In this guide, Academy Award nominee Mike Figgis offers the reader a step-by-step tutorial in how to use digital filmmaking technology so as to get the very best from it. He outlines the equipment and its uses, and provides an authoritative guide to the shooting process—from working with actors to lighting, framing, and camera movement. He dispenses further wisdom on the editing process and the use of sound and music, all while establishing a sound aesthetic basis for the digital format.
Offering everything that you could wish to know on the subject, this is a handbook that will become an essential backpocket reference for the digital film enthusiast—whether your goal is to make no-budget movies or simply to put your video camera to more use than just holidays and weddings.
Table of Contents
1. Choosing Your Weapon, Learning to Love It
2. Excursions into Super-8, 16mm, Super-16 and Hi-8
3. Customised Cameras, Video Aesthetics
4. Pre-Production, Part 1: The Budget
5. Pre-Production, Part 2: Location
7. Camera Movement
8. Working with Actors
"Balancing an enthusiasm for the possibilities of the technology with an admirably old-fashioned sense of technical rigor and a "'no excuses' policy for why you haven't made your film yet, Figgis might actually be the ideal instructor for digital filmmaking. Certainly his own filmography does not lack for experimentation with both process and surface aesthetics (though I confess I often tend to like the idea of a movie like Timecode better than I like watching it) or for solid comparative experience with more traditional filmmaking. And thankfully, he never bogs down in wonkiness or tech-speak, perhaps in part from an awareness that technological changes will render his lectures obsolete if he spends time on menu settings or file codecs. On a practical level, he's as keenly aware of the new labor and disciplines that the technology imposes as he is of the time it saves and the crew positions it eliminates, while on a more personal level, he can be impressively passionate about how nothing—not cameras nor money nor professional standards, not even traditional notions of cinematic beauty or storytelling grammar—should get in the way of telling your story."—Spencer Parsons, Houston Chronicle