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Old December 8th, 2004, 02:52 PM   #16
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Culbert,

You are actually creating video, not film. The number of indy feature projects that MAKE it to a film out are very small indeed. Having said that, I understand you want to preserve that option. Right now, the people who do the transfers, (DVFILM, SwissEffects, etc.) aren't even reccommending the new HDV format for transfer.

Like I said, there's no ONE way to get to film from DV. Some films have been shot in Pal, some in NTSC 60i, some with the Panny in 24p, do a search and see whats been done. Some tranfer houses prefer one format to another. But remember, a tape to film transfer is going to cost BIG bucks. Most people assume that all they need is a rocking good DV version, and the studios will pony up the extra for the transfer.

Is this an accurate assumption? Hard to say.

As to Avid being 'buggy, unituitive and cumbersome' well, I've heard people complain about every NLE known with the exact same descriptives. To each his own I say, not interested in slamming Vegas here, plenty of people happy with it. I'm happy cutting on Avid.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 03:31 PM   #17
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Sorry about that. When I’m saying film, I’m just meaning film in general, as in movies..

Yeah, I don’t plan on converting to film because that costs MUCHO bucks. That would probably cause my budget to multiply by 10.

So, I just found out that my FX1 is on back order until Jan 15th!! Should I just get the XL1s instead? It’s cheaper than the Sony..

I do have one major concern though. The XL1s says that it does 16x9, but is that a good 16x9 or is it faked?
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Old December 8th, 2004, 03:42 PM   #18
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Culbert,


You keep sayin XL1s, so I assume you are not interested in the XL2? The XL1s does an "interpolated" 16X9, unlike the XL2 which has native 16X9 ccds and provides a much better image in the 16X9 format than the XL1s. The XL2 also shoots in 24p, if that is important to you. And if you are really really keen on the "film look" than you could always rent a mini converter and shoot with that to get the film look with shallow depth of field.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 03:47 PM   #19
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My camera of choice would be the XL2, but I can't swing that payment right now. If I'm to get an editing system and a camera, I can only afford what we have been talking about. The XL1s is cheaper than the FX1 so that's why I mentioned it.

I would love to have the XL2 because it has exactly what I'm looking for, but it also carries that 5k price tag too.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 03:52 PM   #20
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Prices drop in time. The price on the XL2 is already coming down. You say you are not shooting until february... is that a firm date? Do you have to OWN your camera? Is the important thing shooting a film or owning the toys? Why not rent what you need for a fraction of the cost, and spend the extra money on cast/crew/effects/catering?

In other words, what's really driving your bus? Getting this particular script on the screen, or owning a bunch of equipment? Nothing wrong with either motive, just helps to be clear.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 04:03 PM   #21
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hehe. I do like to own my own stuff. Reason why isn't really for bragging rights, but more for myself and our team not to be rushed on takes and such.

You know, I think you may have convinced me to check out the XL2. I know that that's the camera I totally want, but I think what I can do is sell the FX1, and then break out the plastic for the difference. I just checked on B&H and they have dropped the XL2 price to 4500... That's not too much that I would have to charge extra for.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 04:12 PM   #22
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Culbert, I don't mean to go all "Fatherly advice" on you... but have you actually done a budget breakdown on the script? How much have you got budgeted for lighting?Costumes? Location rental or fees? Catering? Audio equipment? Will you need to rent a dolly or crane?

This all adds up on a feature budget. I shudder to hear "Whip out the plastic" if it's not really necessary. Again, give some serious thought to renting what you need, and spreading your budget around to all the departments. Doesn't do any good to have blown your wad on a camera, and not have good audio, or a dark set, or - horror of horrors - a hungry crew. Nothing worse than a hungry crew threatening to mutiny.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 04:25 PM   #23
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haha. Fatherly advice appreciated!

Here's what I have so far.

-Sennheiser ME66/K6 (and a 100' XLR balanced cable)
-I was thinking of getting the Beachtek XLR adapter for the Sony, but if I go the XL2 route, then I can forgo (sp?) that cost and put it towards the XL2!
-MY Laptop
-My FX1 (which has been put on backorder - but already bought and paid for)
-Dolly & stabilizer in progress
-All the lighting I could ever ask for

Also, I've created a non-for profit organization so I will be able to accept donations (Do I hear Panera Bread?....) My father has all the lighting equipment I could ever ask for and more since he is a professional photographer himself – this includes gels, diffusers, reflectors. I also was given access to a John Deere “graveyard” which I’m able to pick through any time I want. My friends and I are working on creating a home built dolly and stabilizer too. Got the ideas from www.homebuiltstabilizers.com (way to go guys!!). My cast and crew have agreed to be paid a salary, but only if the company makes money on the project.

I was also thinking this.. Since I bought the camera, I could rent it out on days that I’m not filming. Professionals will most likely need it for the week (unless used for a wedding) and I’ll be shooting almost all of my stuff on the weekend. This way, I can recoup the loss of the initial investment a little bit.

Locations.. well that I'm still working on. I'm trying to write my script around the places that I will be able to film at.

Yes, I cringe at the “whip out the plastic” too, but ahh… to have the XL2 would be worth it.. 24p and a native 16x9 ratio! I love to hear that.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 04:53 PM   #24
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<<<-- Originally posted by Culbert Rench : [snipped]

Also, I've created a non-for profit organization so I will be able to accept donations (Do I hear Panera Bread?....) My father has all the lighting equipment I could ever ask for and more since he is a professional photographer himself – this includes gels, diffusers, reflectors. I also was given access to a John Deere “graveyard” which I’m able to pick through any time I want. My friends and I are working on creating a home built dolly and stabilizer too. Got the ideas from www.homebuiltstabilizers.com (way to go guys!!). My cast and crew have agreed to be paid a salary, but only if the company makes money on the project. -->>>

Cuthbert, this is called deferring and it's tricky business, proper contracts need to be drawn up and a definition of "making money" needs to be decided on (for example do youcount profit as any money you make from the first go or are you going to count having paid off all your expenses first, such as buying the camera and software).

Anyway - I thought you said you'd created a not for profit organisation... Am I missing something, how does that work if you intend to make a profit?

<<<-- I was also thinking this.. Since I bought the camera, I could rent it out on days that I’m not filming. Professionals will most likely need it for the week (unless used for a wedding) and I’ll be shooting almost all of my stuff on the weekend. This way, I can recoup the loss of the initial investment a little bit. -->>>

Forget it - it's very unlikely any professionals would be interested in renting an XL1 or XL2 or any DV gear - if it's wedding photography stuff then they'll surely own their own equipment, if they do need to rent additional stuff then they'll go to a proper rental place rather than rent gear off a film student, where they don't know if the camera is properly maintained or set up, or what recourse they have if the camera breaks down mid shoot, or any protection if they damage the camera - such as insurance.

You'd do better buying the FX1 and making money by renting it to other film students who fancy trying HDV out.

<<<-- Locations.. well that I'm still working on. I'm trying to write my script around the places that I will be able to film at.

Yes, I cringe at the “whip out the plastic” too, but ahh… to have the XL2 would be worth it.. 24p and a native 16x9 ratio! I love to hear that.
-->>>

You might still want to think about sticking with the FX1, if you're not going out to film then just use the CF30 - it will look pretty much the same as 24p and you'll have true 16:9 CCDs as well. You can even shoot in DV format at first anyway.

Sounds to me though that you don't have much experience woith film or video production - what's your background if you don't mind me asking?
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Old December 8th, 2004, 05:54 PM   #25
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This is my first production ever. So yes. I'm still learning basically everything. I'm not even a film student. I'm in computers.

However, I know movies, how they are made, and I have an extreme passion for movies. Which is why I'm making one.

I just want to be able to put out the very best product that I can for the money I'm spending. Then, my next project will be even that much better.

Only reason why I'm doing the non for profit org is so I don't need to pay minimum wage. Most of the people working on this project with me are close personal friends or family. But, I want to make sure that this production is fully legal and that it gets made. Making money is not on my mind. Recouping the expenses for the cost of the film would be awesome, but not required (it would just be a perk).

I don't know everything and don't pretend to know everything.. if I did, I wouldn't be posting here and asking all of these newbie type questions anyway. I would probably be out making movies right now :)
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Old December 8th, 2004, 07:13 PM   #26
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Richard, I agree. Each to his own. I know people who use Avids daily and like them. Was just offering my advice. I have installed and used Avids on about 3 different occasions, and while I admit they have not been turnkey solutions, for someone like me who likes to install their software on their PC, hook up a firewire camera for capture, edit, mix, tweak audio and master I expect to not to have to jump through hoops to do that. With Avid I have always had to. Decks not recognized, crashes when trimming, slow interface updates etc - crappy realtime in all but the most expensive systems. So it just isn't for me.

What I think it boils down to is that Culbert should try and get his hands on the systems for a short time and have a play with them first. See what he likes the most.

When I finally see the end of my involvement in PC's (It will be a joyous occasion that's for sure), and go Mac, I will definately spend time with FCP before I make the move in that direction, to ensure it works happily with my mind.

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Old December 8th, 2004, 08:03 PM   #27
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I was a little ahead of myself a few posts back. I'm in the process of getting my little production up and going. I'm figuring the cheapest way to do it would be to be a non-for profit org. However, I was just thinking.... I'm purchasing the software as a student and can't put my product out commercially anyway.. so there's the rub.

I guess I'll just get the XL2, and then get the Avid Xpress Studio w/ Pro Tools LE and make a kick butt movie. If someone wants to distribute it, I then can purchase the commercial license from Avid and then distribute.

Thanks for everyone's input. Instead of me worrying about which editing system that I will be using, i've decided that my camera is the thing that's causing me my problems..

XL2 here I come!!

Thanks Richard.. very much for your help on this.. When I get my film done, I'll make sure to post some spots..
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Old December 9th, 2004, 12:12 PM   #28
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Culbert: For what it's worth, Avid issued a press release yesterday which mentioned that they won't even offer HDV support in Xpress Pro until "mid-2005," which to me means don't count on seeing it any time soon. If you haven't already sold the FX1, one thing you could do is buy the Adobe Premiere Pro with Cineform bundle (see URL), which would allow you to do effective HDV editing on your current computer. Just buy a couple more hard drives to hold all your data and you're ready to go.

http://www.cineform.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=22

Personally I wouldn't get rid of the FX1 until you've played around with it a little to see what you think. I've seen several comments from FX1 owners who say it blows away the footage from their SD cameras when displayed at HD resolution, and is better than most SD cameras when downsampled to SD resolution. Your call, but you're only a few dollars away from being able to do your project with the FX1. Why go backwards to a 50-year-old display format when you have the equipment to move forward to the format for the next 50 years?
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Old December 9th, 2004, 12:34 PM   #29
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hmmm... shoot. now that makes me think again..

I keep thinking that I want that "film look" but I've heard so many different things like the interlacing issues with the FX1 and I've seen the quality of the XL2 though as well.

The FX1 has a native 16x9 chip though right?

I keep flip flopping though. XL2 to the FX1 and back and forth. I think I will take your advice and play with the FX1 and see what happens.

I already own Premiere Pro, but not 1.5 which I think does native HDV in it's newest update (correct me if I'm wrong).

I'll follow that link and do some more research on the cineform though for sure.

Thanks!
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Old December 9th, 2004, 06:14 PM   #30
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Adobe has said they'll release a free version of the Cineform plugin for Premiere Pro owners, and if that doesn't work with your version of PP you can upgrade to 1.5 for a few bucks. For serious editing you'll want the full Aspect HD version of Cineform, which currently sells for $499 by itself or $799 as part of their bundle package. Biggest advantage to the full version is more real-time capabilities, which should work well on your current computer. Remember that time is money, so paying a few hundred dollars for realtime editing is arguably a bargain.

I can't say for sure whether the FX1 is better than the XL2 for what you're trying to do, but since you already have the FX1 it makes sense to test that for yourself. Maybe you could rent an XL2 for a couple of days and run the cameras side by side under various conditions, then do a careful comparison of the resulting footage. If you do, let us know what you conclude.
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