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A Student Short


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#1 Patrick McGowan

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 10:30 PM

Hello everyone,

I've been inspired by the "in production" topics posted by many of you on this forum. Now that I've figured out a few ways to screen capture/frame grab, I figured I would try it out.

These images are from my advanced video class, we are shooting on the JVC HD110. I wrote the screenplay for this project based on a short story, and I am also co-directing and DPing. The other director and I are still working on a better title than the original story.

Anyway,

The first weekend was 2/17/08. We were shooting in a coffee shop in Whitinsville MA. I borrowed two 1.2K HMIs from a friend's production. The lighting setup was simple, I put both of those HMIs outside the big windows of the coffee shop and then used beadboard for fill on the other side.

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A crude diagram, (for the fun of it)
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I don't really like the production design, the place appeared either too cluttered or too empty, but I guess that is understandable since we don't have anyone doing production design in our group ;)

Edited by Patrick McGowan, 02 April 2008 - 10:31 PM.

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#2 Patrick McGowan

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 10:49 PM

This next group of pictures was from 2/29/08.

The producer was able to secure a hospital room in a wing that was undergoing renovation. This room was empty at first, but the hospital staff was nice enough to give us a bed, an IV bag and a few other things.

I did a quick color correction on these, but they don't really match that well. It was recorded without that much green (the fluorescent practical is gelled with green/blue), but the character is waking up in what needs to be an uncomfortable and depressing place. I thought giving it more green made feel more medical and less welcoming, although I am trying to decide if it is too unrealistic.

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I hope these pictures are working so far.
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#3 Brian Rose

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 10:35 PM

Hey man, really cool stuff. That HD looks awesome. I'm so on the edge between HD and SD right now. I'm itching to get on the band wagon, but I'm interested to see how the whole P2 thing pans out. Solid state sure will speed up work flow, no?

But back to the lighting. I'm jealous. Every time I think I've got a good shot, I see stuff like yours, and it shows me how much further I have to go. And your setups are so simple! Kudos to you.

I did notice one thing, which is more of something for post. On the very first shot of the male actor light on his left side. To me, the light seemed just a hair too bright, and it reveals itself. But it's really close, and i wonder if you couldn't pull it back a little in post, and tweak the color to be just ever so slightly orange. Just a tiny bit. But you're really close, and the rest looked great, so I bet you could nail it with a bit of CC.

Great work. Love to see more screen grabs as they come. I've attached the link to my ongoing production thread. At the very bottom is the latest grabs from a few weeks ago. Love to hear your thoughts!

http://www.cinematog...showtopic=29455

Best,
BR
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#4 Patrick McGowan

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 12:06 AM

Thank you

You are right about the actor near the window, although he still has some skintone in the highlights in the original sequence, but I wish I still pulled it back a little bit. I also wish I added some background light to make it appear more consistent, but I ran out of lights.

This was on HDV, but I am still really happy with the quality. I wish I had P2 cards, and I didn't have to use these JVC ProHD tapes, they are really delicate.

I want to put up some more stuff as we go along. I will definitely check out your thread.

-Patrick
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#5 Jason Outenreath

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 04:29 PM

Did you have any workflow issues in retaining the HDV quality through compression? Please share your experience in this, as I am about to go through it myself.
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#6 Patrick McGowan

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 09:19 PM

I think the JVC's footage retained a lot of quality through compression. I put a few sequences through compressor to a DVD and the footage retained quite a bit of quality. (Even though it obviously lost a bit going to a standard def. DVD.)

This might not be the case for all HDV cameras. The JVC HD100 uses the MPEG compression with the GOP structure which is a really efficient system. This seems to really retain detail after DVD compression, which is also MPEG.

I hope this helps in some way. Which camera are you shooting on?
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#7 Patrick McGowan

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 02:53 PM

To Matthew:

It was day for night, the window was blocked out with duvetyne. There was a fluorescent practical light over the actor that was gelled with plus green and full CTB. The Kino overhead had tungsten tubes. I wanted to try to make the room look green without the actors looking really green. The image became more green when the black levels where lowered, which increased the color saturation.

Thank you,

Patrick
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#8 Patrick McGowan

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 03:06 PM

I want to throw some more pictures up here.

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Thanks

Edited by Patrick McGowan, 27 February 2009 - 03:07 PM.

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#9 DS Williams

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 08:21 PM

Really good stuff man.


Is that camera HDV?

How does the codec hold up to color correction, ect
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#10 DS Williams

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 08:23 PM

Just curious, Why didn't you shoot the hospital under a nuetral balance and then CC to green in post?
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#11 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 08:43 PM

Ill go out on a limb here but it probably has to do with CC being expensive in time or money, and that HDV doesn't like it too much. Given the option between post and in camera, I think most would agree it's best to get as much of anything in camera as possible, without blowing your time/money on the day.
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#12 Patrick McGowan

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 05:28 PM

Thank you DS.

The hospital image above is color corrected, it is kind of a mix between gelled lights and color correction.

I thought if I had a normal tungsten key light on the actors and a green gelled background light, it would make the room feel green without the whole image looking green. It was experimentation.

Adrian, I agree about HDV not liking color correction, especially on this camera, an older JVC HD100u. It gets so noisy so quickly, and tends to have a lot of color banding.

Just like any image there is a certain amount that it can be pushed, but HDV is not forgiving.
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#13 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 05:37 PM

Quite true. I did a CC off HDV from a Z1U before and we had a great colorist who I work with almost exclusively, and went out to HDCam first, but even then, it was just color "nudging," as opposed to correcting. Ahh, the joys of compression.
Looks damned good though, especially the hospital room
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