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#1 Robert G Andrews

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 03:27 PM

I will finish writing my first feature in about a year and I am having a dilemma as to which format it should be shot on.

It's based on a true story which was filmed on miniDV around the world. Video grabs from the DV may be used as the story board and the story itself, whilst amazing, will be hammed up a bit.

When I finish writing, the story should be filmed in several countries and I don't want to draw too much attention to myself in certain parts of the world sometimes. At other times it wouldn't mater. I would like to keep equipment down to a minimum and don't want hassles with customs over big 'professional-looking' cameras, as well as local authorities.

The previously shot DV will be cut in although I am unsure at this point as to how it will be edited.

Should I go DV or HDV? Progressive? Uninterlaced? Which camera? any idea? DVcam or HDV or Film or DV?

I had begun to think about film and reel-to-reel audio recorders because they're smooth, but they do seem to be long-winded process.

I saw an international feature film last night and they used DVcam. Looked good to me. Mind you it was on a small screen...

Does anyone here actually hold the right answer..? unbiased? It's obviously a big decision and I am losing sleep over it.

I just can't decide.

If I go the film route I would have to;-
- sign up small film companies in the countries I want t film in as it saves me carrying film cameras through borders and paying for carnet documents, which means giving percentage away straight off the bat.
- need more and bigger quantities of equipment
- attract crowds and red tape
- have a harder time in transferring that to my Apple for editing

If I go the tape route I;-
- can take all equipment in a suitcase and only sign up who I really want to
- can use more than one camera at once making continuity easier to achive
- can transfer directly to computer without cost
- will have to blow up to 35mm...how does that come out?

If you know the answer to my dilemma can you please specify why and which camera and why.

At least I already have a fantastic classical music composer and an symphony orchestra on board this project.
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#2 Michael Schrengohst

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 05:55 PM

I will finish writing my first feature in about a year and I am having a dilemma as to which format it should be shot on.

It's based on a true story which was filmed on miniDV around the world. Video grabs from the DV may be used as the story board and the story itself, whilst amazing, will be hammed up a bit.

When I finish writing, the story should be filmed in several countries and I don't want to draw too much attention to myself in certain parts of the world sometimes. At other times it wouldn't mater. I would like to keep equipment down to a minimum and don't want hassles with customs over big 'professional-looking' cameras, as well as local authorities.

The previously shot DV will be cut in although I am unsure at this point as to how it will be edited.

Should I go DV or HDV? Progressive? Uninterlaced? Which camera? any idea? DVcam or HDV or Film or DV?

I had begun to think about film and reel-to-reel audio recorders because they're smooth, but they do seem to be long-winded process.

I saw an international feature film last night and they used DVcam. Looked good to me. Mind you it was on a small screen...

Does anyone here actually hold the right answer..? unbiased? It's obviously a big decision and I am losing sleep over it.

I just can't decide.

If I go the film route I would have to;-
- sign up small film companies in the countries I want t film in as it saves me carrying film cameras through borders and paying for carnet documents, which means giving percentage away straight off the bat.
- need more and bigger quantities of equipment
- attract crowds and red tape
- have a harder time in transferring that to my Apple for editing

If I go the tape route I;-
- can take all equipment in a suitcase and only sign up who I really want to
- can use more than one camera at once making continuity easier to achive
- can transfer directly to computer without cost
- will have to blow up to 35mm...how does that come out?

If you know the answer to my dilemma can you please specify why and which camera and why.

At least I already have a fantastic classical music composer and an symphony orchestra on board this project.


Wow, too much too reply to....
But, what is your budget constraint??
Are you funding this??
You mentioned editing...are you doing the editing?
What is your system set for??
Distribution??
Do you have a distributor? Are you hoping to get one??

Here is what I WOULD NOT DO.....
I WOULD NOT SHOOT HDV.....
I WOULD NOT SHOOT DVCAM....
I WOULD NOT SHOOT INTERLACED AT ALL. PERIOD.

Not that I have stopped screaming......
Please do a search on this subject, been talked to death....
The odds are against you....getting this sold at all....
Out of the thousands of flicks screened at sundance I think 2 or 3
actually get distributed......

Plus I would consult an entertainment lawyer for a least
a few hours ($400 - $500 per hour) before buying
plane tickets to Libya.

Good Luck
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#3 Daniel Sheehy

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 11:04 PM

The previously shot DV will be cut in although I am unsure at this point as to how it will be edited.
[snip]
Should I go DV or HDV? Progressive? Uninterlaced? Which camera? any idea? DVcam or HDV or Film or DV?
[snip]
If you know the answer to my dilemma can you please specify why and which camera and why.


I don't see why shooting on DVCam or HDV are such bad ideas. It will all depend on how the final script works out, how you want to incorporate the previously shot DV footage, what you're going to do with the finished piece & how your budget pans out.

I think you could use a camera like the HVX or the DVX, not attract too much attention.
It would look really nice if it was shot on 16mm or even 35mm, but that may not be realistic given the different countries you have to visit...
In answer to your question about DVCam to 35 film-outs, yes they can look quite nice. But it will all depend on the look you want the project to have.

Once you've decided how to incorporate the DV footage, and are a bit surer of what you're going to do with the project then you may find that the camera choices become clearer.
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#4 Michael Schrengohst

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 11:53 PM

I don't see why shooting on DVCam or HDV are such bad ideas.


Because they are interlaced....for the most part....I have had to work with both
from time to time.....Not bad systems if you are staying in the TV/DVD world....
going to film, another story....film is progressive... shooting progressive at 24p
will save you many headaches in the long run....ask about tape to film
transfer at www.dvfilm.com.....Marcus can point you in the right direction.
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#5 Daniel Sheehy

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 05:33 AM

Because they are interlaced....for the most part....


Yes, but not exclusively, therefore they shouldn't necessarily be discarded as choices just yet. But I agree with you that progressive is the way to go.
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#6 Michael Schrengohst

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 10:31 AM

Yes, but not exclusively, therefore they shouldn't necessarily be discarded as choices just yet. But I agree with you that progressive is the way to go.


I agree....However DVCAM is not HD and HDV if handled with experience can garner
some nice images.....Panasonic just announced some new small consumer HD cams
90 min of footage on a small 4 gig flash card....
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#7 Brendan mk Uegama

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 12:19 PM

I agree with Michael Schrengohst. If possible, avoid shooting interlaced if transfering to film. You will have less problems.

Another question to ask yourself is where is this going? Are you releasing it to video? Is it going to be screened on 40ft screens?

It looks to me that on your breakdown of Pros and Cons, you only have pros for shooting HDV and cons for shooting film. Don't forget about the latitude you'll gain shooting film, the textures you'll have, the image quality and the endless possibilities towards your look.

I'm currently in pre-production of a documentary I will be shooting in some dodgy areas in South America. I'm bringing the Panasonic HVX 200 and an old Bolex Rex 5 for scenic shots and whatever else possible. I think the Bolex is going to help a lot.

If you do go the digital route, I would suggest trying to bring a Bolex or something as well. You'll notice the difference while in post. Just make sure everything fits into a discreet looking backpack.
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#8 Michael Schrengohst

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 12:37 PM

I agree with Michael Schrengohst. If possible, avoid shooting interlaced if transfering to film. You will have less problems.

Another question to ask yourself is where is this going? Are you releasing it to video? Is it going to be screened on 40ft screens?

It looks to me that on your breakdown of Pros and Cons, you only have pros for shooting HDV and cons for shooting film. Don't forget about the latitude you'll gain shooting film, the textures you'll have, the image quality and the endless possibilities towards your look.

I'm currently in pre-production of a documentary I will be shooting in some dodgy areas in South America. I'm bringing the Panasonic HVX 200 and an old Bolex Rex 5 for scenic shots and whatever else possible. I think the Bolex is going to help a lot.

If you do go the digital route, I would suggest trying to bring a Bolex or something as well. You'll notice the difference while in post. Just make sure everything fits into a discreet looking backpack.


Yes, a Bolex in any situation is good for shots you cannot achieve with video...
I owned two Bolex's, one still sits on a shelf....not used much after I acquired
the HVX200. However, if you have never shot film don't be shocked by the
costs....it is expensive....film+processing+transfer=lots of money.....
and if you need audio with that............
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#9 Robert G Andrews

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 03:40 PM

Michael Schrengohst:

YOU: But, what is your budget constraint??
ME: I'll find whatever it needs, although I'd obviously want to keep contracts and liabilities to a minumum.

YOU: Are you funding this??
ME: I will be in charge of this project in its entirity which I will run through a limited company. Most will be on a percentage, some paid.

YOU: are you doing the editing?
ME: I'd like to manage the editing and do some.

YOU: Distribution??
ME: of course, the big screen, DVD..

YOU: Do you have a distributor? Are you hoping to get one??
ME: when that time comes, I will need a distributor

YOU: You mention an entertainment lawyer for a least a few hours
ME: are you implying intricacies with permissions, copyright etc

Daniel:

YOU: I don't see why shooting on DVCam or HDV are such bad ideas. It will all depend on how the final script works out, how you want to incorporate the previously shot DV footage, what you're going to do with the finished piece & how your budget pans out.
ME: I'd prefer it because they are smaller units and cheaper and easier to use, get through customs etc, but quality was the issue given that I wanted this to get screened on a big screen not just DVD.

YOU: I think you could use a camera like the HVX or the DVX, not attract too much attention. It would look really nice if it was shot on 16mm or even 35mm, but that may not be realistic given the different countries you have to visit... In answer to your question about DVCam to 35 film-outs, yes they can look quite nice. But it will all depend on the look you want the project to have.
ME: I'd like the result to be a sugary version of an 'international movie'. Difficult to explain.

YOU: once you've decided how to incorporate the DV footage, and are a bit surer of what you're going to do with the project then you may find that the camera choices become clearer.
ME: thanks, I hope really so.

Michael Schrengohst

YOU: Because they are interlaced....for the most part....I have had to work with both from time to time.....Not bad systems if you are staying in the TV/DVD world....
ME: I wish I had known more 11 years ago when the DV was being shot. I would of shot on DVcam. But I did shoot on 1CCD DV and then quickly changed to 3CCD DV.

Brendan mk Uegama:

YOU: I agree with Michael Schrengohst. If possible, avoid shooting interlaced if transfering to film. You will have less problems.
ME: why is that though...?

YOU: Another question to ask yourself is where is this going? Are you releasing it to video? Is it going to be screened on 40ft screens?
ME: probably all. I mean, I am going all the way. That is because the story is strong. How much did the Panasonic cost you? Finally, I note what you said about discretion.

Thanks to you all.
Robert
aka LondonFilmMan
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#10 Michael Schrengohst

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 06:39 PM

YOU: I agree with Michael Schrengohst. If possible, avoid shooting interlaced if transfering to film. You will have less problems.
ME: why is that though...?

You need to research and find your answers to this basic question....
It is hard enough to get a high production value 35MM production to the theaters.....even DVD distributors are looking harder and harder at anything shot on SD video.....DVCAM and DV are basically dead ducks for productions that strive for theatre and DVD release......
You must shoot at least some form of HD (progressive is better and cheaper in the long run to deal with) to be taken seriously....
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Technodolly

Metropolis Post

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