New 30 second commercial at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old August 16th, 2007, 11:11 AM   #1
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New 30 second commercial

Hello y'all--

Just finished this 30 second spot for the Elephant Butte Inn located in southern New Mexico. (Shot with XL2, 30p, soft f/x 3 filter.)

http://www.madjavaproductions.com/EB_Inn_30sec_Spot.wmv

Please let me know what y'all think.

Best,

--JA
www.madjavaproductions.com
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Old August 16th, 2007, 01:40 PM   #2
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Nice work! I think the subjects at the bar and the family & waiter at the table could have used a bit more light... it also would have been good to soften the sunlight on the side of the woman's face a little more. Other than that, well done!
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Old August 17th, 2007, 08:21 PM   #3
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Thanks for checking out the commercial Dale.

I agree about your comment about the bar being a bit dark. We were trying to make it look "authentic", and not make it too bright. Also, the restaurant/family is not as well lit as it should have been; we should've used the sunlight coming from the window for a better effect.

--JA
www.madjavaproductions.com
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 09:30 PM   #4
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Nicely done, Jeff. Looks very professional. Doesn't have any of that "local car dealer commercial" feel to it.

My only other thought...try panning left sometime. :)
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 07:21 AM   #5
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Actually, his choice to use pan-rights was a good one - on screen, things always flow left to right easier than they do right to left. This which means that, when you want a calm, easily flowing pan that relaxes the viewer and communicates a peaceful atmosphere, you want to pan right if possible.

Dale
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 07:28 AM   #6
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Nice job Jeff it looks really good.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 10:21 AM   #7
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I thought it was great. I didn't notice the pan issue at all, instead thought it had a really nice flow to it. The only weak part for me was just the lighting when he's getting the massage; it seemed a little dark, and a little too warm, but not horrid or anything like that. Did the client ask for the 4/3 aspect ratio? I try so hard to shoot 16x9 for all my stuff now.

Great work though, solid solid solid!
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Old August 24th, 2007, 12:21 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the compliments and replies!

This was our first work with a pro VO guy. At first he did sound a bit "car commercial-ly", but after a few takes, he toned down a bit. (Good thing we had him do several different takes.)

I would love to say that I planned all the pans to go right; but I didn't! (From my reality tv days, I was always taught that if you did one camera move, you do the exact opposite just to cover your @$$ in editing.) Unfortunately, some of my pan lefts turned out to be crap. Fortunately, most of my pan rights saved my @$$!

--JA
www.madjavaproductions.com
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Old August 24th, 2007, 11:32 AM   #9
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Hi Bert--

I would have to place the blame on my dear wife who was cam op when I was busily being manhandled by the massage therapist :)

Seriously though, our lighting skills need some work (that's why we practice and shoot, right?). As the XL2 takes wonderful images, we've been mostly shooting exteriors, until this commercial. So we've taken for granted that it'll take the same wonderful image indoors without "tweaking".

But we did purposefully shoot it warm (maybe too warm) with a definite orange hue.

As far as shooting 4:3, the client really didn't specify. I figured since the commercial will be airing in broadcast, the 4:3 format would be better. (But the dilemma is that the XL2 has native 16:9 chips--yikes!)

--JA
www.madjavaproductions.com
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Old August 24th, 2007, 12:55 PM   #10
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I actually like the warm feel of the massage scene, I do agree, though, that it is just a wee bit dark.

BTW, the chips aren't native 16x9 - the camera just make use of more of the chip when in 16x9. Read about it here if you haven't already.

Dale
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Old August 24th, 2007, 02:26 PM   #11
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Good job overall!

I would agree with the massage scenes, the color is actually leaning to the magenta a bit too much but a little color correction would help. The main problem is that the wall color is quite similar to the skintones in both color and intensity, so there is a lack of contrast. Flagging off that wall would have helped to bring some snap into the image (remember that lighting is as much about erasing light as it is adding it!)

I too think that the bartender could have used a little extra light, even if it was a backlight to give more snap. And if an "authentic" feel was in order, it probably would have been good to avoid getting the exterior doors in the shot, as there is a certain message sent about cocktails during daylight hours...!

Looks like you had some sort of jib for the bar shot--too bad you weren't able to use it for some of the more static shots or to replace some of the pans. Booming (and dollying) has a much more sophisticated appearance than a simple pan, more of a 3D effect.

Watching this reminded me of my first "real" job shooting local commercials in a small market in Massachusetts nearly 20 years ago--amazing to think how much less expensive and bulky the shooting gear has become (with a far better image)!
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Old August 24th, 2007, 03:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Stoltzfus View Post
BTW, the chips aren't native 16x9 - the camera just make use of more of the chip when in 16x9. Read about it here if you haven't already.
Beg to differ Dale. The chips are 960x480 which is actually wider than 16:9 (852x480). In 16:9 mode, the camera takes all those pixels and puts them into the 720 anamorphic pixel aspect ratio required by the mini-dv spec. In essence, it oversamples and that's why the camera really shines in 16:9 mode. In 4:3 it takes just the 720 middle pixels out of those 960. They are considered native widescreen sensors as the inactive pixels aren't considered as part of the image producing portion of the chip.

-gb-
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Old August 26th, 2007, 07:06 PM   #13
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Good work Jeff, just curious, did you created the wmv file yourself, if yes what settings did you use to get such a clear 'artifactless' cuts on the movement for the web viewing. It looks clean/smooth
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Old August 28th, 2007, 10:31 PM   #14
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Hi Charles--

Thanks for the comments and advice!

We used a jib (Kessler Crane) for the bar scene; and also used it for the pool shot, but the tilt was locked down (so the XL2 couldn't take a dive :).

Glad we could conjure up some memories about your first real commercial job. Hopefully, I can write back (in 20 years?) and talk about our first job!

And as far as the bar scene being authentic, come out and visit southern New Mexico sometime and you'll know that folks are drinkin' right when the bar opens (which is at 12noon :)

--JA
www.madjavaproductions.com
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Old August 28th, 2007, 10:38 PM   #15
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Hi Akwasi--

Thanks for checking out our work!

We used Premiere Pro to export to the web (as a wmv file). I'm not a web guru, so I had the help and guidance of Steven Gotz (Adobe wizard).

Unfortunately, we're travelling at the moment. (We're out and about in San Juan County, Utah; and just came from Lake Powell/Paige area.) So I won't be able to give you the exact settings that I used. Maybe when we get back I can get them to you.

--JA
www.madjavaproductions.com
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