The Sony AX 2000 – we can use this one, too!

There are four of these Sony HDR AX-2000 camcorders available for our class (200-300 level production classes) to check out for use. It’s a lot like the Sony FX 1000, but it records onto an SD card rather than videotape. Besides the convenience of the record media, it’s a lighter weight camera, and might be more fun to use with a Flowpod than the heavier Canon XH A1 or the Sony FX-1000.

Here’s the complete manual >> SonyAX2000

and here’s a video about it >>


The Lens

The more you know about the lens, the functions of the lens, and the simple rules and configurations that you can set up with lens functions, the easier it will be to create the images you want. The basic things to work with to get your best shot:

  • aperture & f/stop settings
  • depth of field / area in focus
  • gain control – remember to always shoot at lowest gain level

These are discussed in the videos below. Watch and learn!

A Simple Explanation of F-Stop

. . . further explained here, but don’t worry about the math, just concentrate on the concept and the relationships described between aperture and f/stop value . . .

A Simple Guide to Depth of Field

An add-on about Gain Control: (more information is better)
A Simple Explanation of ISO for Digital Photography and Video

Camera techniques, shots, movement: Camerawork!



Best Link to TYPES OF SHOTS:

Film Riot – Turn Your Tripod into a Dolly or Jib! + how to use specific shots, angles, focal length (good info, but there are lots of ads):

VariZoom flowpod Manual

Weeks 1 – 3 Visual poetry, camera movement, framing, lighting, tone & texture

Camera movement (copy/paste links into your browser to view videos)

  1. Spike Lee // The Dolly Shot (on Vimeo:, or on Youtube (streams faster)
  2. Martin Scorcese’s dolly + reverse tracking shot in Goodfellas, 1990 (on YouTube at
    – the dolly shot is used throughout the movie; the reverse tracking shot is subtle in comparison
  3. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights on YouTube – 1997
  4. Michaelangelo Antonioni’s The Passenger, 1975 on YouTube
  5. Spike Lee, Do The Right Thing, 1989 – Dutch angle + hand held camera
  6. Stanley Kubrick, The Killing, 1956 tracking actor’s walk through an apartment & parallel shot

  7. Mikhail Kalatozov’s Soy Cuba, oening 5 minutes


Point of View (POV), subjective perspective.

  1. Montage of Stanley Kubrick’s use of one point perspective on Vimeo
  2. POV in Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop, 1987
  3. POV & special effects, Alfred Hitchcock compilation, includes aural POV
  4. Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez’s Blair Witch Project,

Akira Kurosawa
composing movement

The 180° Rule

  1. Hitchcock
  2. Kubrick, from The Shining
  3. Yasujiro Ozu, Tokyo Story, Opening scene and parents’ conversation

Breaking the 4th Wall

  1. Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot Le Fou
  2. Woody Allen’s Annie Hall
  3. John Hughes’ Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, opening monologue

The Two-Shot with Dialogue

Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’avventura


Opening Scene
The Searchers, dir. John Ford, 1956


Closing Scene

Tone, Light, Texture, More Tropes, and Frames Within a Frame

    1. Daughters of the Dust, dir. Julie Dash, 1991

    1. 2. The Conformist, dir. Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970

    1. 3. Ex Machina, dir. Alex Garland, 2014

    1. 4. The Ipcress File, dir. Guy Hamilton, 1965

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