Author: Contributor

Sony NEX-VG20H Interchangeable Lens Camera Review

You can read about the sony NEX-VG20H interchangeable lens here. This is a compact video camera that you can grab if you want to shoot high quality on the go. With a 3-inch viewfinder that has 6 helpful bottons; iris, playback, shutter speed, display, program AE, and finder/LCD. When shooting people, their skin tones stay true to life and wrinkles are crisp and clear. There are many lenses that will work with this camera. The only mic on the camera is the 5.1 onboard mic which picks up a lot of sound from the surrounding environment. There are three options in the audio menu: wind noise reduction, audio mode, and audio record level. You can also change between a 5.1 channel surround and the 2 channel stereo. There is a jack for headphones and jack for an 1/8-inch mic which is a stereo.

This very light, 2.9lbs., camera would be very helpful to students that are filming on the go, not still video. The small size would fit great in students hands. I would love to use this camera in class.

Andy Scheblein | May 2012

Making Dope Sci-Fi Sound Effects

In all the great sci-fi movies are unique and good quality sound effects. Sound effects that had to be created by house hold materials in some cases. For example in Star Wars IV: A New Hope, did you know that the famous gun blaster sound in the film was created by the head sound designer when he was out on a hike with his family? He had bumped into the guywires of a radio tower and it made this sound(

Sounds are everywhere, especially sci-fi sounds. Go outside one day and just listen. You will be amazed at the provocative sounds you hear or even in your house. But, don’t forget your sound equipment! Get everything on your mic and review the footage later. You will hear some amazing pieces of audio to put into your sci-fi flick and the best part of all is that these sounds are free!

Now, of course not every single sci-fi movie used everyday sounds for their picture. Star Trek got their sounds strictly with synthesizers. These synthesizers had many different levels of sound and made the sound effects quite interesting. Sometimes they were creepy, sometimes they were just plain weird. Today we have computers and what not to generate sound effects, but anyways those are the two schools of thought on sci-fi sound effects.

I learned that almost all sound effects in Star Wars were made from everyday things in our world!


link to article:


Adobe After Effects

In the article I recently read it give easy steps on how to use Adobe After Effects.  Adobe After Effects is a editing program in which you use to add effects to the film that has recently been filmed. It is used to produce motion graphics.

In the tutorial, it talks about 12 basic steps you need to take to be able to make a special effect of some sort in your movie. With this editing program you’re able to produce a great piece of work without having to edit each object. Say

you have a flock of birds. In other editing softwares you would need to animate each bird but with Adobe you only have to animate one to make it work.

This is a great software to use, it was very easy to learn and works great. I suggest this software to other people trying to animate things. I have had the opportunity to use Adobe and it was very easy to get used to.


Documentary Storytelling Techniques

Julie Babcock | September 28th, 2011

This article is about how to perfect how you tell your documentary. By watching other filmmakers you can greatly improve your skill. If you closely examine others, you can use some of there styles. If you consider factors like character development, music and editing decisions. No matter which documentary genre you’re interested in, there are plenty of sources to learn from. By examining different types and styles of documentaries, you’ll find a storytelling technique that works for you.

I learned that you don’t always have to use a completely new idea. You can use ideas from someone else. I’m definitely going use this when I’m making my documentary.

Making Documentary Videos: The Interview

So the article that I read was about how to make an interview in a documentary look/be great. Before starting the interview you should gently prepare your subjects by telling them the general focus of the documentary. You should also not give your subjects the questions ahead of time. During the interview, the camera operator should listen intently to the questions/answers and adjusts the shots to emphasize the emotions of the moment.

Another good thing to do is interview your subjects in a natural environment. You shouldn’t film all of your interviews in the same place. By changing up the environment, you can change the emotions of the interviewee. You should also choose a place with little to none background noise. If there is too much noise, you might not be able to do a voice-over interview.

Talk to your subjects to engage them and make them comfortable with talking to you, when you and your crew (if you have one) are setting up. You want to make your subject comfortable talking to you so they aren’t as tense during the interview. When you are asking the questions you should stand right beside the lens.  You may not be comfortable, but your shot will look great. When ready for the interview, your subject can look you in the eye and you just have a conversation. You want your subject to answer your questions in complete statements, and have them repeat some of the question when they are answering if you want to do a voice-over.

I learned in this article that interviews are a very important part of a documentary depending on the subject. Also that you should start with the easiest questions first so you don’t get your subject nervous with your first questions. You should also not always stick to the script, if your subject says something in an answer that you want to know more about you should ask about it, and at the end you should ask if there is anything that you missed that they would like to talk about.

This will come in handy during class because in video 2 we need to make a documentary, and I know that I want to interview a handful of people and it would be great to use these tips.

Dr. Robert G. Nulph | April 2006

Yeah, So How About a Documentary?

Gotta love the docs (that’s what film makers call documentaries because we are too lazy to pronounce the other five syllables). There are a few things that you need in your doc to make it worth watching

First is interviews. You always need someone to interview. Hearing what your interviewee has to say can give the audience a good idea of what your doc is about. They may be able to contribute important facts, tell a story or simply add some humor to your piece. What you need to figure when interviewing someone is whether or not your doing an opinion based interview or a factual interview. Example of a factual interview: I saw him murder her. Example of opinion: He did a great job killing her…Uhm, what? When your subject says something like that you may want to leave the room. Like immediately.

Another thing your gonna want to use for a doc is some picture. “A picture can say a thousand words”, totally true. You’d be surprised how interested your audience gets when they see an interesting picture hit the screen. So always have pictures.

Third thing, before any of this stuff do RESEARCH! Research is key, your evidence needs to be spot on. If you get your facts wrong people will know and you will look like an absolute moron in front of all your peers. Check your facts over and over again, I can stress this enough!

In this article I learned that there are two different kinds of interviews: opinion and fact based. Here’s a link to the article



Ghastly Effects

In the recent article that I read, it talked about how you can make a “ghost” effect seem real. It talks about major points in how to make a ghost seem real. When creating a movie you can’t just have the effect of the ghost being in sight, you also have to have to psychology of ghost movies. When making a ghost movie they’re are three major things that you need to know.

– The first one is one of the most important ones to remember is that the spirits are still characters. These spirits need to have a story behind them.

– The second one is how the ghost will appear. If the ghost even does appear. The spirit needs to be fantastical of some sort. If not, then the you should just make it a normal person.

– The third aspect is to enhance the performance of the illusion. The illusion can ruin the show if it is not performed right.

All of this depends on your editing ability and your special effect ability. “You can have the best effect ever, but if it doesn’t work for the story, it’s just an effect”.

Cloud-Based Editing Using Tablets and Smartphones

Have you ever thought about having a phone that you could take video with and then edit that video right on your phone? Well today there is and “app” for that. Many phones and Tablets have apps that you can get so you can edit your videos then post them on Youtube or other sites. In the article that I previously read it talked about how many people are using Tablets and Smartphone’s to record video and edit that video on their Tablet or Smartphone. Years ago you could only use desktop computers or laptops. These apps are called cloud-based editing.

For example on the Tablet or Android there is a editing software called “Googles Android Movie Studio. This app allows you to capture the video that you want and then edit that video that you had just taken all in the same place. The editing programs for these tablets will soon grow and become a greater part of an editors life. There is really only one downside to using a Tablet to edit your video and that is the render time. The reason that the render time is so long is because the processors fot eh tablets were not designed to handle high- definition, multiply channel edit. But yet again this is a great achievement.

One big question that is being asked here is whether or not this will replace land-based editing systems? The answer to that right now is that it is to early to tell whether or not it will replace it in the near future.


Documentary Production: Handheld Camera Techniques

Julie Babcock | September 9th, 2010

The article that I read, was about shooting with a handheld camcorder. You can read the article here. A tripod is always good for when you aren’t shooting while moving around and trying to follow your people around. You’re always going to have a little bit of a shake when you are filming with a handheld, but to reduce the amount of excessive movement you can keep your hands steady on the camera with both hands. You should keep a wide stance, keep your lens wide and don’t zoom in. There are many more tips you can use.

This will come in handy for video production because I want to film my documentary without a tripod and this will really help me. I think others can use it because if anyone else wanted to film handheld this will help them.

Camera Shots

In the article I read, I read about the types of shots that make viewers very interested in the movie, or show.  There are many different types of shots that you can make with a camera. High, low, medium shots, close-ups, and many others. Very interesting shots to me were the high angle shots. Even though high angle shots may be hard to accomplish, it looks great in a movie and shows a different perspective on things. This is because we are so used to seeing the world from 5-6 feet off the ground. Around eye-level. But with shooting high shots or low shots this makes things look interesting and tells a better story. To achieve this people may use ladders, trees, and cranes or booms. The best way to achieve this great shot is through using a crane or boom. Booms allow you to move the camera from high elevations to low elevations to get a great establishing shot or in other cases follow a car from a high elevation and by the time the car stops the camera would be at the same height as the car.

Low shots were quite common a long time ago but were hard to achieve. No a days there are special cameras to get those great low shots that you have always been wanting to get.  Low shots while moving may be hard to get. So that is why cameraman come up with great ideas on how to move the camera while shooting videos. For example, in the musical Royal Wedding, They mount a camera to the floor of a rotating set so that it made it seem like the actor was running up and down walls.

To get sideways shots you can put your camera on a dolly then set it on something just like train tracks and it follows it in a very calm, fluent motion without rattling.

Camera angles determine the movie and the mood of the movie. Movies are made up of many camera angles. When you put all these shots together you make a movie. All these shots make a movie great. The high and low shots usually are used as an entrance or ending but can be used at anytime. These shots give a great perspective on what is going on at the time and establishes the movie. This article was a great help in explaining the use of dolly’s, and cranes. Also gives me a new perspective on what the different heights of shots have on the product and the establishing of a movie.