View Full Version : Listing of what you used in DVC2?

Sean McHenry
July 20th, 2005, 10:04 AM
I was wondering if you other folks that entered DVC2 might like to post what gear you used in a thread? I am particularly interested in what editing software everyone used. If anyone is interested in some help or ideas on what to do in the way of making things better, I'm sure we would all be glad to help each other, especially in the realm of audio and editing.

My short "Secrets" used the following:

Sony PDX10 Camera
Bogen 3211BN tripod, 501 head and Dolly
GlideCam 200 Crane
Azden 100LT UHF wireless
Century Optics .65 HR WA lens adapter
Sony Pro DVCam tape
Sony DSR-11 Deck
Cinetactics MatteBlox soft matte box
Tiffen Circular Polarizer
Avid Xpress Pro 4.5
SoundForge 7
Behringer Mixer, B1 Mic, 2031A Powered monitors
Home built AMD based PC with 1GB RAM, Sony DVD burner
M-Audio USB Mobile Pre(amp) moving sound in and out of the PC

If you post what you used in your short, we will have all that info in this one thread.


Jeff Sayre
July 20th, 2005, 11:13 AM
For my "Gardens of Tomorrow" short, I used:

Sony HVR-Z1U
Sony PHDVM-63DM DVCAM master digital tapes
Wimberly head on my tripod
Tiffen filters
Sennheiser ME-66 shotgun mic with K6 powering module
Sennheiser MZS 20-1 shock mount pistol grip with cheap ole broom pole to create boom mic (gaffers tape to secure pistol grip to pole)

Sennheiser HD 25 SP headphones
Canare starquad XLRs
Botero 10' x 12' chroma-key green muslin
Photek background support system for muslin
Impact 1250w 3-light system
Smith-Victor FH1 universal filter holders
Dual 2.0 G5 PowerMac
Final Cut Studio: Final Cut Pro 5.0, Motion 2.0, Soundtrack Pro 1.0, Compressor 2.0, QuickTime Pro 7--all used in post
Bryce 5.5 for CGI work
Photoshop CS 1
5 pounds of blueberries (absolutely essential)

Michael Gibbons
July 20th, 2005, 11:36 AM
I have added some comments about a couple of things i learned along the way. hopefully that's okay :)

I (mis)used the following.

Bogen 301 legs, Manfrotto 701RC2 head.

Sony pdx10- a great camera. The lack of numbered exposure settings is a hassle. Next time I will keep a detailed camera log, and lighting plan so I can duplicate my shots during reshoot.

PDX10 stock mic on a boom handcrafted from an old broom pole. The shock mount was constructed of the finest twine, re-enforced with a premium quality black bread tie.
25 feet of xlr cable.
(The low sound qulaity was not due to this set up; it was more related to me dropping the ball in post. Last night i figured out how to move the imovie project into FCP and after playing with the audio found it to be just fine, once the levels were adjusted.)

home depot work lights, we used the set's low cieling for bounce and small halogens for foot lights. We need at least one more light.

(once again, my ineptitude in post worked against us. The compression scheme I used for the movie seems to have darkened the picture and muddied up the contrast. The image on this end, while not perfect, is actually pretty good.)

We also made extensive use of bright yellow tape to mark the floor.

For post I used imovie HD. Let me just say that this is a fine product for entry level enthusiests who want to cut home video. It is absolutely not suited to anything else. I will most likely never open it again.

This was only my second short, and my first project ever with the pdx10. I learned quite a bit, and, now after the humilating debacle that was "The Cask Of Malta" I am motivated to learn more.

disclamer: I have never ever read "The Davinci Code" or any book by Dan Brown.

Sean McHenry
July 20th, 2005, 12:05 PM
Let me also say that I think all the entries have great potential. Like mine, they just need a bit of refinement. I am doing a few things to make mine into something I don't mind watching and showing others. I would further encourage the rest of the entrants that aren't tired of the whole thing yet to refine their pieces and show us what they can do with time on their side.

My flaw as a human is I am very technical. I see flaws in quality from a long way off. I have a list as long as my arm of stuff I want to or already have fixed in my own piece. From color correction to audio mixes and that one errant edit point that shows the begining of a zoom at the end of the first bicycle shot (corrected in the final version). I secretly suspect that cost me "best cinematography".

I think everyone had some good stuff to work with, it just needs refinment, like mine.

If you do refine or reshoot your projects, please let us know where to find them.

Thanks all,

Sean McHenry

Jeff Sayre
July 20th, 2005, 12:47 PM
I agree with you completely, Sean. I am working on refining mine and will be posting a refined version later today or tomorrow.

I probably will not refine the VFX (since that can take too many hours of rendering) but instead I'm focusing on color correction, audio, and a couple of bad transitions.

Stephen van Vuuren
July 20th, 2005, 01:55 PM
We used a very simple set of gear to make "Lost Souls"

DVX100a (using custom settings for shooting blown-out window - low gamma, low detail).
AT Shotgun
Bogen Tripod
Lots of shoes props
Two saw horses and board to allow actress to lift herself up
Day scenes lit with natural light only
Night scenes lit with car headlamps

The UFO abuction scene was the complicated VFX - you may not realize it but it's 3 takes edited seamlessly together with the UFO beam added using Trapcode's Lux in After Effects and the car headlights timed to "sell" the effect.

Dylan Couper
July 20th, 2005, 05:59 PM
Hey, why don't you guys total up what all your gear cost, and next time, we'll divide your scores based on your total production budget including geat. Highest score/gear ratio wins. :)

I shot Secret Confessions Of A DVinfo Moderator with:
a 1 chip Canon ZR40 $400
1 clip on incandescent light with a 60w bulb $15
1 sheet of diffusion paper $1
a Manfrotto 190 tripod with ball head $150
and one lightdisc reflector $110
1 bottle of 15 year old whiskey $45
ice free
$720 total value of gear and budget. I think that is less than your tripod Sean. :)

Stephen van Vuuren
July 20th, 2005, 06:45 PM
[QUOTE=$720 total value of gear and budget. I think that is less than your tripod Sean. :)[/QUOTE]

Nice try. I noticed you "forgot" to add in your NLE, computer, deck, speakers etc. :)

Dylan Couper
July 20th, 2005, 07:04 PM
Nice try. I noticed you "forgot" to add in your NLE, computer, deck, speakers etc. :)

I guess I can't convince you I cut it directly from my camera to a $30 WalMart VHS player, huh? :)

Stephen van Vuuren
July 20th, 2005, 07:20 PM
You mean you did not edit in camera?


Dylan Couper
July 20th, 2005, 09:07 PM
Next time... :)

Sean McHenry
July 20th, 2005, 09:34 PM
Hey, it's not too late to get out the razor blades and splicing tape and edit the real way. People used to edit video with razor blades, wait, that was audio tape...

Yeah, on the cost/performance rating, you have to remember, I was working for a broadcast equipment reseller when I bought all this stuff, at cost. I paid almost 25% less than you guys might think I did. Luckily, I bought almost everything I could think of just before leaving for my present gig as Engineer.

I think I'll refine the final version a bit more and post an intermediate on the web site tonight.


Cory Cone
July 20th, 2005, 09:42 PM
For my short "Cleaners" I used:

Canon Optura XI
Canon Wide-Converter WD-H46
Cheap Tripod
Homemade Car Cam Arm
Sony Vegas 6

That's about it...

Sean McHenry
July 20th, 2005, 09:52 PM
Cheap tripods are great for static shots. If you aren't panning or tilting, cheap is plenty good enough. If you are moving it about, loosen the locks as much as possiblye and try to balance the camera so it sits flat on it's own. If it's out of balance, it makes it harder to get a smooth movement.

I liked it. I liked them all. I still think the Shoe piece was pretty good. Simple in design but had good writing and good style.


Dylan Couper
July 20th, 2005, 11:27 PM
I'm going to see if I can find one of those old Fisher Price video cameras that recorded on audio cassette. That'll teach all of you!!!

Sean McHenry
July 21st, 2005, 08:27 AM
Man those were great. Pixelvision. I never had one but would love to find one. Synonomous with photography and the old "Diana" cameras. Cheap plastic 35mm cameras with plastic lens that gave a sort of soft, ethereal quality to B&W.

If you find one, let me know.


Daniel Kohl
July 21st, 2005, 04:19 PM
Dylan or Sean,

I've got one if you want it to try it out. I bought it at a flea-market here in Frankfurt years ago. I can't really use it effectively because it's NTSC. Of course I modified it so that it can record to a recorder with an analog in.

But Dylan, since it is a collector's item, it may not be suitable for your trying to make a point about shooting with low cost equipment.

I shot "The Hitherto Unknown Secrete Function Of The Manfrotto 501" with:

XL-1s............................................................................3000 DVeStore........................749 $

Manfrotto 745B with
501 head mounted to
a pivot cup taken from a
Manfrotto 701RC2 head (used mostly as a prop)..........around..300
Sennheiser HD 25-1 Headphones...........................................149

Maglight with LED attachment..................................around.....40

Edited: with FCP5
Motion Titles: with Live Type
Audio Post: Soundtrack

July 21st, 2005, 04:39 PM
For "The secret of Ale Stones" i used:

Canon Xl-2
Tripod (dunno brandname)
Adobe Premiere Pro + After Effects
Iriver H320 MP3-player (+recorder)
Audio Technica ATM-31 microfon (old)
Yamaha W7 (keyboard)
Steinberg Cubase with some virtual instruments
M-Audio 1010 LT soundcard
pen and paper (to write script)
Word (to write a readable script)
A big smile and a lot of patience.

Jonathan Jones
July 23rd, 2005, 04:30 PM
For 'Secret Recipe' we added a mix of quality and cheap. As far as locations - we scouted a low traffic spot for the street scene, used a simple hammer and nails and a generic lost dog poster printed in Print Explosion.

For the house shots, we used my in-laws home-while they were away on vacation - the shot was not entirely 'sanctioned', my father in-laws workshop is perfectly organized and spotless - he knows when anything has been touched, so we had to crew members follow 'the kid' around while he was 'cleaning' the workshop to make certain everything he touched was put back where it came from. ( A Slightly Stressful Shoot )

As far as equipment:
Canon XL2 with stock 20X lens
Promaster Tripod with Velbon Head and Canon Quick Release Plate
On-Camera stock Mic (audio was dubbed in so talent stood close to camera for audio capture)
Red Radio Flyer wagon (for tracking during the street scene - we didn't have a dolly)
no-name LED flashlight to hi-light the knife from across the room for the knife close-up.
iMovie 4
GeeThree Slick iMovie plug-ins
MovieEdit 3D
(The wagon was really bumpy, and even though a crewman sat in it with the camera to weigh it down, the footage was still bumpy so I had to stablize and zoom for a clean shot)
Quicktime Pro (to compress)
Powerbook G4 running OS 10.2.8 (Jauguar)
LaCie external Firewire HD - 250 gig

Although iMovie gets laughed at by the pro's I am quite impressed with it's abilities. Although I am fairly new to professional digital video, I have worked with media for over 20 years, mostly cutting audio for use in video such as tv commercials, indie film, and convention visual presentations. When I say cutting, I mean cutting - I worked with tape, film and razor blades back in the day. But sitting at an editing desk playing around with an Italian opera at Abbey Road Studios in London way back when - with an experimental project done on a computer system...just blew me away, and told me that this was the future of media design...even though there was a crew across the hall - still making a master plate for a finished LP prepping for vinyl. (sheesh)

When I returned to media work after a career hiatus, imagine my surprise to discover digital video. I made several fun projects in recent years with a simple digicam with a 10 second movie mode, and cut them in Quicktime. Very cheap, but fun. I fell in love with iMovie when I first played with it. It is an amazing tool for the simplicity of edits, and a few transitions. Leaves my days of razor blading in the dust.

I LOVE MY XL2... but I am still a huge proponent of using cheapo stuff to push its limits - so although I am now playing around with the Production Suite (Final Cut Pro HD etc), I am still working on some hobby projects with low end cams, including snapshot digicams, even my motorola phone camera, and free software to push the envelope and see what I can do with it.

(Not to mention that as I am always working out the kinks in the newest app updates and Tiger - I always like having the basic suite of quality free media apps to fall back on in a bind - for simpler projects, the workflow with iLife is hard to beat. I just keep reminding myself "couldn't do that with a razor blade..and I was good." As I am still getting up to speed with the high-end stuff, I am finding that iLife, along with good business sense, and strong technique does indeed pay the bills. )

Just my two cents

Sean McHenry
August 9th, 2005, 09:17 AM
Daniel, how did you modify the Pixelvision? Add an RCA jack for the output?

Might be a fun thing to play with. Out of curiosity, what, in US dollars if you know the conversion rates, would you like for it?



Daniel Kohl
August 9th, 2005, 11:00 AM
Hi Sean,

There used to be a few Pixelvision web pages... here, I found one - it might even be the one I used to see how to modify mine.

I used an old oscilloscope to find the point on the EC board where the video signal was coming from and soldered a lead to it and then one to the chassis.

As far as selling it ... I've never seriously thought about that, I'm kind of an idealist when it comes to stuff like this (I'm a lousy businessman). The truth of the matter is that since I have had the Pixelvision, I have never managed to do anything sensible with it. The one year I went to Sudance, I saw a nice short shot on the Pixelvision. I've kind of dreamed of doing something like that with it, but realistically, I know that I won't ever manage it.

If you are really interested, I'll send you my Pixelvision, as a, lets say permanent loan. With no strings attached. That means I will trust you to treat it as if it were your own, including if you duct tape it to your crane and smash it into tiny bits while trying to get a really nice shot. Because it could have happened to me.

OK one string; I would like to have the option to ask for the Pixelvision back, if I find I can't live without it for some reason in the future.

OK another string; if you find someone else who would like to play with it (like Dylan) you would give them the Pixelvison under the same conditions.

What do you think? It's better than having the thing gather dust here in my lab.

Mike Teutsch
August 9th, 2005, 11:13 AM
Just in case anyone cares about what equipment I abused:

XL1s, stock mic
3X lens
Bogan 3030a tripod with 503 head
HP computer
Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5

Hopefully I'll make better use of it next time.


Sean McHenry
August 9th, 2005, 04:05 PM
Ever heard of Linux? Very much the idea behind open source software. You can change it to your liking but you have to aknowledge the originator and make it available to anyone else that would like your derivitive.

I am going to let you see if Dylan would want to make it work for him, as far as I know, it may be as good as his future XL2. (I'm a Sony guy, does it show?)

Anyway, I am very grateful of your offer. We have a small museum here at work including things like various RCA record players, Wollensak video players, film cameras, etc.

I am actually thinking seriously about shooting a short with my phone. Just got a new Motorola with video and added a 512M memory card. Got room for lots of tiny footage. If I can figure out how to get it into the Avid, might be cool. First short shot on a camera phone? First one to use a Glidecam and crane maybe?

I would love to play with the camera for a while. I have to look up your profile. Are you here in the states?

Edit - Doh! I see in your sig file you are in .de land. Postage may be an issue but I would be willing to take care of that if it isn't too hefty.


Dylan Couper
August 11th, 2005, 06:13 PM
I'd love to try out the Pixelvision, but I'll let Sean have first go at it.

Actually, I've already chosen an.... *alternative*.... type camera for my next DVC film. No spoilers, so don't ask. :)

Sean McHenry
August 11th, 2005, 09:26 PM
Daniel is planning on sending it to me. I thank him for this opportunity to test this device.

After I give it a good testing, as is Daniels wish, I will pass it on to the next deserving, eager tester. Looks like Dylan is next. We should start some sort of diary and send it along with the camera. I would suggest slapping those country stickers on it but it isn't that big.

I can't wait to test it out. I'll post some footage when I get the chance. I'm still planning to shoot some "Blair Witch" like project with my camera phone. I found a way to convert those tiny videos to an editable format. Seems a strange thing to edit it on Avid Xpress HD however.


Daniel Kohl
August 17th, 2005, 04:13 PM

I have started a new thread with this topic - on "the TOTEM Poll"