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Thread: Filming and Editing Services (Hardware purchase inquiry)

  1. #1

    Default Filming and Editing Services (Hardware purchase inquiry)

    I work for a communications solutions firm in Tokyo, and given a recent influx in requests for basic video work, we are considering expanding our offered services into the filming and post-production areas. We already do some photography work as well as design, but video is a new area, and Iíve been told by management to go out and purchase equipment, and basically figure out everything about the process from filming to post production myself. Iím a casual photographer, but am basically starting from square one here.

    In general, we will be conducting straightforward 1 on 1 interviews, with the footage to then be edited and subtitles added in post-production.

    Itís a tall order, but Iím looking for recommendations on:

    Equipment (Price range $3,000-4,000)
    ∑ Camera (Right now leaning towards the Canon 6D, although Iím open to other options)
    ∑ Lenses (Not sure where to start here, but given the ďinterviewĒ nature of the work, what are one or two lenses I should be looking at?)
    ∑ Audio equipment (based on technical specs above).
    ∑ Other
    Editing programs (for Windows and preferably with good subtitling functions)
    Filming tutorials or some kind of educational resources for this kind of work

    To get a better understanding of what kind of work Iíll be expected to do, take a look at some details requested by one of our clients for an upcoming project, and let me know what you think:

    Short 1 on 1 Interview format project

    Technical spec
    - 1920x1080
    - 29.97fps
    - Shoot progressive
    - Use separate microphones for interviewer and interviewee, record to discrete audio channels
    - On-camera mic not acceptable
    - "Larger-sensor" cameras* are preferred
    *For DSLRs, please use a flat picture profile with low contrast and low sharpness

    Submitting footage
    - Sync audio to picture if sound was recorded separately
    - No text overlay or special effect
    - Export as video: H.264, 1920x1080, 36Mbps minimum; audio: AAC 256kbps minimum

    - Use "Arial Unicode MS"
    - White text with thick black outline
    - Only 1 line at a time, with no more than 40 characters in the line, example as follows:

    Some other details regarding the kind of setting for the project:

    - Interview to be held in a quiet indoor place (around 600 sq. ft., see following screen shoots to have idea)
    - Have Interviewee against uncluttered background (refer to the following screen shoots)
    - Have an appropriate distance between interviewee and background, to throw background out of focus
    - Professional lighting, with a balanced mix of ambient light
    - Have interviewee slightly to the left or right in frame
    - Interviewer sits beside the camera and is not to not appear on camera
    - Interviewee is to look at interviewer, not the camera
    - Shot size - medium, examples as follows:

    Any and all help would be much appreciated in the areas Iíve mentioned above. Iíll be checking back frequently, so I can answer any clarifying questions if they arise.

    Much appreciated,

  2. #2


    Just watch the spec. on the bit rates when choosing the camera if the spec. has to be followed exactly. A DSLR will do for the interview jobs if you are in a controlled environment like you said in your post.

    For the sound I would go for a separate digital recorder like a Zoom H4n with a radio lav mic like the Sennheiser ew 112P radio mic kit. You will need some sort of a three point lighting system of which there are many to choose from and not my area to advise about.

    The video editing software will depend on whether you use Macs or PC. For Macs Final Cut Pro and for PC Adobe Premier Pro.

    B U T, just having the equipment and being able to get a decent product out of it is to different things.

  3. #3


    Thank you for the reply guys.

    Yes, this is a very tall order from Management, and honestly I don't think I'm anywhere near ready to do this kind of work, especially given the tight time frame, which I didn't mention in my post.
    Thanks for the recommendations.

    I've been asking around and lots of people seem to not like a DSLR for this kind of work... what are the reasons?

    Also does both a 6D and the Panasonic GH3 fit the technical specs I've mentioned above?


  4. #4


    Thanks for all the comments everyone. Very slowly starting to get things together as I continue to inquire and look around.

    Just wondering what people's thoughts are on the Canon XF, XA or XL range for example? Any preferences? Maybe I should be focusing on video cameras and not shooting video on still cameras?

    Regarding audio, the Zoom ZH4N seems to be popular recommendation and affordable. But this means that I will have to sync the audio with the video eventually, yes? Sounds rather difficult if that's the case. What about microphones for the external audio recorder? Anything I need to be on the lookout for in particular?

  5. #5


    I already recommended a mic for you in my first post. Can I ask if there is a reason you have to do all this yourself and why you don't just use a local video guy to do the filming. You would get a lot of interviews done for the price you are paying for the equipment. He could do the editing for you or just the filming, which ever you want. It would save you a lot of stress and get the job done right.

  6. #6


    Haha yes, like I said it is quite a tall order to become knowledgeable in these areas on such short notice... but I need to try. Tomorrow morning I'll have a meeting and bring him what I have, and also take the opportunity to mention that I am not entirely confident on doing this all myself.

    After running around a little more, I am now considering completely ditching the DLSR for a camcorder... I think it maybe "easier" for a novice like me to handle... thoughts regarding this given the tech specs above and the indoors setting? (should have good stabilization, good in low-light, etc.,)

    Thanks a lot for the continued support.

  7. #7


    Thanks for all the tips. Appreciate it. So just a short update:

    We didn't end up getting the job with the tech specs provided above (quietly breathing a huge sigh of relief).
    There is still a shoot this week (separate project), more on a trial basis than anything, much more low-key. One 1-on-1 interview, with the footage/audio to be sent to the client who will decide what portion of the interview they like, and then I will edit the interview and add subtitles to make a 2-3 minute video.

    Based on these developments last week we went out and got the kit with the Canon 5D Mark III and the EF 24-105 F4L IS USM lens. Also got an extra battery, two 32GB SanDisk 90MB/s cards, and the Zoom H4N recorder. Didn't get a tripod/video head, but am considering just using my Manfrotto 055XPROB with 804RC2 head. I know its for stills, but given that there will only be one indoors interview, there are no tech specs, and they just want something simple, should be good enough right?

    Any tips on the actual shooting process and syncing with audio? I'm doing research elsewhere online, so no need for wasting your time on long replies, but any helpful tips or resources would be appreciated. If syncing the audio and video is just downright hard... maybe I should try just using the internal audio recording function and save myself some time?

    Also I think the last piece of equipment I may need for the time being are Lav mics... but anything people might recommend? I've had the Sennheiser EW112-P G3 and SONY: UWP-V1 recommended to me... but boy are they expensive. Anything more reasonably priced? Doesn't have to be wireless.

    I guess final question for now is what program to buy, and I'm leaning towards Adobe Premiere Pro, but what are general comments/thoughts on usability? Is it easy to synch audio in the program and do basic editing/subtitling as described above? I'll probably have one week to put together a 2-3 minute video.

    As always, all comments/questions appreciated. Thank you.

  8. #8


    Don't use the Canon on board audio the zoom is a great digital audio recorder. It's easy to sync. up the audio the camera will record the sound so use that as the guide at the beginning of the shoot go in front of the camera and clap (like a clapper board) this will give you a reference point to line up the audio from the zoom with the audio from the camera. Very simple.

    I can't recommend any lav mic other than the Sennheiser EW112-P G3 as that's the only one I've used. How much did you spend on the camera ? Don't think the audio comes second to or lower in importance to the visuals. It's not especially for interviews. For the money the Sennheiser EW112-P G3 is a great radio mic that will give you years of service for a few hundred quid. The camera will be out of date in a couple of years !

    You haven't mentioned your lighting set up.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
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    The reason the Sennheiser G3 kit is expensive is not becasue of the mics: it's because of the wireless.
    Sony ECM77s are fairly common "standard" wired lavs.
    But even a real cheapy like an ATR3350 will do a perfectly good job. Here's an example (note this is after a bit of noise reduction to get rid of some hiss - introduced by the camera as much as the mic, I suspect, and compression)

  10. #10


    I was thinking how dangerous it would be to have the talent tethered to a camera forgetting you have a Zoom H4n. This may be a good (cheaper) solution for you.

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