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Promo Shot w/35mm Nikons, at 1080 24P HD


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#1 Robert ODoul

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 12:50 PM

Hello everyone!

I shot this in early September of 2007, and it's been a one-man post-production job since the shoot to edit, colour grade, sound, composite, etc. It's a promo video (my first) and there were complications before and after the shoot and I'd prefer if other seasoned veterans gave me feedback on the images before I release it to the world as a final cut.

Does it work? Does it look nice for the most part? Colours okay? It may have been my first shoot of this size - actual permit, small crew, cast + extras (large production for me, a student), but if there's anything you can see that could be fixed, please let me know! There are also people composited into other shots as well - let me know if you can tell which ones. I also did all the post - incl. sound, and composting - I had the original music scored and recorded by a friend.

Here's a draft of the 5 minute video (pause to allow for it to download):

http://fmw.teack.net...graphy_D15.html

Much appreciated!
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#2 Robert ODoul

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 05:11 PM

45 views, not one comment.

I can only infer that I'm pretty bad at what I'm doing.. wish I knew *what* I was doing wrong though.

Please, could you let me know what you think? Just a few words would help..
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#3 Filip Orlandic

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 05:47 PM

I like your short film but maybe it looks like a commercial on a few moments. I dont have impression that I am watching short film.


What camera and lenses(all sizes) you used on this short film? What software you used for grading?

Edited by Filip Orlandic, 11 March 2008 - 05:48 PM.

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#4 Robert ODoul

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 01:36 AM

Thanks Filip for commenting :)

It is a promo video - only way I could buy the 35mm lens adapter to shoot it! So, now that I own it from doing this project, I can now go out and shoot an indie.

I shot it iwth two inexpensive Nikon zooms - a 70-150mm and a 24-75mm I believe. I also used a 50mm prime for some shots too.

The camera was the very inexpensive HV20 - I'm very impressed with it's image, and had faith in it the entire shoot. And I think it's evident that it worked well enough, or so I hope.
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#5 Filip Orlandic

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 06:28 PM

Thanks Filip for commenting :)

It is a promo video - only way I could buy the 35mm lens adapter to shoot it! So, now that I own it from doing this project, I can now go out and shoot an indie.

I shot it iwth two inexpensive Nikon zooms - a 70-150mm and a 24-75mm I believe. I also used a 50mm prime for some shots too.

The camera was the very inexpensive HV20 - I'm very impressed with it's image, and had faith in it the entire shoot. And I think it's evident that it worked well enough, or so I hope.


Ok, you used very good video stuffs.

You didnt tell me in what software you have graded it?

Edited by Filip Orlandic, 12 March 2008 - 06:29 PM.

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#6 Robert ODoul

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 05:19 AM

Ok, you used very good video stuffs.

You didnt tell me in what software you have graded it?


Filip, I used and recommend Magic Bullet Looks. Very easy, powerful and fast to use. Great quality as well. I used MB Looks along with multiple instances of Final Cut Pro's colour correction tools.
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#7 John-Erling Holmenes Fredriksen

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 07:35 AM

I think you have made a lot of really nice pictures here. If I were to comment one thing (and I will), I think you have done a good job at controlling sunlight for your main actors, which I think looks very nice, but your illusion falls through a bit with your overexposed extras surrounding them. Now this is probably due to budget and time reasons, because you obviously have the skills and means to control the sunlight (as already mentioned), but if there was one thing that would drastically improve a lot of your pictures (not saying they look bad), this would be it in my opinion. You may not need to bring out the largest frames (which would require money, time and manpower), a lot of your images look like they could be fixed by strategically placed smaller frames, or just a bit of creative flagging.

Anyway, there's some input for ya, good luck with your indie project. Try to hook up with an up-and-coming gaffer who can help you achieve more in less time. (EDIT: Sorry, noticed just now that you actually did have a gaffer). Personally, I've had a lot of success hooking up with other up-and-coming cinematographers, who will do lights for me if I do lights for them.

Edited by John-Erling Holmenes Fredriksen, 13 March 2008 - 07:35 AM.

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#8 Robert ODoul

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 12:51 PM

I think you have made a lot of really nice pictures here. If I were to comment one thing (and I will), I think you have done a good job at controlling sunlight for your main actors, which I think looks very nice, but your illusion falls through a bit with your overexposed extras surrounding them. Now this is probably due to budget and time reasons, because you obviously have the skills and means to control the sunlight (as already mentioned), but if there was one thing that would drastically improve a lot of your pictures (not saying they look bad), this would be it in my opinion. You may not need to bring out the largest frames (which would require money, time and manpower), a lot of your images look like they could be fixed by strategically placed smaller frames, or just a bit of creative flagging.


Absolutely agree! I was talking to a fellow-filmmaker last night about how when one improves his or her professionalism, it's kind of like when you can stop making excuses because less and less issues pop up ? when we all start out, there are problems we can?t hide. And the parts in this project that I totally agree with that really stand out as being shot on video, are the shots with the overexposed objects/subjects in the foreground and background of the actors. And you?re right, it was a budget/time issue - understaffed and without the necessary equipment and manpower. I like how you've exactly nailed what happened, and why! Honestly, there were only 3 crew members on set for the Café scene itself, 4 if you include me. Next time: more people, and free myself up from being director, cinematographer and camera operator and focus on just one of the above.

This was all shot with a Canon HV20 and a 35mm adapter, so I?d bet a better ½? or 2/3? camera with better latitude would have handled those highlights better. Next time!
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#9 abel alvarado

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 05:56 PM

Thanks Filip for commenting :)

It is a promo video - only way I could buy the 35mm lens adapter to shoot it! So, now that I own it from doing this project, I can now go out and shoot an indie.

I shot it iwth two inexpensive Nikon zooms - a 70-150mm and a 24-75mm I believe. I also used a 50mm prime for some shots too.

The camera was the very inexpensive HV20 - I'm very impressed with it's image, and had faith in it the entire shoot. And I think it's evident that it worked well enough, or so I hope.



wow nice video! hey did u use a camera crane? anyways It makes me want to get my own 35mm adapter and nikon lens
though im a total newbie at this....i have lots of questions :lol: if u dont mind

Where can i purchase the 35 adapter u have?
What editing software did you use?
Did you had to de-interlace the video (i never done this before,if so tell me how)
How can i upload my video on the web to look as good as urs?

:rolleyes:
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#10 Robert ODoul

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 07:58 PM

wow nice video! hey did u use a camera crane? anyways It makes me want to get my own 35mm adapter and nikon lens
though im a total newbie at this....i have lots of questions :lol: if u dont mind

Where can i purchase the 35 adapter u have?
What editing software did you use?
Did you had to de-interlace the video (i never done this before,if so tell me how)
How can i upload my video on the web to look as good as urs?

:rolleyes:


Hey Abel,

Thanks for the kind comments! I use Cinvate's Brevis adapter - www.cinevate.com. Visit the site - the forums are very active. I used Apple's Final Cut Studio, and I shot 24P so I didn't deinterlace per se, but rather performed 3:2 pulldown on the 24P footage that was recorded in a regular 60i video time-line. I have my own webserver, so I encoded and and uploaded myself, again, using Apple's Final Cut Studio (which is a group of programs sold as a suite). I used a boom, so, a mini-crane of sorts.

Honestly, the first step to get footage that looks like this is buying a 35mm lens adapter - there are other variants from different companies, and I think most or all ones being sold now will offer pretty much the same results - or close enough anyway. The second step is to shoot 24P - the Canon HV20 is what I used, and the best bang for the buck at this point I'd say. If you get an HV30, it has a true 30P function, which you could shoot and totally avoid ever having to interlace or perform 3:2 pull down on the footage! And there are plenty of lenses to choose from; Canons are good too!

TONS of support and stuff to read out there.. really, zoom lenses are fine for 35mm adapters as long as they're true, full-frame 35lenses (many new ones are smaller DX formats, etc for digital cameras - so be careful!)
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#11 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 05:27 PM

Hello everyone!

I shot this in early September of 2007, and it's been a one-man post-production job since the shoot to edit, colour grade, sound, composite, etc. It's a promo video (my first) and there were complications before and after the shoot and I'd prefer if other seasoned veterans gave me feedback on the images before I release it to the world as a final cut.

Does it work? Does it look nice for the most part? Colours okay? It may have been my first shoot of this size - actual permit, small crew, cast + extras (large production for me, a student), but if there's anything you can see that could be fixed, please let me know! There are also people composited into other shots as well - let me know if you can tell which ones. I also did all the post - incl. sound, and composting - I had the original music scored and recorded by a friend.

Here's a draft of the 5 minute video (pause to allow for it to download):

http://fmw.teack.net...graphy_D15.html

Much appreciated!



It does look very nice but why do the credits say Director and D.O.P. Christopher Ruffell if you shot it? Do have a business name?
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#12 Robert ODoul

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 05:45 PM

It does look very nice but why do the credits say Director and D.O.P. Christopher Ruffell if you shot it? Do have a business name?


Good eye Tim, and it's the exact opposite. I wanted to communicate, share, learn and post on cinematography.com without google following me around, and I think if one acts appropriately and within reason, it's the new digital form of a pen name used with fair judgement.
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#13 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 10:53 PM

Good eye Tim, and it's the exact opposite. I wanted to communicate, share, learn and post on cinematography.com without google following me around, and I think if one acts appropriately and within reason, it's the new digital form of a pen name used with fair judgement.



I looked at the price of that camera and the images are pretty stunning for what would have bought a VHS camcorder ten years ago.
It seems rather small though (not a criticism, just that it looks like a good easy to carry around camera) and I'm wondering how you
managed with the adaptor and lens, which would seem to probably have been longer and bigger than the camera.


Nice directing and maybe I'm just guessing here but when you cut to the wide shot as the waitresses and other extras cross and it
matches perfectly, it reminds me of my early experiences with the thrill of editing something that really felt like a feature.

By the way, I kind of hoped that Alyssa would have encountered the same waitress from months earlier at whom she snapped
and been nice to her.
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#14 Robert ODoul

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 03:01 AM

I looked at the price of that camera and the images are pretty stunning for what would have bought a VHS camcorder ten years ago.
It seems rather small though (not a criticism, just that it looks like a good easy to carry around camera) and I'm wondering how you
managed with the adaptor and lens, which would seem to probably have been longer and bigger than the camera.


Nice directing and maybe I'm just guessing here but when you cut to the wide shot as the waitresses and other extras cross and it
matches perfectly, it reminds me of my early experiences with the thrill of editing something that really felt like a feature.

By the way, I kind of hoped that Alyssa would have encountered the same waitress from months earlier at whom she snapped
and been nice to her.


Thanks for your take.. yes, wish I had an alt take of Alyssa communicating with the waitress.. in the other takes, it was even more in-your-face! In reality, the two actors were the opposite of their characters ;) So maybe that's just fate..

It's tiny alright! But with a mattebox, carbon fibre fails, tripod, HD-SDI convertor, 100' of HD-SDI cable, long lenses, a black adapter, etc etc.. it works a lot like and acts like a manual camera when it's all tricked out. It's longer than a Sony Z1U as I use my setup, and thus, handles like a larger camera (or average-large sized prosumer rig). Besides, I doubt anyone would have taken me seriously if I showed up with a stock HV20 on set.. it's has consumer camera written all over it.
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#15 Chris Burke

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 07:46 AM

Thanks for your take.. yes, wish I had an alt take of Alyssa communicating with the waitress.. in the other takes, it was even more in-your-face! In reality, the two actors were the opposite of their characters ;) So maybe that's just fate..

It's tiny alright! But with a mattebox, carbon fibre fails, tripod, HD-SDI convertor, 100' of HD-SDI cable, long lenses, a black adapter, etc etc.. it works a lot like and acts like a manual camera when it's all tricked out. It's longer than a Sony Z1U as I use my setup, and thus, handles like a larger camera (or average-large sized prosumer rig). Besides, I doubt anyone would have taken me seriously if I showed up with a stock HV20 on set.. it's has consumer camera written all over it.



what HD-sdi converter did you use? How was it attached? Does this provide raw footage from the camera head or is it compressed in some way. I really like the HV20 but not a big fan of HDV.
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#16 Robert ODoul

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 02:34 PM

what HD-sdi converter did you use? How was it attached? Does this provide raw footage from the camera head or is it compressed in some way. I really like the HV20 but not a big fan of HDV.


Yes, it's *raw* footage, as in, uncompressed 4:2:2 1080i coming out of the HDMI port on the camera, going through a loss-less convertor that spits out uncompressed 4:2:2 1080i HD-SDI. I used a Mac Pro on the main sets (the cafe + the school scenes) with a Decklink HD Extreme card - and yes, it works well! Cumbersome, but worth it to get around HDV for the main shots.

The convertor was Convergent Designs nanoConnect. Worked like a charm, though I wish it had been designed with battery operation, or a battery pack as an option - had to use an AC adapter with a short cord.

While the video stream was uncompressed, I opted to use the ProRes 422 HQ Codec, and had a two-hard drive software RAID setup which was ample for capture (I did a test with a 4-drive RAID, and it was overkill for the ProRes codec).

Plenty of the B-Roll shots are HDV, and it stood up very well and held it's own most of the time along side the ProRes footage. That said, the project would not have been doable without an uncompressed rig on set... some areas of some shots needed a lot of light in post because we didn't have flags to bring down the exposed areas (faces!)
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#17 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 04:50 PM

Yes, it's *raw* footage, as in, uncompressed 4:2:2 1080i coming out of the HDMI port on the camera, going through a loss-less convertor that spits out uncompressed 4:2:2 1080i HD-SDI. I used a Mac Pro on the main sets (the cafe + the school scenes) with a Decklink HD Extreme card - and yes, it works well! Cumbersome, but worth it to get around HDV for the main shots.

The convertor was Convergent Designs nanoConnect. Worked like a charm, though I wish it had been designed with battery operation, or a battery pack as an option - had to use an AC adapter with a short cord.

While the video stream was uncompressed, I opted to use the ProRes 422 HQ Codec, and had a two-hard drive software RAID setup which was ample for capture (I did a test with a 4-drive RAID, and it was overkill for the ProRes codec).

Plenty of the B-Roll shots are HDV, and it stood up very well and held it's own most of the time along side the ProRes footage. That said, the project would not have been doable without an uncompressed rig on set... some areas of some shots needed a lot of light in post because we didn't have flags to bring down the exposed areas (faces!)



For some quick shots that have faces with hot spots, I've been able to put a matte on the second video layer in FCP, cut it out to shape, drop the
opacity and it's worked. When you add light in post, what filter(s) do you use?

That's pretty cool that you had this camera that does look so consumer cam and you built around it what must have looked like a pretty
cool set up.

I remember years ago when I did weddings and sometimes guests would show with more expensive looking cameras than what I had. I still could use my experience to do a good job but occasionally it was a bit funny.
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