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Getting started on filming and photography
Hey guys, I'm currently a junior in high school living in Salt Lake. I'm looking for tips on how to start filming as some of my friends throw down and I'd be stoked to get some of it on film. My school doesn't have any film classes (don't know if any do) and coming into next year it's too late to take photography to get a sense of lighting and stuff. I've been searching for some courses I could take in the area and have only come up with spy hop productions but I'm turning 17 next year and all of their courses seem to be 16 and under. Would buying a camera and just trying stuff out be the way to go or how can i go about this? Looking for any suggestions as to where to start and all input is appreciated! Thanks
Buy a camera, and commit to learning it inside and out. Practice, Practice, Practice and you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
Sweet, do you have any recommendations on a camera? There's some sweet edits shot with go pro's but I feel like those guys actually have a clue as to what they're doing (I don't have any type of camera). Also would you say to look at stuff like stabilizers and such or am i getting ahead of myself? I currently have a part time job and the money spent would be coming from me so I'd appreciate it if it was on the lower side as far as prices go. Would it be easier to start off with a cheaper camera anyway? I apologize for the ton of questions haha.
If you're just looking to get some shots and throw together a quick edit the Gopro is handy as its portable and simple to use. But if you want to delve into cinematography (seems like you do since you're interested in taking courses) something like a basic, consumer level DSLR is your best bet to get started. Gopros are overused these days and a monkey could use them. A simple DSLR (Canon rebel series for example) will allow you to get familiar with basic camera functions but at the same time won't be too overwhelming or pricey. Start with a basic package, expand it with lense and accessories as needed. spend most of your budget on lenses because bodies get outdated pretty quickly but a good lense will last you a long time and can be adapted to use with the cameras you buy in the future.
I wouldn't worry about stabilizers right off the bat as good ones are quite expansive. Limited equipment is great for learning, as it forces you to use what you have in creative ways to get the shots you want- which is what filming is all about. Once you get started and decide you enjoy filming you should pickup a good tripod, even though its a pain in the ass to haul up the mountain it makes a huge difference when your shots are stabile. from there just keep building up your gear. add a Gopro for angles you can't get with a traditional camera, but again don't rely on it or you'll hold yourself back. look for used stuff, there are tons of guys who upgrade as soon as something new comes out and in turn are dumping their like new gear for good prices on ebay. one or two generation old pro level stuff is still way better then the brand new consumer stuff. Take care of your gear, it'll hold its value on resale and every penny counts in this crazily expensive craft.
As for the actual filming, the best way to learn is to do. Film everything, even if you dont use it all. when it comes time to edit lots of footage gives you more options and you never know what shots you're going to wish you had when post production time rolls around. Watch alot of movies and edits, don't just watch the skiing and think wow this is cool. study it and figure out what makes you think its cool. find out what you like and incorporate it into your own work. film all the time, in the off season find something else to film. I used to film my buddies mountain biking and even family vacations, both were horribly lame but they were still opportunities to practice. Try to find someone with more experience than you to work with, its the best way to learn. if you see someone else filming at the mountain ask them if you can shoot together for the day. some guys will be arrogant dicks and not help you. filming is a competitive field and there are those who dont want to see others do well but fuck them. for the most part people will be happy to meet another filmer and be enthusiastic about helping you so dont be embarrassed if you don't have much experience.
Most of all just have fun and don't get frustrated when your videos don't turn out the way you had hoped, its all a part of learning. find a good balance, dont take it too seriously but always strive for your best work.
Thanks guys that both helped me and got me pumped to go out. If anybody has anything else they'd like to share or how they started filming it'd be cool to hear your input or more suggestions. The replies have been what I've been looking for +k
Just as everybody else has said... practice, practice, practice. Just get a camera and start shooting, don't sweat getting the nicest or newest gear, just go shoot. If you ever get questions or want to learn something new, there are thousands of free tutorials on youtube.
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