The entire process of digital filmmaking goes beyond the actual shooting of footage. It involves transfering, converting, editing and copying using different kinds of digital film processing equipment.
Digital film usually involves processing video files taken directly from digital video camera. However, films taken with old media such as 8 mm films can sometimes be required to be converted first into a digital file. This analog to digital conversion can be done through professional film studios, but it can also be done at home using a digital video cam and a film projector. This is a basic and quite simplistic way of converting analog films to digital. All you have to do is start up an analog film using a film projector and have a digital video camera record it. This requires a quiet room and the digital video camera set up right beside the film projector.
Whether you are recreating analog movies or capturing original movie clips, digital camcorders are the main tools of starting the digital film process. These recording devices come in different sizes and quality. Some are designed for home use while others can handle more heavy duty tasks. With a number of mainstream movies for TV and theaters being shot with regular consumer grade camcorders, it doesn’t really matter what kind of camcorder a filmmaker uses, as long as it meets the needs of the movie and the filmmaker. Some camcorders offer built-in video editing tools that lets you add simple effects to your digital movies even before you edit them using a video editing software on your computer.
Desktop or Laptop Computer
Transferring digital movies into a computer is the first step in processing it. You can save the video file first then convert it to a file format that can be edited using any number of video editing software. You can also transfer the video file directly into a DVD as a DVD movie using a Firewire port and a DVD burner. Your hardware must be fast enough to have a smooth and quick transfer from your camcorder, so the best way to do this is to have a computer with at least 256 MB of RAM, a CPU speed of at least 2GHz and a hard drive with at least 5 GB of free disk space.
Video Editing Software
There are a lot of video edting software available, each offering a different set of features. You should look for a video editing software that can let you record, edit, convert and burn digital films. The more features a video editing software has, the more creative you can get with your tasks. Conversion from one file format to another is a critical feature since this will determine in which devices or media you can play your finished digital film.
CD and DVD
One of the most important piece of digital film processing equipment is a CD/DVD burner. Sending out copies of films to friends or potential providers of financial support for your film can be done easily if you have a CD/DVD burner. You can set up multiple burners on your workstation so you can burn multiple copies at a time. Distribution and marketing of your digital film will be more efficient if you have copies of your processed digital film burned into CDs or DVDs.
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