On the preceding pages you have learned there is a huge number of choices, relating to equipment. I have not even spoken about the high dollar, compelete systems costing $100,000 or more. Even though that equipment exists, its not important for the beginner. You should keep in mind prices drop and quality increases daily with all of the equipment.
You can read the process I am going through to build my own NLE, and read the experiences I am having with other NLE systems. I am hopeful the system I am building will work as well as the ones at the CAT. - Actually Im sure, I will succeed, and make the point here (The building the NLE page will keep you posted). Success there will make the point for low budget.
It may seem really important to get the dough and make the super program. But lets remember we are just learning to do this stuff. And then again - just what costs - All along remember this is for the beginner and we have encouraged you to learn to do this yourself. You have your friends or you are around other access producers, they are your actors and crew. They want to participate, and just like you they want to learn and do a good job. The whole secret is dont push - relax a bit - take your time do it right - and do it over as many times as you need. Let these first adventures be a fun growing experience. Shoot your footage and have screening for you and your group, discuss what you see. Make it fun to get it perfect, and forget the time involved. You might as well start out enjoying this art, because you will encounter deadlines and pressure in the future. Yes most of the pressure is capricious and artifical, and caused by poor planning and too much ANX.
Start simple and do the do-able -
Make your time your major expense!
Make tapes your biggest cost!
Public Access Television will supply all the equipment you need in one situation, and your main expense should need only be the cost of tape.
For you who simply have a camera and some sort of editing vcr (or better of course) its still time.
Put in the hours to create a script - write really discriptive passages - and once in a while throw in a few spoken words
Need costumes - use regular clothes
If you have a digital camera great - if not dont worry about it- use the old VHS or other camera.
The page on editing discusses various equipment setups and techniques. Editing again can be a group activity. You can and will learn from each other with the instant feedback.
OK AUDIO - well hate to say it but you need a little more sophisticate system than just the camera and VCR.
I will mention this again - AUDIO IS AT LEAST 75% OF ALL VIDEOS - the audio is your music and your sound effects and your dialogue.
You may want to do a location shoot, where you, the crew, and techs all are there for the week or so it takes to tape. Now we are talking of expenses, and those expenses cover everything from transportation, lodging, food and water, to all of your equipment and technical expenses. For this type of shoot you will want to list every thing - and i mean everything from notepaper to toliet paper.
Your scripting should be really well developed before you arrive and, you should be making new shot lists - because the location and the circumstances will suggest new inserts. It will be likely your first scripts will be far slower paced than you will want your final program. Shooting many many more cutaways and detail shots than you think you need will benefit you later.
You are learning - so just why do you need to spend a lot of money - of course you dont, and you should'nt. If your are really good enough - as proved by the type video we just talked about - then maybe you will want to go to film.
Why film - thats almost hard to justify these days - but - you can do things with film which you can't with video. CONTROL being the keyword. Yet that will change as Digital video improves. Remember to the larger the film format (35mm compared to 8mm) the better the quality of the image, the video format is a little tiny area even with the best cameras (chip size range from 1/3 inch to 7/8 inch. )
Back to the point, you can spend the money when its worth it. The discussion on nonlineal editing and DV cameras will give you a basis for choosing the equipment. Shooting film should the be the last step in your producion experience. should you want to learn about raising money and more information on film check NYU - DEPARTMENT OF FILM AND TELEVISION - PRODUCTION HANDBOOK
Of course you want to do the best work possible and you may want to progress to fame and wealth, yes you can, yet you must start somewhere. You can create a brilliant video with little or no budget, and with that start, gain the funding to create the award winning film.
(((as I find more resources - I will include them here)
This page is an example of the kind of resource Habbycam info page which can be found here on the internet. This page has good reasons for using film for serious projects. Though, keep in mind the value of video for training yourself, and remember digital video in improving daily, and someday may reach and then pass the quality of film (but that time is not yet here).