We have been upgrading production standards further at ShibariClasses. I have recently bought my own second camera, a Canon 700D, since before I was borrowing one previously from Mo, who helps out with BOUND. Having my own second camera should mean that I can calibrate them closely and leave them that way to give consistent results without too much fiddling in post-production.
The second upgrade has been a digital recorder after being talked into it by Frank, the collaborator on the tango and tying tutorials. Having a reasonable quality mic, a Rode Video Mic, I had assumed that this was enough. However, after investing in Tascam digital recorder, I now appreciate the deficiencies of the on-board audio on DSLR’s. Even using the Tascam’s in-built mics, the sound is gorgeous and there’s not a hint of hiss that plagued previous recordings. It is always said in film and video circles that you can get away with poor video but never bad audio. I trust this will mean that you will appreciate the difference immediately. You can hear a recording here in a quick and dirty video I made to illustrate the effects of tension in a gote.
Just as I was thinking that’s it for now, I remembered the deficiencies of my camera supports. My monopod needed a fluid head as there’s only so much I can achieve by tilting it, so I picked up a nearly new Benro S4H to solve that problem. The tripod for the second camera was a real nightmare. It had an awful creaky 3-way head which was impossible to move smoothly or quietly. It was either flopping about or locked rigidly with almost nothing in between. Luckily, I found a rock solid Matthews tripod with a silky smooth fluid head on eBay. Unfortunately, I missed the fact that it didn’t have a camera plate. I was advised that a Manfrotto PL plate would fit so I ordered a pattern part. The sales assistant was nearly right but unfortunately was wrong by +1mm in width. Nothing some ministrations with a file couldn’t solve luckily.
The end result of the camera support upgrades should be shake-free video with smooth pans. If it isn’t, we can’t blame our tools any more. In fact, my only excuse will be getting to grips with all the new kit. With the number of options for settings and more devices to manage, we are going to need to keep our wits about us to remember everything and sync it all up.