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Old March 15th, 2004, 08:57 PM   #1
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Most Versatile Shooting Options

I am soon going to begin a project (using the GL-2), whose eventual distribution is unknown. - I could end up transferring to 35mm, be satisfied at 4:3 interlaced or any one of a number of options in between.

Could anyone give any tips or advice as to what method of shooting would be the most versatile for adapting into any eventual set-up? For instance, should I shoot in 16:9, in Frame Movie Mode, etc.?

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated. I would love to hear the downsides and upsides that others may have encountered.

Thanks in advance...

-Rusty-
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Old March 15th, 2004, 09:23 PM   #2
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Welcome, Rusty.

Before you start shooting, decide what your target will be and then do the research, ask questions, make a plan etc to guide you to maka sure you will be doing everything correctly. So decide first with what you want to do.
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Old March 15th, 2004, 09:38 PM   #3
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Not Sure

Hi, Frank... And thanks a lot for the welcome. This is an incredible site!

The reason I'm not sure about the project's eventuality is, due to my screenwriting endeavors, I'm fortunate enough to have a good representative in the film industry.

He has already tested the waters a bit regarding the project and we have an audience in place (for a trailer and possibly more) at New Line Cinema and all the way down to the smallest of direct-to-video distributors.

So, I don't know what I will be looking at for the finished product. In the best of all possible eventualities (my own fantasy) we could get a distribution on 35mm. We could also be looking at direct to video or even marketing the finished product on a website hosted by a free server. (Only kidding, I'll shell out the 10 beans a month to buy web space.)

This is why I'd like to shoot in a manner that will be most versatile. I plan on experimenting with all suggestions.

I would love to hear any advice or comments on any aspect of the technical ins and outs of the shooting and post-production.

-Rusty-
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Old March 15th, 2004, 09:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
This is why I'd like to shoot in a manner that will be most versatile.
There's no such thing. It's either for this, or this or that. Trust me.
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Old March 15th, 2004, 09:53 PM   #5
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I Believe You!

I understand, Frank...

So then, maybe I should look at this in a different manner. If I decide to shoot in 16:9, and end up with a piece that will be viewed largely on regular old 4:3 TVs, will that "squishing" be inevitable or are there effective methods for making a nice finished product? (I edit with Premiere.)

Also, would you advise shooting interlaced or de-interlaced? I'm not sure how effective the Frame Movie Mode is, although from what I've read, it seems to be a good choice.
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Old March 15th, 2004, 10:00 PM   #6
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Frank's right. You are asking questions that have no real answer. The most "versatile" format would probably be 60i/4:3. That is, shooting video as plain ol' video. If someone thinks your project can make them any real money they'll deal with the required details.
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Old March 15th, 2004, 10:18 PM   #7
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Very good point, Ken.

Thanks, guys, for being patient with my unanswerable questions. I've already picked up on a lot of great information simply by perusing the posts here.

I guess I was doing to you guys the same thing we see newbie screenwriters doing at our writers' posting board:

They'll be all concerned about things such as how many brads they should use to fasten their scripts and whether or not they should capitalize all sounds in their action lines. Truth is, if you write something great, nobody cares about the silly little details. If you write junk, then it doesn't matter if it comes with 14k Gold covers and J-Lo delivers it in person in a bikini! - It's still junk.

The same goes for me. I guess I'm asking a lot of questions that will all be made moot by the eventual quality of what's captured on tape.

Thanks again.
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Old March 15th, 2004, 10:38 PM   #8
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You hit the nail on the head (no pun intended), Rusty. Just as you might advise aspiring writers to focus on the mechanics of their crafts, we'd be inclined to advise aspiring filmmakers to focus on learning to use their cameras well and learning the mechanics of shooting well-composed / well-exposed footage to tell a visual story. The particulars of technical format are, to a great degree, incidental.
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Old March 16th, 2004, 01:00 AM   #9
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Shoot 4:3 Frame 16:9

Hi Rusty, welcome to a fantastic resource, back in 1998 when I purchased my first 3 chip digital video camera I decided to frame every thing in 16:9 as I was aware of the changing times, I have since been vindicated by this choice time and again.

If you shoot 4:3 and Frame 16:9 you are keeping your options open, in your case if I read it right you may have the oportunity to go to film, in this case by framing the shoot in 16:9 you can very easily crop in post production to 16:9 for film transfer.

But if a local network or what ever requires 4:3 you can offer this also.

It is so easy to do with the XL2 (GL2) as you turn on the 16:9 guid lines and shoot using these as a guide to your framing.

The purists out there will tell you that cropping to 16:9 from image shot in 4:3 will reduce the resolution, and they may be right technicaly but I can assure you from personal experience the quality loss on screen is very minimal if at all noticable.

Until affordable 16:9 3 chip cameras are available I would advise this course of action.

Hope this helps.

Regards, Cliff Elliott
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Old March 16th, 2004, 04:13 PM   #10
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Re: Shoot 4:3 Frame 16:9

<<<-- Originally posted by Cliff Elliott :

The purists out there will tell you that cropping to 16:9 from image shot in 4:3 will reduce the resolution, and they may be right technicaly but I can assure you from personal experience the quality loss on screen is very minimal if at all noticable.
-----------

i find myself in a situation not unlike rusty: at the start of a project which may be broadcast and/or have a theatrical release. would love to shoot in 16:9 because of what the ratio allows compositionally, but have been scared off... are you saying that you have blown stuff up that hasn't been anamorphically squeezed--just shot with the GL-2 using the guides--and you've been happy with the projected results? (i've heard something similar from a doc director re: her first feature.)

thanks,
phb
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Old March 16th, 2004, 06:59 PM   #11
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Thanks, Cliff, Ken and everybody. - Cliff, that info helps a LOT!

That makes perfect sense to shoot in 4:3, using the 16:9 framing. I would assume, of course, then if I were to letter box to 16:9, I would be in good shape for that. This solves a lot for me!

The last question I have, if you gentlemen don't mind, is should I shoot in the Frame Movie Mode? I would assume so, as I can see the obvious advantages of the 30 fps, but I'd like to make sure you guys believe that would be best.

Again, thanks for the help. If I can ever return the favor for someone with any type of screenplay help; notes or anything, please don't hesitate to send it my way.
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Old March 17th, 2004, 04:00 AM   #12
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The only place you're likely to run into problems with shooting in Frame Mode is in transfering to film. Converting the 30FPS to film's 24FPS probably won't turn out very good from what I've read about it.

If you shoot interlaced you can still use a deinterlacer on the computer to give you a similar effect as the Frame Mode and still have the option of using the interlaced footage to transfer to film.

But me, I'm not looking to transfer projects to film anytime soon so I shoot in Frame Mode.

Cheers,
Brian
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Old March 17th, 2004, 04:21 AM   #13
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There is a piece of software called DVFilmaker which will do a good job of de-interlacing your material. You also have the option of aspect-ratio conversion as well.
Take a look at: www.dvfilm.com

Robin.
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Old March 17th, 2004, 01:53 PM   #14
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I don't have anything to add, but welcome to the boards Rusty. We're somewhat near each other. It's always good to see more screenwriters in here.
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Old March 17th, 2004, 03:09 PM   #15
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Once again, thaks to all for the GREAT information!

Brian: That solves that piece of the puzzle for me. I edit with Adobe Premiere, so I took a look through the program, and found out it will de-interlace for me. So, I will definitely shoot interlaced, knowing I'm safe if I need to change it later.

Robin: I checked out dvfilm.com; great site. They certainly are the people who would kow about transferring to film, and right there on their FAQ page they stated to shoot interlaced video!

Marco: Thanks for the welcome! It is great to see others in such close proximity with the same interests!

This board is fantastic! I came in here stressing about learning the technical aspects of this undertaking, and you guys have made me feel MUCH more comfortable with the whole thing. I never imagined I could understand this much this quickly.

Thanks a lot!
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