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F950 with SRW1 vs. 35mm Panavision for special effects


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#1 Brandon Robinson

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 10:51 AM

I will be doing a special effects driven short in may, there is loads of green screen and matchmoving work to do. Our production team is of 2 thoughts right now:
shoot with the F950--->SRW-1--->HD ingest--->QT or DPX--->export DV dailies---->edit---->final conform
shoot in 35mm film---->telecine dailies---->edit----->telecine edited film to DPX or QT---->final conform
This is a 5 day shoot, and many shots will have entire greenscreen backdrops for digital environments.
The cost seem to be comparable unless there is a deal we do not know about out there.
The F950 is hard to come by and expensive, so the cost of renting the F950 and the SRW-1 deck
and the cost of a HD ingest or HD ingest system purchase really start to add up.
Ultimately I want true 10bit DPX files (4:4:4 colorspace) with sharp detail.

So what do you guys think HD or 35mm film?
If 35mm, what film stock is best for greenscreen work?

Thanks
-Brandon
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#2 Robert Sanders

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 11:47 AM

I will be doing a special effects driven short in may, there is loads of green screen and matchmoving work to do. Our production team is of 2 thoughts right now:
shoot with the F950--->SRW-1--->HD ingest--->QT or DPX--->export DV dailies---->edit---->final conform
shoot in 35mm film---->telecine dailies---->edit----->telecine edited film to DPX or QT---->final conform
This is a 5 day shoot, and many shots will have entire greenscreen backdrops for digital environments.
The cost seem to be comparable unless there is a deal we do not know about out there.
The F950 is hard to come by and expensive, so the cost of renting the F950 and the SRW-1 deck
and the cost of a HD ingest or HD ingest system purchase really start to add up.
Ultimately I want true 10bit DPX files (4:4:4 colorspace) with sharp detail.

So what do you guys think HD or 35mm film?
If 35mm, what film stock is best for greenscreen work?

Thanks
-Brandon


While I'm no special effects veteran, I do a lot of my own effects. I have noticed a trend lately of fx houses using the F950 for plate photography. Particularly because you don't have to do any pre-processing to the footage (like fixing camera weave, grain reduction, etc.) and the 950 is full raster 1920x1080, 444, RGB.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 11:50 AM

I think it comes down to, if the costs are similar, since one can do efx with either format, WHAT DO YOU WANT IT TO LOOK LIKE? HD has a look, 35mm has a look. If the costs aren't similar, then obviously that has to be taken into consideration as well.
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#4 Michael Most

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 12:03 PM

I think it comes down to, if the costs are similar, since one can do efx with either format, WHAT DO YOU WANT IT TO LOOK LIKE? HD has a look, 35mm has a look. If the costs aren't similar, then obviously that has to be taken into consideration as well.


For what is probably the first and last time, I'm going to have to disagree with David here. This is less about the final look of the project and more about technical pros and cons. For pure green screen work, particularly when the backgrounds are going to be CG and not plate photography (as has been at least suggested), you're much better off with HD video if you can shoot and record in 4:4:4. No grain allows for simpler and more accurate mattes (considerably cleaner than even well shot 35mm film, in almost all cases), as well as more flexibilty in resizing. Not to mention having access to all of your footage without additional time or cost for scanning. You're shooting elements, not final shots, therefore the CG backgrounds are going to be much more of a determinant of the final "look" of the piece. If you do shoot HD video, watch your highlights, though, as clipped highlights cannot be recovered. Other than that one issue, however, I would say that all the advantages belong to the HD video approach in this case.
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#5 Craig Chartier

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 12:18 AM

You will be able to workflow this thing faster in HD. after hearing what 501 post group did for SIN CITY. the fast turnarounds probably will save you from the possibility of having to do reshoots. by the beginning of the 3rd day you will know whats working if your post team has something to show you from day one. and that can happen with HD.
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#6 Brandon Robinson

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 01:42 AM

Well after further discussion with my team, they are telling me that with some deals they got, the film will definitely cost less, and the director would prefer it, 'his only experience being in film', I would prefer tyhe film look, but I do alot of post and also like a lot of control , so if it comes down to it have to being film, what film should we use?
and as far as everything I read, there should be a similar amount of information in a 2K scan to DPX vs a 10bit 444 digitize from the SRW1, sound right?
any advise, or advise for where to get a cheap stage for the green screen work?
"WILL TRADE FX WORK FOR HELP!"

Thanks again, you guys are great!

Edited by Brandon Robinson, 05 March 2006 - 01:44 AM.

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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 02:19 AM

5217 (Vision-2 200T) is the most popular stock for shooting chroma key stage work in 35mm.
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#8 Brandon Robinson

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 01:32 AM

5217 (Vision-2 200T) is the most popular stock for shooting chroma key stage work in 35mm.


Thanks David we have discussed this and are going with that stock
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#9 Mike Brennan

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 06:35 PM

Could you share the comparative costings including post?

Other cost factors to consider in shooting HD,
2/3 inch requires less light than 35mm for given depth of field.
Forget waiting 3 days before checking that post is happy this should be same day or better still immediatley before the shoot, if you can't previs on set.
Consider if the director will benifit from not having a low cost penalty for multiple takes, ad libbing or shooting semi controlled subjects like animals or children.
Also consider that there is no excuse for a crap key on HD 444 if you have accurate monitoring on set.

With a 1920x1080 monitor you can check every pixel for greenscreen spill, greenscreen reflection, errant hairs or soft subject that often can be rectified on set.

Considering all of the above can give DP and director greater confidence in considering riskey actionor difficult subjects. In some circumstances (modest budgets) this is a creative benifit.


Mike Brennan
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#10 deluxe

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 12:25 PM

I will be doing a special effects driven short in may, there is loads of green screen and matchmoving work to do. Our production team is of 2 thoughts right now:
shoot with the F950--->SRW-1--->HD ingest--->QT or DPX--->export DV dailies---->edit---->final conform
shoot in 35mm film---->telecine dailies---->edit----->telecine edited film to DPX or QT---->final conform

Thanks
-Brandon


i alsow would recommend to look into the following route:
F950->HD ingest DDR--->export DV dailies---->edit---->final conform

with this scenario, you can have a VFX assistant at the set, who can check & pull keys with a second workstation.

Fine method to avoid surprises, if feasible.
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

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Opal

Rig Wheels Passport

Visual Products