Just as the painter with his brushes or a sculptor with their carving knives, so does the filmmaker with their cameras, lighting and support equipment. Every artist requires their specialized tools to make the perfect execution of their creative vision.
Only through years of experiences, research and testing have we come to understand the tools we use to create our films. Each tool we employ has very specific uses that come
with both advantages and limitations. It is the advantages that determine the use of one tool over another. We use cameras, lenses, lighting, and support equipment together to achieve the look and feel desired for a Windward Productions film.
When we choose a particular camera on a project, it is based on requirements for the project–the look and feel we are after and what limitations we are up against. In some cases, like an interview, we have the flexibility and time to light a scene, while in others instances, such as a documentary, we have to work with existing lighting and choose a camera that works well in low light.Another factor when choosing a camera is the type of content are we capturing and how will we use the camera for best affect. Will the camera be handheld? On a tripod? On a motion stabilized gimbal, boom, dolly, or slider? Or maybe simply use a drone?
Another import choice in determining the look and feel for a project is the lenses we use. Different focal lengths affect the perception of the subject. A wide-angle lens distorts, while taking in more of a scene. A telephoto lens compresses space and brings you in closer to a subject making the camera less obtrusive. Settings on the lens, such as aperture, is used to keep some things out of focus and directs attention. Different brands of lenses also have particular looks to them. The sharpness, the color, and other characteristics of lenses can be used to add nuances to a film.
Lastly, lighting has a huge effect on how a piece looks and the underlying at
mosphere it creates. Digital cameras tend to look digital, with harsh edges and overly saturated colors. Film has softer edges and more muted tones. Yet, by effectively using lighting, both artificial and natural light, a filmic look can be achieved on a digital camera. The tools we use as filmmakers and the techniques we use in our productions, allow us to achieve the look we are after.
Remember, there’s plenty of cameras, lighting, and support equipment out there to help
achieve your specific look and style. The best way to know what works for you is to try it out and it doesn’t require a huge hit to your budget! There are many online and store front companies that rent equipment. It’s a huge cost savings over making a purchase and allows you to test out the equipment before making a commitment. Happy Testing and Filming!