Showing posts with label filmography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label filmography. Show all posts

7 Mar 2016

My Short Film Equipment I Used for ‘KEYS’

My Short Film Equipment I Used forKEYS

KEYS is a short film I made using my entry level equipment. It’s time to share my own behind the scene experience and my short film making equipment. I didn’t rent anything. I bought the basic equipment needed for short film. I didn’t buy everything like at once, but it took me some time to create my collection.
So, here’s my equipment list for short film:

1. Camera and Lens

Canon 600D Body

Canon 760D Body

Canon Zoom EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS II

Canon EF Lens 50mm 1:1.8 STM (Prime Lens)

Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 55-250mm 1:4-5.6 IS II

There are plenty of good cameras for filming YouTube Videos. After doing a lot of research I settled with Canon 600D and Canon 760D. However, I purchased canon 760D a year after I purchased my Canon 600D. I watched other Canon 600D short films and Canon 760D short films and I was pretty much satisfied with the quality these two cameras deliver. I mounted (for most of the shots) Canon EF Lens 50mm 1:1.8 STM (Prime Lens) on my Canon 600D and Canon Zoom EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS II on my Canon 760D. I did to bring best video quality from both the cameras (Prime lens gives better output than 18-55mm and Canon 760D is feature wise better camera). So, I cross matched the camera and lens combos for better quality. The results were pretty good.

2. Tripods

Simpex 2400 Tripod &

Vanguard CX203AP Espod Tripod Aluminum

Both are entry level tripods and have advantages over each other. Vanguard’s head is smooth, shake-free, but I won’t recommend it if you want to hold the tripod in hand for handheld shots. I used Simpex 2400 Tripod for handheld shots, because it has a separate handle which is comfortable to hold. It basically works as a semi-stabilizer. Grip is good, you just have to go a little bit slower to avoid shake and you can get a pretty nice hand held shot. I followed one thumb rule for hand held shots which “if you think you are going slow, go slower”.

Another thing to note: While taking handheld shots, I used the camera that has Canon Zoom EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS II on because Canon EF Lens 50mm 1:1.8 STM (Prime Lens) doesn’t have the image stabilizer in it and when you use that for hand held shots, the resulting image is very shaky.

So, this was my short film Camera equipment.

Also, read How I chose my First Short Film Idea.

Now, Sound and Lighting Equipment List for Short Film.  

1. MIC

KEYS is a silent movie- no dialogues whatsoever, but I needed the surround sound for which I used my Zoom H1 handy Recorder. It works a lot a lot a lot better than lapel and in-built microphones in both Canon 600D and Canon 760D. Honestly, I was surprised to hear the quality it delivered. It was a musical short film, so the major part was going to be the music not the sound. Sound is just there to give the feel of environment and for that Zoom did a pretty good job. I highly recommend it to the first time film makers. You can use it handheld or mount it one a Tripod. If you want to record an interview, simply insert the lapel microphone’s wire in the slot given in the zoom recorder and put the Zoom Recorder in the interviewee’s pocket. Attach the lapel MIC to the collar and you are good to go.

2. Lighting and Reflectors

I didn’t invest in lighting for this film. It was going over budget for us. I was disappointed with the lighting in some of the scenes, totally not happy, but I had to do the shoot there, because it was our first film and we didn’t have much resources and shooting in that area was the only option. But, I found a way out of that too by changing the script. Yes, it did affect the film. I inserted a good lit shot between two badly lit shots to balance out the lighting and this change really made the difference. That was our way out and it worked.
I used white screen from my 5 in 1 reflectors I bought from Amazon. The metal ring in the reflector which is used to wrap the reflector broke on the first day of shoot. But, I found a perfect alternative for it (Hoopla-Ring). Yes, I put hoopla-ring instead of metal ring to support the reflector. I used it to shoot outdoor scenes because the sunlight was very harsh destroying the contrast of the scene. As I was short on crew so I used to click the play button on the camera and then hold the reflector while shooting the scene.

And, that’s it about my short film making equipment.

How I Chose My first Short Film Idea

A short film maker is confused about the making a short film when he doesn’t have a short film script idea or when he has a lot of short film ideas. My case was the latter one. I didn’t have any camera and I wasn’t ready to rent one. I wanted to buy one for myself and learn it first. So, until the time I wasn’t having any camera I kept writing short film scripts. And, now when I have the camera, I was confused which short film idea to choose and which one to leave as all looked equally good to me with a lot of potentials. Here are the parameters on which I judged my each script and finally decided about the first short film idea I was going to make a short film on. Watch the movie from the link below and then read the article to know how I decided on that script.

KEYS – Musical short Film shot with Canon 600D & 760D

1. Budget

I had an action short film script, musical, sci-fi, horror, romantic and motivational. These topics have that potential and can come out really well if made on a good budget. But, I picked musical short film script I had written. It is a one-character-based short film. Luckily, I had two of my friends working in the music field for the past couple of years and I thought it would be best if I could use their talents in my musical short film. When I approached them, they readily accepted my offer. They were already working in the music field, so they had the instruments. Eventually, making a musical short film worked best for me because it was in the budget and a musical short film requires real music and not the samples for which my friends were available. This cut down my budget way down and still I was going to have pro quality music for my short film.

2. Locations

See as per your short film script the locations you need. See if you have to compromise a lot on the locations to make it fit in your budget. If the budgeted location is compromising your movie quality then stack that short script idea for a while, until you have the budget to shoot it in the proper location. Choose an idea that can be shot best in the locations available to you. My musical short film isn’t a larger than life movie. My idea was to present the best short film I could in the budget I have and to approach sponsors/investors for the next film who can arrange me the locations I need for my future short films.

3. Cast

As I mentioned earlier, my musical short film is a single-character driven movie. I didn’t have to worry about the multiple actors. I asked the same friend who was playing the theme music for the movie to act in it also. The pressure is less on your shoulders if you are already working with people who already know the ins and outs of general acting. My friend was not an actor by any chance. It was my job as a scriptwriter and director to detail him in every manner so that he delivers the right expressions in the scene. As it was a musical short film and he was musician already, it helped him to gel with the situation pretty well. That connection of him with music eased my job.

4. Property or Props

Props could be an important asset to the short film based on the script and sometimes they are there to fill the surrounding to give the feel of the scene. In my case, I needed regular things as my character was an average Joe in the beginning of the movie. I pretty much had everything I needed. Also, read with which equipment I shot my short film.
When I finally saw my short film scripts based on the budget I was on, locations I have, cast and properties I needed, I chose my musical short film because all the other scripts needed a bit more budget, better locations, multiple casts and specific prop pieces which we weren’t able to get as it was my first short film. Once we are in this game, we are going to increase our budget, move to better locations, and have multiple characters.
I hope these parameters will help you choosing the first short film script idea for your short film as these parameters helped me.
Write - Shoot – Edit – Repeat!

3 Dec 2015

Top 10 YouTube Channels for DSLR Film Makers

YouTube is one website where the eager young film makers can learn the art of film making, know how to use their camera to its full potential. I have generated this list of top 10 YouTube channels for DSLR film makers based on my experience. I have learned from ‘which camera to buy’ to ‘special effects to use in the film’ from these channels.

The list is in no particular order. All what I have learned about my camera, gadgets and film making is because of these channels, so I won’t rank them. I just want to recommend these channels to the fellow, young, and budding film makers.

If you don’t know how to operate your gadget well or how to achieve a desired cinematographic effect with your camera or how you can build your film making gear in budget, just pay a visit to any of these channels and you will find your answer. You will definitely find tons of other YouTube channels. I am mentioning those, which I visit on regular basis and find what I usually look for regarding the film making.

1 DigitelRev TV: Learn about the cameras and equipment on-the-go.

Kai Wong, in his own witty and sarcastic way entertains and teaches about the camera and related gadgets to his viewers. It is because of his review I bought by first DSLR (Canon 600D) and I am really happy with that.

2 DSLRguide

Simon Cade, the anchor tells about the quick tips for film makers, low budget film making, camera and gear for film making in a very clean ad decent way. It’s nice for beginners, have a look.

3 Chris Winter: Red, Black, White

Yes, these are the colors I usually see in the videos, White background, black camera, and red texts and arrows. Very clear in his approach, Chris tells you about the cameras in detail and quick. Also, the comparison videos he does are really good. Want to buy a camera? Check out the review on his channel first. I checked the review of my Canon EF50MMF/1.8 STM Lens on his channel here before buying it.

4 Dave HowTo: He already got a “How” in his name

David Howell, the presenter, is very technical in his approach. He knows what he’s telling to the audience. He basically focuses on functions and working on Canon Rebel series, which was quite helpful for me as I learned about my Canon 600D functions and operations from his channel.

5 Frugal Filmmaker: The low to no budget!

PVC pipe, glue, screws, rivets, screw driver, washers, wheels, budget film making gear – these are the words you will hear when you turn on any of his videos. If you follow The Frugal Filmmaker’s advice on DIY film making gear, you will save a lot of money. The DIY gears he builds and teaches are really effective. Very clean and detailed approach in every video!


Now, when you have learned about your equipment well, try to use it to full potential for film making. Here are the channels that can really help with learning about scene selection, achieving cinematographic effects in your film, lighting in your scene, sound, etc.

1 FilmRiot: Lo-Goooooo FILMRIOT

I still chuckle when the Logo comes in the video. From pre-production, shooting to post-production, Ryan Conolly covers everything. If you are in a doubt such as how to shoot a fight scene, how to use VFX here or any question, this channel has your answer.

2 Indy Mogul: 1,200 Vidoes

This channel carries a lot of potential. Want to learn DIY tips for film making? Want to move up from basic Film Making? Switch to Indy Mogul. They channel has a lot of helpful videos (around 1,200) for Movie-heads.

3 MakingOf: Where Hollywood lives backstage

See the behind the scenes of your favorite movie. Learn how your favorite director shot your favorite scene. Trust me, these behind the scene videos really encourage, inspire for film making. Nobody’s there to tell you the How-Tos, you just watch and learn.

4 RaindanceFilmFest: The name says it all!

5 Your Own

Yes! You can learn from your videos and experience. Have a real-time experience and learn from your mistakes. You can only learn 30-40% from these channels, the rest is what you have to apply, practice and improve and when you see your videos, you know what to improve in your next video and for HOW-TO improve?, log on to any of the above channels.

24 Nov 2015

Road Safety: A Responsibility

They are neither planned nor anticipated that’s why they are called ACCIDENTS. But, these cannot be taken as granted. We CAN avoid them, reduce the risk, injuries, and DEATHS only if we drive carefully and follow TRAFFIC RULES and give importance to ROAD SAFETY.

Rules!, for some “Rules are made to be Broken” – An easy phrase to throw out at the young blood especially when it comes to traffic rules in India. It is a harsh reality and a thing to be ashamed of that how easily Traffic rules are ignored by the people, youngsters being in majority in the country that has the second largest road network in the world. Reckless driving to show-off the driving skills on the crowded roads is risky and dangerous. Unfortunately, this risk and danger provokes the irresponsible drivers more forgetting about the consequences and the value of human life (including theirs). They throw the road Safety rule book away and rive like a maniac.

Negligence driving caused 141,526 deaths in India due to road accidents in the year 2014. These deaths are termed as un-natural Accidental Deaths.

Negligence driving as the causes of these deaths is one part the other part is Hit and Run.
In some cases, it has been found that the driver who hit the person ran off the accident site without giving a second look to the person he has hit. If the driver had stopped the vehicle and rushed the person to the nearby hospital or provided first aid, then the person could have been saved. But, the fear of getting caught by the police doesn’t let him do that. Driving off from the crime scene is an easy way out for them. The powerful rich people decide to deal with the issue later in the court because they know they can easily get out of there (If the case reaches that far). Unsurprisingly, they are able to do so too.

If you are in the driver's seat, you got a lot on shoulders! here's why!

Road Safety, traffic rules are for the pedestrians too and their need of following those rules is equally important, but you see if a walking man bumps to another man there’s less chance of broken ribs, head injury, internal organ injuries, or blood loss. Now, replace one man out of the two with a car, there are more chances of broken ribs, head injury, internal organ injuries or blood loss. Replace both men with two cars forget about the broken ribs, a little oil leakage can cause a blast. So drivers, be careful!

Here’s a video that shows how attending a phone call while driving can be dangerous. The video "Death Was Calling "was prepared by Simranjeet Singh, Puneet Teji and team for Avoid Accident NGO. Along with other videos, this video was also selected and showcased in the 2nd Global High-Level Conference on Road Safety held in Brazil in Nov, 2015.

Rules are there!
Awareness too!
We have to keep reminding it to the people!
Drive sober, eyes on the road with controlled speed in the correct lane
Let another driver drive you in a Police Car or an Ambulance!

26 Apr 2015

Langar Preparation at Gurudwara Nada Sahib

On the Eve of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji's birthday, I got the chance to shoot the langar (Free Food) preparation at 4:00 am at Gurudwara Nada Sahib, Panchkula.  This is the first video I shot with my camera and uploaded on YouTube. The purity in the surroundings, Kirtan (Devotional Songs) echoing in the premises, everybody's celebrating Guru Nanak's birthday, you just dive into the pious ocean. Even if you are not religious or do not believe in God, but present there at the moment, the whole aura just pulls you in. It's like sitting around the campfire or near a flower, you just can't avoid the heat and fragrance respectively. It's that powerful.

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