Jump to content


Photo

What do you think about shooting a feature with HDV?


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 madalper

madalper

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Director

Posted 03 August 2007 - 05:33 PM

Hi, I'm student in master of arts in cinema program. I've shot several shorts in DVcam and HDV format. Now i want to shoot a low-budget feature movie. I don't want to shoot more short movies and it seems hard to get a budget for a feature, i'm no name and film industry depends on lots of silly stuff in here, Turkey. So my plan is to shoot a feature with very low budget but a creative, good script. If it comes out good i will have lots of opportunities.

So, my school has HDV cameras and lighting equipment is not bad. Also I'll shoot black&white and it will have a contrasty, maybe a noisy style. So do you think in that way, it can be screened on theathers. Or what problems I can have? I don't know much about blowing-up to 35mm. Also i know that if you shoot interlaced you have a little more resolution. But i'm not sure about interlaced, it can make it to look like very video style. Waiting for opinions...

Thanks,
Alper

Edited by madalper, 03 August 2007 - 05:34 PM.

  • 0

#2 Brian Dzyak

Brian Dzyak
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1517 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Encino, California USA

Posted 03 August 2007 - 07:06 PM

One school of thought says to get it done however you can.

On the other hand, if you're going to all of that effort to put everything else in front of a lens, put forth the extra effort to get the best camera (acquisition format) you can. While you may be able to get an HDV camera for free, it isn't necessarily the best choice for shooting a narrative subject. But, if that's all you have realistic access to, then you'll make it work and you'll get what you get.


Good luck!
  • 0

#3 Matt Pacini

Matt Pacini
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1246 posts

Posted 10 August 2007 - 05:45 PM

I would highly advise not shooting B&W, simply for business reasons.
Read Steven Soderberg's book. He kept a diary during the making of "Sex, Lies and Videotape", and he talks about how he was going to shoot it in B&W, and had to give up that idea when he found out there was no interest, and in fact a lot of hostility towards him for it, (from people in the industry, that is). He finally found that he wouldn't have gotten it financed, and probably not distributed if it were in B&W.

MP
  • 0

#4 e gustavo petersen

e gustavo petersen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 128 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • LA | CA | USA

Posted 10 August 2007 - 10:45 PM

I agree with Brian especially if your chances of getting any distribution for the movie are suspect. Do it any way you can or any way you want to. I also have to agree that HDV wouldn't be a great choice for narrative acquisition.

Matt brings up a good point in that distributors (at least here in the US) are still a little weary of B&W as an origination format (unless you're an A-list producer, director or DP). "Sex, Lies and Videotape" is long time ago to where Soderbergh is today - he could likely get away with it these days.
  • 0

#5 Paul Bruening

Paul Bruening

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2858 posts
  • Producer
  • Oxford, Mississippi

Posted 11 August 2007 - 01:58 AM

You ask us, "What should I do?"

Hell's bells, we don't even know what to do with ourselves. Movie making is an absurdly risky activity even when you've got all the right people and enough money behind you. Try to operate under the Hollywood-New York manufacturing plateau and you've multiplied that risk by incalculable factors. With all that in mind, one thing is for certain: If you do nothing, nothing will happen.

Go get 'em, Tiger,
Paul
  • 0

#6 rik carter

rik carter
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 51 posts
  • Director
  • Hollywood

Posted 12 August 2007 - 10:53 AM

Even Sorerberg can't really get away with black and white.

I love black and whilte so my producer made me do some research befor she would consider letting me shoot. Take a look at these numbers. The HUGE drop in box office convinced even me that audiences won't go to see a movie made in black and white - even from an established director with big stars. "The Good German" didn't even do as well as "Full Frontal" and the Coen Brothers really tanked with "The Man Who Wasn't There". There might be other reasons - but black and whilte seems to have something to do with it.

Steven Soderberg
Oceans Thirteen - $115,886,856
The Good German - $1,308,000
Ocean's Twelve - $125,531,634
Solaris - $14,970,038
Full Frontal - $2,512,846
Ocean's Eleven - $183,417,150
Traffic - $124,107,476
Erin Brockovich $125,548,685
The Limey - $3,193,102

Coen Brothers
The Ladykillers - $39,692,139
Intolerable Cruelty - $35,327,628
The Man Who Wasn't There - $7,494,849
O Brother, Where Art Thou - $45,506,619
The Big Lebowski - $17,498,804
Fargo - $24,567,751
The Hudsucker Proxy - $2,816,518
  • 0

#7 Tom Lowe

Tom Lowe
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1211 posts
  • Director
  • somewhere worshipping Terrence Malick

Posted 12 August 2007 - 07:02 PM

I guess if you are planning to finish at 720p, HDV might be okay. I assume you won't have access to a 35mm adapter?

What cameras are we talking about, specifically?

I think, all other things being equal, that you could pull off a feature with an HVX200 (DVCPro HD) as long as you have your locations and sound and acting and all of that in place. Also, trying to smooth out the camera movement can help make your picture look more professional. So that means dollies, steadi rigs, and sticks. But that's just my opinion. If you try to handhold something that small, it's going to look like you did it on the cheap, IMO.
  • 0

#8 gregory mandry

gregory mandry
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 33 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London UK

Posted 13 August 2007 - 08:18 AM

I guess if you are planning to finish at 720p, HDV might be okay. I assume you won't have access to a 35mm adapter?

What cameras are we talking about, specifically?

I think, all other things being equal, that you could pull off a feature with an HVX200 (DVCPro HD) as long as you have your locations and sound and acting and all of that in place. Also, trying to smooth out the camera movement can help make your picture look more professional. So that means dollies, steadi rigs, and sticks. But that's just my opinion. If you try to handhold something that small, it's going to look like you did it on the cheap, IMO.


If you are shooting in HDV you will be shooting in colour, i suggest the B&W plus any grainy look can be added in post. ie you could plan for it in colour or B/W and still shoot ur film.

If you can get a 35mm lens adapter you will get a nice filmic look with your deph of fields. I have used this a couple of times and it does look nice if thats a look you are after. You will however loose two stops of light so if you have a lot of night or interior sceens you will need more lights.

I generally ask the question is this a film that this format will suit? if you are after beautifully photograhed landscape panaramas then don't use it. But, If the format is going to add to the film or if you can make it add to the film and enhance the story, then go ahead.
  • 0

#9 madalper

madalper

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Director

Posted 14 August 2007 - 08:51 AM

Guys, thanks for all answers. I've tried that kind of style in my short movie, it was succesful there. It was a psychological drama which was in a mental hospital, so i think b&w was suiting it. But of course it was a short, maybe u r right about the market. But i saw the french movie "Zameti-13". It has an original idea and b&w looks ok. I've heard that Brad Pitt bought the rights to reshoot it.

First of all i don't like shaky camera moves, so even it's hand held sometimes, camera won't move much and i'll make it with cuts. The camera i've used was Sony Z-1, i've shot with b&w picture profile and used black stretch. I've never used 35mm adapter, but i'm not sure about it. Because filmlook is not only about depth of field but i want to test it.

My main idea was: Shooting a very low budget movie with the equipment just what i can have. And with the help of a small but excited crew and a very well written script. When shooting this way, of course i'm not planning to have landscape shots or great jib shots. My purpose is to go in a deep psychological level and really disturb and provoke feelings. When it's a low budget, it won't have much commercial expectation and it can have a chance in festivals.

But i'll try to find a better camera like any true HD and i'll keep in mind what u said about b&w. Also two years ago, a turkish director shot a movie with miniDV and then transferred to film. Actually it wasn't looking bad. I want to shoot this movie next year and we'll see what happens. If i can't, i'll shoot another short and try to get budget for a feature.
  • 0

#10 MZolomij

MZolomij
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 16 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 16 August 2007 - 09:54 PM

Hi, I'm student in master of arts in cinema program. I've shot several shorts in DVcam and HDV format. Now i want to shoot a low-budget feature movie. I don't want to shoot more short movies and it seems hard to get a budget for a feature, i'm no name and film industry depends on lots of silly stuff in here, Turkey. So my plan is to shoot a feature with very low budget but a creative, good script. If it comes out good i will have lots of opportunities.

So, my school has HDV cameras and lighting equipment is not bad. Also I'll shoot black&white and it will have a contrasty, maybe a noisy style. So do you think in that way, it can be screened on theathers. Or what problems I can have? I don't know much about blowing-up to 35mm. Also i know that if you shoot interlaced you have a little more resolution. But i'm not sure about interlaced, it can make it to look like very video style. Waiting for opinions...

Thanks,
Alper


I have read many of the comments of my peers and I think you have a bunch of great advice. I would like to add this:

Honor your vision and don't worry about blowing up to 35mm (unless you know that you have the money to do it) or if someone would invest in a black & white feature. If you want to shoot Black & White. Shoot Black & White. Don't worry about who is going to buy it. When you are a success, the money will be making more decisions than you may want. Now is the time to experiment and be daring.

Best of luck.
z
  • 0

#11 Ashley Wing

Ashley Wing
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 56 posts
  • Director
  • Devon, United Kingdom

Posted 26 August 2007 - 07:19 PM

Hi there,

My 2 cents.

It's not as big a deal as some may think on the camera you shoot your picture on. MiniDV, HDV and HD are all used on indie flicks as well as movies with the bigger budgets. 28 Days later was shot on MiniDV and the picture was satisfactory from an audience's POV as was Full Frontal. At the end of the day if the script is solid and you have great actor's you could shoot it on the HDV format no problem. I'm in the same boat in regards to not having access to the best cameras or huge amounts of cash to shoot my shorts but you make do with what you have. A low budget movie called 'Nightcast' was shot using the SonyFX1 and the results look pretty good considering, check out the trailer on their site: http://www.nightcast.net

All my work has been shot on the rather cheap CanonXM2 and can be viewed here: http://ashleywing.com/films.html

I think the music video and mockumentary work better as the format suits it, but as i said we just make do with what we have. I one day strive to have the chance to be able to get something on 35mm and thats one dream I won't ever let go of.

Good Luck with the project, keep everyone updated on it's progress.

All the Best
Ash

Edited by Ashley Wing, 26 August 2007 - 07:20 PM.

  • 0

#12 Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 791 posts
  • Other

Posted 26 August 2007 - 07:46 PM

I think it's fine. Boast the HD, it's a great selling point. The average bod doesn't know the difference between HD and HDV.

If this is your first feature, I'd probably play it safe. And instead of trying to implement all these new, different techniques, go with what works.

I'd personally shoot it as simply as possible. Realistic lighting, mainstream angles, smooth camera movements etc.
  • 0


rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

Abel Cine

Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

FJS International, LLC

CineLab

CineTape

Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Metropolis Post

Opal

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Glidecam

Visual Products

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

Paralinx LLC

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Opal

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera

Visual Products

rebotnix Technologies

Rig Wheels Passport

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

Technodolly

Willys Widgets

Glidecam

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

The Slider

CineLab

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio