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Old August 14th, 2009, 07:57 PM   #1
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Good luck to the 48 Hour Film teams!

I guess you all have just received or will soon be receiving your genres. I wish I were in a town with a contest this weekend!

If you use Magic Lantern during your shoot, please send me a link to the vimeo or youtube site when it is posted and your thoughts on usability in real-world conditions. I'd like to collect a "Shot with Magic Lantern" page for the wiki and fix any bugs that you might encounter.

Have fun and try to get some sleep!
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Old August 15th, 2009, 04:43 AM   #2
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Same good luck from me here. Last two years I have been in the San Jose 48 hour, but missed it this year due to illness... Right about now the script should be done...
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Old August 17th, 2009, 01:49 AM   #3
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Thanks Tramm and Chris!!!

I am currently on my return trip from Planet 48, where reality ceases to exist for (at least) 48 hours. It was a successful mission with about eight minutes to spare.

We got Mocumentary. The character was Brian Merryweather, lab technician. The prop was a picture frame. The line was "for crying out loud."

If you're in Portland on Thursday the 20th, come watch the films from Group C. And vote for Dream Job by Poorly Projected Pictures. :)

Time to sleep.........
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Old August 17th, 2009, 04:57 PM   #4
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Cinema Syndicate would like to thank Tramm, Chris and Jon for all their programming, information, groundwork, tutorials everything you guys have done to turn the 5dM2 into a true Cine camera!

We dropped our film off at 7:28pm on Sunday, and are very happy with the results - and aside from everything else, the footage is beautiful!

I had lots of skeptics before the shoot, and I'm pretty sure I've converted most of them into believers, and once they see the final I think everyone will start treating this camera with (even more) respect.

If you are in Portland on Wednesday the 19th, come to the Hollywood Theater & cheer (and vote) for OVERDRAWN - we're in screening group A

Thanks Again! I Learned a TON on this shoot about workflow with this camera - I'll try to share it in some form or other - but feel free to ask questions - the film eventually will make it to our Facebook Page, website [http://www.cinemasyndicate.com/] and on 48.tv (which has the WORST interface you could dream up for seeing films)


-andy batt
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Old August 17th, 2009, 06:23 PM   #5
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Andy and Jon, when you do finally recover.... usually Tuesday is when I get hit hardest... I am curious how you guys shot.. mic or mics, mixer, xlr adapter hookups, etc., and post processing.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 07:13 PM   #6
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I take it the 48hr is all types of cams right. I wonder how the 5D Mk2 is doing compared to the other cameras in the competitions.....
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Old August 18th, 2009, 01:59 AM   #7
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We got ours in with 7 minutes to spare... didn't use magic lantern but maybe should have...

After the shoot, at about 3:30am I left Pluraleyes running to sync our dual-system sound while I grabbed a few hours of sleep. I woke up at 8 to "the application 'pluraleyes' has unexpectedly quit"! Nothing was synced... maybe too many clips on the timeline (160 video, 120 audio)? I had to split it into several timelines and ran it all again which put me a little behind on starting the edit and really brought things down to the wire at the end. So in camera sound certainly would have helped at that point although it wasn't really practical during the shoot (too much running around handheld to be tethered to a mic).

In any case the film is done - our second in two weeks, 4th on the 5DmkII, and 11th overall... time to take a break! If you're in San Jose we're screening in Group B at 9:30pm - "Coulrophobia".

And if you're in San Francisco our previous film (from the week before) "Intrinsic Self" is screening Saturday August 22nd at 7pm as part of the Seven Day Film Festival... which we ended up producing entirely in the last 36 hours due to multiple production issues during the week. That one's a documentary on fire performance artists.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 02:26 AM   #8
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One nice thing about the 5D2 for the 48hr is that they require 29.97 fps. There's no need for the 5D2 to deliver 24p. In years past, I've seen the 48hr equipment screw up the interlacing, and 24p stuff got hit the hardest.

I hope the 48hr organizers update their systems to widescreen next year though. They still require delivery in 4:3. I don't mind that it's SD - HD rendering can be slow - but tossing lines to deliver 16x9 is sad. A Cinemascope project would be even worse. (We got Mockumentary, so Cinemascope wasn't a consideration this year.)

Chris, our team used the EF 28/1.8, 50/1.4, 85/1.8 and 200/2.8. We used enough light to keep the ISO low and the lenses stopped down a bit. Mockumentary really shouldn't have a super shallow DOF anyway...

Almost everything we did was on a tripod. We used one dolly shot and one jib shot. We faked a slow zoom in post. We used rack focus on a handful of shots. In the last scene, it directs the eye perfectly to the assigned prop (a picture frame).

For lights, we used as much as two ellipsoidals and three soft boxes. We also removed the soft boxes and used barn doors, silks, and gels. Most of our shooting was outdoors. Fortunately, it was overcast, so faces were evenly lit at mid day. We used a reflector as needed. We occasionally used a light to bring up a dark background. The indoor shots were in a theater, so we could use the house lights in the auditorium. We stuck with our own lights in the other locations in the building.

For sound, I used the AT815b, a juicedLink CX231, and Boostaroo. I built some new cables, including a two channel snake with a breakaway connector, which let our boom op connect and disconnect in a snap. He (Michael, my youngest son) and I both monitored the sound, and we had absolutely zero clipped lines. Michael normalized the dialog while I composed, and I didn't touch the gain on a single syllable for the final mix. I used 17 dB of analog gain and 0 dB of digital gain in Magic Lantern. The juicedLink ran foot-to-the-floor, except for scenes where people yelled. For those scenes, the knob was between noon and 3 o'clock.

I'll post in on Vimeo, after the screening...
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Old August 18th, 2009, 09:56 AM   #9
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Thanks Jon... Hmmmmm. 17 , 0,0. So when you say Michael Normalized, I assume you meant in edit suite ? Right ? Is normalizing the same as adding gain ?
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Old August 18th, 2009, 01:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
I hope the 48hr organizers update their systems to widescreen next year though. They still require delivery in 4:3. I don't mind that it's SD - HD rendering can be slow - but tossing lines to deliver 16x9 is sad.
DC's 48hfp now allows 720p for all submissions and we were invited to submit a re-rendered 1080p version for the "Best of" screening round.

How many teams were in Portland? We were up against about 120 teams and nearly 100 submissions.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 03:38 PM   #11
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San Jose's allowed 720p this year as well for the first time.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 04:03 PM   #12
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I will be curious to know how you think 720 projects. That was my beef with SF and San Jose.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 04:22 PM   #13
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Hi Chris, when I wrote "normalized", I meant that he balanced the gain by hand to get the levels consistent. Since I was busy composing, I have no idea how much gain, if any, he had to add in post. I just know that we never, ever clipped, and that we never had any noise problems due to our system. We got a touch of HVAC and printer/copier idle noise, but it was low enough that we didn't do any noise reduction.

I know from experience that when an audio recording is noisy or has poor quality that I have to push and pull syllables to get the words understandable. This year, the dialog was really crisp and clean. Our actors did a good job of enunciating while keeping it real. Words to live by: good quality in production means a lot less work in post!

Tramm, thanks for letting me know about 720p and 1080p. I will gladly remind our organizer that Portland deserves the same. The local winner could suffer at the national level if judged at lower res.

So, 120 entrants(!) We have 56 submissions in four groups over two nights. That's about right for this town. The top twelve are always quite good. The bottom twelve can be pretty horrid. Having more spots wouldn't necessarily mean more good submissions.

Evan, since we got Mocumentary, we watched Sur Mesure: Journeys in Transpersonal Haberdashery on Vimeo as inspiration. Having a solid 48 hour film as a reference was good motivation. Everybody laughed out loud. And then, being filmmakers, we picked apart what we wanted to emulate or avoid, and what we could and couldn't do with our resources. I get the feeling that our team will bring up "the hat mocumentary" at least once every August for the next few years. :)
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Old August 21st, 2009, 12:24 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
I will be curious to know how you think 720 projects. That was my beef with SF and San Jose.
Well, I have mixed feelings about it. Compared to the SF screening this year (we all submitted letterboxed DV which was then projected stretched to letterboxed 16x9!) the San Jose one was great. It was clear, however, that they had some difficulty with the mixing of HD, SD & wide/standard films - they kept adjusting the projector slightly for each film, and ours ended up being cut off more on the left than the right and very slightly out of focus. I also heard the screening before ours had so much overscan that everyone's credits were getting cut off. Picture quality was definitely better, but the odd thing is that the opening promo materials were really bright and clear - and then all of our films looked a little dark and soft in comparison. Don't know what the difference was there... although it didn't help that a lot of films were just plain underexposed (especially those using 35mm adapters). Our film also had noticeable jittering during fast action scenes which isn't present in the original (although it's possible I was just too sleep deprived to notice it) so I'm not sure whatever they were playing back from was up to the job for HD.

Don't know the details but I heard that the few cities that accepted HD this year had to really fight for it - apparently the national organization was strongly against it. Not sure why - maybe simply concerns over the additional technical difficulties (which were clearly apparent for us) or if it comes down to them wanting to keep a more level playing field for those without the resources to shoot/post in HD.

In any case, despite the issues I mentioned overall I think the SJ projection was the best I've seen so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Evan, since we got Mocumentary, we watched Sur Mesure: Journeys in Transpersonal Haberdashery on Vimeo as inspiration. Having a solid 48 hour film as a reference was good motivation. Everybody laughed out loud. And then, being filmmakers, we picked apart what we wanted to emulate or avoid, and what we could and couldn't do with our resources. I get the feeling that our team will bring up "the hat mocumentary" at least once every August for the next few years. :)
Awesome! I look forward to seeing your film. Have you had your screening yet?
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Old August 21st, 2009, 12:46 AM   #15
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Thanks for the report Evan...
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