Download The Filmmaker’s Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age: 2013 Edition PDF

TitleThe Filmmaker’s Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age: 2013 Edition
PublisherPlume
ISBN 139780452297289
CategoryArts - Film
LanguageEnglish
File Size17.9 MB
Total Pages762
Table of Contents
                            Title Page
Copyright
Dedication
Contents
Preface
1. Introduction to Digital and Film Systems
	Digital Video Systems
	The Video Format
	What Is Compression?
	Comparing Video Formats
	High Definition Digital Formats
	Digital Cinematography Systems
	Standard Definition Digital Formats
	Standard Definition Analog Formats
	Recording to Memory Cards, Drives, and Discs
	Sound Recording for Video
	Video Editing
	Film Systems
	Comparing Film Formats
	Sound Recording for Film
	Film Editing
	Shooting Digital Versus Shooting Film
2. Before You Begin Production
	Getting Your Movie Off the Ground
	Formats for the Big Screen and the Small(er) Screen
	The “Look” of the Movie
	The Impact of Sensor Size and Film Gauge
	Color and Sensitivity to Light
	Sharpness and Focus
	Aspect Ratio Choices
	Frame Rate and Scanning Choices
	Choosing a Camera
	Planning Your Workflow
	Managing Data in Production and Post
	The Importance of Sound
	Coping with Technology
3. The Video Camcorder
	Initial Settings
	Viewfinder and Monitor Setup
	Picture Controls
	Recording to Cards, Drives, and Optical Discs
	Types of Media
	Managing Data on the Shoot
	Recording to Digital Tape
	Operating the Camcorder
	Batteries and Power Supplies
	Camera Sensitivity
	Other Camera Features
4. The Lens
	Focal Length and Perspective
	The Light-Gathering Power of the Lens
	Focusing the Image
	Choosing a Zoom Lens
	Prime Lenses
	Close Focusing
	Lens Quality and Condition
	The Lens Mount
	Lens Seating Problems
	Care of the Lens
5. The Video Image
	Forming the Video Image
	The Digital Video Camera’s Response to Light
	Understanding and Controlling Contrast
	What Is Gamma?
	Gamma Options When Shooting
	Video Color Systems
	Some Image Manipulations and Artifacts
	Video Monitors and Projectors
	Timecode
	Digital Video Recording—How It Works
	Pixels and Resolution
	Working with Digital Data
	Digital Connections
	Hard Drive Storage
	RAIDs
	File Formats and Data Exchange
	Digital Compression
	Compression Methods
	A Few Common Codecs
6. The Film Camera
	The Film Gate and Shutter
	Camera Speed and Motors
	Viewing Systems
	The Reflex Viewfinder
	Camera Film Capacity
	Other Camera Features
	Camera Tests and Maintenance
7. The Film Image
	Properties of the Film Stock
	Contrast of the Image
	Sharpness
	Choosing a Raw Stock
	Packaging, Handling, and Purchasing
	The Light Meter and Exposure Control
	Light Meters
	Taking Readings
	Exposure and Film Stocks
	The Film Lab During Production
	Screening the Rushes
8. Color and Filters
	Color
	Color Temperature
	Filters
	Matte Boxes and Lens Shades
9. Shooting the Movie
	The Goals of Production
	Composition and Shot Selection
	The Moving Camera
	Style and Direction
	Dramatic Films
	Documentaries
	Preparing for Production
	Preparing the Script and Approach
	Scheduling and Planning
	Organizing the Production
	The Equipment Package
	In Production
	Logging
	Supporting the Camera
	Slow Motion, Fast Motion, and Judder
	Slow Motion
	Fast Motion
	Judder or Strobing
	Shooting TVs and Video Monitors
	Shooting in 3D
10. Sound Recording Systems
	Sound
	How Audio Is Recorded
	Analog Audio Recording
	Digital Audio Recording
	Types of Audio Recorders
	Digital Audio Recorders
	Audio in the Video Camera
	The Analog Tape Recorder
	The Microphone
	Audio Connections
11. Sound Recording Techniques
	Preparing for a Shoot
	Gathering Gear
	The Sound Recordist’s Role
	Recording Technique
	Setting the Recording Level
	Music, Narration, and Effects
	Other Recording Issues
	Recording Double System for Video and Film
	Syncing Audio and Picture
	Operating a Double-System Recorder
12. Lighting
	Light
	Lighting Equipment
	Bulbs
	Types of Lighting Instruments
	Lighting Technique
	Lighting Styles
	Positioning Lights
	Controlling Lighting Contrast
	Lighting and Color
	Special Lighting Effects
	Location Lighting
13. Picture and Dialogue Editing
	Some Film Theory
	Approaches to Editing
	Dialogue Editing
	The Editing Process
	Titles
14. Editing Digital Video
	Components of a Nonlinear Editing System
	How the NLE Plays and Edits Media
	Postproduction Workflow
	What Format or Resolution to Edit In?
	Importing and Organizing Your Material
	Importing Files
	Capturing from Tape
	Creating and Editing Sequences
	Basic Sound Editing
	Working with Double-System Sound
	Basic Video Effects
	Titles, Graphics, and Stills
	Mixing and Converting Formats
	Working with 24p and Pulldown
	Editing 24p Footage
	Finishing and Output
	Managing Media
	Exporting a File
	Output to Tape
	Creating a DVD or Blu-ray
	Creating a Digital Cinema Package
	Color Correction
	Tape Editing
	The EDL and Online Editing
15. Sound Editing and Mixing
	The Sound Editing Process
	Sound Editing Tools
	Sound Editing Technique
	Music
	Some Sound Editing Issues
	Preparing for the Mix
	The Sound Mix
	Level and Dynamic Range
	Frequency Range and EQ
	Other Sound Processing
	Mix Formats
	Deliverables
16. Working with Film in Postproduction
	Overview of Film-Video Transfers
	Some Film-Digital Workflows
	Film-to-Digital Transfer Devices
	Telecine Options and Controls
	Recording Format and Scanning Options
	Image Control
	Audio Options
	Film Transfer Data
	Booking a Transfer
	Editing Film Digitally
	Preparing to Edit
	Editing Considerations for Traditional Film Finish
	When You’re Done with the Offline Edit
	From Digital to Film
	Preparing for the Digital-to-Film Transfer
	Traditional Film Conforming and Blowups
	Preparing the Original for Printing
	Blowups
	Making Film Prints
	Printing Basics
	Answer Prints
	Intermediates
	Release Prints
	Sound for Film Prints
	Analog Optical Tracks
	Digital Sound Tracks
	Film Projection
17. Producing and Distributing the Movie
	Developing the Project
	Funding Sources
	Budgets
	Business Arrangements
	Legal and Copyright Issues
	Protecting Your Work
	Releases for Real People, Places, and Things
	Using Copyrighted Material
	Distribution and Marketing
	A Last Word
Appendices
	A. Adjusting a Video Monitor
	B. Data Rates and Storage Needs for Various Digital Formats
	C. Depth of Field Tables
	D. Hyperfocal Distance Table
	E. Angle of View in Different Formats
Bibliography
Websites
Index
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

A PLUME BOOK
THE FILMMAKER’S HANDBOOK

STEVEN ASCHER is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker whose films include ,
, and (trilogy codirected with his wife, Jeanne Jordan). He has taught

filmmaking at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and in workshops
around the world. His awards include the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award, the Prix
Italia, a George Foster Peabody Award, and an Emmy Award, and he was nominated for a Directors
Guild of America Award. His website is www.WestCityFilms.com.

EDWARD PINCUS’s pioneering work in personal documentary led to ( ). He
codirected , , , , and

. He founded the Film Section at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later taught
filmmaking at Harvard. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and National Endowment for the
Arts grants. He is author of the widely used and grows cut flowers
commercially in northern New England.

Pincus and Ascher also codirected .

Page 381

microphones. Imagine each diagram as a cross section of the mic’s sensitivity, with the microphone
lying along the vertical axis (as the omni mic is here). The microphone’s diaphragm would be
positioned at the center of the graph. (Carol Keller)

One disadvantage of highly directional mics is that you may encounter situations in which it’s
hard to capture important sounds within the narrow lobe of sensitivity. A classic case is trying to
record a two-person conversation with a long shotgun mic: When the mic is pointed at one person,
who is then on axis, the other person will be off axis, his voice sounding muffled and distant. Panning
a long microphone back and forth is an imperfect solution if the conversation is unpredictable. In
such cases, it may be better to move far enough away so that both speakers are approximately on axis.
Unfortunately, the best recordings are made when the microphone is close to the sound source. A less
directional mic, or two mics, would be better.

Microphone Sound Quality
Microphones vary in their frequency response. Some mics emphasize the bass or low frequencies,

others the treble or high frequencies.
The frequency response of a microphone or recorder is shown on a frequency response graph that

indicates which frequencies are favored by the equipment. Favored frequencies are those that are
reproduced louder than others. An “ideal” frequency response curve for a recorder is flat, indicating
that all frequencies are treated equally. Many mics emphasize high-frequency sounds more than
midrange or bass frequencies. Recordists may choose mics that favor middle to high frequencies to
add clarity and presence (the sensation of being close to the sound source) to speech. Some mics have
a “speech” switch that increases the midrange (“speech bump”). In some situations, a mic that
emphasizes lower frequencies may be preferred. For example, a male vocalist or narrator might like
the sound coloration of a bassy mic to bring out a fuller sound. A large-diaphragm mic, like the
Neumann U 89, can be used for a “warm” sound.

Sometimes recordists deliberately roll off (suppress) low frequencies, especially in windy
situations (see Chapter 11).

When you purchase a mic, check the frequency response graph published by the manufacturer. An
extremely uneven or limited response (high frequencies should not drop off significantly before
about 10,000 Hz or more) is some cause for concern.

One of the things that distinguishes high-quality mics is low “self-noise”—the mic itself is quiet
and doesn’t add hiss to the recording.

The microphones that come with recorders and cameras are often not great and may need to be
replaced. Set up an A/B test where you can switch from one mic to another while recording. However,
you may find that you prefer the sound of the less expensive of two mics. An A/B test is especially
important if you need two matched microphones for multiple-mic recording (see Chapter 11).

Page 382

Fig. 10-21. (A) The relatively flat frequency response of a good-quality audio recorder. Where the
graph drops below the 0 dB line indicates diminished response. (B) A microphone frequency
response curve. This mic is more sensitive to high frequencies. The three parts of the curve at left
represent increasing amounts of bass roll-off controlled by a built-in, three-position switch (see p.
459). (Carol Keller)

Windscreens and Microphone Mounts
The sound of the wind blowing across a microphone does not in the least resemble the gentle

rustle of wind through trees or the moan of wind blowing by a house. What you hear instead are pops,
rumble, and crackle. When recording, don’t let wind strike a microphone (particularly highly
directional mics) without a windscreen. A windscreen blocks air from moving across the mic.

Fig. 10-22. (left) Rycote rubber shock mount and pistol grip. (right) The Rycote Softie windscreen
works well in windy conditions. (Rycote Microphone Windshields, Ltd.)

A minimal windscreen is a hollowed-out ball or tube of Acoustifoam—a foam rubber–like
material that does not muffle sound (see Fig. 8-10). This kind of windscreen is the least obtrusive and
is used indoors and sometimes in very light winds outside. Its main use is to block the wind produced
when the mic is in motion and to minimize the popping sound caused by someone’s breathing into the
mic when speaking.

For breezier conditions, a more substantial windscreen is needed. Many recordists carry a soft,
fuzzy windscreen with built-in microphone mount, such as the Rycote Softie (see Fig. 10-22). A Softie

Page 761

workflow, 1, 90, 554–56
compression and, 94–97
planning, 608–9

workprints, 49, 300, 301
wrappers, 242–45, 614–15
written proposals, 54, 720–22

X axis, 688
Xbox, 63
XDCAM, 17, 34, 93, 247
XDCAM EX, 18, 27, 95, 250, 558
XDCAM HD, 27, 34, 250
XLR connectors, 416, 417, 433, 435
XML Interchange Format, 244, 613, 655
X-ray machines, 285, 286
X-Y stereo, 461–63

Y/C, S-video
Y axis, 688
Y,B-Y,R-Y, 209
Y’CBCR, 206, 209, 219, 551, 595, 628, 687, 767
YouTube, 616, 619
YPBPR, 209
YUV, Y’CBCR

zebra indicator, 106, 107, 187, 190
zeppelin, 425
zero-frame reference mark, 283–84
zero setup, 205
zoom creep, 168
zoom lenses, 103, 142, 144, 153, 159, 161, 163–68, 174, 294
shooting with, 330–32, 353

zoom mode (monitor), 79
zoom range, 163–65

Page 762

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