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The Very Basics > The Very Basics - Pg. 35

Of course, the content of the flm or video is also a telltale sign of what you're watch- ing. If it has a laugh track and a brightly lit set, it's usually videotape; if it's more carefully and dramatically lit, with carefully synchronized background music, it's usually flm. Film vs. Videotape Film-Technique Crash Course The bottom line is that two different issues separate flm from video: the technology and the technique. What you can't change is the look of the basic medium: You're going to be recording onto tape, not flm. Tip: If the grain and softness associated with flm are crucial to your project, you're not utterly out of luck. With the addition of a 320 video-processing program called Adobe After Effects and a $550 software add-on called CineLook (from DigiEffects), you can get very close to making video look like flm. CineLook adds the grain, fecks, and scratches to taped footage, and plays with the color palette to make it look more like that of flm. Another popular add-on called CineMotion (from the same company) adds subtle blur processing to make the motion of video look more like flm, simulating 24-frames-per-second playback. (Needless to say, few iMovie fans go to that expensive extreme.) What you can change with iMovie alone, however, is almost every remaining element of the picture. Some of the advice in this chapter requires additional equip- ment; some simply requires new awareness. Overall, however, the tips in this chapter should take you a long way into the world of professional cinematography. The Very Basics If you're using a camcorder for the frst time, it's important to understand the dif- ference between its two functions: as a camera and as a VCR. The most obvious knob or switch on every camcorder lets you switch between these two modes (plus a third one known as Off). These two operating-switch positions may be labeled Camera and VTR (for Video Tape Recorder), Camera and VCR, or Record and Play. But the point is always the same: When you're in Camera mode, you can record the world; the lens and the microphone are activated. When you're in VTR mode, the lens and the mike are shut down; now your camcorder is a VCR, complete with Play, Rewind, and Fast-Forward buttons (which often light up in VTR mode). When you want to flm a movie, use Camera mode; to watch the movie you've recorded, put the camcorder into VTR mode. (You'll also have to put the camera in VTR mode when it comes time to record your fnished iMovie creation, or when you want to copy video to or from another camcorder or VCR.) Here, then, is the usual sequence for flming: 1.Preparethemicrophone,lighting,angle,andcamerasettingsasdescribedinthis chapter. chapter2:turninghomevideointoprovideo 35