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ex1/ex3 filmmaking


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#1 harshal nachnolkar

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 09:51 AM

It's a long post, but please please please do read. You'll be helping an undeveloped cinema community

first let me tell give you an idea of why i'm posting

1.I live in a small and rather not so developed state in India. Cinema in our state is just beginning and is no way related to the mainstream Indian cinema.

2.but the theatres in our state are state of the art - INOX and all.

3.we are a bunch of filmmakers who normally rent equipment and personel from the main industry which is different from our native language. we have been able to do so because of government grants.

4.but since our state government can't give grants to produce more than 1 or 2 films a year our regional cinema is struggling. we intend to buy a low budget camera and the accessories. I do have Adobe Premiere on which i have compiled DV videos but my notebook is a low end one - 120GB, dual core, 1GB ram, intel GMA, windows XP SP2


My questions are
Q1. will a film out from an ex1/ex3 (or any other similar budget camera you can suggest) hold on such a screen where normally 35 mm film is projected (no IMAX or those huge theatres)


Q2. how much will it cost to buy the camera and necessary equipment in India? will i find it in India or ship it from US? in which case how much will i have to pay for custom duties?

Q3. do i need to buy a new computer? could you please give required specifications?


Please do help us in flourishing this art in our state
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 10:11 AM

Q1. will a film out from an ex1/ex3 (or any other similar budget camera you can suggest) hold on such a screen where normally 35 mm film is projected (no IMAX or those huge theatres)


It will probably never look as good as 35mm, but I suspect it could be made to look OK. Much of this depends on the skill of the operator, of course, but the Sony EX series are pretty decent little cameras. If you had asked me to recommend something for your situation, I might have mentioned them.

Q2. how much will it cost to buy the camera and necessary equipment in India? will i find it in India or ship it from US? in which case how much will i have to pay for custom duties?


As to supply, I would be surprised if you couldn't get one in India, but I suspect these are questions you can only answer by doing research locally. Import duties are a question for the Indian customs service. My guess would be that you could probably get an EX3 in a major city in India though.

Q3. do i need to buy a new computer? could you please give required specifications?


Probably you could use what you have, but I think it might be so slow that it got in the way of your creative process. It's hard to give required specifications with so little information, but footage from an EX3 would not require a massively high specification system.

P
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#3 harshal nachnolkar

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 12:51 PM

It will probably never look as good as 35mm, but I suspect it could be made to look OK. Much of this depends on the skill of the operator, of course, but the Sony EX series are pretty decent little cameras. If you had asked me to recommend something for your situation, I might have mentioned them.


P


It would be of tremendous help if you could recommend something else. Please do.
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 02:06 PM

It would be of tremendous help if you could recommend something else. Please do.


In that sort of price range? Well, you can look at the JVC series, which now includes a camera capable of 1080p. If Canon come out with a firmware update for the 5D which includes 24-frame shooting, you could consider that, too, though I wouldn't necessarily recommend it otherwise. Canon's own HDV range isn't that interesting right now.

P
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#5 John Sprung

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 04:56 PM

It would be of tremendous help if you could recommend something else. Please do.


You might look into this special offer from Panasonic, which brings the 3700 Varicam into your price range:

http://www.cinematog...showtopic=39860






-- J.S.
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#6 harshal nachnolkar

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 09:12 AM

Much of this depends on the skill of the operator, of course, but the Sony EX series are pretty decent little cameras.



What exactly do you mean by skill of operator? I was hoping that after reading books and constantly experimenting I would get it by trial and error. Is there any specific knowledge of accessories etc that can't be learned unless in film school? Or are there any other considerations while shooting on digital for a film out?

I thought that since a digital camera has an LCD display I'll always know how well I have lit my scene and exactly what picture I'm going to get. Is it in no way possible that I would somehow in due course learn to use it appropriately or would I always need the help of a professional?

Because the key point here is eliminating the need for professionals, because we can't afford them. Even for film institute students we have to give them a hotel stay and tours of all tourist destinations and everything, since they come from other states. There is no film institute in our state.
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#7 harshal nachnolkar

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 01:16 PM

Another thing I should have mentioned is I'm not looking for the "film" look. I don't need that kind of DOF

Most of our movies are shot "flat", with only characters in the foreground. Much like recording a theater performance or a television show (not LOST, more like sitcoms and daily soaps).

Just characters in the foreground saying their dialogues. that's it.
All I'm looking for is enough resolution so that my picture wont look pixelated or in anyway make it obvious that it's been blown up.
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#8 Alex Barroso

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 07:06 PM

The Ex3 will do fine displaying in a theater. I have shot and displayed a short with it used in a theater and it looks great. Honestly I believe any camera can look
great on-screen, but it depends entirely on the DP and the lighting. The camera may have only a 1/2 inch chip but if the DP understands the camera and it's limits, a great DOP can still be achieved, it just takes more time. Even more so, as long as you have a good story, your viewers won't care more or less what it was shot on.
The Canon 5D mark II like said actually can shoot some great stuff for a lot cheaper, granted you don't get the 24P, but again...most of the people that only care about that is US. The viewer could care less and you save yourself $6000.00.

Sony EX3
1/2 chip
4:2:0 color space
24P,30P,60I
Expensive Cards $300 + for 8GB
$8320

Canon 5D Mark II
Full Size Chip
4:2:2 color space
30P
Best low light camera I have seen btw
Uses Compact Flash
Can take advantage of Prime Lenses and all the fun that goes into it.
$2700

I own both, and let me tell ya...I am getting awfully close to selling my Sony if that tells you anything. The only drawback is handling the 5D takes some getting used to. Hope this helps.
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#9 Mathew Rudenberg

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 08:40 PM

I respectfully disagree that the canon is a good substitute.

It can make beautiful images but it sounds like Harshal has to make a filmout if he's going to show these movies. These rural theatres probably have 35mm projectors, but I doubt they have HD digital projectors...

In that case 24p is pretty important. Also how will the 5d's high contrast and heavily compressed images look after a filmout with the additional artifacts of being converted from 30p to 24p? Aren't you supposed to shoot as flat as possible for a film out? I've seen hvx footage printed to 35mm but how much canon dslr footage have you seen printed?

Not to mention you have to do separate system sound. It's also relatively tricky to use, and the rolling shutter is horrible. If DOF is not important to him a reliable straightforward camcorder is a better choice.

Harshal, have you considered the importance of sound - in a dialogue based show like a sit com sound is frequently more important than image quality, and a mic on the camera will not produce satisfactory results. if you're an inexperienced filmmaker you may not be aware that sound requires special mic that are brought close to the actors such as a boom and or lav mics.

I'm going to give you a straight recommendation for what I believe is the most economical solution:

Get an HVX200, they're pretty cheap now and you could probably get one off Ebay or secondhand. They make great images and have been used for movies that have played on the bigscreen (cloverfield, x-files) not to mentions they're reliable. This is the camera has a "resolution so that my picture wont look pixelated or in anyway make it obvious that it's been blown up"

spend the money you save on xlr cables, a boom pole, a good boom mic, a set of headphones and a tripod with a fluid head.

cheers,

PS, does anyone else struggle to get the SxS cards out of the ex1 and ex3 slots? I don't consider it hot swap if I have to put struggle for 3 minutes each time I want to change a card...
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#10 John Sprung

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 11:09 PM

In that case 24p is pretty important. Also how will the 5d's high contrast and heavily compressed images look after a filmout with the additional artifacts of being converted from 30p to 24p? ...


Yes, the conversion to 24 is critical. The wild card is Arri's new Relativity software. If a facility can be found that'll put the whole movie thru it for a reasonable price, the 5D2 becomes a contender.



-- J.S.
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#11 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 06:41 AM

I've been trying to run a few tests on 5D footage, putting it through more easily available conversion software such as Twixtor to see if that's capable of doing a reasonably good 24p interpolation - but really, we need to see Canon come up with a proper 24p mode for it before we can recommend it, I think.

People keep complaining that it's high contrast. I have to disagree - if you leave it in "standard" picture mode, don't wind down the contrast control, and don't post it properly - and I suspect many if not most people who are using it are doing exactly those things - it looks awful. If you do those things, which is to say if you spend eight minutes actually familiarising yourself with your tools, it's really rather good. Not as good as the camera's raw mode stills, but still a good eight or nine stops.

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#12 Alex Barroso

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 05:24 PM

He had said the theaters in his area are state of the art, which I would imagine they would have the projectors. I also extremely disagree with
a high contrast image. As Phil said, the settings of the camera have to be understood and used properly and respectfully more like a film camera. I have yet to ever get the rolling shutter on it, but other cameras like the EX3 and the RED camera have all been scrutinized before for that. The camera's image is also no more compressed then the EX3 or the HVX. it's data rate is 35mbps, which is also the EX3s. Granted if you were to get a Sony, the EX1 would surely be more beneficial then the 3 in terms of price and use. Though agreed the HVX could also definitely do the job and cheaper too and decent enough for big screen.

On the side note, I have never had trouble getting the SxS cards out of it.
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#13 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 12:20 PM

Hi Harshal: I agree with everything Phil has said here. The Sony EX1 & EX3 could be a very good match for your stated needs and budget. These cams both produce very good HD video for the price, and the EX3 has an unusually good viewfinder.

As mentioned, Sony's SxS media can be relatively expensive, but of course being solid state they are durable, versatile & "reusable". Alternatively, to keep costs down, you may wish to research using an adapter to allow using less expensive CF cards instead. For example, see:
http://www.glasseye....ticles/sdassxs/
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#14 harshal nachnolkar

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 11:58 PM

Thank you very much all of you. I have put forth your suggestions to the Entertainment Society here,it's a government organisation. Now it's up to the finance committee. but thank you very very much.
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