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Harijs Sniedze

Before I go to Film School

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Good afternoon!

 

I am going to go to film school,but before I want to know what are the best cameras and equipment to start out learning cinematography and build up some portfolio for film school.

 

P.S I have Canon 650D DSLR with 18-55mm KIT lenses,ND filter and tripod,maybe that is enough?

 

Hope to get some advice.

Thank you!

Edited by Harijs Sniedze

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I will tell you what the Dean of my film school told my freshman class on the first day of school:

 

If you think you are going to get your hands dirty during your first year on equipment, youre sadly mistaken. You will read. You will study. Then if youre invited back, MAYBE you will touch some camera gear during your sophomore year.

 

Good luck! Film school can be a blast!

 

G

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I will tell you what the Dean of my film school told my freshman class on the first day of school:

 

If you think you are going to get your hands dirty during your first year on equipment, youre sadly mistaken. You will read. You will study. Then if youre invited back, MAYBE you will touch some camera gear during your sophomore year.

 

Good luck! Film school can be a blast!

 

G

The last thing I'm doing is disagreeing with that experience, but do you think things have changed since you went? Not to say it's the scenario for all, but most media/film programs at major universities really cheap out on their gear nowadays, letting any student get their hands on it willy-nilly.

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Im sure it has changed and Im sure that it also depends on the school. I dont mean to scare anyone with this but the big university film schools want to weed out the weak students in order to preserve the quality for the more serious students. In my class on that first day were over 350 prospective film students. Four years later, I graduated with a class of less than 50! It was definitely a boot camp where they mostly taught self responsibility and then cinema. GPA counted hugely and tardiness was not tolerated. Three strikes on your record and you were shown the exit door with no questions asked.

 

I wouldnt spend a lot of money on new gear. Especially since you really dont know what the requirements will be and the school will most likely supply gear. Film school is already expensive enough.

 

G

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Good afternoon!

 

I am going to go to film school,but before I want to know what are the best cameras and equipment to start out learning cinematography and build up some portfolio for film school.

 

P.S I have Canon 650D DSLR with 18-55mm KIT lenses,ND filter and tripod,maybe that is enough?

 

Hope to get some advice.

Thank you!

 

Yes, with that equipment you are fine!

If you have some money to spend, you could buy some prime lens (a 35 mm works great because with your aps-c camera, is a 52mm, a nice all ground focal length), but probably is better if you spend that money on buy some lights and some cheap microphone to capture sound.

 

 

Best of luck on your cinematography journey!

Edited by Giacomo Girolamo
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a cheap but solid super 35 sensor camera (maybe a used APS-C dslr, or something like a used sony F3 type of camera), and maybe 3 or 4 used fresnel lights, and then some occasional white/silver insulation boards to act as bounce and you should be golden. going much beyond that and you're gonna be wasting money that should go into projects on gear.

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I went to Filmschool and learned Sh***

Absolutely regret it. Then i attended Masterclasses by Shane Hurlbut ASC, Vinzent Laforet, Alex Buono, Werner Herzog....i watched David Mullens videos (behind the scenes etc..) I've learned more than in Filmschool. If possible i tried and improvised what i have learned. Other People have other Opinions but for me, i am disapointed. I wasted my time in Filmschool. Just my 5 cents

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SF State teaches both theory and hands on, but you need to be part of the "core class", entry of which requires your student film in either freshman or sophomore year to pass muster with both student body and staff.

 

Hence I emphasized in writing, and started my film career at San Francisco Studios run by Charles "Skip" Stanyan and owned by Roberta Reily. Steve Essock was my senior manager, and the man rarely got any sleep, but I learned about gels, gripology, divisions of labor, unions, Mole Richardson and Arri lights, Arriflex and Bolex cameras, and where the local rental houses were … I could go on.

 

The artistry of cinematography you need to get on your own. You can get tips from pros, but they can't teach you too much style. Some, but not much. As many a gamer I've heard say "get good" (they usually spell it "gud"), which in gamer speak means experimenting with different tactics and technique. It's the same with any art form; painting, sculpting, writing, and cinematography.

 

I've stated the obvious here, a lot of which you already know, but in case you didn't, those are my experiences.

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