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feature with D-20


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#1 Valentina Caniglia

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 09:40 PM

Hi All,

I am shooting a feature film this winter in Florida. The 80% of the locations where we will be shooting will be in the woods Day and Night.

The producer wants to shoot Sony HD 24p F900 with pro 35mm adaptor. I used the Cinealta for many occations but I don't like how it holds the highlights in the day so I recommended to film the day scenes in film and the night and interiors in HD.

I also recommended to check into renting a D-20. If we will be renting D-20 what exactly we need to rent in order to get the job done. How we should record images? I know that D-20 records uncompressed images into a data hard drive. Do we need also a deck to record on tapes? What are the disadvantages or advantages to use this camera instead of using a HD 24p. F900? Can we record on an hard drive an ship everything to a post production?

I will have an DIT with me so mostly of the color correction will be done in camera.

Do you know of any DP who shot a feature with the D-20?

Thank You

V.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 12:50 AM

Sort of the entire point of the Arri-D20 and Panavision Genesis is to NOT color-correct the image in-camera -- the idea is to send out an uncompressed, unprocessed signal -- "raw" more or less -- to a recorder, to capture as much information as possible. You can color-correct the monitor output if you want to see something on the set that isn't really flat-looking. It's sort of like shooting color negative in terms of not adding the color-correction until post.

Now the recorder, if it's the HDCAM-SR field deck, may compress it lightly.

The Arri-D20 is still not quite out of the development stage, not officially for rental yet. Maybe early next year. You'd probably be renting a separate HDCAM-SR deck, but a digital field recorder (DFR) like those made by S-Two is also an option. You'd have to empty these field recorders every night at some post house. Recording to HDCAM-SR tapes instead is more convenient.

Now some of these cameras have, like the Viper does, an "HD-stream" mode instead of a "film-stream" mode, which then allows you to use certan video processing to color-correct the image in-camera.

Edited by David Mullen, 23 November 2005 - 12:51 AM.

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#3 Phil Connolly

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 04:55 PM

Hi

I recently assisted on a D-20 test shoot and was really inpressed with the camera.

It has a colour corrected video mode, for in camera colour correction and a uncorrected film stream mode.

The video mode outputs a 16:9 - 1080p in a variety of frame rates with either 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 colour sampling over a single HDSDI link for 4:2:2 or a double HDSDI link for 4:4:4 - this data can then be recorded on the HD deak of your choice. We used the portable version of the HDCAM SR deck in 4:2:2 mode.

In video mode the camera has standard controls over white balence etc and the image we got on the monitor straight out of the camera was nice. That said it doesen't have loads of in camera colour settings, less than the sony DVW-970 I was using the week before, I found this a good thing as wadeing through menus on set can be a pain.


The film stream mode would need some sort of hard-disk array to record it as you would'nt want to compress it by recording to tape

For most things I would prefer this camera over the F900, the simplist way to use this camera is in Video mode with the HDCAM SR portable deck - I was impressed at how smooth our shoot was and how quickly everyone was up to speed on the camera.


Avantages:

Better image quality
Proper 35mm depth of field - without messing around with adapters
Better optical viewfinder
Mechanical shutter - really helps the motion look more film like


Disadvantages:

Running cables between camera and Recorder, two cables are required for 4:4:4 and no steadycam Op is going to like that.
The VTR is one extra thing to carry.
Their is no indication on the camera that the VTR is running up to speed, so someone needs to sit by the VTR and call speed.
More expensive - probably, don't exactly know what the cost to rent is going to be

Edited by Phil Connolly, 23 November 2005 - 04:59 PM.

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#4 Valentina Caniglia

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 11:52 PM

Thanks to all,

Since I have major stadycam shot and crane shots the cables that will connect the deck will cause me a slightly problem.

If I use video mode and I color correct most of the images in camera do I need a DIT (Video engeneer)?

Also, if I use tapes the images will compress and I will loose resolution. The best thing is using the data info and download to a post facility every day. This could be a problem if we will be shooting the most of the film in the middle of the woods in Florida.

Do you know how more expensive would be to rent a camera in compare to rent a Sony F900?

Thanks a lot.

V.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 12:06 AM

The HDCAM-SR tape format uses a very mild amount of compression, nothing horrible (besides compression doesn't reduce resolution.) Sounds a lot more practical than a hard drive system that needs downloading every day at a post house if you're in a distant location. Trouble is that you don't want to be cabled, and the Arri-D20 doesn't have a recorder built-in, unlike the Genesis. Although you could, for those shots, use the attachable Venom flash memory recorder (about the size of a 200' film mag) and then later download this into an HDCAM-SR deck.

Don't expect your steadicam guy to thank you. I just talked to a DP using the Genesis and he said it was borderline too heavy for much steadicam work.

I'll tell you the reason why the eight HD features I've shot used the F900 even though I looked into every "better" HD camera out there (F-950, Viper, Genesis, etc.)

It costs a lot more, enough to make producers wonder (rightly probably) why they didn't just shoot 35mm at that point, because in their minds, they were using digital to save money.

The F-950 and Viper don't cost much more than an F900 to rent. However, they don't have a built-in recorder. And almost any recording system (D5 deck, HDCAM-SR deck, S-Two Digital Field Recorders, etc.) all cost as much as another HD camera to rent, so your rental package doubles in cost compared to an F900 shoot. The Panavision Genesis, on the other hand, has a built-in HDCAM-SR recorder, but it costs something like $4000/day to rent, versus $1700/day for an F900, and $700/day for a 35mm Panaflex...

Since the Arri D20 isn't available yet, I don't know what the rental prices will be, but it won't be cheap.

As for needing a DIT, it's one of those things where if you have to ask, you probably need one. If you are familar with doing your own camera menu set-ups and color-corrections, then you know whether or not your project is complex enough to need a DIT, versus doing it yourself.

Personally, I don't like spending time on a set doing what I consider post-production time (i.e. scene-to-scene color-correction.) I barely have enough time for the normal duties of a cinematographer. I create a basic look with the HD camera in prep and then I shoot the whole movie with those menu settings, only making minor changes for special circumstances (like when shooting a greenscreen shot, or wanting to quickly alter the black levels for some reason, etc.) I use filters and the white-balance controls, but that's about it in terms of on-set image corrections. I don't spend time in the Multi-Matrix trying to adjust the shade of magenta in a certain shot, or tweaking saturation shot-by-shot, etc. I'll do all of that when I color-correct the movie in post after editing is completed.

Edited by David Mullen, 24 November 2005 - 12:13 AM.

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#6 Keith Mottram

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 08:26 AM

Dont know about the US but D20 is production ready and renting in Europe. The SR1 is currently only recording 8 bit 4:2:2 (upgrade is due soon)- which is compressed- though nothing like f900. We are shooting our third commercial with it at the weekend and everyone loves the camera. I graded the first commercial yesterday at Midnight Transfer in London on a Baselight system coupled with a Barco 2K projector and I can say the footage looks cracking on 20 odd foot screen. Depending on when you go to shoot the ram packs might be available and contrary to what David says they will not be much hassle - they will dump in realtime to SR on set, so for Stedicam shots this will be perfect. D20 is not cheap however, there are no deals to be got from Arri over here and the price in London is aproximately £1500 add lenses and other bits and bobs and you could find it is more than shooting 35mm if you have a low shooting ratio. No tweaking can really be done to the image in camera, you can just set temp there are no LUT's or anything like that. It is a very straight forward camera and you should treat it like shooting 35mm not HD.

Keith

Edited by keith mottram, 24 November 2005 - 08:29 AM.

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#7 ecce_rodrigo

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 11:14 PM

Last summer I was in Munich and had the opportunity to take a look at that beauty.
The renting price they gave me (around 2000€ per day if memory does not fail me!!!) was not enough to make me jump in from of a car right there in “academia strass”, but made me reconsider the step towards digital. I am sticking to 16mm for a long time!
Do as I did; call Clemens + 498938091240; even if you won’t rent in Europe you'll get a price for comparison. Remember that beside the camera, you will have to pay the arri's fellow responsible to handle it. About the recorder, when I came back they said, it would take two more months to release a digital HDD (similar to a 400m magazine I think), but then it was all going to tape…
If you do call, please tell him Rodrigo from Portugal said hello…

All the best for your productions,
Rodrigo.//

Edited by ecce_rodrigo, 20 December 2005 - 11:19 PM.

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#8 Andrew Roddewig

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 10:56 PM

Hey Guys,
I am one of the lowly floor techs over at CSC and I will check into any questions you have on the D-20. I don't know alot of technical specifics right now, but I do know it is in New York and People are more than welcome to come in and take a look for themselves.
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#9 Robert Sanders

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 06:08 PM

Yes, these cameras are more expensive to rent. But don't forget that these cameras are also your labs (built in). Film cameras only pull film. HD cameras produce a (near) final image. I consider film to be a two stage process, whereas I consider HD to be a single stage process. Both require color correction in post.
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#10 Stephen Williams

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 05:20 AM

Yes, these cameras are more expensive to rent. But don't forget that these cameras are also your labs (built in). Film cameras only pull film. HD cameras produce a (near) final image. I consider film to be a two stage process, whereas I consider HD to be a single stage process. Both require color correction in post.


Hi,

I think you are missing the point of a D20 or Dalsa. It's not intended to produce 'a (near) final image' from the camera, but to process the data later.

Stephen
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#11 Keith Mottram

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 05:43 AM

Hi,

I think you are missing the point of a D20 or Dalsa. It's not intended to produce 'a (near) final image' from the camera, but to process the data later.

Stephen


I assume he means that you can see what your recording on set, although with a name like starway2001 who knows? I mean how much acid must his/her/it's parents have taken to come up with that name. can you imagine...

"Moonflower?"

"Yes Zebedee?"

"I think, I think we should call it Starway2001"

"You don't think it'll get teased at school?"

"no way man, everyone will have cosimic names in the new millenium!"

etc etc.....

Keith
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#12 Paddy Eason

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 10:13 AM

whereas I consider HD to be a single stage process. Both require color correction in post.

After you take your SR tape (or s.two DMag or whatever) it seems to me you still have a few hoops to jump through before you get to the finish line...
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