Saturday, April 15, 2017

Some new stuff I'm learning

I'm getting ready for two back-to-back video gigs, and I am continuing to learn a lot about how to do video, equipment, techniques, etc. The learning really never ends...

iPhone in a Beastgrip tripod mount. 
On one of them, I'm actually going to be filming using an iPhone. Why? Because I'm working in the environment where I need to relatively nimble and low profile, and a DSLR rig with audio on a tripod is a bit more intrusive than I'm looking for, so I'm going with an iPhone and a Beastgrip tripod mount with shotgun microphone.

The shotgun is going to go right into the iPhone, recording the audio alongside the video. Since I'm doing this solo, this is the best option to make sure that I capture both the audio and video. I could get better audio quality if I was going into an external recorder such as my H4N Pro, but that is one more thing that I would have to deal with under challenging circumstances, so I'm trying to streamline and simplify.

There are still some technical challenges I'll have to overcome with the audio and video when I bring it into Adobe Premiere Pro, but I found a workaround using Handbrake to transcode the video.

I'm also using an app called Filmic Pro that gives me a lot more control over the camera controls on the iPhone. 

I've tried external lenses for the iPhone, and I'm not sold on them yet. Could be the quality of the ones I'm using or pilot error, but I'm going to work with them a little bit more before putting them into my camera kit.

LEDs and a CFL clamp light
I also am changing over to new LED lights. The cost on these have dropped significantly since I bought my first LED lights a couple of years ago. Probably the biggest advantage for a traveling videographer is the freakin' size of them - small!

I'm still bringing my DSLR kit with me for the other gig, but this is, to me, a great way to go light and fast.

I'll also be doing a presentation "Video (on the cheap)" at the upcoming Colorado Risk Reduction Network annual meeting. The audience is fire prevention, fire safety and community risk reduction personnel, and with fire department budgets being tight (to say the least) we're going to be talking about how they can do video inexpensively using smartphones and other tools easily available from places like Home Depot's photography department (you didn't know they had a photography department?).