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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old April 8th, 2005, 10:35 AM   #16
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Jim: Thank you for sharing the story behind your story. Your innovative ideas for using the GL2 have given me a ton of ideas for shooting my next project.

Can you talk a bit about how you used minidisc for audio? Did you mike the talent with a splitter? Did you use XLR-adapted microphones or 'phones designed with the miniplug? How did you maximize sound quality from your minidisc. I am trying to shoot a conversation on a chairlift, from the chair in front of the actors, and wanted to use minidisc planted on the actors for audio capture but need to figure out the logistics of it in advance, so that I don't torture them (or myself) with my learning process. Any hints? The more detailed, the better! Thanks!
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Old April 8th, 2005, 10:43 AM   #17
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Also, while I'm peppering you with questions:

How did you decide between shots using the in-camera 16:9 versus using the wd-58 adapter? Most of what I've shot is for TV broadcast (cable access stuff), and I'm still trying to make some sense of the wide-angle world. I don't really like the wide-angle looks I've been getting with the adapter (too much compression, doesn't shoot internal frames well, which I use quite a bit--too "Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" for me). So do you have any insight to share about the GL2 in-camera v. adapter 16:9?
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Old April 9th, 2005, 07:15 PM   #18
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custom presets on GL2

Evan -

I'm trying to reach way back two years ago in my memory to tell you what the presets were for "Scorpion." I believe everything was at the default except for the color phase pushed a bit towards green (IMO, this gives a more pleasing flesh tone on the GL2). black level was probably up a few notches. The "look" is really due to deliberately incorrect white balancing more than any special presets. This let us take natural lighting and make it look sometimes very surreal and stylized.

"Sundowning" uses a very different process. Since we knew we'd be running everything through Magic Bullet filters, and since tests had shown us that Magic Bullet does much better with very drab, neutral, stretched footage, we set the custom presets accordingly. black (or setup) level was around -3. Sharpness also at -3 (this seems to be a decent balance between avoiding nasty video sharpening, and becoming too mushy). Color phase again pushed a couple of notches toward green. Color gain at -3, at least. In most situations, the less color (especially red,) in footage, the less DV artifacts. I found that color information was very easy to retrieve in post, and that a post-enhanced red (in after effects 16 bit) is much more manageable that a bright red actually recorded on the tape. White balance was set correctly, and any particular color casts or effects were done in post.

Magic Bullet (with some tweaking) added back all of the contrast and color that we avoided during shooting. This combo seems to minimize artifacts, and to look pretty respectable on a big screen.
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Old April 11th, 2005, 10:23 AM   #19
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minidisc and wide-angle

Meryem-

1: We used one Audio-technica shotgun mic for the dialogue. It was adapted to miniplug for the minidisc recorder. The lightwave audio miniscreen was very, very valuable in getting rid of background noise. We had lav mics, but never really found them neccessary. Most important is a good crew person on the boom (especially if you're using a single mic). I found that Mic placement is incredibly important with this setup, so get a really good boom person. As far as sound quality, just monitor carefully through the minidisc... those things tend to clip very easily, so for shouting or loud sounds, you will need to back way off, or play with the record level. I wish I could help more, but I'm really only experienced with the specific gear we used.

2: wide angle lens: sounds like what you're asking about is an anamorphic 16:9 adapter, which we didn't have. All the footage used the in-camera 16:9. The WD-58h is just a simple wide angle converter, not a 16:9 setup. It was used seldom, mostly to compensate for cramped spaces. I've heard great things about using a 16:9 adapter, but to be honest it wasn't in our budget, and also I'm hestitant to limit the zoom range on the camera. The adapter will get you more resolution though, for sure. Just wasn't neccessary for this project.

Hope this is helpful
Jim
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Old April 12th, 2005, 02:03 PM   #20
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AE MB

What were your settings to deinterlace and I guess deartifact.

I have heard that you have to be very specific in AE so that MB can do its job.

BTW: AWESOME FILM, I can't stop showing the trailer to everyone.

Where can one see that film? or Rent or Buy?

Thanks.

Tom
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Old April 12th, 2005, 03:35 PM   #21
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Magic Bullet settings

Hi Tom -

Here are the settings we used to deinterlace to 30p:

Comp framerate is 29.97.

In the "interpret footage" window for each clip, switch "separate fields" to "off." Make sure the framerate is set to "use frame rate from file (29.97)"

Apply the Magic Bullet filter (this needs to be applied BEFORE any other filters... it will cancel out anything before it).

In Magic Bullet controls, click the "auto setup" button. Switch deartifacting to 4:1:1 (dv/dvcam).

We chose 30p for a slightly smoother look, but kept all the source files and AE comps so that we can render to 24p if we need to do a film out for some reason. For 24p, the steps are the same except that you need to set your comp framerate to 23.976.

We're not mass distributing these movies right now (still doing festivals), but I can make discs myself and send small quantities out for "educational purposes." If anybody is really interested in a copy, email me at jim@gumspirits.com.
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Old April 12th, 2005, 05:15 PM   #22
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Jim,

Thanks for being so thorough in your responses. It's really nice to see someone so comfortable with sharing details about how a project went through. You've definitely given me some insight about color-correction and turning down the phases on the GL2 while filming, and then bumping it up in post. Definitely something worth trying out (especially if the images turn out beautifully on a big screen).

Correct me if I'm wrong, but while I was watching the "Sundowning" trailer, I noticed that the scenes on the pier/boat seem to be shot at a higher shutter speed. Is that so? Perhaps it might be the compression for the internet that made it seem that way. I just wanted to know why you chose to go that route (if that is what you did). Thanks Jim!
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Old April 12th, 2005, 07:26 PM   #23
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shutter speed

Hi Allen -

Yes, many of the "action" bits use a higher shutter speed, though I think the web version (which is 15 fps) makes that stick out a lot more.

High shutter speed is just something I happen to like in some scenes; i see it as a very crisp, "you-are-there," documentary feel. It can make aggressive movements (such as the fight scene in the trailer) seem much more violent.

In bright exteriors where I didn't mind the high-shutter look, I would control exposure with the shutter speed, always leaving the iris as wide as possible to reduce depth of field. In scenes where we wanted a more fluid look, exposure was controlled with neutral density filters, and shutter speed was left at 60. Although the Magic Bullet manual will warn you about shutter speeds higher than 60, I didn't find that this was ever a problem.

Jim
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Old April 19th, 2005, 12:08 PM   #24
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Jim: Thank you for the generous and thorough responses. I will be absorbing all of the information in this thread for a long time to come, as I continue with my own modest experiments. This camera has so many possibilities, I don't seem to have enough time in the day to explore them all. Regards--
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 03:06 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cole
Hi Allen -

Yes, many of the "action" bits use a higher shutter speed, though I think the web version (which is 15 fps) makes that stick out a lot more.

High shutter speed is just something I happen to like in some scenes; i see it as a very crisp, "you-are-there," documentary feel. It can make aggressive movements (such as the fight scene in the trailer) seem much more violent.

In bright exteriors where I didn't mind the high-shutter look, I would control exposure with the shutter speed, always leaving the iris as wide as possible to reduce depth of field. In scenes where we wanted a more fluid look, exposure was controlled with neutral density filters, and shutter speed was left at 60. Although the Magic Bullet manual will warn you about shutter speeds higher than 60, I didn't find that this was ever a problem.

Jim

Jim,

3 quick comments;

1st: Congrats, superb work on many levels, really blew me away as to what can be done with the GL2. To think that I was about to Ebay 2 units with less than 100 hours each on the heads and upgrade to something like the Sony FX1 HD units, why oh why bother!

2nd: Your willingness to share tips and tricks is what makes this forum so great, a great lesson to be learned by all, keeping it close only hurts you.

3rd: I take it that it goes without saying but, the GL's were fully manual during these projects. I assume that at no time was any AV or TV preset used, or could I be wrong about that.

Again, WOW and great luck with future projects and festivals, in fact I think that the Scottsdale Indie Film Festival is going on here in my backyard either right now or in a short few weeks. Would be cool if you had a project in this one to catch some of the work on the big screen.

Regards,
MIGUEL
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Old April 25th, 2005, 08:25 PM   #26
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Hi Miguel -

Thanks for the kind words.

Yes, the GL2 was on full manual for the whole shoot.
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 01:16 AM   #27
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sundowning

wow, I wish I would have seen this sooner. Simply amazing video..great look to it. Well done Jim!
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 12:03 PM   #28
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Thanks Nathan, I appreciate it.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 08:16 PM   #29
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Jim,
I can't seem to view your trailer. Is there a chance that you have a broken link?

Thanks.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 10:02 PM   #30
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Hi Dave -

seems to be working on my computer... most likely the problem is with the version of quicktime you're using... I think you need to update to quicktime 7 to watch the trailer, since it's encoded with the H264 codec. If this doesn't work, let me know. I'm working on putting up a wmv version as well.

thanks!
Jim
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