DeadMooseInc

DeadMooseInc

As we have quite a bit of seasoned filmmakers here, I can only imagine the tools we must all have at our disposal- advanced non-linear editing programs, high-end cameras with manual exposure and shutter settings, boom mics... is there ever a time you wonder what it would be like to work with the old, very basic and limited tools when you were just starting out?

Tag your movie with "AUTOFOCUS-O7" [letter "O", not number "0"] and simply follow these rules:

1. Whatever sound you cannot get with the camera itself, cannot be used. This includes music.

2. Only the camera's on-board mic is allowed, and only auto settings for the picture and sound.

3. Only two editing programs are allowed: Windows Movie Maker, or iMovie. In addition, only one of those two may be used on a project.
AMENDMENT: For those who really want to use alternate editing software, keep in mind the limitations of the two free programs mentioned. A full list will be posted or linked up here soon.

4. Post-production on the picture and sound is limited to the tools present on your editing software. However, there is an allowance for rotoscoping... provided it's done on a paint program that comes with your computer, just like your editing software.

5. Any other video masters (i.e., DVDs) may be rendered with whatever tools are at your disposal, but only from a master tape (i.e., MiniDV) recorded directly from the original editing source. Neither the audio or the visual editing may be modified from this tape, though "slug" footage at the beginning and end (i.e., color bars) may be removed.

6. No unlicensed music is allowed; if you use music, it is either your own, or you have explicit permission to use it. However, it is encouraged to find ways to masterfully craft a scene without musical background.

7. Only one camera can be used for the film.

8. Remember to keep the tools consumer-level; whatever tools you don't see your average Joe consumer using, don't use.

9. Each film has one of these two title cards placed in the opening titles:
[4:3] i20.photobucket.com/albums/b218/EJones216/AUTOFOCUS-O74x3logo.jpg
[16:9] i20.photobucket.com/albums/b218/EJones216/AUTOFOCUS-O716x9logo.jpg

10. There is no "E" for "Exception". Find ways to creatively work with the rules, and remember to have fun!

As the first entry in this project, I bring you "The Mugging", shot with a consumer-level Canon ZR600, edited with Windows Movie Maker and with rotoscoping done in MS Paint.

vimeo.com/clip=143431

Paul McClintock

Paul McClintock

Reminds me of the Dogme 95 Collective... Maybe not all of these rules will apply here, but some of them might be worth adding:

1. Filming must be done on location. Props and sets must not be brought in (if a particular prop is necessary for the story, a location must be chosen where this prop is to be found).
2. The sound must never be produced apart from the images or vice versa. (Music must not be used unless it occurs within the scene being filmed, i.e., diagetic).
3. The camera must be a hand-held camera. Any movement or immobility attainable in the hand is permitted. (The film must not take place where the camera is standing; filming must take place where the action takes place.)
4. The film must be in colour. Special lighting is not acceptable. (If there is too little light for exposure the scene must be cut or a single lamp be attached to the camera).
5. Optical work and filters are forbidden.
6. The film must not contain superficial action. (Murders, weapons, etc. must not occur.)
7. Temporal and geographical alienation are forbidden. (That is to say that the film takes place here and now.)
8. Genre movies are not acceptable.
9. The final picture must be transferred to the Academy 35mm film, with an aspect ratio of 4:3, that is, not widescreen. (Originally, the requirement was that the film had to be filmed on Academy 35mm film, but the rule was relaxed to allow low-budget productions.)
10. The director must not be credited.

DeadMooseInc

DeadMooseInc

Didn't figure I'd be caught so quickly ;)

Personally, I'm curious to see how polished filmmakers can push the limits of the cheapest tools (like the art student who goes back to crayons).

DeadMooseInc

DeadMooseInc

Technically Rule #8 would fall under that, but yes, that's a good one to have. (my project was shot on a very crappy broken tripod, save for two handheld shots) Most of my writing of the rules was going for stuff that Dogme didn't cover, with a more relaxed look at post-production.

Any way you look at the rules, though, I'd be interested to see what you have to offer =)

Paul McClintock

Paul McClintock

As far as the Dogme rules go... I don't agree with all of them. Although technically 'widescreen' was originally a gimmick, I think 1.85:1 (or 1.78:1) is a very good ratio to use, so I personally think if you've got a widescreen camera, then use it.

I agree with Fickle, tripods are unnecessary anyway, so away with them. If you've got a steady arm, you can do without a steady-cam.

I believe the 'auto' features on a camera are the worst things ever thought of... I personally HATE leaving things on auto, unless I'm really strapped for time. But if you've got one of those cameras that really only has 'auto' then the decision is made for you.

It's your project, so I don't expect you to change any of the rules, and it IS called 'Autofocus' so I guess that HAS to be integral to it, eh?
I hope to participate, although I've NEVER used Windows Movie Maker or iMovie, so I'm a bit hesitant.

Andrea Allen

Andrea Allen PRO

I'm pretty sure almost *all* of my clips have been either straight off the camera or pasted together in quicktime or movie maker.

bk

bk Plus

iMovie gives a lot of options nowadays. How about cuts only in Quicktime pro?

DeadMooseInc

DeadMooseInc

I'll admit I'm quite inexperienced with Macs (the new ones, at least), though I said "iMovie" because it's included with Macs just as WMM is included on PCs. However, I believe iMovie is free, while Quicktime Pro costs money?

The key to this exercise is that everything (save title cards) is sourced from your camera, including music and sound effects.

Iain Brew

Iain Brew

you could probably make a feature movie with the latest iMovie hahaha, windows people, i feel for you ..... :P

DeadMooseInc

DeadMooseInc

I know you can't do everything with iMovie, otherwise there wouldn't be all this fuss about Final Cut Pro... though from what I understand, it's sophisticated enough. [reportedly "Napoleon Dynamite" was edited with iMovie, but then again, that kind of movie really didn't require fancy editing tricks]

I'm pretty sure you can make a feature-length movie with Windows Movie Maker... through much trial and error. Never would use this for my usual projects, but the severely limited editing options was part of the fun.

Paul McClintock

Paul McClintock

Meh, I'd rather break the rules and use Premiere - just not do anything with it that couldn't be done in one of the free programs.

DeadMooseInc

DeadMooseInc

I suppose that constitutes throwing out #10, or softening it a bit. #3 is the one that I can be flexible with, due to the responses about Quicktime Pro. So, for editing programs other than those listed, requirements for editing:

Audio: 2 tracks. One to stay linked with the video, one for unlinked Audio/Music.
Video: 1 track for main video, 1 track for title overlays (though titles can be placed in the main video track)

-Fades are limited to being 1 second long, be it audio or video.
-Volume control is allowed, but other than the fade mentioned above, no keyframing. The volume stays consistent for the portion of the clip that it's applied on.
-For timing video, brightness adjustment only, in 10% increments. Brightness cannot be adjusted above 60%, or go below -60%, except in fades.
-Exporting frames for rotoscoping is in the JPEG format; compression level currently unknown.
NTSC: 853x480 for 16x9 frames, 640x480 for 4x3.
PAL: 1024x576 for 16x9 frames, 768x576 for 4x3
-One aspect ratio for the entire film.

The other 8 rules, I'm sticking to... especially #6.

Paul McClintock

Paul McClintock

The Dogme people allowed certain rules to be broken if they believed it didn't violate the overall intent of the project... and also - you were encouraged to confess any rules you broke.

Aparently Dogme #6 "Julien Donkey Boy" broke the cardinal 'no murders' rule, but they endorsed it as a Dogme film anyway.

Paul McClintock

Paul McClintock

About resolution... I'm using PAL to begin with and I really like using 1024x576 for widescreen... being that is what it turns into when I change PAL 16x9 into square pixels - It's the only square pixel resolution where I'm not actually losing pixels. Although 720x405 is also ok, it's just I'm squishing the vertical pixels by doing that. It's no huge deal.

It's probably different when converting from NTSC. In any case, I guess it can be smooshed into whatever resolution.

DeadMooseInc

DeadMooseInc

From what I remember, "Julien Donkey-Boy" broke all 10. Personally, I call it the worst movie ever made, but Dogme rule violations were the least of my problems. "Open Hearts" interpreted the Dogme rules very loosely, but it's an excellent film.

I suppose I'll just have to see once projects start being made under the rules, how loose an interpretation will work. The overall intent is for directors to focus mainly on the action in front of the camera, and for editors to create a more effective scene without layering pop song after pop song... or to inspire that nervous 11-year-old boy by saying "This is what you can do... with the equipment and software you already have."

I'm going to give 4x3 PAL users the benefit of the doubt, and leave it at 768x576 for exported frames, resulting in no loss of vertical resolution. 1024x576 sounds correct for 16x9.

victoria

victoria

Interesting idea! I love the concept, actually... it's one I've been forced to work with because I have an ancient version of windows movie maker and only 512 MB of ram on my computer. I wouldn't say I'm a "seasoned filmmaker" but I can hardle go a day without working on some sort of movie/film/clip/whatever.

Last week I started a new project: recording the recording of an album. :) I shot the clips keeping in mind the fact that I didn't want to add any audio in the editing process. I'm just starting out & experimenting, but here are the first two clips:

vimeo.com/clip:144364
vimeo.com/clip:144655

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