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This weekly course covers the most common questions videographers encounter when shooting and editing with DSLR cameras, from choosing a frame size and frame rate to understanding moiré. Authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman will also help you understand the impacts of compression and the difference between cropped (or micro 4/3rds) and full-sized sensors in cameras, and much more. This continual FAQ guide is a handy way to find the answers to the questions that plague you the most.
Robbie: So Rich, we've just returned from the field. Rich: Yep. Robbie: And I thought like it went pretty well. We were out there shooting the artist there walking down this road that, you know, we put a lot of work into, marking things off. Rich: Yeah. Robbie: Now, now I just have to toot my own horn. I think the, pine cones that I placed as as markers or, or, or marks for the artist worked perfectly. They looked like they were there naturally. Rich: Actually, I went in after you and adjusted them. Robbie: I know. I know. So here we have a shot that was shot by DP Kevin Bradley. And this is just illustrated in File Focus and as you can see it's invisible.
We were shooting at you know, a pretty long distance here as the, as the artist was walking up the road. And, you know, he's searching for a focus a little bit there to get started. Right? Rich: Yeah. Robbie: But once he'll grab, he'll grab focus. Oh, return back to the beginning. Let him grab focus again. And, what Kevin's doing is we're using the marker points that we placed on the actual follow focus unit itself. Rich: Yeah. Robbie: And we're adjusting those as he walked up the street. Rich: Yeah, and he found the focus there, and as he's coming closer, you know, we're racking through it, he's just nailing it. It's very normal for follow focus to take a couple of tries.
As you rehearse it and even, in fact, sometimes you'll have a second person pulling focus. You are actually assisting him here. Robbie: And I am not a professional focus puller, just FYI. Rich: And that is the official title of the job if you want to write that on your business card, is focus puller. But this take is much more solid, and as you said, invisible. As he walks toward the camera. Even as he gets very close, I like how he's staying in focus. Let's get to a good freeze frame there. Robbie: Okay. Rich: And you know, notice how the background falls off. Obviously, we had to make some pretty big adjustments there, versus when he was farther away.
Robbie: Yeah, and I mean, if we're going to be really nitpicky about it, there was a moment there where he was walking between marks. On, on, in the field there. Where it got a little soft, and you know, that could actually be okay. I'm actually a proponent of, you know, a little, I like that kind of in-and-out kind of look. My point here being, that you really need to practice these moves. Kevin and I did this probably three, four, five times, and every time was just a little different. So, it's especially important when you're doing follow focus moves like this to try to get a few takes.
To find the most usable, or to combine those different takes together. Rich: And this one looks solid. Again, it does take some rehearsal, but we've got a good, solid exposure all the way through there. He takes his, mark, and heads back. And it's just the subtlety, and this is where the rehearsing comes in. Because, we're talking a millimetre of difference between what's in focus and out of focus. Male 1: Yeah, you know, in this actual, in this shot, we were actually doing this with a relatively short lens in terms of focal distance. That makes, actually makes it harder. And you know, if you're really trying to get you know, ease of use in fo-, focusing with a shot like this.
In hindsight, we should have gone, probably gone back and shot with more of a telephoto lens. You know, something in that 200mm range would have made those focus adjustments just a little bit more severe. But I think it turned out pretty well. Rich: Yeah, and there are parts of this shot that are going to be usable definitely, and the good news was, is, I was on a second camera getting a difference angle. We just need parts of this shot. We had him walk a lot further than we needed because In the music video, we're not going to use a 25-second shot of him walking. Robbie: It'd be a pretty boring music video. Rich: It would. So that's the good news is. So I think the take-away here is both rehearse, do it multiple times, and make sure you decide how perfect do you need.
We only needed parts of that shot to be solid. And, when I go to edit this, I definitely see the pieces that I need. So as the director in the field, even though the DP probably would have been happy shooting this for another three hours, I just said, you know what? I think we got what we need. Robbie: Absolutely. Rich: Alright. For our DSLR our video tips, my name's Rich Harrington. Robbie: And I'm Robie Carmen. Rich: Thanks for joining us.
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