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The DSLR Filmmaker's Handbook: Real-World Production Techniques

ISBN: 978-0-470-87660-2
416 pages
January 2012
The DSLR Filmmaker
A how-to guide for getting professional-quality video from your DSLR

Shooting HD Video with a video-enabled DSLR has many benefits and some tricky drawbacks that digital filmmakers and videographers can overcome to get professional results. The DSLR Filmmaker's Handbook helps filmmakers harness the HD video capabilities of their DSLRs to create professional-level video. Packed with professionally-tested techniques, this indispensible book serves as a training guide for the complex steps that must be taken before, during, and after filming.

  • Teaches you the key tools and techniques for using your DSLR to shoot high-quality, professional-level video
  • Distills dense information about filmmaking and filters it down to easily understood granules
  • Shows you what to expect and what to avoid with your DSLR and how to maximize the visual look of your film
  • Shares tools and techniques that have been used in real-world, independent movie-making environments

The DSLR Filmmaker's Handbook shows you how to overcome any tricky drawbacks that you may face while shooting HD video with your DSLR.

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Introduction xi

Chapter 1 Fundamentals of DSLR Filmaking 1

Features of DSLR Cameras 1

Features of SLR Lenses 9

How Sensor Size and Lenses Interact 16

Chapter 2 Gear and Recommendations 21

What Camera Is Right for You? 21

Lenses and Accessories 26

Lights 40

Audio 41

Tripod and Dollies 46

Specialty Items and Miscellaneous 48

Planning Your Gear Package 54

Chapter 3 Testing and Custom Settings 59

Camera-Specific Testing 59

Testing Equipment Interactions 67

Using In-camera Presets 78

Changing the Camera Presets for Image Control 80

Customizing Your Picture Style: Steps for Canon DSLR Cameras 92

Chapter 4 Cameras and Lenses on Location 99

Using Cameras on Location 99

Using Lenses on Location 103

Chapter 5 Camera Motion and Support 125

Camera Motion 125

Types of Camera Movement 127

Planning the Motion 134

Gear for Designing and Controlling Movement 135

Stabilizing Your Camera Motion 140

Motion, the Edit, and Cutting 154

Chapter 6 Lighting on Location 157

Planning the Lights 158

Choosing Lights 159

Principles for Setting Lighting 163

Types of Lights by Position 170

Lighting for Special Situations 176

Managing Light 182

Light Quality 188

Picking Exposure 191

Chapter 7 Sound on Location 195

The Role of Sound 195

Recording Sound with DSLR Cameras 197

Microphones and Key Accessories 204

Planning, Setting Up, and Recording a Shoot 210

Chapter 8 Organizing and Storing Data in the Field 217

Setting Up a File System 217

Capture Formats 226

Backing Up Your Footage on Set 227

Organizing Data on Set 229

Chapter 9 Troubleshooting 233

Avoiding Problems: What to Do, What to Take 233

Shooting Problems 238

Hardware Problems 255

Ways to Save the Shot 264

Chapter 10 Converting and Editing Your Footage 267

Setting the Foundation for Post-Production Workflow 267

Choosing the Right Hard Drives 268

Backing Up Data 273

Choosing and Using an Editing Codec 274

Editing Your Footage 279

Chapter 11 Audio Crash Course 285

Syncing Your Audio and Video 285

Troubleshooting Out-of-Sync Sound 289

Automated Dialogue Replacement (ADR) 291

Chapter 12 Color Correction and Grading 297

Color Theory and the Eye 297

Color Correction on Set: Outside of the Camera 303

Color Correction on Set: Inside of the Camera 307

What Is This Camera Shooting Anyway and Why Do I Care? 310

Post-Production Color Correction and Grading 315

Chapter 13 Compression 327

Understanding Compression 327

Outputting Your Video 330

One File Fits All 337

Chapter 14 Fixing It in Post 341

Primary Color Correction 341

Micromanaging with Regional Color Corrections 343

Secondary Color Correction 345

Faux Lens Effects 349

Behind-the-Lens Fakery 353

Chapter 15 Workshops 363

A Brief Guide to Underwater Cinematography 363

Rigging a Car 378

Achieving That Cinematic Look: Ramping and Changing Frames per Second 389

Index 392

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Barry Andersson is an award-winning independent filmmaker. His career started with live television video production and now includes several acclaimed short films, a television pilot, commercials, and a DSLR feature-length film. Follow him on Twitter: @mopho_barry.

Janie L. Geyen has a law degree with an emphasis on entertainment and contract law. She has produced several award-winning short films, a television pilot, and a recently completed feature-length DSLR film. She is currently producing another DSLR feature. Follow her on Twitter: @deodand.

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