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DVX100A for Film transfer


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#1 Carlos F. Rossini

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Posted 01 July 2005 - 08:53 PM

Hi, I visit and read the forum since it came out, but I really post very little.

I?m about to shoot a 90mins feature film on 2 DVX100A, we are ready to test and get a film transfer. My experience in video for film transfer isn?t big but is not very little. In the past I shot 2 70/80 minn documentaries, but I did them w/ a dsr500ws PAL, pd150 PAL mixed w/ 35&16, with great results. But now I own 2 NTSC DVX100A mini cameras, and the screenplay is asking for something like ?video look? ? the main character is holding a handy cam ? we see his pov- 15% of the movie.

So... this is the case: the film have moments We?ve decided will be low contrast and others that will be high contrast, we have a couple B/W seqs, 2 principal moments that will be bluish and other greenish and so. I know, too much looks around.

The prod. Path is something like this: we are shooting NTSC 24PAdvnc then edit in FCP HD, batch capture uploading to HD for ?color timing? and print.

I?m about to run some tests and have them printed.
Because the only experience before have been with Documentary in PAL and the transfer people here in México is not so good and well informed as I would like, I really want to know what have been your experience in similar productions, before I test,
in terms of
? Gamma settings, Master Pedestal settings,
? Resolution, THIN or MID settings,
? latitude response of the camera,
? color correcting lighs or using post for a special look or using post, or simply WB
? using camera filters rather post,
? usefull range of the anamorphic adapter,
? better aperture for the DVX100a optics (I was thinking to shoot at 2,8 / 4 and 1/48 shutter)
? wich stock use for the final print that can take the looks we want (I have an Idea but would love to know your experience because my idea is the safest here not the better I think)

Recently I was watching Personal Velocity shot by Ellen Kuras, whose work I love, and it have many of what I we were thinking for this film ? Naturalistic feeling with some deep treatment in terms of image. Well is Mrs. Kuras!

Well I?m seeing my post and is very long and extended. Sorry about that, but before I run all kind of test to judge the camera I rather Know from your experience with it.

I hope my english is not so bad,
Thanks a lot in advance, for your time and advice.

Carlos.
Mexico City.
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#2 Mike Donis

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Posted 02 July 2005 - 11:58 AM

Make sure you know the expense of a film transfer. It will likely cost about $30,000 for a 90 minute feature, and it will only end up being DV resolution. I wouldn't realistically worry about a transfer at this point - a distribution company would do that once your film has been picked up.

That being said, with the DVX100, for the highest quality I would shoot in Thin mode, with a lower detail setting (mine is generally set all the way down, to -7). Shooting in 24PA lets you edit in 24 frames per second, which is almost required for a 35mm transfer.

You'd definitely want all the resolution you can get. The anamorphic adaptor has its advantages and disadvantages - it's harder to focus, and reduces some creative control. It's easier to shoot with it on more closed apertures, which gives you a sharper depth of field, which many people don't like. But it will give you higher resolution if used properly. There's a book by Barry Green, which is worshipped by many anamorphic DVX shooters as the book that will help you get the most out of your adaptor. Check out www.dvxuser.com for more details.

I'll say again though, that a transfer to 35mm from a DVX will be very costly, and negate many of the financial benefits to shooting on DV in the first place. If you're paying for it yourself, or have a distributor already willing to pay for the transfer - it may be well worth looking into shooting 35mm in the first place, or shooting HD instead. Both formats would give you considerably higher resolution for 35mm release prints.
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#3 Jake Kerber

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Posted 02 July 2005 - 02:23 PM

? color correcting lighs or using post for a special look or using post, or simply WB

When using a camera like the DVX, you're better off trying to get the image as close to what you want it to look like on set--through lighting, optical filtration and in-camera color manipulation--instead of doing it in post. With the camera's limited latitude, image manipulation and heavy color correction/effects can quickly introduce artifacts that are unacceptable to most. It sounds like you have a strong sense of how certain parts of the film should look, so it shouldn't be hard to formulate an on-set approach for achieving each look.

One thing to pay particular attention to is your blacks. This is something that the transfer to film will definitely effect and you should test different combinations of on-set manipulation, post manipultation and print stock to find what works/looks best to your eye. I like true, black blacks and what some people call shadow detail, I call muddy blacks.

? usefull range of the anamorphic adapter

I used this adaptor once for a music video and while I liked it for wide and mid-range focal lengths, the image fell apart on the long end of the lens. This was something I didn't have a chance to fully test or play with, so possibly there was a combination of Tstop, detail settings, etc. that would have yielded better results.

-Jake Kerber
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#4 Carlos F. Rossini

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 12:24 AM

Thanks for the feedback,
I'm only the DP, the production company is taking care for the final transfer and prints.
The DV quality is a choice that we took, based on the final look and financial aspects.
Thanks again for your advice.

Carlos,
Mexico City.
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