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Cinematography techniques for HD nature series?


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#1 Ted_Oakes

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 01:35 PM

Folks - I'm researching new cinematographic techniques for a BBC HD nature series about life on earth. Anyone out there willing to blue sky thinking with me? In the past, technical innovations like time lapse and the heli-gimble have led to new and spectacularly beautiful ways to film nature, wildlife and landscapes.

Are there techniques being employed in feature film or commercial world that might give us new and beautiful ways to film animals, or animal spectacles - from blue whales to insects?

Any wild ideas out there or people I should talk to?

Ted
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#2 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 04:17 PM

Folks - I'm researching new cinematographic techniques for a BBC HD nature series about life on earth. Anyone out there willing to blue sky thinking with me? In the past, technical innovations like time lapse and the heli-gimble have led to new and spectacularly beautiful ways to film nature, wildlife and landscapes.

Are there techniques being employed in feature film or commercial world that might give us new and beautiful ways to film animals, or animal spectacles - from blue whales to insects?

Any wild ideas out there or people I should talk to?

Ted


I assume by "HD" you mean HD display, and you can shoot with either film or HD video? What resolution and aspect ratio do you need?
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#3 Ted_Oakes

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 06:08 PM

I assume by "HD" you mean HD display, and you can shoot with either film or HD video? What resolution and aspect ratio do you need?


John - The primary acquistion format will be HD, although film will be be used for some purposes. Broadcast in SD in the UK and possibly HD depending on international co-producers. AR will be 16x9. Any thoughts? Ted

Edited by Ted_Oakes, 11 January 2006 - 06:09 PM.

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#4 Ted_Oakes

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 05:28 PM

Anyone here knowledgeable about shooting underwater? Ted
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#5 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 09:42 PM

John - The primary acquistion format will be HD, although film will be be used for some purposes. Broadcast in SD in the UK and possibly HD depending on international co-producers. AR will be 16x9. Any thoughts? Ted


Please consider film when you need the advantages film offers for HD nature cinematography: wide range of frame rates, robustness and portability of equipment in the field under a wide variety of conditions, ability to handle extremes of exposure, etc.:

http://www.kodak.com...ker/myth2.jhtml

http://www.kodak.com.../fastFacts.html

Look into the advantages of the new KODAK VISION2 HD Color Scan Film 7299 for documentary use, where its latitude and flexibility are very useful:

http://www.kodak.com...1.4.4.4.6&lc=en
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#6 Ted_Oakes

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 07:53 AM

Thanks John - I'll look into those links. Traditionally we have shot on S16 topside and tape u/w. As you say film can do many things that tape can't and we will contine to use film for those. I'm also researching innnovation in other aspects of cinematography like aerial photo, extreme macro, high speed, underwater time lapse, copter cam, etc.

(1) Are there any innovations in features or commercials that might be adaptable to filming animals?

(2) Can anyone recommend people i should speak to?

Ted_Oakes
BBC Natural History Unit
Bristol, UK
e. Ted.Oakes(at)bbc.co.uk
+44 117 907 4008
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#7 Ted_Oakes

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 04:50 AM

Richard thanks for the PM. The project is huge, ambitious and commissioned. i'll give you a call next week. Anyone else out there have some ideas and want to talk? Ted
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#8 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 05:38 AM

Richard thanks for the PM. The project is huge, ambitious and commissioned. i'll give you a call next week. Anyone else out there have some ideas and want to talk? Ted


The big thing I came across in LA were the new 3D HD cameras developed by Pace for James Cameron. They use the imaging blocks from two F950 cameras mounted side by side. However, I'm not sure how they'd fit into a normal 2D programme.
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#9 Ted_Oakes

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 02:54 PM

The big thing I came across in LA were the new 3D HD cameras developed by Pace for James Cameron. They use the imaging blocks from two F950 cameras mounted side by side. However, I'm not sure how they'd fit into a normal 2D programme.



Brian - Thanks for that. Do you know where I can read about them? Any other thoughts about how to apply new techiques or equipment to filming animals? Ted
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#10 Sandy Thomson

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 08:22 PM

Please consider film when you need the advantages film offers for HD nature cinematography: wide range of frame rates, robustness and portability of equipment in the field under a wide variety of conditions, ability to handle extremes of exposure, etc.:

http://www.kodak.com...ker/myth2.jhtml

http://www.kodak.com.../fastFacts.html

Look into the advantages of the new KODAK VISION2 HD Color Scan Film 7299 for documentary use, where its latitude and flexibility are very useful:

http://www.kodak.com...1.4.4.4.6&lc=en


John:

I've been very happy with the results of several studio interviews shot with 7218 in S-16.
I recently shot a short film on board a ship with both interior tungsten lighting and external shots using an 85+ND#3 and I was aware of more grain than I'd like to see in the neg transferred to HDV.
I'm also shooting native HDV with a Sony FX1 and cutting it into the film production as the video gear is a whole lot more portable particularly when we have to travel internationally.

While the HDV is incredibly sharp, I somehow like the film look better, but I wonder if maybe I should be using a slower stock for the external shots?

Sandy
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#11 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 09:36 PM

John:

I've been very happy with the results of several studio interviews shot with 7218 in S-16.
I recently shot a short film on board a ship with both interior tungsten lighting and external shots using an 85+ND#3 and I was aware of more grain than I'd like to see in the neg transferred to HDV.
I'm also shooting native HDV with a Sony FX1 and cutting it into the film production as the video gear is a whole lot more portable particularly when we have to travel internationally.

While the HDV is incredibly sharp, I somehow like the film look better, but I wonder if maybe I should be using a slower stock for the external shots?

Sandy


For the finest grain, you should certainly you should use a slower film if you have the light. Even with 7218, a bit of overexposure (no more than a stop) will often help reduce graininess in the shadow areas.

Here are some productions using Super-16 for HD production:

http://www.p3update.com/content/500/

Chressanthis has been on the cutting edge of an evolving trend toward the use of Super 16 film as the medium of choice for producing narrative TV content. Four Minutes was the fourth telefilm he has shot in Super 16 format. The others were 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story (ESPN), where the mini Ikonoskop was first used in the United States, The Reagans (Showtime), and the Emmy-winning Life With Judy Garland. Super 16 film is currently being used for television series ranging from The Gilmore Girls, a series filmed on stages at Warner Bros., to the CBS telefilm Snow Wonders, which was filmed in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Kees Van Oostrum, ASC, suggested shooting Snow Wonders with Zeiss Ultra-Speed lenses designed for 35 mm cameras for use with Super 16 ARRI SR 3s.


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