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Digital Documentary Film Making. Guy Mullins, Ken Fagan Arizona State University. Objectives. Define Documentary Film Styles of Documentaries Video Production Process Film Making Jobs & Duties Discuss Orme Dam Research. Communicating with Video. Drama Instructional Video

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digital documentary film making

Digital Documentary Film Making

Guy Mullins, Ken Fagan

Arizona State University

  • Define Documentary Film
  • Styles of Documentaries
  • Video Production Process
  • Film Making Jobs & Duties
  • Discuss Orme Dam Research
communicating with video
Communicating with Video
  • Drama
  • Instructional Video
  • News/Magazine format
  • News
  • Documentary
  • Research and Data Collection
  • Surveillance



documentary film video
Documentary Film & Video
  • “Creative treatment of actuality” - John Grierson
  • Every Documentary falls somewhere between the most pure form of “telling a found story” and the less pure “contrived fiction”





video documentary
Video Documentary
  • Types of Documentary Film
    • Expository
      • Addresses Viewers Directly
    • Impressionistic
      • Poetic, Lyrical
    • Observational
      • “On the Fly” Capture of Events
    • Reflexive
      • Interactive, Autobiographical, Reality TV (?)

Robert Flaherty's

"Nanook of the North” 1922

reality tv
Reality TV?
  • An American Family, 1972
  • MTV - The Real World
  • PBS - The 1900 House, The Farmer’s Wife
  • CBS - Survivor , Big Brother, Amazing Race
observational or nature video
Observational or Nature Video
  • Moving from Public Space to Private Space
    • Social Orientation
    • Photographer as Participant Observer
    • Photography and Rapport
the video interview
The Video Interview
  • “Talking Head”
    • Three Point Lighting
    • Adequate Microphone
      • Boom
      • Lavalier
  • Question and Answer
    • Simple to Edit
    • Restricts Quality of Content
  • Open Ended Questions
    • Difficult to Edit
    • Content May be Unrestricted / Unexpected

Head Room

Nose Room

Rule of Thirds


using photographs in the video interview
Using Photographs in the Video Interview
  • Photo Elicitation
    • Still Photographs may be used as subject matter to elicit responses from informants
    • Rough Cuts may be used to direct further research based on community/informant responses
video text resources
Video Text Resources
  • Cross-Cultural Filmmaking, Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Taylor
  • Visual Anthropology, John Collier, Jr., and Malcolm Collier
  • The Corporate Scriptwriting Book, Donna Matrazzo
  • Camcorder in the Classroom, Adrienne Herrell, and Joel Fowler, Jr.
additional text resources
Additional Text Resources
  • The Little Digital Video Book by Michael Rubin
  • In The Blink of An Eye by Walter Murch
  • Setting Up Your Shots. Great Camera Moves Every Filmmaker Should Know by Jeremy Vineyard
  • Film Directing: Cinematic Motion by Steven Katz
  • Film Directing: Shot by Shot by Steven Katz
  • Digital Moviemaking by Scott Billups
  • Digital Guerrilla Video: A Grassroots Guide to the Revolution by Avi Hoffer
  • Making Documentary Films and Reality Videos: A Practical Guide to Planning, Filming, and Editing Documentaries of Real Events by Barry Hampe
  • Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects (With CD-ROM) by Trish Meyer, Chris Meyer
digital documentary film making1
Digital Documentary Film Making
  • Part 1 - Objectives
    • Fundamental Technical Knowledge of Digital Video and Digital Photography
    • Traditional Skills of Video Production
      • (i.e.., shot composition, audio basics, lighting principles)
    • Digital Video Editing Techniques
recent history of video technology
Recent History of Video Technology
  • Analog = Expensive and Complicated
  • Digital = Relatively Inexpensive and Simple
    • Non-Linear Editing (NLE)
    • miniDV Videotape, Firewire (iLink, IEEE1394)
modern tools of video production
Modern Tools of Video Production
  • Digital Camcorder
    • miniDV, Digital 8, D-9, Digital-Betacam
  • Non-Linear Video Editing System
    • iMovie, Premiere, FinalCut, Media100, Avid
    • NLE does for Video today what the Laser Printer did for Print in the late 1980s
  • Digital Still Camera
    • 2-Megapixel, 3-Megapixel, or better…
  • Graphics and Animation Software
    • Photoshop, After Effects, even PowerPoint
digital video composite
Digital Video Composite

Arizona’s Towns: Planning the Past, Saving the Future

College of Architecture - Summer 2000

traditional tools of good video production
Traditional Tools of “Good” Video Production
  • Wordprocessor
    • Microsoft Word, Pencil & Paper, 3M Post-It®
  • Tripod
  • Microphones
    • Handheld, Shotgun, Lavalier, PZM
  • Lighting Equipment
    • Lights, Reflectors, Umbrellas
  • A/C Extension Cords
  • Batteries
  • Gaffer’s Tape
  • Ballpoint Pen…
the video production process
Simple steps to making video

Video Vocabulary

Shot Composition

Lighting & Audio Basics

The Video Production Process
video production process
Video Production Process
  • Pre-Production
    • Outline
    • Treatment
    • Script & Storyboard
  • Production
    • Shooting Video
    • Creating Graphics and Animation
    • Recording Narration, Music, Sound Effects
  • Post-Production
    • Editing
    • Distribution (VHS, www)
video shot vocabulary
Video Shot Vocabulary
  • Fundamental Shot Types
    • Establishing Shot
    • Medium Shot (MS), Medium Close-Up
    • Close-Up (CU), Extreme Close-Up
    • Over-the-Shoulder (OTS)
    • Two Shot
medium shot medium close up
Medium Shot,Medium Close-Up

“Talking Head”

basic principals of lighting
Basic Principals of Lighting
  • Key Light
  • Fill Light
  • Back Light or Hair Light

Three Point Lighting

three point lighting
Three Point Lighting

Hair Light

Key Light

Background Light

Fill Light

three point lighting1
Three Point Lighting

Hair Light

Key Light

Fill Light

audio recording basics
Audio Recording Basics
  • “Good” Video needs “Good” Audio
  • Different Types of Recording Require Different Types of Microphones
    • Handheld
    • Lavalier / Lapel
    • Shotgun
    • PZM (Pressure Zone Mic)
things to keep in mind when shooting video
Things to Keep in Mind when Shooting Video
  • Shot Composition Basics
    • Headroom, Noseroom
  • Lighting for Image Quality
    • Three Point Lighting
  • Audio Recording
  • Checklist
    • Batteries
    • Videotape
    • Microphone
    • Focus
    • Framing / Shot Composition
dv on the pc
DV on the PC?
  • Studio DVPinnacle Systems
  • Ulead Video Studio
  • Dazzle DV-Editor
  • MovieDV Suite (screenshot)
  • Microsoft Producer

Ulead Video Studio

Dazzle DV-Editor & Firewire card

digital video graphics animation
Digital Video: Graphics & Animation
  • Objectives
    • Introduction to Producing Graphics for Video
    • Advanced Video & Audio Editing Techniques
    • Digital Video Compression & Web Video
      • Internet Distribution
creating graphics for video
Creating Graphics for Video
  • Illustrations
  • Special Effects
  • Title Screens
  • “Lower Third”
creating graphics for video1
Creating Graphics for Video
  • Illustrations
  • Special Effects
  • Title Screens
  • “Lower Third”
creating graphics for video2
Creating Graphics for Video
  • The “Darwin Movie”

click movie to play

graphics tools for video
Graphics Tools for Video
  • Adobe Photoshop for still images
  • Adobe After Effects for animated images
  • Digital Still Photography
creating graphics for video3
Creating Graphics for Video
  • Limitations of NTSC (Analog Television)
    • Color range of Television and Computers
      • Analog NTSC Video perhaps 5-7 million colors
      • Computer RGB more than 16 million colors
    • Interlaced Properties of NTSC
      • Causes flicker in fine details of images
    • Overscan and Underscan
      • Graphic Compositions may only utilize about 80% of the screen real estate
creating graphics for video4
Creating Graphics for Video
  • Limitations of NTSC (Analog Television)
  • Launch Photoshop DEMO
video and audio editing techniques
Video and Audio Editing Techniques
  • Inserting Elements into a DV Program
    • Graphics
    • Audio
      • Narration from microphone & videotape
      • Music from CD
      • Sound Effects
  • Working with DV Video Clips
    • Adjusting Clips within the Program Timeline
    • Cropping Clips
  • Launch iMovie DEMO
video compression
Video Compression
  • Producing Video for Computer Presentations
    • Powerpoint, CD-ROM, Kiosk
  • Compressing Video for Internet Broadcasting / Webcasting / Netcasting
video compression1
Video Compression
  • Nearly all Digital Video is Compressed

NTSC Video plays at 30 frames / second

1 Frame of Uncompressed Digital Video is approximately 1 MB

(30 MB / second)

video compression2
Video Compression
  • Methods of Compression
    • Reduce the Number of frames / second
      • 15 fps is okay
      • Less than 10-12 fps becomes jerky
    • Reduce the Size of the Video frame
    • Reduce the Image Quality
video compression3
Video Compression
  • Flavors of Video Compression
    • MPEG
      • (MPEG I - MP3, MPEG II - DVD, MPEG IV),
    • Quicktime
      • Cinepak, Sorenson, Apple Video, Motion-JPEG)
    • DV
      • miniDV Camcorder Videotape, iMovie
    • RealVideo
    • AVI
    • Microsoft ASF
how to compress video
How To Compress Video
  • Many Desktop Video Editing programs will Export a variety of compressed formats
    • Exports are usually template compression settings without much control
  • Media Cleaner (Current Version 5.0) is the most popular tool for the aspiring Video Compressionist
  • Launch Media Cleaner DEMO