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Dimitrios Koukas

Weird job offer

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Hello,

Well... today a production office here in Greece offered me a job about a feature film, road movie style.

They want to shoot with Canon XL2 (I am not sure is it out yet?),and transfer to 35mm.

The total budget is 205000 euros, really sucks, but I was wondering why not do it S16 to 35mm blow up or even 35 mm?

Since all is going to be day exteriors-interiors, always on the go from town to town, ( the whole theme is really shoot on the road.), and I don't see any big expences for lighting e.t.c only a car-mount, the crew will be the less possible.

What do you think? Go for the XL2 or film?

Total shoot will be 4 weeks.Is there any possibility that the Canon XL2 will do the job?

I need some strong points to point out to the office so maybe I could change their minds.

 

Dimitrios Koukas

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Hello,

Well... today a production office here in Greece offered me a job about a feature film, road movie style.

They want to shoot with Canon XL2 (I am not sure is it out yet?),and transfer to 35mm.

The total budget is 205000 euros, really sucks, but I was wondering why not do it S16 to 35mm blow up or even 35 mm?

Since all is going to be day exteriors-interiors, always on the go from town to town, ( the whole theme is really shoot on the road.), and I don't see any big expences for lighting e.t.c only a car-mount, the crew will be the less possible.

What do you think? Go for the XL2 or film?

Total shoot will be 4 weeks.Is there any possibility that the Canon XL2 will do the job?

I need some strong points to point out to the office so maybe I could change their minds.

 

Dimitrios Koukas

 

Hi,

 

Well if it were me I would go with film! For day exteriors where you don't have much control, the extended dynamic range will help.

 

Stephen

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I say go for the XL2.

 

28 Days Later proved that you can get an amazing picture from Canon's XL series and you do have the ability to add a PL lens on with an adapter. The main advantage I think would be the ability to shoot as much extra footage you wanted, as much coverage you wanted because tape is SO much cheaper than film. Film is obviously the better quality and you get a much nicer picture from film, but a for a project on the road, you want to be able to just pick up the camera and take any shots you find when you're out and about.

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ive used the xl-2 a couple of times and was really unhappy with the results. and for day work, its gonna be murder to keep your ratios in a good place and not lose tons of information. it definitely sounds like a film show - just ask production to rent an old arri sr-1 or sr-2 or maybe an older aaton ltr or something and shoot an older stock or something.

 

if you are definitely going video, i'd opt for the panasonic dvx100a with the anamorphic converter lens - especially if they are planning a film-out. its not as "new" as the xl-2, but its a really user-friendly camera and i've always been very pleased with the images considering how inexpensive it is.

 

good luck with the project, though - road movies can be a lot of fun if you are out with the right people!

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I say go for the XL2.

 

28 Days Later proved that you can get an amazing picture from Canon's XL series and you do have the ability to add a PL lens on with an adapter.

 

Hi,

 

Personally I was not impressed with 28 Days Later. Its that 'Quality' question again!

The budget of 28 Days Later was 3 times as much as Dimitrios's film so I would go with film!

 

Stephen

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Have you read the script yet?

 

Does it justify being away from other jobs that might pay more?

 

Shooting on DV for 35mm - is there a non budget reason they need to shoot video (long takes, car mount access etc?)

 

for reasons to shoot film copy this from my site Why film?

 

thanks

 

Rolfe

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People are dreaming if the think they are going to get a theatrical release on a project shot in mini DV for 200,000 euros. Sure Angelique Jolie married Billy Bob Thornton but that doesn?t mean your next. It will cost your company another 70,000 euros to get a film out. Now they can take their one print and show it at some festivals. To get a real theatrical release you need to make many prints and have the budget to advertise the film. It is a huge expense.

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Personally I mostly shoot video. And I love video. I don't shoot film that much.

 

But if I were offered this project, I'd try and at least speak to the producers about doing it on S16. As stated, get your hands on a older ARRI that works. With hard lighting scenarios (Greece), you'll be in trouble when shooting on video when don't have any lights to help you out. If it was for tv, you might get away with it. But when shoting for a theatrical release, you don't get away with things that easy.

 

You should talk to the director, figure out the amount of film/tape you'll be using. Then you know if you can afford film or not. But then again, can you afford not to?

 

Haven't used the XL2 myself. Maybe you could do some test with it?

 

Good luck to you. Hope everything works out.

Edited by Lars.Erik

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I have write down XL2 while the camera is the new XL H1 (suppose to be HD).3CCD 1/3'' !!! not even 2/3''.

But either way, it doesn't make any sense, I could only use a video camera for theatrical release only for experimental reasons.

Thank you very much all ,for your posts, and sorry for the inconvinience .

If you have any corrections or suggestions to make for this camera please do.

Dimitrios Koukas

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28 Days Later proved that you can get an amazing picture from Canon's XL series

 

 

28 Days Later did not look 'amazing' it looked 'okay', and that was after they spent many thousands of dollars on grading and film looks.

 

The XL2 is perhaps the best of the Mini DV cameras, and with a little care can yield fantastic results, but it is still MiniDV. There are many other options, s16mm being preferable.

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If you can wait to shoot till the end of the year, we should have the Panasonic HVX200, a DVCpro HD camera that does 1080p and 720p, among many other frame rates, and will record to a P2 card or ro MiniDV tape. total cost, $9,000 with 2 P2 cards, or $6,000 for just the camera. And thats to buy!

 

It's still a 3, 1/3" CCD camera. But the ability to record an almost varicam like image (minus the good lenses on the varicam and that 2/3" CCD's). The compression of the DVC Pro HD on the camera will be the same as the Varicam, Maybe even the resolution of the CCD's, although I wonder on that front....

 

Happy shooting!

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the light in london and the light in greece is two different things

 

knowing that sinse i am from israel and we have the same problem

 

thats way in dv you will need more light control tools .

 

i shot my shorts in 16mm and use 250D OR for more dinamic range 320T

 

work great for me

 

if i would use mini dv i would use the DVX100 which i think is far more beter then the XL2

 

i used one for two month in the summer shooting in the dead sea with no lighting at all

 

and was very happy with the result

 

ram

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You gotta at least try to push for film. If theyr're married to the idea of DV try to push them in the direction of HDV, it's a major improvement in resolution over plain ol' DV. You'll be happier when you see the results. I haven't seen a film out yet but with the increase in resolution one can only imagine an improvement over all.

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28 Days Later did not look 'amazing' it looked 'okay', and that was after they spent many thousands of dollars on grading and film looks.

 

Right. If I remember, the reason all those exteriors looked "good" is that the skies were composites. There is no way you could achieve the quality of 28 Days Later on a 200,000 euro budget. The post production alone was something like $1.5 million.

 

That said, I have been able to get some great images from the XL2. I found it to be sharper than the DVX100 by far. The out-of-box color settings look horrible and the master RGB settings have to be tweaked.

 

For your project, definitely push for film. You'll be pulling your hair out trying to control the limited dynamic range of the XL.

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Right. If I remember, the reason all those exteriors looked "good" is that the skies were composites. There is no way you could achieve the quality of 28 Days Later on a 200,000 euro budget. The post production alone was something like $1.5 million.

 

That said, I have been able to get some great images from the XL2. I found it to be sharper than the DVX100 by far. The out-of-box color settings look horrible and the master RGB settings have to be tweaked.

 

For your project, definitely push for film. You'll be pulling your hair out trying to control the limited dynamic range of the XL.

Matt,

My mistake,I have write down XL2 while the camera is the new XL H1 (suppose to be HD).

Anyway i am pushing for film.

Still couple of meettings and I think that I am about to convince them.

Dimitrios Koukas

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Isn't the XL H1 Canons version of HDV? I don't think it's even set to come out till years end or maybe even later. If you can wait on the XL H1, I would suggest waiting on the Panasonic HVX200, native 16:9, 3 CCD's, Records DVCPRO-HD, and most of all, No MiniDV compression, unlike the H1, which still records to MiniDV tape. Just my opinion.

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Mind that since HDV is Mpeg 2 Gop 6, you won't be able to do fades, as far as I know, but only cut editing...

 

What about real HD for such a project, am I over budget ? Mind that XL1 whatever is hand held, but not nice to work on the shoulder... Don't know the panasonic, but, for what's about using primes lenses, I defenetly think a zoom is much more usefull on such a project...

 

If you go for film, wich may be not easy to get them conviced for, mind that you then need an assistant to load etc.

 

Is it fictionous/drama or a documentary ?

 

If it's a fiction film, I think you'll get them easier to go for film...

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Isn't the XL H1 Canons version of HDV? I don't think it's even set to come out till years end or maybe even later. If you can wait on the XL H1, I would suggest waiting on the Panasonic HVX200, native 16:9, 3 CCD's, Records DVCPRO-HD, and most of all, No MiniDV compression, unlike the H1, which still records to MiniDV tape. Just my opinion.

Thanks Landon,

I ve checked the camera u suggested and I ll go with it, if I don't manage to change for s16.

Dimitrios Koukas

 

Mind that since HDV is Mpeg 2 Gop 6, you won't be able to do fades, as far as I know, but only cut editing...

 

What about real HD for such a project, am I over budget ? Mind that XL1 whatever is hand held, but not nice to work on the shoulder... Don't know the panasonic, but, for what's about using primes lenses, I defenetly think a zoom is much more usefull on such a project...

 

If you go for film, wich may be not easy to get them conviced for, mind that you then need an assistant to load etc.

 

Is it fictionous/drama or a documentary ?

 

If it's a fiction film, I think you'll get them easier to go for film...

:) There is one camera operator and assistant in the crew anyway.

No problem changing magazines and loading, for me it takes the same time to reload a tape and write 1:30'm colour bars by EBU standards.

Real HD will take half of the budget! Editing suite costs a lot.

Dimitrios Koukas

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Hold the phone. It would be pretty risky to bet an entire movie on the XL-H1 because there is no established post strategy for that camera. There are currently no decks that will play the tapes recorded on the XL-H1. It doesn't look like there will be any, either. The tapes are not compatible with the JVC decks (HDV1-only) or the Sony decks (HDV2-only). Canon has gone out and created a completely incompatible format and has no plans to build a deck for it. What this means is the post facility must have the actual camera to playback the tapes! Try explaining that to the producers!

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Hold the phone. It would be pretty risky to bet an entire movie on the XL-H1 because there is no established post strategy for that camera. There are currently no decks that will play the tapes recorded on the XL-H1. It doesn't look like there will be any, either. The tapes are not compatible with the JVC decks (HDV1-only) or the Sony decks (HDV2-only). Canon has gone out and created a completely incompatible format and has no plans to build a deck for it. What this means is the post facility must have the actual camera to playback the tapes! Try explaining that to the producers!

Thank you very much Brian,

I believe that u can use firewire and the camera as a player ?

(that doesn't mean that I will choose this camera).

Dimitrios Koukas

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Being "young" in this industry, I tend to avoid new technology that could give me a bad reputation. I very much go out of my way to think of every possible variable to protect my future employment opportunities. I just wouldn't feel comfortable relying on the camera alone because if something happens to that camera, I highly doubt the post facility will want to replace it with another. Or, perhaps there would be a need to hire multiple loggers. That isn't always practical when playback units are $9K each. The logistics of that camera bother me, but I have heard the image quality is very sharp, though lacking in highlight detail, as always. Yes, I believe the camera has Firewire output. More likely, an editor would choose the HD-SDI route, tho.

 

Hope this helps.

Brian "wants to be a cinematographer but just memorizes stuff instead" Wells

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Being "young" in this industry, I tend to avoid new technology that could give me a bad reputation. I very much go out of my way to think of every possible variable to protect my future employment opportunities. I just wouldn't feel comfortable relying on the camera alone because if something happens to that camera, I highly doubt the post facility will want to replace it with another. Or, perhaps there would be a need to hire multiple loggers. That isn't always practical when playback unit cost $9K. The logistics of that camera bother me, but I have heard the quality is very nice, though lacking in highlight detail, as always. Yes, I believe the camera does have Firewire output. More likely, an editor would prefer the HD-SDI route, tho.

 

Hope this helps.

Brian "wants to be a cinematographer but just memorizes stuff instead" Wells

I would prefer the HD -SDI route too,

thanks for mentioned it.

I have no worries about any camera to be honest, by my experience I will do the job by any media available, it's just that I don't want to rush into a project without dispalying the plus and minus of a media to the production office.

And all this in the pre-production meetings, and not after.

Dimitrios Koukas

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Yeah, personally, If I had to choose the XL H1, or the HVX200, I would choose the HVX. It has an extablished post process, which, while not as straight forward as most video formats, should not be extremly difficult to deal with.

 

but this new Canon HDV thing, it kinda scares me... Interlaced video is the #1 killer for me, then HDV on top of that. Canon went so fare when creating the XL2, with its native 16:9 chips, true 24p, etc... Then skipping back to some kind of fake 24F frame-rate, which is not the same thing as true 24p.

 

I really expected more from Canon than that! But oh well, we can only take the best we can afford, but if you can afford to buy or rent the Panasonic HVX-200, I'd suggest it. It seems like it has all the neat features we have been asking for.

 

I will certainly at least rent it for a day when it comes out and put it through hellish condition to see what it can do.

Edited by Landon D. Parks

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I will certainly at least rent it for a day when it comes out and put it through hellish condition to see what it can do.

 

 

Hi,

 

That's called testing! It should be free, well maybe not for everybody in this discussion!

 

Stephen

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