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Do I need to re-shoot? (XL-1 Problem with footage)


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#1 Trevor Webb

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 05:34 PM

I am currently shooting a feature length zombie comedy film and was uploading footage taken from yesterdays shoot when i realized that in parts of the tape, the image suddenly splits into 12 horizontal lines. On half of the lines of footage, the tape is playing normally but every other line is showing the distorted image of whatever scene was shown before it

IE...
line 1 is fine,
line 2 is distorted,
line 3 is fine,
line 4 is distorted etc etc

I am using brand new Sony Premium Mini-DV tapes and I have already tried running a head cleaner for the camera itself but this has not helped. It is only occasionally that this happens and 90% of the time it appears to be working perfectly but when shooting a film with a very tight schedule, loosing 10% of your footage and not understanding what is wrong is pretty irritating!

Do you recommend re-shooting these scenes or is the footage salvageable? Also, how do I prevent this from happening again?

Thanks to anyone that can help :)
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#2 David Sweetman

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 03:34 AM

Try playing the footage back in several different decks. I had footage do that once, where in one deck it was screwed up and in another it played fine. I'd try it in a more expensive deck (like a stand-alone deck) and in a less expensive deck (like on a zr-60) if possible. Other than that you've already tried the head cleaner, so I don't know how many more options you have...
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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 03:56 AM

Hopefully it's just the playback from your camera that's causing the problem, but this has happened to me before when using cheaper Sony miniDV tapes.

For future reference, with projects that are so important, you should shoot with "Master" quality DV tape. They're a bit more expensive, but you're getting less a risk of loss and artifacts, so therefore more savings in the end. I've never had any issues with them (knock on wood)

I've shot mostly with Panasonic's AMQ line, which I highly recommend.
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#4 Trevor Webb

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 05:23 AM

Thanks guys. I don't have any other cameras or stand alone decks to test the tape on but I do know a few people that do. I will make some calls and report back once I've tried it on theirs. Thanks again :)

Anyone offering any alternative options in case this doesn't work will be greatly appreciated.
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#5 Phil Connolly

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 07:31 AM

Sometimes I've found DV tapes that don't play back on most decks, can be played back on a Sony DSR-2000 VTR, it seems to play tapes that others can't.

One trick, is to put it in vari-speed DMC mode and play back at 100% - rather than normal playback, this can for some reason seems to playback tapes that fail in normal mode, not sure why this is.

So for irriplacible damaged DV tapes its worth traking down a facility with this deck.

I've seen this fault before on the XL-1 it always stemmed from dirty heads, recycled tapes or combination of both.
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#6 Trevor Webb

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 06:44 AM

OK, an update...

I phoned around but everyone with a camera was working on their own projects in various parts of the country so I went to Argos and bought their cheapest mini DV camera purely for the purpous of uploading / playback. But, suffice to say, the tape didn't work any better or worse than when I play it in my XL-1. The camera I bought was a Samsung VP-D371W (all I could afford).

1 of the people I know with a fair few cameras is back from a shoot tomorrow so I will try it in a few cameras there. He also has a stand alone deck. Maybe that would work better?

Failing getting this tape working tomorrow I am going to need to re-shoot the scenes that arn't playing properly :(

At least I've learnt from this though... Stick to the same brand of tape as camera heads don't like changing. Always run a head cleaner before any important shoot (the dry kind. wet is bad) and always fast forward then rewind the entire tape before you start recording on it to ensure that the tape is on the camera head correctly.

I also recall at college they used to tell us to always 'black' the tape before recording on it. I believe they said that this was for timecode issues but would this help with this problem also?

Thanks for everyones help so far :)
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#7 Bill Totolo

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 07:47 PM

At least I've learnt from this though... Stick to the same brand of tape as camera heads don't like changing. Always run a head cleaner before any important shoot (the dry kind. wet is bad) and always fast forward then rewind the entire tape before you start recording on it to ensure that the tape is on the camera head correctly.


This is contrary to my understanding. If anyone can offer technical assistance I would appreciate it.

My understanding is the dry tape head cleaner actually damages your tape head a little bit every time you use it.
And that using using a tape head cleaner consistently will diminish the life of your heads.

I've also heard that using the liquid head cleaner is a lot gentler.

Can anyone confirm or deny?
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#8 Freya Black

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 06:06 AM

At least I've learnt from this though... Stick to the same brand of tape as camera heads don't like changing. Always run a head cleaner before any important shoot (the dry kind. wet is bad) and always fast forward then rewind the entire tape before you start recording on it to ensure that the tape is on the camera head correctly.

Thanks for everyones help so far :)


Apparently Sony and Fuji have tape forulations that can react with one another in a rather nasty way, so yes it is best to keep to one kind of DV tape.

love

Freya
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#9 Dory Breaux DP

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 04:31 PM

Yeah use only one kind fo tape (I found that out the hard way myself). Also, I recently had a shoot where the camera that recorded the footage and a sony handicam both played part of it back with massive dropouts. However, when I got home and used a GL1 I had acces to, it worked beautifuly.
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