Category: filmmaking

Deep focus

In preparation for shooting the documentary that will eventually accompany this blog and a successful marathon run, I have been learning a little bit about film making. One of the things that I’ve learned is that with traditional film, there’s typically one object (or character, or group) in a scene which has focus, while the rest of the scene is somewhat out of focus. To get an entire scene at the same focus level, the filmmaker uses a deep focus lens.

Shooting with digital equipment, such as consumer-grade mini-DV, has many advantages. One “problem” that I’ve discovered is that mini-DV suffers is that all scenes are in deep focus by default. This probably won’t be much of a problem for a documentary. But if I were shooting a different type of movie, it might cause an issue.

I’ve read elsewhere that to make digital look like film, I move the camera further away from the action and use zoom. But I’ve also read in other places that it’s always better to move the camera in close instead of using zoom. I’m a bit confused on this point, but, it shouldn’t have an impact with the documentary. If I discover it does, maybe I can remove the “deep focus” problem in post 😉