Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Alone, But Never Lonesome

'Alone But Never Lonesome' is a set of pictures I shot over two years ago; it was my first organized photo shoot and the biggest photo project I had taken on at that point. I had a DV camera running the entire time, so I recently edited it together to make a small video about it. As I state in the video, I feel that there's always ideas or inspiration to take from watching someone else work on a project. This was a real feat for me those years ago, a serious learning experience and I'm happy with the product to this day.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Camera Dollies

"A camera dolly is a specialized piece of film equipment designed to create smooth camera movements. The camera is mounted to the dolly and the camera operator and camera assistant usually ride on it to operate the camera. The dolly is operated by a dolly grip who is a dedicated technician trained in its use." From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Camera dollies seem to be the most requested D.I.Y. tool in this field, and with good reason. It allows for more complex and life-like camera movements which bring your shots to life in a way that tripod and hand-held shots cannot. The basic idea of a dolly is to combine the freedom of hand-held with the stability and fluidity of tripod shots. When a dolly is used correctly, it really can mean the difference between the look of cinema, and the look of home video. However, tracked dollies are extremely expensive, and home-made dollies are difficult to acquire smooth shots out of, which really makes a working home-made camera dolly the 'holy grail' of D.I.Y. film equipment. What makes a dolly shot different than zooming is that the dolly shot's perspective changes during the movement, while the zoom shot only enlarges the image.

If you're reading this blog, odds are good that you can't afford a commercial camera dolly. Neither can I, so let's consider our options:

Dolly shots (or 'tracking shots') can be used to to move in on an object to emphasize importance, or dolly alongside a moving object to keep it in frame. This is usually done on a wheeled platform riding on a track - but sometimes we don't have the money or space for a proper track; and even still - some shots can cover a large area of ground in one take in which case a track wouldn't be feasible (or not without the track being in frame).

In these cases, any moving platform can be substituted for a dolly - a good idea is to stick to things with rubber wheels or tires, as rubber can absorb shock and the whole premise behind a dolly is stable footage. My two favorites are bicycles and wheelchairs.

The wheelchair, while not as stable on unsteady ground as we'd like it to be; can achieve shots that would be very difficult to accomplish with a tracked dolly, or at least a dolly without a crane. A wheelchair can rotate a full 360 degrees allowing you to move around subjects, in between objects, and generally anywhere else that tracks cannot. An example of such a shot can be seen below:

The camera starts off on the left side of the subject, the subject turns and begins walking diagonally in front of the dolly's path. The dolly wheels past the subject and then rotates over to her right side. Once there, the dolly is then pulled backwards alongside the subject as she finishes her diagonal path.

Bicycles are good for higher speed tracking shots depending on your skill on a bike. One hand on the handlebar, one on your camera, and some interesting effects can be achieved (I take no liability should you try this at home). I shot one piece on a bicycle that gives the film a dream-like quality as the camera seems to float and fly alongside, in front, behind, below, and above the subject. An example of said footage can be seen below:

The shot then continues as the camera goes in front of the subject.

Should you attempt to do something like this, I highly suggest an adult tricycle as they allow you to take your hands off of the handlebars completely once you get going. The footage above was shot on a BMX (which is also a good idea as BMXs generally have a low center of gravity), but there is definitely plenty more opportunity to fall on a BMX than there is with an adult tricycle. I picked one up at a yard sale for $30 similar to the one shown below:

There are endless possibilities for tracking shots, it's really just a matter of figuring out what works best for the kind of shot you need. For example, twice I needed a tracking shot from less than a foot off the ground, stability wasn't important but height was. I thought of using a skateboard, I thought of running with the camera dangling off strings - until I thought of a tripod. I lengthened the tripod's legs but kept it folded, attached the camera to it, and then held the tripod by it's legs so that the camera was now upside down. I held the tripod's legs up by my shoulders while running with it, the camera pointed at my subject, albeit upside down. Later on I just flipped the footage right-side up and voila! Simple tracking shot using a tripod:

The methods above are just a couple of endless interesting substitutes to a dolly, and while they can achieve very unique shots; what do you do if you just want a straight-forward camera dolly, one on tracks that can glide smoothly with your actors? There are various plans online as far as building your own tracked dolly goes, but there is one general method in particular that will assure smooth shots.

What we want is something that looks like this:

But what we can make using one of the various plans online is something that looks like this, and works in nearly the same manner:

PLEASE NOTE: I do not own and did not build the dolly shown here. The dolly itself as well as the plans and photos are from http://www.jorenclark.com. There are a variety of similar D.I.Y. dolly plans available, but I chose this one for a number of reasons, one of which being that this site includes detailed photos of the building process.

The step-by-step instructions can be found at http://www.jorenclark.com/whitepapers/dolly.html, but what separates this sort of dolly from some of the other methods is how close the track and wheels operate compared to a commercial dolly:

Note the angle of the wheels and the round track. The two sets of angled wheels glide much smoother than the typical 4 wheel setup (like that of a skateboard for example), which many D.I.Y. plans still utilize. Granted, there are some commercial dollies that don't use this systen, like the first dolly pictured above; but as far as making one yourself goes, the angled wheels are probably your best bet. The length of your track depends on how much PVC you lay down; there's even a clever way to link pipes to extend your track at http://www.jorenclark.com/whitepapers/dolly.html.

Makeshift steadicams, hands, wheelchairs, skateboards, bikes, cars, rollerskates, or even dollies themselves - finding a way to get your camera moving fluidly with the action is a necessity. It broadens your horizon of storytelling and and breathes fresh air to what could have formerly been a fixed tripod shot. Whether your subject is a couple taking a stroll down the beach, or a car racing down a stretch of road, taking the camera with the action is the difference between your audience watching the situations, and being taken along for the ride.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Recording Sound On Location

I don't know if I have any readers yet, so I was going to hold off on another entry until I knew for sure. I'll definitely have no readers if I hold off on writing, so without further ado:

Recording Sound:
Sound may very well be the major deciding factor in how professional the quality of your finished project is. From personal experience, if I put on a student film and hear the tell-tale sounds of the in-camera microphone (tinny sound, overly ambient, audible gears turning inside the camera), I'm much more likely to dismiss the entire film as I feel like I'm watching a home video. This poor quality is true about the in-camera mics on even some of the highest of high-end cameras; when you factor in the possibility that some of us may very well be using home video cameras; it's even more of a necessity to take the measures needed for pro quality sound.

So, how do we do it? First, we need a good microphone. There are primarily four options when it comes to recording on location:

The In-Camera Microphone: If you must use the camera's mic, I'd consider running the audio through an editing program to tweak it a bit. I've been using the in-camera mic on almost every short I've done so far - however, none of these films have had dialog, most don't have their original audio and have been dubbed later with the necessary atmospheric sounds, and even more so -- most of my work is dubbed with music. As far as dialog goes, I've heard the difference between subjects speaking through the camera's mic and through external mics; and it was enough of a difference to convince me to put together my own boom.

Lavaliere Microphone: These are the clip-on microphones which are fine for interviews and documentaries, but won't do much good if you're going for a cinematic look. These are hard to hide as they cannot be covered by clothing or fabric because the sound will be muffled. If you are indeed shooting a piece in which the presence of mics on-screen are acceptable, these are a good option as they supposedly record good sound. I've yet to use one, but have read that the "AUDIO TECHNICA Omnidirectional Lavaliere Microphone #ATR-35S" can be had on eBay for around $30. This model cuts off sounds below 50hz, which means that low rumbles (such as traffic) won't be heard.

Dynamic Handheld Microphone: These are usually used by singers as they are resistant to moisture. They are relatively sturdy, and a professional model can generally record decent sound at a small price. I haven't researched these as far as company and model go, though I currently use a dynamic mic attached to a boom arm and I'm pleased with the sound. This is a temporary set up however, as I found this microphone in the trash and the left channel has stopped recording.

Shotgun Microphone: The best option if you have another person around to work a boom. These are the mics that are normally used on professional films. They're highly directional, which means that it will only pick up sound from what it is pointed at, cutting out background noise. However, should the subject talk away from the direction of the microphone at any point, chances are that section will come out muffled. The best setup for a shotgun is on a boom, directly in front of or above the subject. The boom operator should make sure that the mic is always pointed at the subject's mouth but out of frame, while wearing headphones to monitor the sound during shooting.

In the last entry, I asked readers to let me know if they know of any deals on the "Sennheiser ME66" shotgun microphone (pictured above). This mic records broadcast quality audio, is externally powered, and has all around good reviews from every source I've checked. I've also heard it in action in an Izzy Video (mentioned in the previous post), and I'm impressed with it's quality. The device is however around $300, and while this is a decent price for what it does, it's unfortunately out of my price range for microphones. I'll keep my eyes peeled for a deal on this one and suggest that some of you do the same for yourselves.

All of these external mics rely on whether or not your camera has a microphone input jack (photo below). I haven't seen a camera without one in nearly 5 years, but should you be stuck with one which lacks an input jack, you'll need to record through another device. This choice is up to you, you could use another (cheaper) camera, a laptop, a DAT, regardless - if you do use a device that is separate from your camera, you'll need to slate. A slate is a visual/audio cue used to sync footage up with it's audio. The slate has a clapper on top, two pieces of wood connected by a hinge that bang together audibly. The idea is to hold this up in front of the camera, say "marker" (or any other word that lets you know in post that the clapper's cue is coming), then bang the pieces of wood together while holding the slate steady in front of the camera. During editing, you cut the video on the frame in which the wooden clappers touch, and the audio on the instant you hear the "clap". Hopefully, your sound is now synched.

As stated previously, a good recording technique is the use of a boom. A boom is a device that holds the microphone a good distance from the operator's body, which is positioned out of camera frame while being pointed at the actors. Professional booms are expensive -- hundreds of dollars, sometimes more. I've read a lot of sources that say "a good, cheap alternative to a boom is simply taping a microphone to a boom handle". I'm always a fan of "good, cheap alternatives", so I gave this a shot.

It doesn't quite work.

Every little sound travels up the pole and is picked up by the mic. When I say "every little sound", I mean that even the muscles in my hand flexing against the pole were picked up as loud, bassy noises. So, I looked at professional boom poles online and found a major difference between them and my broom handle. Professional boom poles have something called a shock mount, a device that separates the microphone from the pole, so that sounds traveling up the pole don't have a means of reaching the mic.

I went to the hardware store and for less than $10 I picked up a PVC T-Joint, hot glue, and a bag of rubber bands. I hot glued a microphone stand clip (which comes with many microphones) to the broom handle, and glued that into the bottom of the T-Joint, and heated up a kitchen knife to cut slots for the rubber bands, which the mic would slip into. The construction, while difficult to explain, is apparent from the photos below:

The idea is that the rubber bands hold the microphone in the center of the PVC pipe, while absorbing sounds and shocks coming from the broom handle. The looser the rubber bands, the more sound they absorb. I then spray painted the PVC black (as it was previously white), to prevent it from picking up enough light for it's reflection to show up on anything in frame. While it isn't pretty, and the rubber bands need to be replaced occasionally due to drying out, this construction works quite well. I have seen nearly identical D.I.Y. shock mounts throughout the internet. Two good examples (with step by step instructions) are Mac Movie Maker and SlottWeak.com.

When recording audio outside, a good idea would be to use a wind screen to cut down on the noise. I have heard of acceptable substitutes such as pantyhose and pieces of faux fur, but I've noticed that wind screens don't seem to cost too much, so it might be worth it to just buy a real one. Decide for yourself by experimenting with different alternatives to hopefully get the sound you want. I'd suggest using a windscreen only if you feel that it's absolutely necessary, as it can cut down the high end of audio meaning you may have to bring the treble up a bit during editing.

As stated before, be sure to monitor the sound while shooting by plugging a pair of headphones into the camera (photo below). It's a terrible disappointment when you have your shot, put your equipment away, begin to edit, and realize that your mic picked up the squealing of a nearby computer monitor, or that you forgot to turn the mic on all together. It's a good idea to turn off all electronics while recording sound, some devices put out a high pitched buzz that we cannot hear but our equipment can; and some devices such as refrigerators and computers put out a hum that sounds natural and steady to us, but on tape it can change tones or overpower vocals. Remember: you can always add ambient sounds later, but it's extremely difficult to take them out.

I hope this post has been informative.
If you have questions, comments, or feel that something is incorrect or inaccurate, feel free to comment and let me know. I'm not an expert, and the process of recording pro audio is a newer one to me.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Some Basics of Lighting on a Budget

As stated in the last entry, I spent the majority of my yesterday watching how-to videos mostly regarding lighting.

Two years ago, I bought a professional light kit. Cheap, around $300 (later in this entry: you can recreate a similar set for $75)-- nothing too fancy. I was excited to use them professionally, I set them up for a few shots around the house but didn't have anything too interesting to point them at. My job as a professional photographer was shooting live concerts, never giving me a chance to use the lights. The first photo shoot I took on my own time after buying the lights was of a girl outside of a couple of churches in Manhattan ('Sunday Allure', for those interested in visiting my website). These shots were all done outside with natural light, so my lights again sat at home. I then found a great deal on a Sony TVR9000, so I rushed to buy it. It's my first pro-sumer mini DV camera, so I then put my photo camera aside as I was well versed in that (sans artificial lighting), to make time to learn the ins and outs of my new DV camera. That was about a year and a half ago, and I've spent most of this time shooting with that, fiddling with editing, and almost all of the shooting I've done has been outdoors. I've shot a few indoor sets of professional quality photos in this time. One was emulating amateur photography from the 40's, so I set the lights up to look like amateur aged lighting. Purposely blowing things out and going for sharp shadows. I learned a lot from doing this, it looked smooth and true to the era, but I wasn't confident that I would be able to achieve that smooth look with a more modern style. The next set of professional quality photos I took were of a set I built in my house, against a black backdrop with dead pieces of trees coming in from out of frame. I set up two lights, and things looked good; I didn't know about techniques in lighting -- but I did know that the photos were exposed very nicely with deep blacks and bright whites. The shots came out very smooth and nicely lit; I still stand by this, even after what I've learned yesterday.

However, I now know how much more I can achieve with lighting. Even with the cheap set I bought two years ago that I've barely gotten to experiment with. I knew how to light a green screen, I knew how to light a subject, I knew how to work with outdoor light, but what I didn't know was how to do all of this stylistically. Learning about a new topic in film making is like gaining a new sense. I can now look back at my work and see things that just weren't there before. The first photo I ever took with my new lights is this one:

I haven't paid much attention to that photo in a few months. Tonight I'm looking at it and I'm saying "that's a very nice photograph, though it's overexposed."

Alright, so how do we light? More importantly, how do we light on a budget?
Two nights ago I found a forum called DVX User, in which there was a thread entitled Lighting for beginners! Tutorials/links collection. These links kept me busy all day, I woke up in the morning without understanding the goals or principles to lighting, and I went to bed that night with a much better understanding on how to light different subjects and why.
The first link in this thread is by a cinematographer named Scott Spears, and has 8 videos on the subject of lighting, among other things.

I highly suggest that anyone looking for information on lighting check out all 8 videos, but this is what I took from it:

China Lamps create a nice soft light that are good for closeups. I can vouch for this because I worked as an extra on a professional film set last month, and for the 2 day duration in which I was there, the 2 principle actors were lit using a china lamp that was taped to the ceiling, roughly about a foot above their heads. If an $8 light is good enough for a professional crew, it's great for me. Clothespins are perfect for clipping reflectors and flags to stands, furniture, etc. This is rather obvious, yes, but I was recently at a dollar store that had the professional looking C clamps at 3 for $1. I thought this was a good deal and considered picking up a couple. I didn't get around to that, and I'm glad that I didn't because I didn't even consider clothes pins. It's so obvious but so genius, at 50 for $1 you can't go wrong. Be sure to get wooden clips, as plastic ones can melt if you plan on using them around lights.

The idea of a hand dimmer excites me; you can plug any light into it and it has a switch that can dim said light. I thought that lights with basic on/off switches were reduced to measures like distance and reflectors if you needed to bring it down any. This hand dimmer idea definitely solves some of my misconceptions surrounding lighting. A professional light that I want to look into buying is a 1k nook light, which I believe the video said runs for around $15. The light has barn doors (though not the one pictured below), which is good for shaping the light; but the light is quite strong (1,000 watts) so the idea is to diffuse it by pointing it at a reflector (which can be made cheaply by attaching crumbled aluminum foil to a large sheet of cardboard), or perhaps the ceiling (the example given in the video) to give a wide diffused light for your key.

I apologize for how some of this is slightly unorganized. I'm writing all of it from memory because it wasn't until the end of my day that I decided to start a blog about it. Had I of known about the blog going in, I would have been taking notes the entire time. Now I know.

Moving on, the second link in the thread is Joren Clark Lighting, which mentions one of the most interesting use of lights I've seen. Here's a direct quote:

"White Christmas Lights. This is my secret weapon. I use these as practical sources in almost every night exterior scene. They make night scenes look more interesting. Hang them on a railing, in a tree, or around any post or beam to add an accent to the picture. Also, they do provide a good amount of light in larger quantities. I once made “light boards” out of hundreds of Christmas lights and two-foot square pieces of cardboard lined with aluminum foil. …it was ridiculously labor intensive so I don’t recommend it, but it worked well. The unfortunate thing about Christmas lights is they will never white balance, as they’re too warm."

I always have trouble lighting night scenes, as I don't even know how to begin without access to a power outlet. I once borrowed a battery operated floodlight from a friend of mine in hopes of lighting a night shot, but the battery depleted faster than I was shooting, and even when it did work it was an ugly orange spotlight. There are workarounds for this, but not when your light has about 20 minutes of battery power.

An innovative idea that I got from the first link, is the use of something like this for external night shots:

This screws into a light socket, converting it into a power outlet. I live in a city, which means lots and lots of lights at night; and the residential areas have buildings and private houses that usually have bulbs outside the entrance ways that are powered with a conventional light socket. I'm not a fan of 'stealing' things, but when it comes to film I don't mind borrowing resources here and there. This tool makes it a possibility to borrow power for your lights during a night shot, and with a couple of 50ft or so extension cords you could do it in confidence. To prove how much I love this idea, the picture above is of my adapter, as I went out and bought one immediately after learning of it.

This is not always a feasible option of course, so I'd like to know how some of you light your night shots. Whether it cost you $5000 or $5, I'm looking for examples on how others have done it. I shot an entire piece one night and thought it looked fine through the viewfinder, only to get home and see that it was completely unusable and grainy. There are filters like NeatVideo to reduce grain, but it also reduces focus. I've yet to re-shoot it because I've yet to find an affordable solution. The light bulb tap won't work in this case as the piece is shot on a beach.

[I'm off topic here, but I just put on an old episode of Loveline, and Adam Carolla is complaining about how long it takes people to light movies.]

Back on topic, the third link points to an article at Shutter Talk, which will show you how to make a decent light kit for around $75. The highlight for me in this article is the mention of using an IKEA clothes rack to hang devices off of.

The article suggests using this rack for hanging sheets off of as a diffuser, but furthermore you can use this to attach reflectors, and I assume that if you lay weights down on the base of this thing you can attach lights to it. It seems to be a very diverse item, and for an MSRP of $7.50 it's probably worth it to pick a few up.

The article also goes into the differences between normal tungsten halogen light and "Ultra White" tungsten halogen lights. Times that I've shot at home, I've always been confused and disappointed as to why my lights come off as orange, even when correctly white balanced. The article explains:

"There is one big problem with these lights, however -- they are halogen tungsten lights. The light they throw is very yellow and usually not desirable for colour photography. If you shoot in Black and White then you can get away with it, but if you shoot colour and especially if you want to mix this light with other light sources such as daylight or flash, then we need to do something about it.

Luckily the solution is just as easy. There are replacement globes available for these lights that are tinted blue to cancel out the warm colour temperature of the light. See the end of this article for some comparison photos of the same scene under different light sources shot with identical white balance settings.

The fourth article, The Complete Eejit's guide To Film-Making", teaches the procedure of three point lighting. This is something that I've always heard about but somehow unintentionally avoided learning. Seeing how it's done now, I realize just how important of a guideline it is, as it adds dimension to a two dimensional medium. As stated, I didn't understand the principles of lighting; so I didn't know this measure in making a subject pop from it's surrounding.

This is a diagram of the basic three light setup:

As the article states:
"Set something up you want to light. The example that is always used is a person. Set up your first [light] and put it in front of the subject at a 45o angle looking down on them a little. This is the key light...

But the subject does seem to have heavy shadows on the opposite side of their face. Erect another [light] making this one more diffuse by reflecting it off a wall, a reflector or by putting a scrim (basically a grille) in front of it. This is the fill light and helps soften the shadows.

You can also add a light above and behind the subject to add a slight corona (ie. white line) around them that helps to separate them from the background. This is called the back light.

To see more options for three point lighting as far as softboxes (a shade used to soften a light), umbrellas (used to reflect light), and light placement goes, visit the links below.

Something that I didn't see any of the above articles mention is the usage of a catch light. From Wikipedia:
"The term catch light is used to describe either the specular highlight in a subject's eye from a light source, or the light source itself."
In other words, a catch light adds a 'sparkle' to a subject's eye. This can be achieved through a number of ways, by changing the angle of your key light to using a ring light.

I'm currently in the process of writing a script, and I've been thinking of methods of how to light a certain character who I want to have a constant look of dismay. I considered lighting him with a harsher light than the other characters, not filling out the shadows, but now I'm considering just making sure not to use a catch light on him. I've yet to experiment with this, but it's definitely an idea.

Moving on, I spent 5 hours of my time on Izzy Digital Video Podcast Tutorials. Izzy Video, hosted by Israel Hymen is an (as of this writing) 52 episode series teaching tons of tricks and procedures for shooting digital. I regret not taking notes while watching this series, as I believe I've learned more about film making during those five hours than I've learned in weeks. The episodes are approximately 5 minutes each, which makes it easier to watch in multiple sittings. Should you not be able to find the time to watch this series, I encourage you to flip through the link above, and watch the episodes that are about topics you'd like to learn or brush up on.

This video series taught me about some of the settings that my camera had that I wasn't even aware of. One video discusses how to emulate a shallow depth of field (emulate, not create), by pulling your camera back a distance and zooming in on your subject. What this does is blur the background while keeping the subject in focus, which is similar to what film does. I liked the effect that this gives, but accepted the fact that I won't be able to do it as my camera has a digital zoom, not optical, which means that when I zoom, the quality of the picture will degrade. Later that night I was looking at some settings in the menu, and found the option of turning the "D ZOOM" off. I turned this off to discover that my camera still zooms, but not as deep. For those of you that know more about zoom, did I turn off the Digital Zoom, which means that the camera has a built in optical zoom, or does "D ZOOM" stand for something like "deep zoom," in which case I still can't use this depth of field trick without buying an optical zoom lens?

Another thing that the Izzy Video series touches on is the use of a "Neutral Density Filter," which allows you to use a wide open aperture while filming on a sunny day. I've read online about being able to use pantyhose to achieve a similar effect, which is what I planned on doing; until I noticed this:

I realize that Neutral Density Filters come in different intensities, but I've gotten the chance to test mine and can say that it does seem to diffuse glare and give a much softer image. Not all cameras will have this setting, so I suggest watching the Izzy episode on this, and should you decide to use one you could find them on eBay, or as mentioned, slide pantyhose over your lens.

These have been some of the highlights of what the links taught me yesterday. As for today: I've learned to take notes for my next entries.

Also, should any of you find a deal on a "Sennheiser ME66" shotgun microphone, please let me know. I hope to discuss this mic, the basics of recording sound, and how to make a working shock mount for under $10 in my next entry.

Thank you very much for reading, please consider leaving a comment.
This is my first informative entry and I would like to know if I have any readers. Anonymous comments are enabled.

Please share any tips you may have on lighting on a budget


First, I'd like to thank you for visiting 'Take Two'.

Film school is very, very expensive. I've wanted to go to film school for some time now, but I just can't afford it and I know I'm not alone. I've been shooting for years, learning along the way through hands-on experience, reading articles online, getting critique through others; learning whatever I can; anywhere I can. I've had jobs as a professional photographer based on this method.

However, a big difference between learning something like film & cinematography by myself versus learning it in a classroom is having peers to work with and discuss it with. It's a creative field, so it'd be nice to hear what ideas others can bring to the table.

I've decided to start a blog about this. With an approximate $25,000 tuition per semester, I know I'm not the only one who can't afford a proper film school and has been learning it on their own. I want to be able to share links to informative websites, new things I've learned that day and have others be able to respond, give further advice, ask their own questions to myself or others, etc. Sort of like a digital classroom.

There are so many free resources online on every aspect of film making; there are so many of us who have our own tips and tricks; there are probably even some of us who are in the business already but still have a love for DIY. I hope that this blog can combine our efforts and teach all of us something new.

I spent over 6 hours yesterday watching how-to videos online, and I probably learned more on that particular day than I would have in a classroom. I'll be writing about what I learned in my next entry. Not only do I want to share it with other people, but it will also benefit me as taking the time to type what I learned will hammer it into my head.

This is my first blog; I'm new to this but I hope for the sake of myself and other people interested in film making that this site will gain popularity. Even if there are only 5 of us sharing ideas to begin with, that's still 5 different takes on a subject and diversity in ideas is something that a self-education can benefit from.