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View Full Version : How can a newbie make a pro documentary?



newbie
04-10-2005, 06:44 PM
Maybe this is a mission impossible....but I would like to make as much pro looking documentary as possilble. I have all the content.....and I need to translate it to a pro looking documentary for a small TV station, which broadcasts in analog pal.

Im also on a budget and therefore I dont want to spend more than necessary to be able to make decent outdoors and indoors videos. Im not trying to make the pro video of the year...but only trying to make a shamless video that is likely to be accepted for a broadcast.

I need to buy a computer and a camcorder, so Im wondering what is the best buy for my needs? I also have a 4 month old baby that I would like to use my camcorder for...so I guess my videos should look good now for the broadcast and in the future for the memories of my baby?

I really like Linux if there are adequate editing programs for it, but Im ready to edit in an Apple or a XP if those applications are much better than the Linux applications.

So...the question is.....what should I buy?

Zim
04-11-2005, 12:22 AM
mac

Anthony_Gilmore
04-11-2005, 07:24 AM
dual mac 2.5 and g-raid external (atleast 500Gig if doing offline editing), Apple's editing suite and....lots of tapes to capture every moment of you baby :)

galt
04-11-2005, 08:59 AM
Gee, I really want to build a house, so what kind of hammer should I buy? I want the house to be hurricane proof, big, and green. Sorry for the sarcasm, but your question is at about the same level so I thought an example would be best.

Start by budgeting a couple of hundred dollars for a nice library from Amazon. Cinematography, lighting, audio, editing style, editing technologies, post-production, documentaries, scripting, developing a budget. And then when you know everything in those, buy some more.

newbie
04-11-2005, 10:57 AM
Gee, I really want to build a house, so what kind of hammer should I buy? I want the house to be hurricane proof, big, and green. Sorry for the sarcasm, but your question is at about the same level so I thought an example would be best.

Start by budgeting a couple of hundred dollars for a nice library from Amazon. Cinematography, lighting, audio, editing style, editing technologies, post-production, documentaries, scripting, developing a budget. And then when you know everything in those, buy some more.
Then I would be able to make some great video when my baby gratuates from a university...

Im not really trying to win any prize with my video making, but rather try to make the best I can with not too much effort. But an ABC book of video making is not a bad idea!

You know, after I bought my Nikon D70, a book about D70, a studio flash, a light meter and 2 pro lenses, Im able to make some terrific photos. Of course pros can make better photos, but mine are good enough and getting better with practice.

wabbit
04-11-2005, 03:45 PM
Telling a story in a compelling fashion is difficult at best, monumentous if you are trying to do it on a professional level. People who are great at it and have been doing it for decades are still fighting tooth and nail for legit airtime. People on forums like this have spent years producing documentaries with no broadcast at the end. Understand that when setting out on this endeavor; it is a HIGHLY competitive field and you very likely won't get a major broadcast (of course public access is easy). It's like someone thinking, I had a supporting role in my local theatre troop so I am now expecting to move to Hollywood and get a major lead in a summer blockbuster (not expecting Oscar, just a major role). The point is the competition and business side of this field makes this a very difficult undertaking.

That all being said, don't believe the hype on platform. Mac or pc will work fine. FCP, Avid, etc are close enough in professional quality that their is no one superior low-cost editing platform. Practice on some trial software and find out which one is most comfortable to you.

Obviously this board is gonna recommend the Panasonic DVX100a for a camera and it really is a great low-end professional camera. Some of the controls can get complicated but if you practice for a while you will master it. Beyond the camera you are going to need many accessories (tripod, filters, etc) and audio equipment. There are separate forums on this site that you can browse to find what you need there.

You will need many books on the technical side of things but also need many books and practice on the storytelling/documentary side.

If you are interested in telling stories then practice, practice, practice; and don't get discouraged if you don't get broadcast your first time out. If you are simple just trying to tell one story and feel it is important to get the story out to the public then find a professional producer in your area to collaborate with.

Best of luck and welcome to the machine :)

CarlGM
04-12-2005, 06:25 PM
Newbie,

Although I am new to all of this editing stuff and filmmaking, I can tell you that there are some Linux tools out there. On the Hi-tech side there is; Cinelerra, which is free, and for image editing there is CinePaint, fromerly called FilmGimp.. SuSE also ships with an editing program the name of which I have forgotten at the monent., wait it is called MainActor. Google them and see what you think.

Best,

Carl






Maybe this is a mission impossible....but I would like to make as much pro looking documentary as possilble. I have all the content.....and I need to translate it to a pro looking documentary for a small TV station, which broadcasts in analog pal.

Im also on a budget and therefore I dont want to spend more than necessary to be able to make decent outdoors and indoors videos. Im not trying to make the pro video of the year...but only trying to make a shamless video that is likely to be accepted for a broadcast.

I need to buy a computer and a camcorder, so Im wondering what is the best buy for my needs? I also have a 4 month old baby that I would like to use my camcorder for...so I guess my videos should look good now for the broadcast and in the future for the memories of my baby?

I really like Linux if there are adequate editing programs for it, but Im ready to edit in an Apple or a XP if those applications are much better than the Linux applications.

So...the question is.....what should I buy?