Research

Discussion in 'Fan Films, Fan Audio & SciFi 3D' started by Mithrawnurodo, Dec 19, 2012.

Moderators: AdamBertocci
  1. Mithrawnurodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2005
    star 2
    Greetings fellow board members. I must say, it has been at least a year since I last logged in and I like what has been done to the place. I have been a member of the forums for many years and it has always been an invaluable resource for when I had questions, starting from my first post.

    I am hoping that I can get some feedback on a couple questions I have now.

    First of all, I have recently been asked to do some youtube commercials for a new product launch. I am being paid 500 dollars apiece for three commercials, plus a thousand dollar bonus upon completion. If my work is liked, there will be a new contract that I will be signing and I am looking to get some information regarding the pricing that amateur videographers should adhere to. I have no equipment currently, outside of my (ancient) software and (ancient) mac and average HP laptop. If all goes well with this work, I plan to put most of the money into a decent SLR and a newer tower. Recognizing that I have no formal training outside of a number of film projects, including several failed ones, I don't expect to receive top dollar. What I would like to get is just a general sense of what is charged typically for one day shoots, a week or two of editing, basic effects work, and some b-roll filming.

    Second, I would be interested in hearing people's opinions on the best online training available for visual effects. I know there are a number of sites that provide training on everything from modeling, animation, and rigging, to compositing and other visual effects. I would like to push my skills farther and feel like taking some classes would be the best way to go about it. I am quite willing to pay, I just want to make sure I get the best value for my money. I have considered trying to take classes at the local college but I simply don't have the time. I am currently a full time graduate student, holding down a full time job at Best Buy, with a 20 hour a week unpaid internship with the local congressman, plus this videography job, that should start next month. I think I can squeeze in one more online class, so I am in research mode, trying to find the best visual effects class available.

    Thanks in advance for any help,

    Mith

    Edit: For those interested, I use Pinnacle Ultimate Studio 16 for my editing, running on a 2012 Hp m6-1035DX laptop, with a quad core A10, 6 GB of memory, and a 512 MB video card. I use a 2003 dual processor PowerMac, with 2.5 GB of DDR Memory and a 64 MB video card, running Adobe After Effects 6.0 Professional for all compositing and visual effects.
    I also run Blender on the laptop for basic(and I mean basic) 3D work. The most recent video I did was a short goofy trailer for the last Best Buy quarterly meeting, that can be found here


    The above work was done in a rush, and I am fully aware of it's shortcomings, so I would prefer to not have anybody hammering me over them;) But I had fun making it and my store enjoyed it so I consider it well worth the effort:)
    Last edited by Mithrawnurodo, Dec 19, 2012
  2. HowardFilms Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2005
    star 4
    Holy crap. I work as a Magnolia Professional in a store in MD, which pretty much is my bread and butter while I work on building my videography business and they made us watch this! lmao.

    Couple pieces of advice. Stick to Canon for the DLSRs...5D MkII just went discontinued, see if you can grab a shelf display open box. Or go for a 7D, they just came out with a Magic Lantern program for it that adds a lot of pro video features. Or if you're looking for something a little less expensive, t3i or t4i isn't bad. Rokinon has some great prime cine lenses in 24, 35 and 85mm that aren't too expensive, but start with the Canon 50mm 1.8. It's cheap and works very well, they call if the nifty fifty.

    Trust me when I say don't fall for mac. Get a PC, build one if you're comfortable with it. Then sign up for Adobe Creative Cloud, you get the adobe suite for a reasonable monthly fee instead of paying a huge sum. You already have started with After Effects, learning Premiere Pro and Audition will help your work a lot. A lot of the industry is switching to Premiere, I recently got two jobs by telling people I dumped FCP for it.

    For free training, look up Film Riot, Video Copilot and AE Tuts Plus. FXPHD is a great paid site to learn many of the things you're looking to learn.

    At the meeting, I joked that our store needed to submit a video next. Now that I'm talking to you, I really might have to do that, lol.
  3. Mithrawnurodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2005
    star 2
    Glad to hear you liked it:) I was concerned about my PowerMac handling it as it was shot at a full 1080p resolution but the old machine came through like a champ. Although I did have to keep my room opened up as the PowerMac kept making it too warm to be in. I tried to upload the full 1080p version but I just was having trouble uploading anything but the 360p version, which is what made it on the store DVD. I actually shot quite a bit more, trying to make a full 6-7 minute film. I just needed one more night of filming to finish it but the holiday hours made it impossible to finish filming and I am really short of time now, due to school, internship, and work. I might just focus on doing another project for the next meeting.

    I was actually looking at the t3i, it is on sale now and I like the looks of it but I will check out the other cameras you mentioned, thanks for all the information.

    Regarding a computer, I have been running macs all my life, although I also run Windows and Linux builds as well these days and I have always chafed at doing any kind of video editing or work on a Windows machine. Its just little things, but they add up. I was amused to notice the contrast between my windows and mac systems just on this project, my ancient mac was quite usable for web browsing even while rendering 6-8 hour 1080p multilayered compositions out of After Effects, whereas the HP was frequently unusable for anything when I had it rendering 1080p videos out of Blender. Programs would crash and lock up to the point where the computer was effectively useless until it was done rendering.

    I have studied Video Copilot before, but I had never heard of AE Tuts Plus or FXPHD, they look like they will be very useful. I really like what FXPHD has to offer, I might be signing up for a course there as soon as I can find the time.

    I probably am going to do another trailer for the next all-store meeting, it looks good on my resume and my coworkers and managers liked doing this past one. By all means do one yourself, that all store DVD typically needs all the help it can get in the entertainment area:)

    Thanks for all the help,

    Mith

    EDIT: I should mention what I am, since you did;) I work at Geek Squad, but before that I was the Apple Expert back in computers, and the top Apple seller in the store. So I do have a slight bias possibly;)
    Last edited by Mithrawnurodo, Jan 4, 2013
  4. HowardFilms Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2005
    star 4
    Yeah. I mean it really depends on the computer. I have an HP and a MBP. The MBP is better. It also cost about 1500 more, haha, so it better be. I'm pretty sure if I intelligently dropped two grand in a Windows desktop though, it would stomp this thing. I did editing at another production house on their PCs and Premiere was way better than on my Mac. Just my two cents.
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