Monday, October 19, 2015

Behind the Curtain

While I'm waiting for the Weekend Box Office Report to upload, here's a peek behind the scenes.

You may have intuited that practically every episode of the Report is done solely by me, Daniel K.  I put the camera on a tripod and hit the start button, do the report, and then just get up and turn the damn thing off. Also over the summer, you may have noticed that I had focus problems often that I just couldn't (or usually just didn't bother to) correct. Also, I was using the mic on my Nikon D3200 prosumer SLR, and everybody knows those things are nowhere man.

The last month or so, I've stepped up my game in two ways. Number one, I started using my iPhone as a mic. You put it in your shirt pocket and it's pretty good sound, with little ambient background noise. The other one is the focus problem. I'd set the focus before by sitting in the chair and pointing the camera back at the tripod head. Clever but not effective, as you saw. What ruined it, apparently, was that I have weak lights and it resulted in a very, very shallow focal plane.

And that's why THIS became necessary.

It turns out that if you take the box my iMac came in, turn it on its side, and balance an Amazon shipping box on top of it, it's about the height of my head sitting in a chair. The head shot is so the Autofocus has a face to recognize. And no, that's a test headshot, I've never tried to get work with it. I mean, ugh.

So now I focus on this bizarre device, start rolling, push it out of the way and sit down in the chair, and it looks good enough for YouTube anyway. Next up, this week's report! 

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