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Old March 2nd, 2005, 09:32 PM   #1
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Wow! Awsome GL-2 Trailer

Movie shot with a GL-2

Shows what good lighting and sound can acomplish.

http://gumspirits.com/sundowningtrailer.html

http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0443658/technical
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 12:50 AM   #2
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Wow

I must admit, as a GL2 user, I am surprised by the quality of those images.... then again, it is a hardy little camera. I don't look forward to giving it up for my XL2, but then again, maybe I'll keep it on...
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 10:29 AM   #3
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IMDB list of movies shot with a GL2, some with trailers.
Day of the Scorpion has some night scenes.

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Old March 3rd, 2005, 12:46 PM   #4
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As someone said once, anything within the semi-professional range or above can be made to look like the real deal.

When you have a GL2, VX2100 or better you can't really blame the camera too much for the final result...
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Old March 4th, 2005, 04:28 PM   #5
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I wonder if they shot w/ the 16:9 setting of the camera or used software to snip it. My guess would be the software as a lot of the close-ups start at the hairline and the resolution is very good. Anyone else have any idea or agree with that?


This thing looks great!!
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Old March 4th, 2005, 05:37 PM   #6
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Not only does it look great, the writing, acting, and editing are excellent -- all of which count toward the "look" as well.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 05:39 PM   #7
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You're absolutely right!! Who is the guy that did this stuff. Anyone you've heard of?
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Old March 7th, 2005, 12:30 PM   #8
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How much color correction do you guys think was done in post?
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Old March 8th, 2005, 01:01 PM   #9
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Don't forget the trailer is small. MY video looks pretty good too if I leave it at 100% or 50% of it's size. Certain scenes of his look really good though, but I've seen better. He's not very artsy, he's more like into reality editing.
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Old March 14th, 2005, 08:50 AM   #10
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thanks everybody -

Hi everyone... Just stumbled across this thread... I'm the guy responsible for these pics.

Thanks for your kind comments.

I've finally retired my GL2... Next movie (shooting this summer) will be on Panasonic Varicam HD. BUT in my opinion, GL2 was/is one of the best things going in DV, especially if on a budget that won't allow an XL2... incredible what this tiny little camera can do.

To answer your questions: "Day of the Scorpion" was cropped to 16:9 in post... "Sundowning" was shot using in-camera 16:9. The theory is that, since there is less actual data hitting the ccds when using in-camera widescreen, less compression is applied. Supposedly there's actually a gain in quality (this does not hold true for all cameras; i've been told to avoid it on a Sony.)

Actually very little lighting is involved in these movies. Both were shot at a breakneck pace with very little money, so there was no time for precision lighting or camera moves... just a question of knowing how to angle the camera and position the actors to make the most dramatic use of available light. Try to create a key, fill, backlight, etc. with what's actually there, by moving actors and camera in relation to the light, rather vice versa. However, obviously, good lighting is crucial when it's called for. For example, all night footage in "Sundowning" was shot VERY bright to avoid grain, then darkened in post. Gain was always set at 0, iris usually wide open to reduce depth of field. The camera is usually back 10-20 feet from the actors, then zoomed in, again for shallow D.O.F. (just a look I happen to like.)

"Scorpion" uses very little color correction... just a "Diffuse Glow" photoshop filter applied through Premiere. Color effects were all achieved by "tricking" the white balance... for example, white balancing to an orange card for a "colder" look, white-balancing to blue for a pink, "warmish" hue. And all sorts of other combinations. "Scorpion" was shot in frame mode (fake 30p).

"Sundowning" was deliberately shot very low-contrast and low-saturation, then edited (with straight cuts, NO rendering) in Premiere, then processed in After Effects, in 16 bit, using Magic Bullet to add contrast and diffusion. Only rendered/recompressed once to DV. Magic Bullet seems to work best with very neutral, gray, washed out footage, so the whole movie was shot with this in mind. If you turn the saturation WAY down in the custom presets menu of the GL2, you can avoid the DV artifacts associated with oversaturated colors, reds in particular (blues and greens seem to be better.) Then, after recording very muted color, you can bump it back up to full saturation in post, in 16 bit color in After Effects, where DV artifacts are much easier to control and minimize.

In order to maximize the resolution of the camera, we avoided frame mode and deinterlaced to 30p in Magic Bullet.... LOTS of rendering time, but noticeably better resolution. Magic Bullet isn't really a "film-look" (I'm not personally a fan of those), but it does create a unique and dramatic look for DV.

I have seen both movies projected on BIG screens at film festivals... "Scorpion" suffers due to lower resolution from frame mode, cropping, etc. "Sundowning" however, looks great... no visible artifacts or DV "blocks", high contrast, almost no jagged edges, very sharp and clear, but not harsh. It actually looks far better than the trailer when it's blown up... don't forget the trailer is highly compressed (and I'm far from an expert on compression for the web). If anybody's in Boston, you can see it on a big screen at the Independent Film Festival of Boston, end of April.

Also there are a couple of scenes from the movie up on the website here:
http://www.gumspirits.com/scenes.html

Dave Ferdinand wrote above: "As someone said once, anything within the semi-professional range or above can be made to look like the real deal."

I agree with this completely...it's all a question of camera style, lighting (or smart use of available light), a little technical homework... and, yes, good actors make the pictures look better!

Anyway, I'm not an expert, but happy to answer any questions based on my experience.

-jim
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Old March 14th, 2005, 11:19 AM   #11
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Hey Jim, did you do a lot of handheld shots or some kind of steadicam/glidecam. What tripod/head was used, mic, etc. Your stuff looks and sounds very professional. Great job!!
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Old March 14th, 2005, 12:10 PM   #12
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Jay -

There is a lot of handheld work. We did have a glidecam but used it very seldom... actually not at all on "Sundowning." I'm not a big fan of steadicam/glidecam work for this sort of movie...my feeling is that if you're shooting low budget without expensive gear, then it's better to make the most of that look, rather than try to fake a slick, expensive look... 'cause it never looks quite like the real thing unless you've got the big toys and the big cameras (and the money). For shooting low-budget DV, I think a raw, unpolished look can be very appealing and vibrant... doesn't have to look plain or "home-video"ish. And I think it helps avoid that stiff, stagey, over-planned, amatuer movie look. That's just my opinion, though.

We had a 14 foot jib, only used for 4 shots (in a 2 hour movie). We had a DV rig pro, which I used for about 50% of the handheld work. This rig actually does very little to stablize the camera, but it does make long handheld shoots a lot more comfortable, and takes out some of the jitters due to arm fatigue.

Tripod head from Giotto, Bogen legs. Audio-Technica shotgun mic with a Lightwave Audio Systems windscreen. Audio was recorded to minidisc. We chose the second audio system so that we could pull the camera way back (to get shallow D.O.F.) without tripping over cables. Remember that a good 25% of "Sundowning" was shot on small, moving boats, so extra cable was avoided at all costs. We used the Canon WD58h wide-angle converter for some shots.

Jim
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Old March 14th, 2005, 12:24 PM   #13
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I would have to agree with that also. I don't want a fake big budget movie look that can't really be pulled off. The way you did this just looks terrific. Good work getting that kind of look, talent working together, and technical mix. You definitely have a nice originality and sense of style.

Jay

(What model Audio-technica mic and which model tripod head?)
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Old March 24th, 2005, 07:43 AM   #14
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I believe it was the audio technica at-835b with Lightwave Miniscreen, and a Giottos MH5001 tripod head.
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Old April 8th, 2005, 02:30 AM   #15
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hey jim i saw your trailer and thought your footage looked amazing. what were the custom presets used for each movie?
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