The Baseball - short 10 min film with A1 and Letus Extreme at

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).

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Old July 29th, 2008, 11:52 AM   #1
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Location: Boise, ID
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The Baseball - short 10 min film with A1 and Letus Extreme

Hey, all!

Check out my latest ten minute short film shot with my A1 and Letus Extreme!

Preset used was a modified TruColor preset. The following mods were made:

Gamma: Cine2
Blacks: Stretch (not pressed -- I prefer seeing more shadow detail)
Knee: Low
Pedestal: 0 (don't want to risk crushing blacks)
Setup: -9 (can't remember if that's what it was originally set at for TruColor or not...)

The night scenes were shot at night -- no post color work done. We tweaked the preset heavily towards the blues to compensate for our lights not being the right color temp and not having enough gels. So, color temp on the camera was cranked to 2800K, the preset was tweaked when that wasn't enough, and then we used a yellow or red gel on an interior light for one shot so that it would still look natural.

I wrote, produced, shot and edited the film (as well as composed and mixed the music). Directed by a good friend of mine while I focused on the technical stuff with the DP.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Canon EOS 7D, Final Cut Studio 2
Brandon Freeman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2008, 12:58 PM   #2
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Location: Orange County, California
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Being new to all this I can not be much of a critique to your shooting and production. I can however say this with all confidance, Excellent story and told in a manner that causes one to think. I am glad I stayed with it until the end. Nicely done Brandon.
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Old July 29th, 2008, 06:18 PM   #3
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Location: Sacramento, CA
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Well, I'll tell you this much. I clicked the link thinking about 35mm adapters, camera settings, angles, lighting, audio, etc... within two minutes I honestly got so wrapped up in the story I completely forgot to pay attention to any of that other stuff. That doesn't happen to me often. Very well done.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 06:24 AM   #4
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I thought it was excellent. Some shot compositions weren't great and some advanced colour correction would really take it up a notch but who cares about any of that for now - the story, music and mood of the piece more than make up for it.

Top work mate, I can't wait to show more people - and to see what you come up with next.


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Old July 31st, 2008, 03:07 PM   #5
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I thought the story was good and well shot for the most part. There were a couple line crosses and an eye line issue. I noticed these during the Wii sequence in the living room and when he is walking out of the house at night. Other than that I though it was well done and it kept me interested.
Mike A
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 01:09 PM   #6
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Thanks all for the feedback!

Regarding some eye-line issues -- with the Wii scene I suppose what I could have done to eliminate that was to use the close-up on Jenna in the beginning as well (as that was oriented properly). However, I wanted people to have a second to take in the environment, and as the editor, I felt that it was better to cheat the eye-line (not too terribly since it was between a centered wide and a close-up, I felt) than to immediately dive into close-ups. After her second swing, I did cut to the close-up which was properly oriented with Dan's eyeline, and used that for the duration of the scene.

Regarding the eye-line issue on the night scene with Dan leaving Jenna's house, that was more a lack of angles to work with due to a rapidly over-scheduled day. So we chose to keep the angles to those two, and we were battling with a van that couldn't be moved right next to Dan's car that the director didn't want in frame (on Dan's angle), hence moving to the proper side would have revealed it (though in retrospect I wonder if that was such a big deal). On the reverse angle (Jenna's), if we moved the camera to get her and Dan oriented correctly compared to Dan's angle, we would have lost all sight of the front of the house, and would have seen objects on Jenna's right (terrain and cars) that we didn't want to see, either. So, what I did to minimize the faulty eye-line line-up was to edit it so that we didn't cut back and forth between the two angles during the conversation, rather focusing on Dan (since his process at this point is more important, anyway), and cut back to Jenna after Dan leaves, thus reducing the cuts to a minimal number that maybe wouldn't feel as much like cutting back and forth.

Also, it aggravated me as an editor that I had not caught on set a few angles at the leaving scene not being completely level with the house -- as you can see, the door is slightly slanted on most of Richard's angles. It makes sense that I missed it, though as that scene was the pill scene that you always get when doing this -- that one scene that turns into a nightmare and everyone (mostly the crew, not the cast) ends up ready to eat each other. Also didn't help that this scene cut into our dinner break. :)

Also, regarding color correction, one thing that I have started feeling strongly about is the need to resist always trying to make images "pop" according to video standards, because film is much more subtle, a more humble medium that doesn't usually pop but rather paints. We calibrated the camera settings in order to get those qualities, as I feel they greatly contribute to the true "film look" -- my opinion is the great deception of what many claim to be the "film look" is high contrast and crunched blacks. The nice thing about the Cine2 setting on this camera is that it doesn't crunch the blacks, but rather brings the exaggerated video curve on the high end down to a more realistic plane. However, I am considering abandoning the stretched black setting for future films, and leaving it at normal. It seems that stretching the blacks introduces noise and might reduce genuine contrast a bit. However, for this film, I'm satisfied with the results.

Thanks again!
Canon EOS 7D, Final Cut Studio 2
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