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Sandy Thomson

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About Sandy Thomson

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  • My Gear
    Arri SR2HS/Sony EX3/Canon 60D/HDR pj710/gopro3
  • Specialties
    HISTORY(mechanical), aviation, international, producer,writer.
    in business 18 years. Producer. Member CSC. Prefer film to digital

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  1. I just bought a GH4. Have only done some cam tests with it but am quite impressed. Bought it for a shoot for a Cruise ship operator and I want to shoot without attracting attention. Was shooting with a Sony DDR pj 710 for these kinds of international projects but the single variable function on the lens was an issue. With the GH4, everything is controllable and focussing with zebra is great. Sandy
  2. I have several 400 ft rolls of 16mm Vision 3 500, 250 and 50 film that have been in my freezer for about 5 years. I am about to take a chance on using this stock although a test would likely be smart.
  3. Didn't realize there are now broadcast restrictions on s-16. Back in 2006 film still had the advantage. This project will not be broadcast in any case.
  4. Way back in 2006 I started back into the doc film production business. I had been in it 20 years before and then was shooting 16mm and editing on a Moviola! Bought a very nice used SR2 in 2006 after soliciting opinions on this forum about film or digital. I started shooting a 1 hr doc that Is just now going into editing. Seven years of shooting! Duration was framed by the subject. First third was S-16 then XD cam shooting with an EX3 and Canon 60D. Looking now at a new project for a municipality about historic properties and am wondering if I should try to push the project into film acquisition. The editor who is cutting my 1 hr doc is not as old as I am but he is a real pro and his eyes lit up upon mentioning the idea of shooting again in S-16. Everyone i know in the business is now shooting digital but I still have the film gear. Nothing I'd like more than to resurrect it, because this is the kind of film someone might want to look at 20 or 30 years down the road. I still like the look of film better than HD and then there's the archival thing. Maybe not rational, but. The budget for this project is going to be around 150k so i think I can afford film, but what do you think? I know i'll be taking money out of my pocket and putting it into film,processing and transfers but at my stage in life.... why not?
  5. I have been a member of this forum since 2004; the year I started back into the business after a 20 year hiatus. I prefer to shoot film and have my own S-16 gear. Much of what I am shooting now (docs and sponsored industrial) is on XDCam but film is still my first choice because I like the look and I think it is the most secure medium for preservation of historically important subjects. However,I recently sent an answer print of one of my projects from the '70's to transfer. Original footage would have been reversal Kodak stocks. The lab examined the film and reported that in many scenes the fading was so severe that only the magenta layer seemed intact. Yet other scenes looked almost normal. I am going to go ahead with the transfer and see what my editor can fix but I wonder why the variability and is this generally the fate of most films this old? If I store today's project on a hard drive or optical discs will they even be watchable in 28 years? Sandy
  6. Looks interesting to me as well. I've been shooting with an FX1 for about 3 years. Nice feature to be able to choose Mini DV tape or card. At least I think that option is possible. If you're shopping be careful of the Expecam price of 4999. It looks like you get nothing with it, not even a battery. I shoot mainly S-16 but the HDV seems to mix well with it. With larger sensors and the lens option this camera ought to be able to deliver even better quality than the FX1. Sandy Thomson
  7. Sandy Thomson

    Sony HVR-V1U

    I've been shooting with an FX1 for a couple of productions now and now an associate wants to buy an HD camera. I could sell him mine and upgrade to a HVR-VU1. But am I really upgrading or am I better to stay with what I have? Anyone know what a good used FX1 is worth? Sandyt
  8. Thanks Wayne. I went ahead and bought a new Power book and I know that will work. Sandy
  9. I've got essentially the same problem. The LCD monitor is too small to view either what you're shooting or shot critically. My problem is slightly different in that my director is in an interview scene and unless I can position the monitor so he can easily see it without making it seem like he's distracted, I'm going to have to download the scene onto a laptop and review it. I wondered if there's any way to do this without buying a Mac Powerbook set up with FCP. I've tried PC's with various software packages but nothing seems to work. Sandy
  10. I want to be able to playback on a laptop stuff I've shot with my HDR FX1 and I can't seem to get it to work on my pc. Do I need a Mac laptop or is there software available for a notmal (Toshiba) pc? The 4 pin firewire port is there but I may need software I don't now have. I don't want to do any editing, just let the director see what we've shot in the field. I have a shoot coming up soon in UK and I've got to get this this settled before then. The camera's LCD screen is just not big enough. Sandy
  11. Life just isn't that simple. You have to look at film as a distinct medium. It has and likely will always have a different look to Video. Personally, I think both can fit in the same production. I will shoot HDV if I need extreme portability, shooting internationally, or for interviews that could have very high shooting ratios. I have invested more money in my Super-16 film gear than in video but much of the equipment for example lighting and sound can be used for either. I prefer the look of film, frankly but I don't find myself struggling with the question of which is better. Both have 16X9 aspect ratios and they cut together well in a documentary. I have no doubt that the Arri SR2 gear I own will outlast the brand new video kit. Everything about film is more robust... there are so many analogies possible with cars, bikes, musical instuments, airplanes, you name it. But I won't go there. You want to go from point A to point B. You can drive or you can fly. They both get you there. Which is better? Depends. But no-one can ever say absolutely. Sandy
  12. I've run up against a situation where I am having a loss of sync over long interview takes (over 5 minutes). Up to now I've had no problems but the takes have been relatively shorter. It's only drifting by one or two frames but enough to be noticable. I can fix it in editing with cut-aways but am I missing something? The camera is an SR11 and the recorder is a Fostex. Sandy
  13. Many thanks for the response. I have invested a lot in working in this format and have had no problems at all other than the ones one might expect to encounter after returning to a business I left 25 years ago! Mixing film with video was never my intention going in, but the definition of HDV and the 16X9 common aspect ratio seem to make the combination quite compatible. It's interesting that people who may have a lot of video editing experience with DV feel qualified to project dire warnings about a system they've never worked with.
  14. Sandy Thomson

    Editing HDV

    I'm shooting mainly S-16 but using a Sony HDR-FX1 for some shots where the portability of video is an asset. I have been transferring the film to HDV and editing it on line with a G5 in FCP together with the video footage. I have not done any transitions or other effects requiring rendering and really will not as I am only doing rough cutting in preparation for our editor. I have had no problems up to now other than some transfer issues on the film side where I was using a two stage transfer process. Howver, one of the labs I work with recenly told me that I can expect to have problems editing the compressed HDV particularily when it comes to rendering. They said that HDV is fine if viewed as it comes from the camera but trying to edit it creats many problems. If this is true should I be transferring the HDV to another codec for editing? Sandy
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