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David Gottlieb

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  1. Wow. Such a clean image - the gain complaints are irrelevant - I couldn't even see it AT ALL and we didnt alter factory settings whatsoever - what this camera is capable of even projected at 720 is astounding - color rendition was beautiful and shadows had tons of detail with no visual artifacts. To think with tinkering what it could produce... I've seen HDV stuff before and there's no comparison. Just astounded - looked like Collateral minus Tom Cruise and excessive gain to no ends. Highest recommendation (and yes, I'm biased. I have justification to be)
  2. If you guys wanted a genuine digital projection of the HVX, here's your chance, 220 theatres nationwide :D http://bigscreenboxoffice.com/subpage/index.asp?EventID=606 I was one of the 5 cameras at this shoot (I posted under the comedy shoot topic about it). Supposedly ads for this are already playing in theatres, but know that every camera except for the crane cam was an HVX shooting (almost entirely) 1080/24pA (there was a broken firestore midway that necessitated some tape but not on the main cams). The full discussion is here: http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=76284 It's a one-time only thing, this Thursday November 9th at 7:30pm. I suggest going simply on Josh Blue's merits - he's a gifted comedian and I had to struggle not to laugh at the jokes even during the second show. Cheers!
  3. 720/24p is an over 60p (59.94) setting with a 2:3 duplication built into the camera. 1080/24pA is over 60p setting with an advanced 2:3:3:2 duplication built into the camera. Both of those are like normal tape-derived framerates like you find on the Varicam (all tapes are 59.94) Still 24 frames, but with duplication. 720/24pN is a P2-only mode where the camera doesnt duplicate any frames. Since it's recording to flash and doesnt need to go to tape, it only writes the actual 24 frames sans duplication of any kind. This also takes up 40% of the room on the P2 cards compared to the normal 'p' framerates (for 720/30pN it saves half the space). This is also where you can do slow motion - in this mode it will play back in 24p/second no matter what frame rate you choose (e.g. choose 48p/s in 720/24pN and it will play back half speed). Since now its only recording the necessary frames, with 48p/s selected it will take up 80% of space on the cards (or computer HD or upcoming Cineporter which acts like a giant P2 card). Using the intravolmeter is only in over 60 modes, but all slow motion in camera and all space saving modes are 720/24pN & 720/30pN ( you can set it to 720/60p and change frame rates to get super-fast motion if you're going from a 59.94p timeline.) Hope that clears things up and good luck!
  4. Ready for a surprise? The DVCPRO-HD is easier to edit for NLEs than HDV. Since there is only frame-by frame compression (as opposed to HDV's mpeg2 sequences intraframe compression), it is less demanding on your editor to review and alter footage (compression may be longer though). I edit in Final Cut on a Macbook Pro with simple firewire400 drives (not even RAID) and have zero issues - I edit in real time (supposedly even iBook G4s can handle the footage okay) and love the workflow. I have used Firestore, and while it does work, I broke the bank getting the camera and a microphone (worth the investment on both counts) and had one 4 GB card to go on for the entire time. Since it was a single location documentary, I would film on 720/24pN which is a 10 minute/4 GB ratio (and actually only a 40 mbps stream while maintaining full quality), then offload straight to my internal drive in my laptop via firewire, requiring me to film for 10 minutes and then pause for 5 to offload. Not the perfect solution, but I still managed to get about 35-40 minutes of footage per hour. I bought a 100 GB bus-powered external hard drive and have used that to subsequently offload the footage off the computer (you can do it straight from camera but it takes longer than a firewire transfer). Then I had two single drive 500 GBs to offload to where I was staying. Next time I hope to have the cineporter and/or the upcoming expresscard34-to-PCMCIA card reader for switching out P2 cards. I unfortunately havent edited the documentary yet, so I don't know about output, but of the other HVX projects I've done in the same mode, you will need substantial space to make a pure output; however, the Compressor software (5.1.1 has some major DVCPRO improvements for people who tell you otherwise) does a wonderful DVD transfer that takes about 3 hours straight from timeline per 10 minutes on maximum quality settings (2-VBR 90 min best quality). Get a couple 500 GB separate hard drives and you should be set - the preferred setup actually is to back up everything onto DVD-Rs, but I just keep two hard drives in separate locations. The Z1. Say goodbye to easy key-ing and greenscreening. I have some poor friends who have been greenscreening ever since Star Wars came into theatres and they could barely get a greenscreen shot to pass on the Z1, even after using 5 different software programs. A Sony rep even told them the camera won't do it well. Their solution was to uprez the Z1 footage to 4:2:2 and then work with it - what you start with on the HVX. With HDV, it will be easier to record for longer, but very very hard to manipulate in post. But for event shoots it is a pain without a Firestore. Unless you can invest in several P2 cards, Firestore, the upcoming Cineporter, or will be tied to a laptop with a Hard Drive (for capture you should get RAID and no daisy chaining!), long recording times are hard. But the footage that does come out is well worth the effort. It's already being used in TV shows for handheld shots. And the camera has even more shooting frame-rate modes than it advertises - Barry Green's HVX book that now comes with the camera shows how to get double the advertised framerates out of the camera. Personally couldn't be happier, but I can't do event stuff until another $1,500, which is the tradeoff (unless they provide the firestores). For me the system worked fine, the shallow DOF that comes out of this camera can be stunning, and it has great glass. Depends on what you need it for; easy capture, or easy edit. Hope that helps!
  5. I considered it also, but the quality of the shot and how it looked different (smoother like they only slowed it down a little when it was going less than half speed) than the other slow motion shots made me think otherwise. I own the camera and while noise is certainly there, on a bright sunny day you're not going to find much of it. This camera shows very very little noise when a lot of light (aka sunlight or a well-lit room) is present. The moment you hit 'open' with no filters, you'll start to see it, although by having it open the shallow DOF helps blur any noise not on the subject and helps the image tremendously (I just shot a whole documentary that way). I personally barely use DV unless forced to - the HD DOF and 4:2:2 is more than worth the hassle, so can't answer the noise question there. The color looked too good for 4:1:1 SD but it is possible - my guess is they wanted it as a slow-motion cam (probably 720/24pN) since there were two other cams next to it getting the same shot, and both weren't HVXs. Also, the footage struck me as familiar, but you never know! Let me know about your friend's transfer!
  6. How amazingly stupid this sounds... the easiest way is to see Jackass Number Two. If you can stomach your way through creatively brutal forms of self-torture for about 40 minutes, there is one (confirmed) shot with the HVX - almost all the rest is from other HD or SD cameras. The reason I knew was they had multiple cameras and was able to see the actual camera and the gold DVCPRO-HD logo on the veiwfinder and match it to the shot by the direction it was pointing. The shot is the successful launch of Johnny Knoxville's rocket replayed in slow motion (but not perfect slo-mo like the camera is capable of) - when I saw it, I was impressed - the colors were much more vibrant and it looked much cleaner than any of the other footage from the movie. You could tell it was the money shot. I still think the camera is capable of even better - they weren't going for asthetics here - but it still was a very impressive shot on a full-size screen. This is the one shot that I can confirm without asking the projectionist to hold a frame so I could see which cameras they were using in each scene. Their standards seemed to be Sony Z1Us. It actually was a funny movie, if you suspended all moral judgment for an hour and a half (that's what Knoxville told us to do before it started). But this is the easiest way to answer your question (comparing it to film is moot - I think digital and film will never look identical anyways) - it didnt look like video and didnt look like film but rather a clean, detailed and colorful image (I love 4:2:2). Now go see it for yourself!
  7. The HVX will give you easy & simple HD still images you can review instantly, no matter what frame rate you shot at. The XL-H1 has a higher resolution chip but since it's a long-GOP solution frame by frame analysis is near-impossible on the spot. My recommendation would be to shoot at 720/60p on the HVX and since it uses no GOP compression schemes or tape when recording in HD and will give you a true 60 frames per second to analyze. If you want to view it in slow motion as well you can set the camera while using P2 to 720/24pN and switch the frame rate to 60. This will still give you a true 60 frames per second but will playback at 24, giving you 2.5x slow motion video to analyze as well as the step-framing. Just be careful, because 1080/60i is interlaced and not progressive, although 1080/30p is. Also, either 60-frames mode in 720/60p or 720/24pN is still 1 GB/sec, so prepare for the archival space. Otherwise, this is probably the cheapest and most re-usable system around for your needs if you want HD. Good luck!
  8. If you have the correct software/plug-in, you can shoot in 1080/30p on an HVX, which I believe is completely progressive 1080. Also, 1080/24pA can be used to extract a true 24 progressive frames with a pulldown removal. But 720 may be easier, and supposedly 1080 is only 10%-15% higher res than 720 due to the chip size. As you're going to the flash 320 format (I assume) you'll have even more flexibility than if you went to DV. However, normal DVCPRO-HD is about a 1min/1GB ratio, although while using the P2 card's native mode in 720/30pN, exclusive to the card and not exportable on firewire, will double your space since it automatically deletes the doubled frame. If you want to shoot in 720/60p or standard 720/30p, you can capture it through a computer via firewire and a compatible editing software to one of your G-raids with no issues, but it will remain a 1GB/1min ratio. HOWEVER, note that 1080 over firewire will take up nearly the same space as 720, at the 1GB/1min ratio, so you might as well capture it in 1080 if you're going to circumvent P2 cards. Then again, the hassle of offloading P2 cards may be worth it. Also, if you have enough time, the Cineporter I believe comes out soon which will support those native space-saving modes. All of these options, bottom line, should give you a wealth of options to choose from. Best of luck!
  9. This can be done easily - just had a partial HD shoot simply so the editor could zoom in up to (approximately) a third of the image and not lose standard def quality since its a DVD (that was in 1080 though). It definitely gives some flexibility but you also lose some due to the acquisition of true HD footage which is regulated to Hard-drive direct capture, P2 cards, or Firestore. The hard drive space requirements also jump up. However, editing DVCPRO-HD in either 720 or 1080 is relatively easy on any computer as opposed to long-GOP solutions e.g. HDV. It can solve some of your problems but remember it would only allow jump cuts to be made if you only use 1 camera. But it can be done. Some people even shoot at 1080 just so they can crop any shakiness out to a 720 master. The decision is yours - it may save you a lot of hassle, but remember that especially with CUs in HD the focus has to be spot-on and any mistake will only be amplified by magnification. Good luck, hope this helps!
  10. Just finished shooting in a 5-camera live comedy show shoot. Besides trying to get a third cam & operator (at least), I would have one set up facing the stage directly that will shoot the comedian exclusively in frame, and if you only have one more you can either position it side by side to the other and use it for CUs to cut to OR have it be near to the stage so you can see some audience OR you can have it be a rover gettng shots from multiple angles throughout the shoot making it seem like you had more cameras then you did. The only danger of the final option is that when you move from spot to spot those shots are generally unusable and it requires a great deal of refocusing as you move farther and nearer to the comedian. I suggest watching Robin Williams Live on Broadway to get an idea of shot positions you could set up. Dave Chappelle's Block Party had a more unusual setup with a camera far back for wide and close shots and then a cam right in front of stage for audience perspective - only problem is you can see the near stage camera on the wide shots. Best of luck, and as with all live events, the more coverage the better! Try to get one or two more cameras, people with DV cameras aren't too hard to find. Also, make sure both cameras start taping at least a minute apart so both dont run out at the same time which will make continuity in the editing room impossible. Have one film lines outside or est. shots so they are on different time tracks.
  11. David Gottlieb


    Why are you planning to restart from scratch? You sound like you already have everything you need to make something amazing; don't be pressured that its on DV or not shot to a plan - 300 hours of what you're describing should be more than enough footage to narrow down to 80 minutes, if not more. In fact, it most likely will be the most challenging to cut it down that much. I think you should consider making this movie what it was shot as: a globe-spanning travelogue, genuine and unscripted. How many people dream of travelling the world in their lifetime? You could give them an opportunity to see that; you don't need 35mm to draw an audience (also, the contrast would be annoyingly apparent). That being said, now you can be creative without trying to insert an artificial storyline. Just create a character that is trying to recover or searching for something about themselves or the world in general, or even better, for someone they lost, and has decided to search the world to find it/them (you can decide the mood by the character you create). I would make him the narrarator, the guide; he doesn't even need to be seen, just heard. He could guide the movie along, creating a narrative using the vast footage you already have at your disposal. It would be a character-inspired travelogue (The Constant Gardener uses this approach to a point very successfully while showing us different parts of Africa in a travelogue) using what you already have, and while nontraditional it could remain a narrative without sacrificing the authenticity of your 10-year project for a cheap hollywood premise (not to say you would) that doesn't fit or justify the footage you have. You have the chance to write some really interesting dialogue this way, and since you have the script in your head and the tapes shot, all you have to do is edit them to a reasonable length (though you may have enough footage for a mini-series; who knows?). You have all of your footage shot and simply need to shorten your story and create a guiding character. A script may help you, but you may find an outline far more useful; why describe the footage in detail when you already have it shot? Just my 2 cents. Best of luck!
  12. I use the ideology of moving the camera with your characters. If all the action fits the frame then you should have no reason to move the camera unless something in the shot demands it. Nothing distracts me more (at least on a visual level) when a camera is swirling and panning and dollying like crazy for no apparent reason. My personal rule is that you should always move the camera when you need to follow the characters: great examples besides the opening scenes of Boogie Nights and Touch of Evil of following the characters include Run Lola Run and The Good The Bad and The Ugly. These movies move the camera to follow the characters and keep them in the same position in the frame rather than to show off their dolly eqiupment. If the camera didn't move with Lola in Run Lola Run we would have not felt like we were sprinting with her but rather that we were more like the pedestrians she bumps into, watching her. The camera movement makes us relate to her and helps us stay involved. However, fancy editing aside, when she stops running so does the camera. All of these directors also know when to choose a shot and keep the camera still and when to move it: if you want to see a difference between similar scenes watch the moving showdown in Once Upon A Time In the West and compare it to the static showdown in The Good The Bad and The Ugly. I believe in moving the camera, but not superfluously. Don't use it for the 'money shot'; use it when the script demands it. If you don't move with your characters, you remind the audience they're sitting in a theatre watching a movie and make them feel disconnected from the experience - if you keep the camera with the characters it helps the audience feel like they're on the screen with them, and will help any production tremendously. Just don't break the bank. :D I second the wheelchair comment but remember that not all wheelchairs are created equal and some made me wish I had used a shopping cart instead. A moving car is my favorite for outdoors, and for smaller spaces, you can sometimes get someone who is good at rollerblading to get some really good shots holding the camera if the pavement is smooth enough (or you can just bring a wooden board and lay it down). For below the belt shots skateboards are ok but i prefer holding baskets with the camera inside and one side cut out. Some people have started using that steering-wheel-like bogen-manfrotto thing or homemade steering wheel pods that you hold and supposedly are pretty steady with the camera in the center. And then there's handheld, which you shouldnt try to hide is handheld: trying to make your handheld look like dolly work is near impossible; instead, make it look natural and it gives a recognizable and different (and some say more organic) look. Just don't make people too nauseous (The Bourne Supremacy). For indoors take a skateboard and slide it across a desk or other flat surface; just know it will make some noise unless you cover the wooden surface with a towel or something of the like. This also works well on carpet, but for lower shots. Just some tips and suggestions, but if you have the $$, you can get a real dolly; just remember when to use it ;)
  13. Thanks for your incredibly valuable advice! I've been looking for cheap lighting solutions for months and after viewing your videos immediately went to a hardware store and found the items you listed at very low prices. Thanks again for your help and I will point others to your site as an invaluable resource for no-budget filmmakers!! (Now I just have to find somewhere with China lanterns ;) )
  14. Be careful with that - a student group once had fake guns in their movie and didn't tell the local police about it, ended up shooting in broad daylight in a crowded campus, and nearly ended up being shot by the real things when local cops saw them. :unsure: You may want to tell any local authorities about it - they write these things down so you can say you told them if there's a confrontation and when they radio in they'll find your notice. Just a helpful piece of advice - wouldn't want to end up like the above group of college students - they nearly got arrested for disturbing the peace!! Back to topic: for finding locations, I suggest looking for places for sale - they'd love to let you use it for some quick change and publicity (you can add some spin to your offer), and there'll be no one there to bother you or interfere. I like playing the 'free publicity' angle, but a public company probably won't care. Try to look for smaller local businesses for that approach, and you may get lucky and not have to pay at all :D Another route is to shoot it in public - I just saw a music video all shot outdoors on empty roads and the such and it turned out pretty cool and professional with a very minimal crew. Good luck whatever route you take!!
  15. Thanks for the advice to carry around 3.5 disks - I had realized about two weeks ago how cheap they had become but didn't think about it for some reason. I had pretty much settled on the labtop solution since I will have two other people with me to help, although one will be the interviewer. The cost of 3.5 is way cheaper than most large-storage RAIDs, although I don't know if they can handle real time editing access to the DVCPRO solutions. HDV would work but I'm pretty much set on this camera anyways because of the PROHD and cinema settings (variable speed), as the JVC 24pHDV looks weak in my opinion, and I have narrative films to shoot prior to this documentary. Hopefully by the summer the editing problems you experienced will be taken care of - I have few doubts that software will catch up; I just don't know by when. If not, I always have the built in DV deck B) Thanks for your suggestions, I need all the advice I can get!!
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