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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.


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Old March 6th, 2008, 04:22 PM   #1
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A beautiful sight!

Sorry, friends, just a proud father showing off a little here!

I'm in the middle of shooting a promo piece using my XL2 coupled with a rented Mini 35 adaptor and a set of Nikon primes. My gaffer took these pics while we were shooting with a couple of the longer lenses and I just had to share them! I can't imagine going back to the humble stock lens now (but sadly I will have to - that kit ain't cheap).

Pictured is Alvaro, my cameraman/DoP on the current project (he also owns the Mini 35 and cine lenses). I'm the fat guy in the black sweat-top. If you ever get a chance to work on a project with an experienced DoP I highly recommend it. It has raised my game tenfold. Quite how I got away with things in the past I will never know!

Cheers,

Ian . . .
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A beautiful sight!-alvaro-.jpg   A beautiful sight!-ian_alvaro.jpg  

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Old March 6th, 2008, 05:02 PM   #2
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Sweet.

Thanks for sharing. The setup looks great.

-Jon
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Old March 7th, 2008, 09:55 AM   #3
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Wow. Cool pics. Must be nice to have $$ to rent stuff. :) I agree with having a DP...the one I worked with made my stuff look like crap. HA!

Thanks for sharing, Ian.

Jonathan
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Old March 7th, 2008, 10:19 AM   #4
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Thanks gents,

I just wish I was given the budget for this on every project!

My DoP, Alvaro, was an absolute star - but I did work my way through over 200 applicants for the job before I decided on him. I wanted someone who was format agnostic - ie someone who had wider knowledge than just video. His showreel is superb and contained three or four clips that captured exactly what I was looking for in this piece. I also wanted someone who had worked with film cameras (he owns one) for the experience with cine lenses. But I feel for ya - if you get a duffer you're in trouble!

Cheers,

Ian . . .
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Old March 7th, 2008, 03:18 PM   #5
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Looks like a lot of fun! But how have you got the finder clipped on there... the mic mount is pointing straight up :)
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Old March 7th, 2008, 03:22 PM   #6
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Ha! It's a miracle! Told you this guy was special ;-)
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Old March 9th, 2008, 06:45 PM   #7
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Geesh Ian,

Why'd you have ta' give me lens envy for!?!

Best,

--JA
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Old March 9th, 2008, 11:08 PM   #8
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It's easy Jeff, the viewfinder is hooked on the lens adapter.

Luc
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Old March 10th, 2008, 03:08 AM   #9
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Exactly, Luc.

Jeff A : My wife has just reminded me that it isn't the size . . . etc., etc. Sigh . . .
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Old March 10th, 2008, 01:39 PM   #10
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And I had to convince my wife to buy the 3x wide angle lens :)

Sorry; just thought I'd add to the XL2 craziness...

--JA
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Old March 10th, 2008, 07:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Stark View Post
Exactly, Luc.

Jeff A : My wife has just reminded me that it isn't the size . . . etc., etc. Sigh . . .
Sometimes, all they really ask for is a 'cannon' that 'shoots'.....er, Canon...sorry...that was probably uncalled for.

j/k

-Jon
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Old March 13th, 2008, 08:36 PM   #12
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Wow, nice looking rig! Love to see some stills.

Curious what you found most enlightening (pun intended) while working with an experienced DOP. Knowledge of lenses, lighting, camera angles, stabilizers?.. or was it just a combination of everything?
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Old March 14th, 2008, 03:28 AM   #13
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Hi Greg,

For a good few years now I have been 'winging it' when it comes to getting lighting right on corporate shoots. I've done OK though, and I'm very happy with much of the work I've done - more to the point my clients like it and I've built up a reputation I'm proud of, with a great client list (Virgin Atlantic, T-Mobile, Sprint, and a load of names UK people will know like New Look, The Co-Op and Debenhams).

BUT, typically I have worked with just a two person crew (me = director/camera; my business partner = lighting/sound). We are completely self-taught (I'm an obsessive reader) with a lot of guidance from the good people here at DVi thrown in!

The long and short is that I have never been totally happy with our lighting or sound. We just got away with it rather than doing it right first time. I have wasted hundreds of hours in post trying to put right problems and then explaining it to a client as 'a creative choice'! It was clear we needed to raise our game.

So I decided that on the next big project I would hire an experienced crew with a view to watching every move they made and asking a thousand questions. I explained this up front to the hundreds of people that applied for the jobs and eventually chose a team who I felt had the right skills and the patience required to put up with me looking over their shoulders for a week (without giving it away to the client that I wasn't the brilliant director they thought they had hired!).

So that was the rationale - and what I came away with was a tenfold increase in my understanding of lighting scenes and the care a good DoP will take to get things just right. Also I benefitted hugely from his lens knowledge. In terms of camera angles, framing etc, I am quite confident in my own ability in these areas so I called the shots. I did, of course, take on board any suggestions he had and I tried not to be too rigid with my pre-conceptions of what a shot would look like.

All of this hands-on knowledge augmented and beautifully complemented the masses of written material I've studied from in the past. The only downside is that I always want to work with a DoP now (but can't afford to!).

Same situation with audio - for years I have done what many of us probably have done at one time or another - used a music bed to mask aircon and other noises! My audio was acceptable but not outstanding - a combination of limited equipment and lack of skill. Our experienced sound recordist pretty much gave a running commentary on what he was doing at any time and why and, again, that gave us a wealth of knowledge to add to our basic understanding.

I can't recommend it too highly - it's well worth the investment and it's like having your own personal tutor team on hand. Plus your project will (hopefully) look even better.

I haven't finished principal photography with this crew yet - we have further days next week and then in early April, with the project due for delivery in June, but the client has just commissioned me to make a teaser for their website so I'll post a link to that when it's ready.

Cheers!

Ian . . .

Last edited by Ian Stark; March 14th, 2008 at 05:45 AM. Reason: typo (REALLY stupid one - "dayes" - what the hell are they?)
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Old March 14th, 2008, 10:37 AM   #14
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Thanks Ian,

I found that "enlightening" indeed! I'm just a hobbyist but even so I run into situations where I wonder what a "pro" would do.

-Greg
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Old April 26th, 2008, 07:25 AM   #15
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http://www.film-it.net/client/montes...ler_v202-1.wmv

For anyone interested in how the project is shaping up, this link should take you to a low res version of the teaser that is going up on the client's website next week.

It has a few examples of where those cine lenses and the Mini 35 can deliver a shot in ways the stock lens can't easily achieve.

Actually it isn't this version that's being posted on their site as I have to do some work on the audio, which is harsh in places. Also, the background music is just a placeholder courtesy of Cinescore. Not sure if I'll be using that or a piece that's being composed for the full video. Anyway, this gives you an idea.

Critique and suggestions welcomed.

Ian . . .
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