A long take or “oner” is when an entire scene is captured in a single, unbroken take. These are technically difficult shots that require a lot of planning and coordination. The history of cinema is full of incredible long takes; some frequently-cited examples are in Touch of Evil, Goodfellas, Boogie Nights, Children of Men, and Gravity, but there are many more.
We’ve spent some time discussing “impossible” camera moves already – Steadicam and gimbal shots that give the impression of the camera floating smoothly through an environment. This week, we’ll be looking at another impossible move: the epic, bird’s-eye crane shot.
At this point in the semester, we’ve gone over several different cameras and several different kinds of cameras. As a quick recap, let’s review what equipment is ideally suited to different filming situations.
In terms of functionality, the FS5 is the most well-equipped camera in the Film/Media Studies collection. It has all the benefits of a dedicated video camera – unlimited recording time, long battery life, dual media slots, built-in ND filters, robust audio options, tons of external controls – along with the features present on our newer hybrid cameras, such as 4K recording and slow motion options.
We actually have several gimbals in our collection – each with different strengths and weaknesses. Here’s what we have and how to best use each one.
After decades of cinematography involving cameras on tripods, dollies, sliders, and cranes, the camera went mobile. Cinematographer Garrett Brown invented the Steadicam in the mid-1970s and it was popularized by two horror movies of the era: John Carpenter’s Halloween in 1978 and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining in 1980.
We’ve now used cameras on tripods, handheld, and on shoulder rigs. This week, we’re going to play with some bigger toys to create camera movement that is – dare I say it – more cinematic.
Here are some of the tools we have in our collection for smoothly moving a camera forwards, backwards, and side to side.
We first talked about camera rigging way back in week three. Rigs are great for adding additional components to your camera and for making it handle more like a traditional dedicated video camera. However, it’s also easy to go way overboard with rigging.
In your first project, you made films using only a camera with a single lens – no tripods or other stabilization methods. This week, we’re going to explore the idea of handheld cinematography in greater depth.
Filming cinematic footage is all about planning. The tools used on major cinematic productions are highly specialized and the individuals who operate them have very specific jobs to do. Filming a documentary short requires you to be resourceful; filming an event requires you to be adaptable; filming cinema requires you to be deliberate.
This week, we’re looking at a very unusual camera: the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera. The first, much larger, BlackMagic Cinema Camera was released in 2012 and it immediately made waves in the filmmaking community.
The most obvious use for a tripod is to keep the camera from moving – and that’s often critically important. When using a long lens or recording for a long period of time, tripods are a practical necessity. However, a static shot also creates its own kind of drama and not moving the camera can be an aesthetic choice.
Here are some basic terms that we’ll be using a lot when discussing camera movement.
Slow motion is fun. It can give drama more weight and make comedy more ridiculous. While it’s often overused in Hollywood blockbusters, there are times when a slow motion shot just works.
So far, we’ve looked at hybrid cameras (the Panasonic GH3 and GH) and dedicated video cameras (the Panasonic AF100 and Sony AX2000). This week, we’re going to get to know an unusual camera that offers some of the benefits of both hybrids and camcorders: the Sony RX10 II.
This week, we’re looking at two dedicated video cameras: the Panasonic AF100 and the Sony AX2000. These two camcorders have some interesting similarities and differences, but they both offer the kinds of benefits you only get when filming on a dedicated video camera.
The term “camcorder” has sort of an unfortunate connotation; it calls to mind the low-quality home movie cameras that were ubiquitous in the 1990s and early 2000s, before video-capable DSLRs shook up the industry.
At a glance, these cameras are basically identical; the GH4 has a locking mode dial and an extra setting on the drive dial, but that’s basically it. That makes it fairly easy to move from one camera to the other, but there are a few key differences between them that we’ll discuss shortly.
Let’s start diving into the specific features of the cameras in our collection. This week, we’re focusing on two very similar hybrid cameras from Panasonic – the GH3 and GH4. I want to start with hybrid cameras for a few reasons.