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Thread: How can one get with video? I am willing to spend a little more on audio though.

  1. Default How cheap can one get w/video? I am willing to spend a little more on audio though.

    Hello again everyone! I'm have finally started saving up some money, and after Thursday, I should have the purchasing power to potentially get things started (at least with audio). I've looked through the older threads a little, and will continue to do so to see if I cannot answer these questions myself, however, in case I do not find them through such means, it might be more convenient to pick your brains directly with my questions. I greatly appreciate any help! Last thing before I get into the film related questions, in the future, when posting questions that relate to money, would it be easier or more respectful for me to convert American currency figures into British Pounds? Thanks again!

    I have a limited budget, but I'm wondering if it's maybe enough to at least just practice making decent shorts. First thing is first, I'm willing to put a little more investment into audio. After years of toying around with anything from home camcorders to my ipod's camera, I have noticed how important audio is. Therefore, I'd probably even be willing to spend up to $700 on audio if necessary. Would I rather be able to put that to other things? Ehh, yeah but if spending $700 on audio vs $200 on audio is the difference between something especially cheap seeming vs something viewable, I'm willing to spend that. The more I research it, the more I get the impression that shotgun mics are what are most commonly used and overall the best. Is that safe to say?

    I could never figure out why the videos I took had such poor audio quality. It was never even so much the fact that I was too distant. After talking to someone and my place of work who does this for a living, supposedly the background noise exists as a result of "automatic gain control." Is there something attached to the mic that allows an operator to adjust the gain as necessary? How do I know how much to adjust it to so that the sound is of the quality in big budget films (I understand most sound gets recorded in post production and foley is included but even then they'd need to work with the gain right)? What even is gain (yes, I am that new to sound)?

    I'm willing at the moment to maybe do $300-$500 on video. I have seen online that the cameras normally used by amateurs are $2,000-$5000, so I understand how much I'm under shooting on price. Is there anything usable I could buy with that? Or should I just save up instead for a "real" camera? What are the advantages of having an expensive camera vs a less expensive one?

    I realize this is getting *really* cheap, but in case I decide to just save up for a decent camera instead of buying a $300-$500 one, how could I match the audio from some kind of decent sound equipment with video taken iPod?
    Last edited by wannabe; 07-23-2012 at 04:08 AM.

  2. #2


    I'm not so good at advising what mic to get etc. BUT I think a massive part of getting good sound is the placement of the mic. This for you, if you want to make a good sounding film will probably mean having a separate "sound guy". Someone who can constantly monitor the in-put from the mic. AND someone who can hold a pole with a mic on the end to get it in as close as possible and constantly pointing it in the right direction. The sound guy I use is not only good with sound he is also 60 ft tall,(well may be not that tall) BUT I think this is also an advantage when choosing who will be the sound guy and he has to have strong arm to be able to hold the pole for the entire length of the shot. SO look for a tall, strong guy with good ears and he will be the sound guy in your crew.

    I know this isn't exactly the advice you are looking for BUT I thought I'd mention it so you don't have the misconception that just having a nice mic will give you good sound.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    London, England


    I thnk we need to ask what OP is hoping to produce...if these are out and about videos then the sound-issue will be a problem for all the reasons he states.

    I'm not sure what vid-gear he's looking at but budget camcorders should be a lot less than he suggests - and ones with a MIc input ar probably a good idea, although a separate digital recorder can be a great asset.
    However, as MB says, OP will likely need a good sound-man (woman?) as the audio really needs to be "right" at time the recording is done.... bad audio is difficult to "save".

    so, OP can you give us some idea as to what sort of filming you plan to do and who will see be seeing it?

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vidmanners View Post
    so, OP can you give us some idea as to what sort of filming you plan to do and who will see be seeing it?
    Absolutely! First, let me say thank you both for responding!

    I have three projects I'm in the early stages of. I'm about half way done or so with the scripts. One of these projects will only be seen by my immediate family and whomever we send our yearly "letters" out to. If I can get it all together, I am going to have two of my siblings do our family year in review (not sure yet if it will be satirical or serious) in the format of a newscast. Granted, the concept is not especially original, but it's only for family and friends. That said, I still want it too look as professional as possible. These relatives and friends are not going to want to watch a 20 min long shot that looks like it was done at the last minute. I want to make it worth their time. This would be filmed indoors in my family's basement.
    Another project I am working on is very similar to the above. It will be a series of interviews with pictures put in. I will want to go from the actor(ess), to the photo, back to the actor(ess). I will want to occasionally have different camera angles too, especially for when something dramatic will be said or if hand gestures need to be in the shot. I am hoping to post this on youtube, mostly just to get storyline feedback and maybe directing tips. I feel like this type of short or series of shorts, is a good way to start out. I'll probably monetize it on youtube as well, though I don't expect to get a whole lot (if anything) out of it. Again, it's more for practice.
    Finally, I'm in the early stages of a script for a short film I would like to make. This will be filmed in a number of places including a dormitory, running path, conference room, and potentially in a night club or dance setting. Is it safe to assume that for the running path scene and night club scene I am better off just recording the visuals and then recording the sound later on? Would it be a good idea to record some of the sound in such a setting for foley? Or would that end up wrong? This is something that in a perfect world, will be good enough to submit into film festivals. As a matter of fact, I already have several very small film festivals in mind that I would like to enter it in depending on how well I can put it together.

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