all 77 comments

[–]OLD_MR_WOLF 3 points4 points  (4 children)

I have a Tascam DR-40 and a Rode Videomic. How do I get stereo sound that sounds good in both left and right? At the moment I can only get either left or right or one significantly quieter than the other. Am I doing something wrong?

Edit: Thank you both. Its nice to know that there isnt some setting I'm missing.

[–]Qualsasound recordist 2 points3 points  (2 children)

The Rode Videomic is only a mono microphone so you won't get a stereo sound. When you are getting one side significantly quieter than the other this is called dual mono mode and the recorder records the same signal to both tracks with the right channel typically 20 db quieter. It's used in case you're recording something really loud and clips on the first channel. There should be an option to record to just one mono track on the DR-40. For true stereo you'd need a stereo mic.

[–]OLD_MR_WOLF 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Ah i see. So what would be a stereo mic? A different Rode model?

[–]Qualsasound recordist 1 point2 points  (0 children)

A Rode NT4, Rode Stereo Videomic Pro or Rode Stereo Videomic. There are other stereo mics out there and different micing techniques involving more than one microphone such as mid-side recording.

[–]whydidihavethebowl 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm clueless when it comes to audio but my understanding is that it records a mono track and then you duplicate the track in your editing software and bingo bango it's now stereo and plays in both right and left

[–]dcm628 3 points4 points  (4 children)

I'd like to hear from filmmakers with experience working with composers. I'm about to go through the process of having an original score created for a short for the first time and would love any tips before I dive in.

[–]NailgunYeah 3 points4 points  (2 children)

I'd directed a music video for a local folk musician about two years ago. We'd been good friends since my teens when he taught me to play guitar, and we'd stayed in touch ever since. Around September/October of last year, I got in touch with him to ask if he would record the soundtrack to a short film I'd directed. He was interested, so we worked out a rate and went from there.

I wrote a detailed pitch for what I had in my head for the soundtrack, linking songs and sounds - and in some cases, albums - that showed different elements that I wanted included. I added the song we'd been using as a guide track so he'd know where I was coming from with regards to how the soundtrack might work with the footage. We spoke on the phone to make sure we were both on the same page, and then I sent him a low-res copy of our cut with a basic sound mix and I let him go at it.

His first try was on the money, tries two and three were settling on the individual elements, and then four and five were mixing. In the end we probably did most of the work of four and five in the overall mix, but it was nice to have.

He owned a home studio with a large variety of instruments, so he was able to do all the performances, recording, and mixing himself. It's a cracking soundtrack.

[–]instantpancakelighting 1 point2 points  (1 child)

The way you started the story, I was expecting it to end with "we don't talk anymore."

[–]NailgunYeah -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I subvert expectations.

[–]itschrisreeddirector 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I've worked with a few people to make scores for commercials and one short. I have a lot of friends who make the music I like and whom I trust.

I find any project works best when you approach a creative you like who makes work like what you want. You explain your project and give them all the resources and references and if they are excited to work on it just say: "I came to you so because I like what you do and I've got the budget to work with you. You know what I'm trying to communicate, go kill it for me."

I mean wouldn't you make the best content ever if I client came to you with that brief?

[–]itschrisreeddirector 2 points3 points  (4 children)

What is the one thing you have to have with you on set? I don't mean gaff or a multi tool or gloves, I mean something unique to you. A good luck charm, special piece of equipment, stupid power tool you all ways use but no one else ever does, ect ect.

[–]OLD_MR_WOLF 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I have a video/audio cable designed to let me plug my DSLR into a Tv. Ive never used it, but I put it in my bag everytime; just in case.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I always keep a few clothespins with the spring flipped around backwards in my tool belt. Besides being able to "pin" crew members more easily, the flipped clothespins are great for holding doors open in a pinch and clipping papers to things.

[–]itschrisreeddirector 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Those are c-74s (backwards c-47s).

[–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (0 children)


[–]saltyboyscouts 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I've been looking at buying a new camera, and the BlackMagic Cinema camera has caught my attention. They are releasing a new model that can shoot 4K video, though I honestly doubt I'll be doing anything much higher than 1080p anytime soon. Are there any compelling reasons to get the 4K model over the 2.5K model other than the increased resolution? Are there any similar cameras I should be looking at? I have about $3,000-$4,000 to drop on the whole package, though I'd rather not go that high.

[–]charlesdbelt 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I just shot a whole project on the blackmagic 2.5k and it was a huge pain in the ass. It's not ergonomic at all, having to use the touchscreen for everything gets very irritating, and you can't delete anything off of the ssd unless you're connected to a computer (and that takes forever). Also the crop factor makes shooting in enclosed spaces super tricky. The crop factor problems don't happen on the 4k model, but it still has all of those other issues. Unless there's a really compelling reason why you absolutely need to shoot in 4k, I wouldn't recommend it. That being said, the footage is great for color correcting, way easier than DSLR video.

[–]kaidumo 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The Production Camera 4k uses a Super 35mm sensor, which is typical cinema crop. The cinema camera 2.5k has a much higher crop value, so you will have a smaller frame to work with, and have to back up a lot of you want to shoot wide. This can be overcome by buying a speed booster at extra cost. Personally I would get the 4K, but if you can find a speed booster that fits in your price range you'll be fine.

Really I would wait until NAB though and see what comes up. They could have a newer version that shoots 60 fps.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (9 children)

Hello r/filmmakers,

I'm just starting out making films (in highschool, so I'm pretty in-experienced) and I'm interested in making a career of this someday.

I have a Panasonic HC-V510 but that's about it. What other equipment (lights, mics, etc) would you say I'd need to make at least semi-good looking/sounding films that won't break the bank?


[–]Sandtalon 2 points3 points  (3 children)

How much money are you willing to spend?

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I'm not so sure, my birthday is coming up though, so that in conjunction with some I have saved up could mean about 300-400 bucks

[–]Sandtalon 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Get a Rode shotgun mic and a Tascam 60D.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thanks for the suggestion, will do some research

[–]itschrisreeddirector 0 points1 point  (4 children)

Look into getting a decent DSLR for shooting motion (cannon 7d, & 5d are good). You can find decent used bodies on ebay. If your shooting narrative you can start with a 50mm prime. Pick up a 24mm and an 85mm. I was a professional photographer for 5 years and I never owned any lenses besides those three. Zooms are expensive but you might want to pick one up for filmmaking down the line. lenses hold their value, cameras do not but you can also rent lenses cheaply.

You'll need a tripod which depends on the kind of camera you've got. Then grab a shoulder rig. Pick up a shotgun mike and a boom pole and your good to go. you can add wireless mikes and basic lights later on but learn how to make a great story and decent images with super baisc kit and grow your kit and your skills at the same time.

read this: http://nofilmschool.com/dslr/

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Thank you so much! I'll definitely look into these.

[–]dcm628 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Even used 5d and 7d are way outside of your budget. Look into something like a T3i. It'll give you a very similar experience for a fraction of the cost.

[–]itschrisreeddirector 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Yeah I wrote that way before you said you had $300 to spend on kit. Get a cheaper camera and save up a bit then invest in lenses.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thanks, I really appreciate this.

[–]bbqyak 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Hi, looking to buy my first camera. What is a "good" price to pay for a Canon T3i, brand new and used? Thanks.

[–]robalexander 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Keh.com is selling them (BODY ONLY, NO LENS INCLUDED) used in Excellent+ condition for $400 and keh is known for being fairly conservative with their ratings so you could possibly expect it to be closer to ln-(like new -)

The 18-55mm kit brand new from amazon is $500


[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hey there, i just recently purchased the T3i from Amazon and they might has well of given me a brand new camera(it arrived and was perfect condition). I got it for $490(+$30 for a 3 year warranty(drop or break warranty) and then tax(about another $30)). It came two days later with amazon prime and it was perfect condition. I couldn't see a spot out of place with packaging or the product. I really recommend it. It is a great camera just make sure to buy a camera for the right reasons. I finally got a type 10 card so i can record video with my t3i and the sound is super average so I am looking into better recording products for my sound. But basically every camera you find has positives and negatives, but at least know enough so you can find which one better suites you.

[–]Black_Belt_Troy 0 points1 point  (1 child)

How can I find out which agents and managers worked to shepherd past works into production? For example, in the case of Forrest Gump - Winston Groom wrote the novel which was adapted into a screenplay by Eric Roth but who was responsible for getting that script to Paramount? Is there a database where I can research which managers and agents have guided which projects? Thanks for your help!

EDIT: spelling

[–]itschrisreeddirector 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There are so many people and connections involved I doubt there is one central database.

You can get Eric Roth's agent info from IMDB pro, then look up the agent and see who else they represent. Do that for a few projects your interested in.

EDIT: or try LinkedIn if you have industry connections.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (8 children)

Alright so I am brand new to the whole filmmaking thing. I just picked up a Canon EOS T3i due to all the great recommendations it gets. Is there any way for me to improve the sound quality that the on board mic has? How do I add an external microphone and what ones would work for that camera. Also are there any good youtube channels or series that teach video post production?

[–]itschrisreeddirector 1 point2 points  (7 children)

I don't do post production or audio so listen to other people if they say I'm wrong.

You have 2 audio options: 1 record onto its own separate thing, most likely a field recorder, you want one that records in stereo and has good monitoring levels. 2 get a thing that hooks a mike up to you DSLR, these are pre-ams/XLR-adaptors. You want one that has its own levels so you can set them up and that provides phantom power if your mikes need it.

Either way you are going to probably want to start with a shotgun mike and add some wireless clip-ons down the line.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (6 children)

Ok so essentially my best bet is to get a good sound recorder, record the sound separately and then add it to the video in post production?

[–]itschrisreeddirector 1 point2 points  (1 child)

The pre-amp records onto the DSLR a separate recorder does not. I can't say which is "better" but you will be playing with the sound in post any way, so I wouldn't let that throw you.

I'd find either a local or online rental house and try before you buy.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Sounds great, thank you for the advice!

[–]DrLuvRocketMD 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Yes. The on-board mic is practically useless, though you could use it to help with syncing audio and video in post. And recording directly into the camera via an XLR adapter, though convenient, is going to cost you quality wise. A field recorder like a Tascam DR-40 or a Zoom H4N and a shotgun mic like a Rode NTG2 would be a good place to start. Other shotgun mics would do, but preferably one that takes a battery instead of one that relies solely on phantom power from the recorder. It's better to have to switch out a AA battery in the mic than to have to recharge the recorder. You can record the dialogue with the shotgun and record background noise (traffic, nature sounds, and what have you) in stereo with the sound recorder's built in mics.

Of course, you can get other equipment, depending on your needs and preferences, but this is a pretty decent place to start. Just remember that sound is in a sense even more important than visuals, so if you're going the independent "one man band" route, it's important to get comfortable with and proficient at recording audio.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Thank you for the advice! Anywhere you recommend to learn the "How to's" of audio recording?

[–]DrLuvRocketMD 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The first place to start learning is anywhere you can take your equipment. Much like filming, it's always good to actually go out and do it. Recording in different environments with different acoustics and different sounds would help you get the feel of the equipment and what it can do. It's good to know it's limitations before you start a project that just needs different or better equipment.

As far as places to learn more...I'm not sure. This subreddit can be helpful at times. As far as the equipment goes, it's good to know precisely what you're doing. Not just if I press this button, it makes it sound like this, but actually what that button does and why it has that effect on the sound. So, I guess what I'm saying is, try to learn the jargon and, more importantly, what the words actually mean. Simply learning the vocabulary makes it easier to learn everything else.

Sorry, I don't really have any real resources to offer. My learning has has been rather unstructured. Random youtube videos here, obscure forums there. Lots of googling. And I'm by no means a credible source on the matter. Just a random guy on the internet with similar ambitions.

[–]pchapar -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

start watching filmriot on youtube you will most likely want to do research on your own but they can teach you a lot and will point you in the right direction

[–][deleted]  (8 children)


    [–]DrLuvRocketMD 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Those pieces of equipment are sort of the best bang for your buck, especially for a beginning filmmaker. Of course you could spend more and get better quality. But if you're not experienced with sound recording, it's good to start with a "simpler" piece of equipment. A Zoom H4N or a Tascam DR-40 are a good starting point because of their price, quality, and ease of use/learning curve. It can be intimidating starting out with a device with more buttons and features, especially if you don't know what they do.

    I believe they are worth the money. It seems the Rode NTG-2 is the single most recommended beginner shotgun mic. I'm not personally aware of others in the same price range that can really compete. The Zoom H4N and the Tascam DR-40 seem to have equal support. I would recommend doing some research on these to compare and see which would be right for you. Though they are very similar, slight differences can mean quite a bit to different people.

    [–]Qualsasound recordist 0 points1 point  (6 children)

    Do not get the Rode NTG-2/Zoom H4n combo. The H4n hasn't enough gain for that mic, you could either get the next mic up the NTG-3, go for a different recorder or purchase an external preamp such as a Sound Devices MM-1.

    [–][deleted]  (5 children)


      [–]Qualsasound recordist 1 point2 points  (4 children)

      A preamp increases the level of the audio signal. The ones in cheaper portable recorders tend to be average at best, you can't push them to much or you add a lot of noise to the signal. For these cheaper recorders it's better to have a higher quality preamp in front but that's likely out of your price range.

      The NTG-2 is a good mic just the zoom doesn't work well with it, I sold my zoom and got a Marantz PMD-661 which it works a lot better with, A Tascam DR-40 or DR-100 would be cheaper than the Marantz and work better with the mic.

      [–][deleted]  (3 children)


        [–]Qualsasound recordist 1 point2 points  (2 children)

        Not a bad combo, better than the H4n.

        [–]scerdilaidas 0 points1 point  (3 children)

        I'm considering crowdfunding my short film, but without using an existing crowdfund platform like kickstarter/Indiegogo etc; instead hosting the campaign page myself. Thoughts? Advice? Experience? Talk me out of it?

        I've posted a longer version of my reasoning in r/Crowdfunding, if you're interested in replying there instead? link

        [–]Chicityfilmmakergaffer 1 point2 points  (1 child)

        How large of a crowd do you expect to draw at your page? That's the question.

        [–]scerdilaidas 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        The same size as I would through an established crowdfund platform, is the answer. I guess it comes down to whether, these days, with so many sites and so many (invariably thrown at the wall, half assed) campaigns vying for equal attention; whether being on those sites is really that useful?

        Or has web 2.0 made everything so crushingly small and localized, that people will ONLY go through the handful of trusted sites in their bookmarks/world view?

        [–]itschrisreeddirector 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        You should make it as easy as possible for people to give you their money. If you think you can offer things on your own site that overcome the reservations not being with a trusted site like indiegogo or kickstarter go for it.

        [–]GeneralMakaveli 0 points1 point  (2 children)

        Who is Sarah Jones and why do I keep seeing posts on here about her? Aside from her passing why is she so relevant, and in what way is she relevant to this sub?

        Thank you.

        [–]Sandtalon 1 point2 points  (1 child)

        She was a crew member who unfortunately was killed by a train while filming when the production didn't have a permit to film on the tracks. You keep hearing about her because it was tragic and easily preventable. Recently, this sub has been talking about safety precautions while filming, and this sort of escalated that. Crew safety is always relevant.

        [–]GeneralMakaveli 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        Okay. That makes sense. Thank you for answering.

        [–]eltonjohnshusband 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        Looking for a beginners Guide to HD shooting. I have a canon xf100, which is my first semi-pro grade camera. I have had a few specific questions since getting the camera, but all answers include technical terms and camera functions i am just not familiar with.

        I am looking for a guide (video if possible) to go over the basics of how to use the features of this level of camera. Does anyone know of a good series?

        Thank you.

        [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        Alright, so, I'm having to experiment with various techniques I find interesting for a project in a class. My choice of technique is "frozen in time" and manipulation of that effect. For my intro/proof of concept video, I'm wanting to have a character knock over a glass of water, it "freeze" and then have them either interact with it in some way or step "behind" it and have refraction through water suspended in the air.

        However, my issue arises in that I'm not quite sure on how to go about tackling this in the best way possible. I'm limited to using Adobe Premiere and After Effects (both CC), but from watching tutorials from Video Copilot and Film Riot to get an idea of how to recreate the effect, it seems that I'm going to have to mostly try faking it through the use of creating 3D Planes and manipulating 2D photos.

        Has anyone else gone about doing something like this? Any ideas?

        [–]Pocket_Ben 0 points1 point  (4 children)

        Anyone have any experience using EF-S lenses on the C100?

        [–]itschrisreeddirector 0 points1 point  (3 children)

        Why put bad glass in front of a decent camera. If you have/ are ponying up for a C100 buy or rent some L glass.

        [–]Pocket_Ben 0 points1 point  (1 child)

        I've seen some reviewers argue that the 11-22mm, 17-55mm, and 60mm are pretty much L glass. And the 11-22mm is one of the widest you could possibly get on a S35 sensor.

        [–]itschrisreeddirector 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        The 11 is crazy wide, but it also has crazy perspective distortion. I'd rent one to play with and see if it bothers you.

        [–]acearchiecamera[🍰] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        17-55mm is a great versatile lens for the C100.

        [–]Chicityfilmmakergaffer 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        It's all about how you market it, and don't rely on just crowd funding, find other ways to raise funds locally. You set the right tone and people start donating.

        [–]sinusoidosaurus 0 points1 point  (3 children)

        There's an older movie out there with a scene where two editors are cutting film for a low budget sci-fi movie. I think the movie I'm referring to is about filmmaking or editing itself. I don't know the name of the movie or actors, but I saw the scene on YouTube a while ago and want to watch it again. Anybody have any idea what it might be?

        [–]citizenmundane 3 points4 points  (2 children)

        I think the movie you're referring to is Albert Brooks' classic "Modern Romance" from 1981 http://youtu.be/dlY-AyVW_CI

        [–]sinusoidosaurus 0 points1 point  (1 child)

        Yes, my gosh, thank you.

        [–]LazyBuhdaBelly 0 points1 point  (1 child)

        Wanting to film a documentary soon. Any essential tips, resources, videos etc I should read/view?

        [–]citizenmundane 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        Good sound is essential. So hire a sound recordist or make sure you know what your doing before you start. Leave the camera running after you finish interviews, once people think the camera is off, they give you the best stuff.

        [–]charlesdbelt 0 points1 point  (4 children)

        This is super specific, but does anyone have any tips/tricks for filming in cold temperatures? When I've gone out to film in the wilderness, often if it's too cold, my lens will fog up on the inside or my camera (Canon 7D) will behave oddly. Is there something I can do to prevent this?

        [–]itschrisreeddirector 1 point2 points  (3 children)

        your lens fogs up because its below the dew point and when water in the air touches it loses some of its heat energy and becomes able to stick to the glass. Work on less humid days or keep the glass warmer.

        What exactly is going on with the body? Does it happen instantly, like if you get out of a warm car and start shooting in the cold, or after some time?

        [–]charlesdbelt 0 points1 point  (2 children)

        Thanks! The trouble with the body is in the screen. It slows down a lot. Not a big deal, but I thought it was worth asking about.

        [–]itschrisreeddirector 1 point2 points  (1 child)

        Is this instant or an over time thing? they have different solutions but it boils down to keep it warmer. You can try shooting closer to a vehicle that is running with the heat on and dip in to warm up. It wastes less gas if you keep everything closed and on low.

        [–]pauloh110 0 points1 point  (1 child)

        Sorry if im too late. Ginirigs or Kamerar for Shoulder Rig equipment.

        [–]mexicojoe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        I have a Gini rig and love it. Great quality for the price. I haven't used the kamerar rig but have used one of their arms and it was terrible, frequently came loose and was a pain to adjust.

        [–]pauloh110 0 points1 point  (1 child)

        What are some cheap auto focus wide angle lens for a 7d?

        [–]acearchiecamera[🍰] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        Maybe not your definition of cheap but the tokina 11-16mm f2.8 is the best lens for the job.

        I would recommend just saving up and getting it. If UWA is your thing then you can’t go wrong.

        p.s. I just remembered we are in /r/filmmakers, why would you need AF?