I've done solo, but not in a foreign country. Those who recommend something with a fixed zoom lens, built-in ND filters, a wireless mic and shotgun with xlr inputs, long shoot times on batteries and a way to store your footage are absolutely right. My camera of choice is an old Panasonic DVX100B. I found that the fun part was traveling around to get interviews and thinking ahead for the b-roll shots. The really hard part was the post; capturing and logging, script writing, then edit. It is possible, but after awhile, you're hating a documentary you'll see literally hundreds of times before anyone can give you feedback. However, the finished product is amazing and all the pain is forgotten when the audience applauds you. Best of luck and be careful!
Results 21 to 24 of 24
07-08-2012 03:50 PM
- Join Date
- Feb 2010
- Salt Lake City, Utah
07-13-2012 05:13 AM
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
Thanks a lot for the links, this is great and actually Iam looking always for light weight solutions like mentioned in this report. Iam still looking for an audio solution and cant decide to use either a rode microphone on the GH2 or the Zoom H1. Iam not doing professional work since Iam still a beginner doing video as a hobby, but looking of course for improvements. But it seems that an external audio recorder is good to carry around for certain situations.
One question about the Zoom H1, can I use it aswell like a microphone on the DSLR without the need of sync in post, means the DSLR records the sound ?
Last edited by moxrox; 07-13-2012 at 06:23 AM.
07-13-2012 08:37 AM
You can do it by yourself, but its more difficult, and more time consuming. It also depends on the equipment and the circumstances. I have included some examples of docs I have done by myself (which were easy enough to pull off), and finally one I did with a dslr & zoom recorder (where I felt it was impossible to do it by myself, and had to bring in help). So here begin the shameless plugs:
I did this short doc by myself. Some of the interviews were done with a lavalier microphone, and some with a blimp on a mic stand just out of frame. Interviews were all done on location (outdoors, but static). Audio monitoring was done in camera (a Canon XLH1 that has a decent sound mixer on board), so no real issues there. So I directed, filmed, set the audio, and edited that by myself. That one won a small competition:
This one was a pseudo documentary, but all done on the fly and everything developed on the go (there was no script, but we had a series of 'events' lined up that unfolded naturally on the day). This one relied on a voiceover instead of interviews. However I was capturing audio from the subject with an onboard shotgun microphone attached to the camera (again an XLH1). The mic worked pretty well, and a number of audio clips from the subject made it into the final edit. This was filmed in some rough locations, and again I did everything myself (except for the graphics and narration, and also also hired a driver for when I was filming from a moving car). This one also won a competition:
This is a trailer for a long form documentary (still unfinished, in post at the moment). Same set up as above. This involved a lot of running and gunning, and cinema verite style work. A lot to the interviews here were done with the onboard microphone on the XLH1 (the interview in the street in the trailer was done that way). The audio turned out surprisingly well considering:
This is the most recent short doc I have done, again for a competition. This is the first doc I have filmed using a DSLR. For that reason I decided to hire a crew (a sound engineer/boom operator recording to an external recorder, and a second cameraman to operate the traditional video camera alongside the DSLR). While it might be possible to do everything by yourself with a DSLR I think it is much more difficult. Namely you have to attach the audio recorder to a rig of some sort, but you can't monitor the audio levels while looking through the viewfinder (which you can do with a videocamera). The interviews here were on location, but static. However there was a lot of ambient noise (from the river and fishermen) so I didn't feel like chancing it so I hired someone to do it. Probably I could have done it myself but it would have taken a hell of a lot longer. Here it is:
Hope that helps.
- Join Date
- May 2012