Canon xl2 digital camcorder and a chance meeting as I was on a lunch break.
Did you know that you can get fed & paid to learn about video production? Picture this:
You’re down the street at the local shops when you hear a lot of screaming from up a side street.
“What the heck was that?” you think to yourself and make your way around the corner to see what all the commotion is about.
To your surprise, you see twenty or thirty people screaming and carrying on as they chase a New York City taxi-cab, only to have it stop after twenty yards and back-up, ready to do it all over again.
You hesitate for a moment and contemplate if it would be better to turn around and walk in the other direction.
It’s then you notice the traffic control personnel, the lights, cameras and huge number of support people. You have stumbled across a location shoot for a television commercial.
“Ahaaa”, you say to yourself “perfect opportunity to learn about ‘the business’”.
So you hang around and study the camera angles, positioning of the lights and how it is all controlled by the director. The placement of screens and reflectors, the use of microphones and the roles of the support crew.
It’s when you speak to the ‘extras’ (the rowdy ‘mob’) that you discover they are being paid $20 an hour and the whole event is fully catered!
Now if you want to learn more about the business of film and video production with the added bonus of being paid to do so, sign up as an extra and learn from the inside. If you are unsure where to start, just type ‘movie extra’ in a search engine like google.
Now this is a true story and as my luck would have it, was taking place right outside my office window for most of the day (the screaming and yelling did get a bit tedious after a while).
It was good to speak to the cast extra’s, but this was a better opportunity to talk to the technical crew on aspects of filming and production. Just had to pick the right moment.
And that I did and picked up some good info to boot!
The production house was not a large firm so they had developed systems and procedures to control costs while providing quality outputs. One of these was using a Canon xl2 digital camcorder as the secondary camera.
The size and weight of the Canon xl2 compared to the betacam unit allowed it to be placed in unusual locations quickly and easily (thus saving time, which equals money) and the image quality showed no discernable difference (you would need to view on a new digital system to notice a difference and even then you’d have to be looking closely.
I even managed to get a word in with the main production cameraman so I could ‘pick his brain’ on the Canon xl2 digital camcorder. He loved the unit but did say he found it’s performance questionable when filming vertical stripes and off green colourings (the types of situations you might find in filming catwalk models). Other than that he said the xl2 was a great asset for a pro or semi-pro operator.
So if you’d like a whole lot of fun while getting paid, sign up as a movie/production extra. And if you want a great camcorder and have the experience to use it get yourself a Canon xl2 digital camcorder.
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