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Music Video... Is HD A Good Choice?


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#1 Joel Blumer

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 01:45 PM

I have been asked to produce/direct a music video for a local band, and I am wondering whether HD would a good way to go. I am looking for an alternative to film but with nearly the same results, the film alone would require a huge budget (not that HD is cheap either).

I have read many articles about HD 24p, but I am wondering if it would be possible for some experts to help me through the confusion. I am considering renting either sony's cinealta, or panasonic's varicam, but I need help through all the confusion, including... 1080 sony vs. 720 panasonic (panasonic appears to be cheaper, but is it worth losing the resolution?). I also need help concerning good HD lenses(prime vs. zoom), HD Monitors, Matte boxes and Good filters, Lighting for HD, and everything in between.

Also, for post production, I am wondering if a power mac g5 dual 2.7 with Final Cut Studio could handle HD (I don't have one currently but I will by the time production arrives), I know that they advertise HD and native HDV, but can it really handle it? or does it require tens of thousands of dollars of hardware to even edit at low res?? I dont have that kind of money and it would be useless because I do not plan to move to HD permanently.

So whatever you people can help me out with would be great.
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#2 Keith Mottram

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 02:15 PM

I have been asked to produce/direct a music video for a local band, and I am wondering whether HD would a good way to go. I am looking for an alternative to film but with nearly the same results, the film alone would require a huge budget (not that HD is cheap either).

I have read many articles about HD 24p, but I am wondering if it would be possible for some experts to help me through the confusion. I am considering renting either sony's cinealta, or panasonic's varicam, but I need help through all the confusion, including... 1080 sony vs. 720 panasonic (panasonic appears to be cheaper, but is it worth losing the resolution?). I also need help concerning good HD lenses(prime vs. zoom), HD Monitors, Matte boxes and Good filters, Lighting for HD, and everything in between.

Also, for post production, I am wondering if a power mac g5 dual 2.7 with Final Cut Studio could handle HD (I don't have one currently but I will by the time production arrives), I know that they advertise HD and native HDV, but can it really handle it? or does it require tens of thousands of dollars of hardware to even edit at low res?? I dont have that kind of money and it would be useless because I do not plan to move to HD permanently.

So whatever you people can help me out with would be great.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


The answers to all these questions will be found by searching the threads. Briefly, without going to the expense of adding thousands of dollars to your G5 setup, shoot Panasonic, get two 7200 rpm 250gig drives in your mac (raid these together and run your system off an external fw800 drive), didge in via a panasonic vtr via firewire. You should seriously consider whether HD is your best route if you want all the film camera kit you'll probably find it's cheaper to shoot 16mm.

Keith
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 08:45 PM

I don't know if it's a big difference one way or the other (HD origination then downconversion to SD versus Super-16 transferred to SD.) Depends on where you can find deals and how much footage you are shooting. I shot parts of two music videos for RSA for the Polish Bros. that used HD to save money so there must have been some savings or else the production company would have told us to shoot in Super16 instead.

As for finishing in HD, do music videos need to be delivered in HD?

If the end goal is NTSC and PAL transmission, it doesn't make any difference resolution-wise if you shoot 720P on the Varicam or 1080P on the CineAlta. It probably doesn't make a lot of difference for HD broadcast either actually -- music videos aren't really judged by how sharp they are.
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#4 Mark Allen

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 11:18 PM

As for finishing in HD, do music videos need to be delivered in HD?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


With h.264 and HDDVD and Blue Ray etc. all around the corner, seems like everything is finishing in HD.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 11:49 PM

But the question is, how many music videos are posted in HD? My impression is not many, even if they are shot in HD.
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#6 Rik Andino

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 02:02 AM

Most of your questions should be answered easily if you hire for two positions...
Find yourself a good EDITOR and an equally good CINEMATOGRAPHER.
Heck, you don't really expect to do this whole video by yourself now do you?

Whichever cinematographer (if they're competent)
You hire should be able to look at the treatment and budget
And tell you whether shooting on HD is viable and worth it...

Ergo an Editor will tell you what he needs to be able to cut the video for you...

I find it strange that young directors want to learn every aspect...
Rather than focus on what they need to know
And building relationships with the reliable technicians they need
That can help them to accomplish their vision.
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#7 Mike Brennan

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 02:44 AM

But the question is, how many music videos are posted in HD? My impression is not many, even if they are shot in HD.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Most of mine low/medium budgets have been posted on HD, this is more to do with director editor post house wanting to build HD reels than anything else.

Varicam will give you easier slo mo option.
f900 will give you 12 bit head and more data to tape to zoom into reframe ect.

Don't force your favourite post house to use a format it doesn't have experience with.
Get someone on location who knows the camera if it is your first shoot with the camera.


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#8 K Borowski

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 10:04 AM

Dont' music videos have some of the lowest shooting ratios of any production (except maybe porn)? I would think that a low shooting ratio would put the production in 16mms favor. For example, I am helping a few bands do some cheap music videos this summer. They are getting 4-800feet of 16mm (10-20 min.) and they are going to work with that. So the cost of the video won't be more than $500 for stock, processing, and transfer. I own a 16mm Auricon S1200 though, which is only R16, which some people really have a problem with, and I can get a transfer for free. I guess it all depends on what your resources are. Music videos and skater videos can have great production values, but can also have terrible values because people tend to care more what happens on camera regardless of the lame effects that are added in (that these types of productions are notorious for).

Regards.
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#9 Elhanan Matos

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 11:59 AM

Dont' music videos have some of the lowest shooting ratios of any production (except maybe porn)?


All the music videos I have worked on go through at least 2 hours of tape for a five minute video. But this could be because they were all HD and they could shoot that much (this is a great advantage but also a great disadvantage).
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#10 Tenolian Bell

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 02:23 PM

The shooting ratio depends partly on the budget and partly on the director.

I've shot video's with as little as two rolls of 400' film, and as much as 10 - 15 400' rolls.
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#11 Wendell_Greene

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 07:59 PM

The shooting ratio depends partly on the budget and partly on the director.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Yes, I agree. Another factor is the genre of music. R&B/hip hop music videos use a lot film because of overcranking the camera for slow motion sequences. When Daniel Pearl, ASC was shooting a lot of urban music videos for directors like Hype Willams and Wayne Isham, he would typically have shooting ratio of 60:1 He also tends to use several different stocks on a single music video shoot.
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#12 Joel Blumer

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 11:46 PM

Hey guys, thanks for all the great info! If HD turns out to be in the budget, I think that I will go with the varicam, because if its lower cost and slow/fast motion effects. Since I am a big fan of very shallow DOF, I have decided (through info I disovered on this board) to go with the Pro 35 with Zeiss Superspeeds. Although I do have some other specific questions... like what software is required to remove the 3:2 pulldown? can it be done in FCP5? And also, when over or undercranking, must it be done in factors of 24?? (like 24 X 2 = 48? or 24 / 2 = 12) or can it be done in any rate then still converted back to 24fps? Also... I may like to have a high quality zoom lens for some jerky focusy camera techniques, (haha sorry I dont know any term for it) any recomendations? And lastly for anyone here who has used the varicam on a shoot, (someone who has used it for a MV would be even better) can you give me some hands on/heads up advice? or any settings I should stress on when I shoot? (Platform has not been decided but right now I am thinking of a outdoor night shoot possibly in a metropoloten area)

You Guys have been a great help, keep up the good work!! Thanks!!
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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 12:27 AM

The Varicam doesn't really use 3:2 pulldown in the traditional sense since it doesn't record 24P to 60i. It records everything to 60P. You can shoot at 24P, or many other frame rates (they don't have to be multiples of anything) up to 60P. The camera processor just adds redundant frames so that the total number of frames are 60 no matter what. So if you shot at 40P, let's say, then it would add 20 excess frames to the recording to add up to 60. If you shot at 4P, it would add 56 excess frames, and so on...

Either the excess frames or the "real" frames are flagged, I don't remember which, so the extra ones can be removed in post. You can either run the playback through the Panasonic Frame Rate Converter (FRC) to convert to other formats and speeds, or some editing software is designed to recognize and remove the excess frames.

Now if you shot at 24P on the Varicam, recorded to 720/60P, but then downconverted that to 60i NTSC, then you'd have a 3:2 pulldown in the recording to convert 24P to 60i.

Go to the rental house renting you the Varicam and ask to borrow the users manual and the Goodman Guide to the Varicam (if they have it) and spend the evening looking through it. Then plan on spending an afternoon at the rental house with the camera hooked up to a large HD monitor and start playing with some looks.

There are too many HD zooms out there to list. You have to decide if you want an ENG model (built-on handgrip with zoom motor & trigger and auto-exposure) or a Cine model (zoom lens only -- all other devices have to be attached externally like with zooms in film.)
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