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Old July 9th, 2004, 01:13 AM   #301
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<<<-- Every indie filmmaker (accept for one lucky one a year) that shoots at 25Mbps will be unaccepted by distributors for blowup because it looks like what it is . . . a cheap movie. Now I'm not saying cheap-looking movies can't be great, I'm just saying they won't be picked up very often. ->>>

Laurence:

While I understand your technical point about the technical limitations in film blow-up, I need to get on my soapbox about why those limitations are pretty irrelevant, both to the art and business of filmmaking.

I've got numerous friends and associates with 35mm indie & independent films still on the shelf, never picked up. The fact is indie films are rarely picked up no matter what they are shot on. That's the nature of the indie art. My guess from sheer numbers, that more DV indie films find distribution than 35mm simply because they often can make lower margin deals.

Don't forget, "distribution" is DVD releases, international etc. My local Hollywood and blockbuster has dozens of shot on DV features at anyone time that are indies.

A true "indie" is financed out of pocket by filmmaker and friends as opposed to "independent" which generally refers to films independent of studio financing. The sheer cost of 35mm filmmaking pushes most "indie" films into "independents" where they have to find a bank/investor to back the project.

We need to open our minds to the possibility that not everyone needs to make a huge movie to be a a filmmaker. I, for one, thank god for DV and digital projection. It allows filmmaking to become a much more personal, local and community art-form than it ever has been.

Need proof? I helped start Triad Indie Film Network (www.triadindie.com) here in our community. It's all about personal filmmaking and yes, even blowing up shorts to 16 or 35mm. Not for 1000 theaters, but for 1.

You can blow up anything to 35mm - VHS is fine. Just engage your audience - that's all that really matters. We just had our first TIFN film festival of 10 second, 60 second and 3 minute shorts. A third of the filmmakers had never mad a film before. A third made films without even using a motion camera. None were shot on film (except for my 10 second, shot with a still camera). We had almost 200 people in a coffee house loving every minute of it - more than was watching any hollywood film or the independent film house that night.

"picked up" only matter for the few, lucky filmmakers that get that "big break". The rest of should just keep making films and support those filmmakers that truly need it.

Anyway, that's my soapbox for the day.
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Old July 9th, 2004, 01:42 AM   #302
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Don-

I'm ready, just let it be something worth investing in.

Even if it is not "HDV" what's the bleeding point, I've seen real HD look like bad dv and I've seen good SD look like HD, and to be honest with you it doesn't really matter it's how you shoot it. Will I buy it if it's HDV you betcha, will I buy it if it's SD, more then likely and I'll be starting a very lengthy correspondace with Mr Pertierra (if he'll still talk to me) IF there is some way to add 4:4:4 color correction and real intechangable lens with a P+S like adapter (build it yourself) then I'm all for it.

Unfortunately I also believe that Steve and Mark are correct and that there really will be some hella price gouging (even if it has half the item's speculated) for a camera that could be 90% hype and suffer from critical DV flaws.

I don't however believe that the "price of glass is crap" argument is crap. HD glass is very thin and must calibrated very specifically, HD glass is less forgiving then film glass (not an argument for HD) and there's a difference between making glass that will be left on a camera and never removed and glass that will be rotated in and out of camera's and will need to be back focused etc. As a result HD interchangable lens are going to be expensive. Technology nothing, have you tried to buy a Zeiss superspeed used? if it's in good shape most lenses will hold their value well, because lens technology doesn't change nearly as quickly as electronic technology.

Stephen I'm just curious have you guy's sought sponsor ship by tiffen? TIFN get it?

Jack, If I was to get 24p and HD I would really be upset if my HD didn't record at 24p.
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Old July 9th, 2004, 08:14 AM   #303
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Laurence:

Stephen just made about every point I was going to make about content being king, artistry over format, etc.

But I have to disagree about the technical possibilities of HDV for blowup. The limitation of video right now for 35mm blowup isn't in signal processing or the ability to make video look like film. The DVX100's CineGamma and the literally staggering array of post options can take care of that easily. To my thinking, the biggest limitation is sheer pixel count. You just can't blow up 720x480 to a theater-size screen, either by filmout or digital projection and expect it to hold up. 720p, on the other hand is a different story. That's Varicam. Or, hope against hope, 1080p. That's CineAlta.

Now, I'm not saying that a $5000 camera is going to be equal to a Varicam or CineAlta. It won't. But if the HDV consortium is confident that 720 30p and 1080 60i can fit within the 25Mb/s, 24p at either 720 or 1080 should be entirely possible. From the footage I've seen out of the JVC HD10, I'm a believer. Have you seen that footage? When well shot, it's practically indistinguishable from $100k cameras. It will happen, and soon from the looks of it.

This is what I've been saying for years now. The barriers to entry for features are fading fast. Some indie filmmaker is going to take this tool, make a killer movie on the cheap, edit it on a home computer with off the shelf hardware, and win Sundance. And the only people complaining about image quality will be tech geeks like us. The vast majority of the audience won't even know or care that it was shot on a prosumer camcorder. Who knows, it might even fool a few distribution execs.

Unfortunately, 95% of indie films will still be crap. Just like when everyone was shooting 35. Or Super-16. Or DV.

Bring it on Canon. A lot of people are holding thier breath.
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Old July 9th, 2004, 08:34 AM   #304
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"To my thinking, the biggest limitation is sheer pixel count"

I have to agree with Scott on this point.

After reading this thread yesterday, I was color correcting
some DV footage (24p from the DVX). And, I have to say,
I'm constantly amazed at how great that footage can look
when correcting mids and closeups. THEN I got to a wide
exterior shot, and the footage just falls apart. The pixels
just aren't there.

That got me thinking about Charles' comments yesterday
about how on 28 Day's Later they used multiple XL1s and
stitched shots together in post for the wide city shots.

With HDV, that would not have been necessary.

Sure, HDV may not be the perfect solution, but it is A
solution.

The color sampling in DV has never been the problem.
Sure it would be nice to have 4:2:2, but with a steady and
subtle hand, you can correct DV footage to look very very
good. The problem, as Scott pointed out, is sheer pixel
count.

I don't expect HDV to be great, but in the meanwhile, for
people like myself who can't afford tens of thousands on
camera gear, it may just be 'good enough'

-Luis

ps.
now let's just hope we'll see 720p24 next week from Canon.
I'm not holding my breath for that.
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Old July 9th, 2004, 08:58 AM   #305
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<<The limitation of video right now for 35mm blowup isn't in signal processing or the ability to make video look like film.>>

I would add to this, at the very least, latitude. Especially at the low end of the video chain, such as we are discussing. All well and good in completely controllable environments like interiors; not so good in exteriors with mix of sunshine and shade. White blowouts in the sky--not so filmic.
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Old July 9th, 2004, 09:04 AM   #306
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I just like to buy stuff....
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Old July 9th, 2004, 09:05 AM   #307
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I have to agree with Charles. I've downloaded a number of clips shot with the JVC HDV cam. While the pixels are there, unless you go through great pains to control it's painfully limited latitude, it really can look bad. But, that's not HDV, that's bad optics, electronics etc.
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Old July 9th, 2004, 09:12 AM   #308
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"I would add to this, at the very least, latitude."


Absolutely we need improvements in latitude.
But, although I do not want to disagree with Charles as he obviously knows more than I do about these things, I would say that what I meant was the bare minimum needed to get a decent projected image.

Increased latitude would be great, but I see it as a bonus. Without added resolution, the latitude wouldn't mean much. The image may look a bit more controlled, and more filmic, but wide shots woudl still completely fall apart once projected from a DV source.

Granted, increased latitude in DV would be great for broadcast work, and DVD work. I was simply commenting earlier on what was needed to get decent projection.

-Luis
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Old July 9th, 2004, 09:19 AM   #309
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Luis:

The pixel count for projection is only signifigant if you can project native - our monthly screenings project a variety of stuff off DVD. Well shot DV always looks better than poorly shot HD.
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Old July 9th, 2004, 10:01 AM   #310
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From the footage I've seen out of the JVC HD10, I'm a believer. Have you seen that footage? When well shot, it's practically indistinguishable from $100k cameras. It will happen, and soon from the looks of it.

Practically indistinguishable? C'mon. Do you not notice the excessive dithering in colors throughout the entire frame, the excessive quantization amidst any movement and the excessive noise artifacts in any color, especially full-field colors? That is HDV. Iv'e seen hundreds of examples of HDV and have seen the best of the HDV samples out there, they all exhibit these flaws. VariCam and CineAlta do not exhibit these anomalies at all.

Even in the JVC booth at NAB this year, the best footage they had to show was unnacceptable as far as dithering, quantization and noise artifacts go. Even the footage they were showing of some "film" which was being shown on a big screen directly above the prototype of their upcoming full-sized 3CCD HDV camcorder looked flawed in these areas. That is not acceptable for filmout, at all. The only time I have seen HDV look anything remotely close to true High Definition is when the HDV clip is played at a quarter-frame screen size on a computer screen. Not when it is resolved full frame on a large screen. You can still see the anomalies though. I know there will be people out there who will contest this, and I ask them to return to their screens and look for all of the dithering in the colors throughout the frame, the excessive quantization amidst any movement and the excessive noise artifacts in any colors... Try to color correct or apply any digital filtering on that footage in post and watch it fall apart.

I'm sorry to sound negative here (Honest, I have nothing but the best intentions!), but I cannot understand why no one else is pointing out these issues about HDV, why isn't anyone else taking the time to notice these flaws? If you ARE noticing them, why are you accepting them?

- don
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Old July 9th, 2004, 10:13 AM   #311
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I'm sorry to sound negative here (Honest, I have nothing but the best intentions!), but I cannot understand why no one else is pointing out these issues about HDV, why isn't anyone else taking the time to notice these flaws? If you ARE noticing them, why are you accepting them?
- don


Well, I think that we can accept these flaws because HDV is the best most of us will be able to get for a few years ^_^. If we all could go out and buy Varicams or SDX900's or CineAlta setups, then we'd be hunkydory, but we can't, so most of us will have to settle with HDV, just like people did with DV. But besides that, I think that people just need to learn how to shoot in HDV and discover ways to eliminate these shortcomings you've pointed out. Also, you seem to be the only one complaining, so that's just it, other people don't notice these flaws, just us camera tech geeks on here!

:-)
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Old July 9th, 2004, 10:21 AM   #312
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Maybe we'll all just get shockingly lucky and Canon will ignore the HDV standards and use some less compressed standard.

Now, I am dreaming.


And as far as SD goes, sure, you can shoot a feature on a pd150 and get it distributed...AS LONG AS IT HAS SIGOURNEY WEAVER or COURTNEY COX or KATIE HOLMES or SIMILIAR STAR in it.
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Old July 9th, 2004, 10:24 AM   #313
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<<<--And as far as SD goes, sure, you can shoot a feature on a pd150 and get it distributed...AS LONG AS IT HAS SIGOURNEY WEAVER or COURTNEY COX or KATIE HOLMES or SIMILIAR STAR in it. -->>>

Not true at all - just go to your local video store and they are full of shot on SD films with no names, often genre style straight to video flicks. But they are distributed. Many 35mm and DV features never have a US theaterical release.
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Old July 9th, 2004, 10:35 AM   #314
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"The pixel count for projection is only signifigant if you can project native"


I was going on the assumption that we were talking about projecting HDV as opposed to projecting DV.

I didnt' expect it to make much difference if HDV material was going to be projected at DV resolution.

" - our monthly screenings project a variety of stuff off DVD. Well shot DV always looks better than poorly shot HD""

No argument there.
I was also going on the assumption that we were talking about footage shot at equal levels of skill. Taking one extreme against the other isnt' exactly a scientific study on the effects of resolution.

I agree, well shot DV will always look better than poorly shot HD.

But how much better will well shot HDV look than well shot DV if each is projected in it's native format?

I don't care about HDV all that much, so I didn't mean to pull the thread off topic. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, most projects I've seen would be unengaging regardless of the format they were shot in. And, I'm under no delusion that my own projects would have been better if shot in a higher resolution format. I was just commenting on what was needed to get a cleaner projected image, and I do believe it comes down to pixels.

In the end, I'm just looking for a native 16x9 camera with XLR inputs, 24p, and interchangable lenses that is within my budget.

HDV would just be a neat addition.

Hopefully Canon will deliver.

-Luis
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Old July 9th, 2004, 05:23 PM   #315
 
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Well,

I'm not sure where my point was taken for DVD and direct to video, but I was talking specifically for screen blowup . . . which is where the subject was before my last post. And I still hold. If you're blowing up to a big screen, this HDV, plain and simple, won't hold up. Not at 25 Mbps it won't.

As for DVD or straight to video, well that's okay. DVX-100 looks pretty good on my TV screen. But again, that's not blowup. Projected in a theater, it will not hold up. And neither will the Canon if it's HDV at 25Mbps.

. . . unless your Sodenbergh . . . then you can make really lame DV flicks all you want and distribute them, god help us.

Just IMHO
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