Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by Peter Brereton, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. Peter Brereton

    Peter Brereton
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    My twelve year old daughter Niamh asked if she and her friends could borrow my Sony EX1 and learn how to use Sony Vegas for editing. This is what they came up with. It's all their own work and I thought they did really well for a first attempt. I helped a little with the sound and rendering. :thumbsup:



    Peter
     
  2. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    Brilliant! This is the way to go.
    My granddaughter (7) wanted a video diary of her recent holiday with us. I lent her my camera and let her get on with it. (but with far more supervision) The results were just great.
    Only comment - please lend her your tripod and explain that - despite recent trends - it is better to let the subjects do all the moving and leave the camera to view the scene. Good example is Mr Bean.
     
  3. Peter Brereton

    Peter Brereton
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    Yes Terfyn I agree, a tripod would have been ideal but I felt there was less risk of damage to the camcorder if it was hand held (with a shoulder strap for added safety) rather than perched atop a tripod, The filming was done after school and over a few days at two different addresses hence the lack of continuity. They had great fun and I'm hoping the results will inspire her to develop an interest in videography.
     
  4. 12harry

    12harry
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    Agreed, that's the thing isn't it.
    Learning the Trade will normally take quite a while (and each part has its own followers and "rules") but the sooner they start - - - -

    For example the viewpoint is too low - it should be on a level with the eyes, if possible . . . although that can be difficult where people of different heights are concerned.

    Also focus - it's easy to leave it on "Auto" but the camera doesn't know where the subject is. Far better to try Manual, and keep the action at the right distance (of course Pro-camera do have a "Focus Scale".).

    Some close-ups would help move the thing along, perhaps showing specific actions which can be cut-in later - such as cracking an egg, opening the oven (which can be cold)..... shots of the "Timer" will indicate the passage of Time...you get the idea.. No doubt the children will watch TV Films closely to gain an insight as to how it's done.

    Looks like they had great fun, too.
     
  5. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    For example the viewpoint is too low - it should be on a level with the eyes, if possible . . . although that can be difficult where people of different heights are concerned.

    Also focus - it's easy to leave it on "Auto" but the camera doesn't know where the subject is. Far better to try Manual, and keep the action at the right distance (of course Pro-camera do have a "Focus Scale".).


    Bear in mind they are children and there will be a difference in height between eye levels.

    Funny thing. I have never had trouble with "out of focus" shots using Auto Focus. perhaps its my camera. LOL
    To ask children to bother about focus, shutter, aperture, white balance etc. is a definite Non Starter. They need to know how to hold the camera and where the Start/Stop button is - and let rip! Some things can be taken out in the editing if needs be. Technical stuff can come much later especially when the child wants to "push" the camera to make a special shot, their own curiosity will help the learning curve.
    The important thing at this stage is for the children to use their imagination to create a story and to make good images. To tell life as they see it. Some of the shots my granddaughter took made me cringe but I left them in as they were part of her story and provided a talking point on the final video.

    I think we emphasise the technical aspect of the camera and video too much I've got more pixels than you!!! My image stabiliser is better than yours. My camera will zoom right up your **** etc.
    We should be talking about composition, rule of thirds, not crossing the line, framing and backgrounds and so on. To me, the important thing is the result on the screen - not how it got there.
    I get far more satisfaction in a story well told than the technical route. The trend in modern film making is the use of computers to give vivid images. In the "good old days" - YAWN the story was all important.
    Anybody want a soapbox - going cheap?
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  6. chrishull3

    chrishull3
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    It is true most modern Camcorders have very good AF,the only time i find need to use manual focus to any great extent is if filming wildlife and there is a situation of say birds feeding between reeds when AF may focus on the reeds or hunt rather than the subject,for normal filming i fin AF fine.
     
  7. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    This is EXACTLY the point. That special moment, when a child's interest takes them in a certain direction such as bird watching, the need to make the camera work for them will carry them through the learning phase and their technical knowledge will be increased almost by default.

    My two grandkids have a great range of interests but not an understanding of the science or art behind them. My 5yr old grandson is mad on steam engines and tractors (clearly going in the right direction!!!!!) He knows that a fire and water is needed to make steam but there it stops for the time being.
     
  8. chrishull3

    chrishull3
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    Yes true,not sure about my 6 month Granddaughter though all she wants is pampering and giving you :Ds,regarding steam trains i remember years back a chap regularily posted nice steam train videos on here,no sign for a few years now though.
     
  9. 12harry

    12harry
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    Terfyn....."....shutter, aperture, white balance etc. is a definite Non Starter...." which is why I didn't mention them. However, the focus was upset by the children going in-out of frame when a fixed focus would have allowed them to move freely,( while retaining focus...when the actions was at a fixed distance). and as I re-read yr excellent post #2 it was you that mentioned tripod.... the only reason for suggesting it was thus mounted could be for safety, as young children can easily drop something and camcorders, esp the EX1 wouldn't like that.

    If the child (holding the camcorder) is small then that would explain the low viewpoint, but I regularly raise viewpoints by using whatever is available; so that child could have been sat/stood (with supervision!), on a table, used a step-ladder, etc, . . . then film the sequence from higher up and let them see both versions . . . . A higher viewpoint would also enable the bowl insides to be seen . . . . children will soon get the idea, but it might not be obvious unless pointed out.

    "We" may think we film as-it-comes, but in reality we do select every shot, using our experience.
     
  10. chrishull3

    chrishull3
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    Actualy there are few sequences in the film where the subjects stay at a fixed distance where locked focus would be of effect,the camcorder used does have a nice focus ring unlike most small modern camcorders where manual focus can be very difficult,but filming the type of film shown using manual focus all the time is not an easy job by any meens.
     
  11. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    The point I am trying to make is that children of that age group want results and do not want to be overcome with technicalities. OK things may not be perfect with the quality of the resulting film but the spontaneity of the project will be lost if too much emphasis is place of technical matters. As chrishull3 has said, most of the current batch of cameras can look after themselves without outside interference and I would let my granddaughter have a go with my camera just to see the world as she sees it. I can gently make suggestions about the way she films, an example being - don't wave the camera about when filming. This comes back to what I said before about composition and good technique which IMO is far more important than the technicalities of the camera at this stage.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  12. Peter Brereton

    Peter Brereton
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    Thanks Guys for all the constructive comments. :) The remit was to produce something of around 5 minutes duration for their history homework, of course I had all sorts of fancy ideas, characters in medieval dress ...materialising from thin air into a modern day kitchen for example, or outdoor shots drawing water from a well or river. Realistically most of my ideas were way beyond the technical abilities of most 12 year olds, and Niamh felt it HAD to be their own work so after handing over the camcorder I was ushered out of the kitchen. I sort of expected the results to be a total disaster but the humour in the video in some ways compensates for the technical shortfalls.
     

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