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Access to raw footage?!?!?


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#1 Driver

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 12:34 AM

I recently shot a one day job (tape) with rented gear that ended up being slightly desaturated due to a camera setting that was accidentally... set wrong.

Apparently, this switch on the HC400 is used when recording on 3/4" instead of Beta, and it makes the footage about 10% low on chroma (almost not noticeable to the eye apparently.)

This was confirmed to be the case when I called the rental house the day after the job when the producer discovered the footage was less than perfect. Also, during that day the deck AND the camera were checked out and (and I mean thoroughly) proved to be 100%.

Anyway, that much we knew. However, the editor subsequently started citing a laundry list of "problems" with the footage which I made note of and forwarded to the rental man. Rental man contacted the certified video engineer he sub-rented the deck from (a BVW 50) who checked it out AGAIN and said it was 100%.

I watched playback from the 50 at least 2 or 3 times during the day of production and noticed nothing out of the ordinary, and especially NOT the stuff the editor was describing.

Now, here's were the real problem comes in. The producer will not let me have the raw footage tapes so that I may examine them. I have asked many times over the past 2 weeks, and even though the job is finished, this person claims she doesn't have time and that getting me the tapes "is not a priority" for her.

The 2 guys involved in the rental should be allowed to see these tapes especially in light of the fact that there are 2 producers out there running around saying that the gear is faulty and/or "old." I should be allowed to see the tapes since it's really my ass on the line here because I'm the guy who shot this supposed barely usable footage.

And yet, this producer person will not even make a phone call to the post house or to whosever shelf the tapes are sitting on right now so that I may arrange to briefly take possession of them.


If anyone has any insight into what I might be able to do here, or should do, I'd really appreciate it.
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 06:53 AM

Hi,

I've had this.

I spent four days a couple of years ago shooting, for free, a short film. I thought it looked pretty nice - we had time to dial in all kinds of interesting effects on the DSR-570. It was all monitored on set and everyone seemed happy.

Come the edit I get a string of complaints. They refused to send me the footage, presumably because I'd made quite a lot of noise about getting it for my reel earlier and they felt they were "punishing" me by withholding the material.

I took a robust attitude to this, making it clear that both I and everyone else had felt everything had been OK on set and without seeing the footage I obviously unable to comment further. They stopped whining, but I never got any material.

My attitude remains "stuff 'em."

Phil
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#3 Andy Sparaco SOC

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 07:54 AM

If anyone has any insight into what I might be able to do here, or should do, I'd really appreciate it.


You are paid to know what you are doing. You did not prep your equipment thru lack of knowledge or experience.

If you where paid you where lucky and the the producer owes you nothing.

If you haven't been paid expect a wait.

The Rental folks did not deliver your package in the default mode you expected. But if you look closely at the rental agreement , they have very little responsibility. Just like Kodak being culpable for replacement of defective film only.

You can point fingers but ultimately you are responsible.

It's your choice to leave yourself to the whim of a supplier.

A Producers attitude is you are a liability not an asset.

If the job was properly done you could expect the "professional courtesy" of seeing the material

It was not by your admission-They owe you nothing
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#4 Stephen Williams

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 08:43 AM

Hi,

Sounds like they just don't want to pay! If they won't let you see the footage then I guess there is nothing wrong with it!

Just my 2c.

Stephen
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#5 Chien Huey

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 05:44 PM

Apparently, this switch on the HC400 is used when recording on 3/4" instead of Beta, and it makes the footage about 10% low on chroma (almost not noticeable to the eye apparently.)

This was confirmed to be the case when I called the rental house the day after the job when the producer discovered the footage was less than perfect. Also, during that day the deck AND the camera were checked out and (and I mean thoroughly) proved to be 100%.


Wait, I'm confused. So was the camera setting correct or incorrect? I mean, because later in your post you indicate that the producers are running around saying the rental equipment is faulty or old. If the camera setting was incorrect, why would they be saying that?

Another possibility is that the editor's monitor could be grossly miscalibrated. Perhaps instead of getting the tapes, you could visit the edit bay and see what the editor's talking about. It could be as simple as the office cleaning person wiped down the monitor and spun the chroma dial.
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#6 Driver

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 06:25 PM

Hi,

I've had this.

<snip>

My attitude remains "stuff 'em."

Phil




Yeah. That's my attitude too. You can't tell me the footage is "barely usable" and then not let me see the footage. Until I get to see the footage on my own terms, I'd say the footage is completely fine.

You are paid to know what you are doing. You did not prep your equipment thru lack of knowledge or experience.



Well... I'm not a video tech, nor am I an AC. I lit and composed and focused and recorded. I think from now on I am going to present myself in prep as a DP with a contract that states that I am NOT liable for issues such as this, and advise that a tech or an AC be hired on the crew.

The real crux of this whole issue is not who is liable or who isn't or how incompetant I am. It's the fact that they won't let me have the tapes.



Hi,

Sounds like they just don't want to pay! If they won't let you see the footage then I guess there is nothing wrong with it!

Just my 2c.

Stephen



That's entirely possible. If I ever get my hands on the tapes and they appear to be anything other than what I remember (dubs) I will know what's what.

Wait, I'm confused. So was the camera setting correct or incorrect? I mean, because later in your post you indicate that the producers are running around saying the rental equipment is faulty or old. If the camera setting was incorrect, why would they be saying that?


The initial finding was that the chroma was low. But THEN I started hearing about all these other problems which basically add up to every possible problem known to man on video tape.

We knew the chroma was low after we were told because I had the rental man check the gear.

Another possibility is that the editor's monitor could be grossly miscalibrated. Perhaps instead of getting the tapes, you could visit the edit bay and see what the editor's talking about. It could be as simple as the office cleaning person wiped down the monitor and spun the chroma dial.


I wish. What the editor is describing sounds like footage that was recorded on a totally beat deck which we definitely did not use.
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