Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Introduction to cameras: SKILLS

A week ago the class was introduced to the cameras we will be using to shoot our final product which is an opening title sequence to a thriller. The requirements for making a good sequence is the camera work. Which I believe comes with practice.  These were the pointers we had been taught: 

  • How to open and put in our Group labelled-Memory cards (SD) There was two slots of A + B and we had to push the flap covering them down.
  • How to turn on the camcorder. I thought this would be easy, a black on and off button right in front of me. However, instead that was for another function.  A silver dial had to be facing the "on button". 
  • A typical "School-boy" error, was to think that the camera is not working because the viewing screen is blank. But in matter of fact, the lenses cap would most probably be still on. 
  • When turned on, there is an automatic battery saver system where if the camera isn't in use within 50 - 1:30 the system will automatically turn off.
  • Whilst filming there is often the problem if  the lens is focused. Even though the camera has a digital autofocus, sometimes for the scene to be effective the focus has to be further away rather than the closest object to the screen. Along the side of the camera there is a button called "MF" (Manual Focus) This allows us to focus on what we want to focus. For example, in an "over the shoulder shot" we would want to focus on the person furthest from the camera. So I would hit the "MF" button and use a black dial which goes around the lens to focus manually rather than compromising my camera angle for the Auto focus.
  • Another tip we was told is when filming is that when we are tracking movement of a person, we should keep them to the right side of the frame. This enables the light to be focused on the person rather than the background. 
  • When doing close ups of a character, the head should meet the top of the frame.

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