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Old January 9th, 2007, 09:25 PM   #1
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horror short shot with hvx200 and letus35fe - report!

i originally posted this on dvxuser.com (http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=83150&page=2)! i will post this here as well since i got lots of useful information from this forum and wanted to give back some of it for the others!

"in advance: sorry for my english, i am not a native speaker

somewhen in october a friend and fellow moviemaker of mine asked me and a friend of mine about dop'ing (we always work together as 2 man directors of photography team) a short he has to make for a class in university, and as the script was quite interesting (interesting horror story, oportunity for good pictures), we agreed.

story: a girl gets a new flat for graduation, invites 5 of her friends for party, but it's not them whom will have the fun...

so preproduction started, he wanted around 15 minutes of film, we had 3 days planned. sfx shots included (nail into eye, head gets squished) etc. etc. as the murderer kills them people with a huge hammer. soon we agreed on a fourth day, we planned around 90 setups on 3 locations, and that was not doable in 3 days.

we painted storyboards for every setup, went on location, the director had rehearsals for over week, we looked at one rehearsal at the end...

i recently bought a hvx200 and had a letus35FE from my old dvx100 so we used that setup. i used a set of canon fd lenses which i bought off ebay piece for piece, including:

20mm, 2.8
24mm, 2.0
28mm, 2.0
50mm, 1.4
90mm, 2.5 (our workhorse)
135mm, 2.5
200mm, 2.8

will post a picture of the setup at the end.

we agreed on 720p/25p since my macbook pro won't be responsive enough for 1080i i thought.

we rented a sachtler 18 with carbon legs as my cartoni focus hasnt arrived yet, for the director we used a dell 2407fpw via 15m component cable, for focus we only had the camera's lcd (uhh, next time marshall hd monitor), indifocus with cavision rails and a geardear mattebox

as for light and grip, we got helluva-deal from a local rental.
1200w arrisun, 1200w arricompact, 2 1kw arri fresnel, dolly, minijib, lots of tracks, everything for less than 250usd, 4 days!! we had to pack quite a big package because we were shooting at night, only one exterior shot, but the letus35fe swallows quite some light, more on that later.

so preproduction was completed, shooting!

we had 2 8 gb p2 cards, an old pc laptop for offloading, a 300gb seagate external drive at an extra table in some extra room as the house was very very dusty

first day went almost flawless, 34 setups, 16 hour day, 2 hours after shooting completed i still sat at my laptop. i backed everything up at home on a second external drive for security reasons.

shooting with the letus35fe and hvx200 is not really a problerm if youve done it a few times and got the experience for the flaws.

the picture looks AWESOME, the only problem is the lighting.. we had china balls with 200w in them for the ambient, it was nearly enough, a 1kw fresnel with chimera was our key, mostly. at nights, we switched to 1,2kw hmi for more light so we can set the shutter degree to something like 90 or even 45 degrees for jitter if the hammer was swung. normally, we shot at 170 degrees. also, the lcd monitor of the hvx200 should not be used as a reference, you should always overexpose a bit! also, the monitor showed quite some grain in lots of pictures, but that was fault of the dell monitor i think. also, the resolution of the ground glass could be a tad better.

my girlfriend was first ac, since she worked with the letus35 as well already, it was not a problem, we almost had a film workflow, we agreed on putting A and B on the p2 cards, and only insert one at a time so that we won't get confused with copying and deleting the wrong cards.

i had the letus35 on rails as said plus a lens support which i used to support the letus35. it's absolutely essential if you are using the indifocus, otherwise a focus pull will move your image.

we also had a shoulder brace but didnt use that much.

everything went fine on the second day as well, very tight schedule, very hard lighting job, staging 6 people, interior with power out, cover everything, etc. etc. etc. the director did a very good job, every actor was an amateur, but he got out of them some performances i could not witness from a professional actor yet.

first real problem arised on the third day, the cord of the letus35fe broke, fortunately one electrician got his soldering set with him, so that was fixed without a problem as well. the letus35fe could have a LED to indicate the status of the adapter though.

everything was flawless as well on the fourth day, we had lots of blood and brain mass flying around, everything went well at the end, closing with a 26 hour day.

so we collected around 3-5 8gb p2 cards of footage every day, resulting in around 120-150 gb of data. it's very nice that you can record 16 minutes on a card in 720p, it's really enough to keep a steady workflow with offloading etc. i also got the clapboard on each thumbnail, so importing was so easy i wont even mention it here.

i am writing up such a summary because i read dvxuser.com a lot and got lots and lots of information from here, including the hvx book by barry green (thanks barry!), and just wanted to give back some information and more or less a good read

postproduction starts tomorrow, me and my gf are going to edit the footage on our macbook pros parallely, we are planning to color correct the whole stuff completely.

as said, i will post a picture of the setup a bit later and also some stills including scene files settings! (mostly we shot at chroma +6, and master ped -6, other settings default cinelike f6)

so long, enjoy ;)
XiaoSu Han is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 9th, 2007, 09:35 PM   #2
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here are some pictures of our setup:

on dolly - dvxuser batteries woohay!



XiaoSu Han is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 10th, 2007, 03:37 AM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Saint John, CANADA
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post footage asap!! really nice sounding workflow
video : xl2 / letus35xl / bogen 503
photo- canon 1dmkII - bronica etrsi
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Old January 11th, 2007, 08:39 PM   #4
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http://www.sexnfun.net/sophie1.mov - first moving footage!

enjoy ;)
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Old January 12th, 2007, 05:18 AM   #5
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Location: tel aviv israel
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hi i like to see more the video is very dark its hard to see anything

on what NLE you edited it(version pleas)

was it shoot dvcpro50 720p?

what is your computer hardware's (ram, processor, video card)
Ram Shani is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2007, 11:06 AM   #6
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,053
Nice setup!

I'm afraid however that your footage seems extremely under exposed? (it is very dark)
Dennis Hingsberg is offline   Reply

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