore to spit out as bluray/dvd.

    LED lighting is horrible for film/photo use, so we've stuck with traditional lamps in our hall.

    Slate button on mixing desk fires a sine wave thru the PA which is used as sync reference across everything.
    Last edited by Marci; 16th July 2011 at 11:36 AM.

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    Sounds like a pretty professional setup @Marci. The type of work I do wouldn't warrant what I would need to charge. To be honest, the average parent is delighted to get a some nice close ups of their little angels and to be able to hear what they are saying. I admit to leaving the locked down cameras on autofocus. If it drifts a bit, I just don't use it. The autofocus on the HD Canon is so good, it rarely happens. I agree about the whitebalance and one thing I insist on is the lighting guy knocking the house lights off and giving me some stage lights. Also, I ask to see their spotlights on maximum and then see if they will wind them down a bit.

    I don't do blueray yet and I create an iso image from encore and then use imgburn to burn the dvd. I have too many instances where encore has errored on the burn and wasted me hours! Using imgburn speeds up the workflow and the results are just as good.

    It's all very time-consuming though. I try and avoid doing any work in my own school. The staff seem to think it's just a case of pointing the camera and then copying it to a dvd.

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    At our place i'm the lighting guy, sound guy, & video guy, as well as the it tech, and performing arts tech, so everything tends to get done my way... Makes doing the above much easier. I'm usually sat manning both desks at the back on a wheely chair with laptop to oneside for audio recording and a monitor for the locked off cam.

    That said, i'm leaving in 4 weeks to head to a new job at a different school so doubt i'll get many more chances to do the above. I admit i over endulge on it all as it's what i do for a hobby so throwing myself at that for a few days is a good distraction from the day-to-day it support headaches (look up 'off the wall' videos posted by mmragb on youtube, altho that was all done with 2 cameras tops and distinctly less control over the way it got done)

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    Handy tip tho for any tech's involved in productions if you want to get your perfarts dept to love you... mount a shabby old handheld lowdef handicam to the ceiling looking down on the stage, turn on nightvision, and hook it up to an old tv in the wings

    Makes setting up scenes during blackout much easier for them, and use a video sender to fire a copy to front of house, then your sound and lighting chappies know exactly ehen evetyone's ready for the next scene / lights n' sound up.

    Got me a bottle of JackD out of 'em for rigging that one up - used an old camera where firewire had packed up so it was heading for the bin anyways, and school had some old tv's knocking about already. Used cat5 n' phono connectors to deliver composite video.

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