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Old June 29th, 2003, 11:26 PM   #61
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I have heard this film shot on DV.. Have not got to see the film.. I am wondering if anyone has info on waht cameras were used to shoot the film ?? Any more info on the technical specs would be interting to hear..

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Old June 30th, 2003, 12:58 AM   #62
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Short answer:
XL1S Pal with an adaptor and several prime lenses.

Plus a few million dollars.

Long answer is, read this thread:

or pick up the current issue of American Cinematographer which has a good article on it.
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Old June 30th, 2003, 04:39 AM   #63
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I think the line you referred to was actually "What is it about Tower Blocks and shopping carts" not "Tall blacks" the leading characters Irish accent may have confused you with that one. :)

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Old June 30th, 2003, 07:49 AM   #64
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* * 28 Days Later * *

I went and saw this film last Friday afternoon and was very entertained and enjoyed the structure.

FYI - - Filmmaker Magazine and American Cinematographer has articles posted about this film.

I think choosing to shoot this on the XL1 Pal was an excellent artistic choice. The images were excellent despite the blown whites and some blurry (fuzziness) in the close up shots.

The story's plan-of-action flight moved nicely from scene to scene. I was completely involved and not thinking, "Oh, thats video, or Oh, I would have done it that way..." How are these people going to get out of this base situation they are in?

I found the lighting design non-distracting and the speeding up film of the 'Infecteds' quite disturbing.

There were touching moments when the main male character visits his parents who committed suicide. Trying to comprehend the new world that he has awakened in. Brilliantly, broken at the emotional peak and peak audience involvement and concentration by an Infected. BOO!

I was excited to see the XL1 used in this way, with lense modifications, filters, gradients, and thoughtful effective lighting.


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Old June 30th, 2003, 09:41 AM   #65
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Exact setup that Anthony Dod Mantle used

Just to clarify, the setup that DP Anthony Dod Mantle used was the PAL version of the older XL1 (not the newer XL1S), the Optex B4-XL mount adaptor http://www.xl1s.com/b4xl.htm and some CANON EC HD prime lenses in the 6-40mm range and some CANON EJ HD prime lenses in the 50-150mm range.

During some sections of the film, there were as many as eight (8) PAL XL1's shooting at the same time!

So it is once again shown that while the XL1 is now in it's seventh (7th) year of success, even amidst all of the newer and more "feature" laden DV cameras now being introduced, the XL1 is still the filmmaker's de facto standard camera platform of choice for low cost moviemaking. Remember, as many pro photogs and DP's will tell you: "It's all about the glass!"

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Old June 30th, 2003, 10:11 AM   #66
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I saw it yesterday

I saw 28 Days Later yesterday at my local stadium-style theatre. Production values were great. The stylized technique used to show the "infecteds" was frightning (reminiscent of the monsters from "Jacob's Ladder"). I was disappointed with the DV to 35 millimeter blowup, however. I expected more. The unclear, blurry, less sharp screen resolution kinda gave me a headache. I think the picture quality would have faired much better if it was kept and projected digital. Mini DV just doesn't blow up well to 35 millimeter. But the movie was scary, the acting fabulous and all in all, inspiring to know that with a little creativity and tenacity, the XL1s in the proper hands can make great entertainment.
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Old June 30th, 2003, 11:03 AM   #67
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I really don't think he used dv for the purpose of competing with film. With a $15m budget, he could have gotten film. From what I read and hear, the dv look helped with the fright factor somehow.
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Old June 30th, 2003, 11:33 AM   #68
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Point taken.
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Old June 30th, 2003, 11:47 PM   #69
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Again, more evidence to support my theory that the type of camera used is one of the least important parts in making a good movie.
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Old July 1st, 2003, 01:20 PM   #70
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My 2 cents

Went to see it this past weekend. I absolutely loved it. I think what I really liked about it is they didn't seem to try to make it look like "film." The filmmakers did a bang-up job of creating strong, compelling images, but they played to video's strengths resulting in a very unique look for the film.

My guess on the "sped up" look of the infected is a faster shutter speed. You can get a similar look on film with a short shutter (see the opening battle seen of "Gladiator"). It is de riguer for video cameras, but not so for film cameras which need a modified shutter. I think it also is what gave the crisp look of the rain in the scenes following Jim's escape.

I was interested to learn that the video was sent through a de-interlacing routine in post. This does make sense. I know I'm in the minority on this one, but I have never been all that impressed with the Frame mode on the XL1 - I have found it too stacatto especially if the camera pans or tilts. For my money I say go with a 1/30th shutter setting - but I digress.

Anyway, if you haven't seen "28 Days Later...", run, don't walk, to the cineplex. Even if you have no interest in digital filmmaking (not likely if you are reading this) it is still a tight, tense movie worthy of your time and attention. if you are interested in digital filmmaking - this is a tremendous example of what can be accomplished by knowing your equipment and working with instead of fighting against it's basic nature.

Catch you on the filp,
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 10:27 PM   #71
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Saw it the other day... flesh-eating zombie flicks are perhaps my next-least favorite genre (vampire movies being number one on my hate list), but of all flesh-eating zombie flicks I've ever had to endure, this one gets my vote as head and shoulders above the rest. Very, very well done, and a great story to boot. I was let down by the look of the city scenes through DV, but the second half of the movie (after it got out of London) looked absolutely grand. Definitely goes onto my must-have list of DVD's. This is the one Canon should have promoted instead of Soderbergh's little home movie.

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Old July 4th, 2003, 05:02 AM   #72
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Chris, I'm with you all the way on those comments; just saw the film last night. I too avoid this genre as a rule, and generally dislike any sort of blood and gore films. But I was pleasantly surprised by how the film concentrated on the suspense and didn't dwell on the gore. It was more suggestive than explicit, often in dim lighting.

There did appear to be some sequences shot on film where the resolution was noticeably better, for example the ending sequence with the flyover and a few others that I can't put my finger on.

Most of the time the DV looked surprisingly good though and gave the movie a very distinctive "look". It obviously wasn't some little production shot on a beer budget though. But the quality of the DV blowup encouraged me that perhaps one really can shoot movies on DV and release on film.

Like you said, it reaffirmed what we already knew about DV's lack of resolution and its compression problems in scenes with lots of small detail. The cityscapes, outdoor scenes with trees, the wall with posters all had this problem. Also, does anyone know how they acheived the 16:9 (actually imdb says 1.85:1) aspect ratio? From what I've read here it was cropped. I suppose the additional resolution of PAL makes this more practical, but it looked damn good.

Thanks to everybody around here that made me aware of this gem! :-)
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Old July 5th, 2003, 07:44 AM   #73
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There's a really good article in American Cinematographer about this movie http://www.theasc.com/magazine/july03/sub/index.html which answers a number of the questions raised in this thread.

For example:
MPC believed the best results occurred with footage shot in the 4x3 aspect ratio but matted for 16x9 by the PAL XL1 (625 lines of resolution, 900,000 effective pixels over three 1/3" CCDs) in Frame Movie Mode, its pseudo-progressive-scan method, which is performed electronically within the camera.
Dod Mantle helped matters by securing the higher-resolving Canon EC (6-40mm) and Canon EJ (50-150mm) prime lenses to the camera bodies with Optex adapters. Even though video-lens focal lengths are measured differently than those of 35mm lenses, traditional focus-wheel systems were mounted onto the rods for the assistants, who pulled by eye.
Dod Mantle shot as wide open as possible with ND filters to minimize DV's seemingly infinite depth of field, and he underexposed by one to two stops to get more information on tape. (The XL1 has an exposure value of about 320 ASA without altering the shutter speed.) For daylight-exterior shots that featured prominent skies, which present difficulties in DV, grad filters were thrown into the mix.
All footage was upconverted to D-1 tapes (125 in all) by Clear Ltd., who also handled the visual effects. D-1 provides YUV 4:4:2 uncompressed PAL images. (The PAL Canon XL1 is 4:2:0.) After editing and conforming, the seven D-1 masters were handed off to MPC, where Dod Mantle spent almost a month in tape-to-tape grading with colorist Jean Clement Sorret, who used a Pogle Platinum and a Cintel DSX with the PiXi secondary color corrector. The graded masters were captured onto a digital disk recorder for treatment on a Linux Shake workstation. Running through MPC's proprietary FilmTel software, the 16x9 images were enhanced and interpolated to 2K files, blown up slightly to 1.85:1, then recorded onto grain-free Kodak Vision Color Intermediate 5242 stock via the Arrilaser.
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Old July 5th, 2003, 08:36 AM   #74
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And then they started editing. Jeez! A hell of a lot of work.
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Old July 6th, 2003, 12:43 AM   #75
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Just returned from my second viewing tonight.

I really like the blend of social commentary/standard horror fare. I've always thought that the first real commercial DV feature was going to be in the horror genre (I'm not counting Blair Witch). Sure, we've all seen art-house fare in the past...but I'm thinking about something that reaches the multiplexes of middle america.

In addition to the horror stuff, I get a Lord of the Flies feeling from it...especially the last half and the very end. I liked the sequences in the house, very surreal with a gothic tinge...as well as frantic energy. It reminded me of the Twin Peaks red room stuff in a couple of places.

The print I saw tonight had a lot more artifacting (digital glitches, etc.) in it than the first one (a different theater in another part of the country)...which is weird. I was looking hard for film scenes integrated into the bulk of the film (excluding the end) but I don't think there are any.

Thankfully this piece of work will put to rest the old "how to I acheive that Saving Private Ryan effect on DV" MB topic. Sorry, that was a small attempt at humour on my part.

The audio work as well as the soundtrack/score are awesome as well. I still can't believe Godspeed You Black Emperor! authorized a piece of music for use in the film (in the beginning empty street sequences for those that saw it and remember).
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