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Slow motion: cameras, formats, lenses


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#1 Cody Cuellar

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 10:57 PM

Hello Everyone,
I'm going to be DPing a short film in January but I'm really having a hard time deciding what to do. I want to shoot on Red, but it will be my first time, there are a few things I'm unsure about. At first I was going to get a set of Zeiss Super Speed primes (18, 25,35,50,85), then I realized that much of the film will be shot in slow motion, which will end up giving me a set of telephoto lenses basically. One scene in particular is in a bedroom where a guy will put a gun in his mouth and using some props and squibs, will blow the back of his head off (he will be facing the camera). We wanted to capture this in slow motion to really get the blood splattering on the back wall, but I'm not sure 120fps will be fast enough to capture the effect well - not to mention I won't get wide enough framing in a bedroom with a 18mm lens at 2k mode.

My two main problems are this - I intend to edit using Prores422 proxies, then reconnecting to the original R3D media for color correction at a post facility. If I end up shooting 2k for the slow-mo scenes, should I just shoot everything 2k to keep post simple (instead of switching to 4k for normal speed, and 3k for medium slo-mo? Maybe this way I can keep all my focal lengths the same and just rent a 16mm prime set.

Second issue is, what options do I have for getting slower motion for the suicide scene? Phantom is $2500/day and aside from being too expensive, I don't have any experience with it. Anyone know of an alternate solution/camera or possibly where I could find a phantom in LA for a lot cheaper for the weekend? Total project budget is maybe $5,000 at best, and the rest of the expenses are already at $3,800-$4,200.
THANKS!

Edited by Cody Cuellar, 23 December 2009 - 11:01 PM.

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#2 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 24 December 2009 - 09:58 PM

Well VRI makes other slow motion camera than the Phantom HD, see if you can rent one of those for a more affordable price. They are not as good of quality, but its better than nothing. 120fps may or may not be fast enough. Depends on what you are looking for. Can you test it? Personally, I'm thinking 120 may not be fast enough.

As for lenses, why not just carry one or two wider 16mm lenses when you need to drop down to 2k? It sounds like you need to go to 2k for a few specific moments, so you should be able to plan what focal lengths you need.

Kevin
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#3 Cody Cuellar

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Posted 24 December 2009 - 10:07 PM

Well I think a good majority of the film may be in slow motion, so I've been looking for lenses in the area for 16mm cameras, and will probably shoot all 2K to keep things consistent in post. I'm just new to cinema lenses, as I've been shooting mainly HVX200, or 35 adapters with Nikon lenses. One lens I found was a 8-63 Canon zoom lens, which might be a good idea since I can't really find an affordable 16mm prime set. And I can't afford to get a 35mm prime set and more lenses for this shoot. What do you think of shooting all on this one lens? Its only a 5-6 minute short, and I think it will cover the range I need and keep a consistent look. As for the other VRI cameras, I'll have to look into it to see what I can find. Thanks for the input.
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#4 boy yniguez

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 04:33 AM

Well I think a good majority of the film may be in slow motion, so I've been looking for lenses in the area for 16mm cameras, and will probably shoot all 2K to keep things consistent in post. I'm just new to cinema lenses, as I've been shooting mainly HVX200, or 35 adapters with Nikon lenses. One lens I found was a 8-63 Canon zoom lens, which might be a good idea since I can't really find an affordable 16mm prime set. And I can't afford to get a 35mm prime set and more lenses for this shoot. What do you think of shooting all on this one lens? Its only a 5-6 minute short, and I think it will cover the range I need and keep a consistent look. As for the other VRI cameras, I'll have to look into it to see what I can find. Thanks for the input.


cody, the zoom may cover the focal lenghts you need but what maximum f stop does it give? the primes will give you an advantage on the f stop for slomo.
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