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Old April 23rd, 2008, 11:54 AM   #1
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Feature I shot on XL2 In Tribeca Film Festival.

I shot a feature film for Melvin Van Peebles. It was accepted to Tribeca Film Festival and they are giving it 4 Screenings during the Festival!

It's completely shot on the Canon XL-2 - on land, under water, in the air, and on 3 different continents. It's a rollicking adventure that has Melvin Van Peebles on the run all for love. :) It's effects heavy, and it's a lot of fun and very touching.

You can see more information about coming to see it if you are going to Tribeca Film Festival here:
http://www.tribecafilmfestival.org/f...ted_Mutha.html

PS: Anyone have a contact over at Canon? I've used there Cameras for several high profile projects but I haven't reached out to them before.

Here are some screen shots from the film attached to the post:
Attached Thumbnails
Feature I shot on XL2 In Tribeca Film Festival.-melvinisback.jpg   Feature I shot on XL2 In Tribeca Film Festival.-15.jpg  

Feature I shot on XL2 In Tribeca Film Festival.-159.jpg   Feature I shot on XL2 In Tribeca Film Festival.-stillshot.jpg  

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Old April 23rd, 2008, 12:12 PM   #2
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Congrats John. These frames look terrific. I shot you an email.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 01:24 PM   #3
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Nice pics John! And a very cool looking trailer as well. Congratulations on the screenings!

Any way you can divulge info on how the XL2 was utilized (on land, water, and air!)?

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Old April 23rd, 2008, 04:55 PM   #4
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I'd like to know as well, John. Did you use the XL2 as it was or did you have different lenses/accessories?

Congrats on the screenings as well!

Jonathan
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 05:39 PM   #5
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That looks great!

Some of the scenes are almost blacked out on my screen though (which normally looks pretty good on darker shots). Did you color process in-camera or in post or a bit of both?

Melvin's the man ;)

Eric
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Old April 24th, 2008, 10:12 AM   #6
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Canon XL2 Specs

Hiya!

So when I'm shooting mini-dv I choose the Canon XL-2 for it's modularity and great glass! That's important to me when choosing a camera. I actually own the Canon XL-2 we used for this feature film.

The main kit for this whole feature was the mighty Canon XL-2 with the 16x Manual Lens outfitted with a CaVision 4x4 Matte Box with Pistol Grips.

This was rounded out with a Ikan 7' widescreen monitor, Pelican case, underwater housing (Ewa-Marine, which I own) and a rented underwater housing (Equinox) for a deeper dive.

I also have the 3x Wide and the Fisheye which I use as well with the Canon XL2, but I rarely used that on this feature.

It was very cool, almost died a couple of times shooting on set and off set, grabbed up by police while shooting, falling down cliffs during rock slides and the camera survive all of this.

The only time it didn't live - was when it was hit in rough waters by Salt Water - impossible for any electronics to survive that. It actually live for about 30 big waves. The last one my entire mouth was filled with water while yelling, but we kept shooting! Keep your water housing on even when on deck on moving boats. - luckily Canon handled the repair fast and quickly and we finished the feature with the refurbished camera which has pulled duty on some other high profile projects shot primarily with the mighty Canon XL2 :)

I'm a big fan of pistol grips. You never know when you are going to need them - and you can hold the camera away from your body so you don't get in the shot - even on tiny cameras. You can also orient the camera very evenly I find.

The film is shot 24p / 16:9 and we posted the entire film in Avid and is being digitally projected for Tribeca Film Festival I believe.

I'll post some more screen shots, and of course if you are going to be @ tribeca - find me and say hello and I'll sneak you into some parties :)

JT!
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Old April 25th, 2008, 04:34 AM   #7
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The screenshots look great! How did you get them so "clean", ie no lines across them (de-interlacing?) - when I take captures from my XL2 they're all jaggy (although the footage is crisp and clear).

Is it because I was shooting 50i; if I shot at 25fps would that make a difference?
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Old April 25th, 2008, 11:03 AM   #8
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John. That's great trailer. What sound equipments did you use?
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Old April 25th, 2008, 06:21 PM   #9
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Cool!

Congrats fellow XL2 feature maker. Screen grabs look good. Just thought I'd throw this into the mix. After we shot our 40 tapes - we uprezed them to HD and removed the pulldown via AE CS3 creating Pro-Res 422 files. This made the XL2 footage sharper and allowed better color information. Also true 23.98 footage is demanded by 99% of distributors, since they want an HD-CAM master w/ 8 channels of stems / splits / F&E / MSX.

Would you elaborate on your post processing? Did you de-interlace?
Also, did you shoot 24pA (2:3:2:3) or just standard 24. I believe Avid can de-interlace while you captured if the flags are correctly set to 24pA.

Best,
-C

Last edited by Christopher Drews; April 25th, 2008 at 06:24 PM. Reason: Addtions
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Old April 25th, 2008, 08:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Baker View Post
The screenshots look great! How did you get them so "clean", ie no lines across them (de-interlacing?) - when I take captures from my XL2 they're all jaggy (although the footage is crisp and clear).

Is it because I was shooting 50i; if I shot at 25fps would that make a difference?
Interlace means you're combining two frames into one, so you get those jaggies, a progressive frame means it's all captured at once, so each one is a single image.
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Old April 25th, 2008, 08:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Newcomb View Post
Interlace means you're combining two frames into one...
Incorrect. Interlace means you're combining two fields into one frame. Actually progressive works the same way since progressive is recorded to tape as pairs of fields just like interlace is. The difference is that in interlace, the two fields of any frame are acquired 1/60th second of a second apart. In progressive, the two fields of any frame are acquired at the same instant.
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Old April 30th, 2008, 01:55 PM   #12
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Hiya!


I used a really basic cheap SENNHEISER ME-66/K6 shotgun microphone for almost all the dialouge in the film.

We did standard 24p and upres to HD-CAM for the festival. It looks fantastic projected I might add. It is de-interlaced. I used Avid, and spit out a master for upres using the MXF files.

In avid you can easily get rid of those scan lines in your 50i/30i footage - they have a stock plugin in the latest versions that'll help you get it to 24p and it works well. Not sure how you pull it off in FCP. Even with the Canon footage, in certain shots or motion, you'll see the scan line artifacts since it's not like a film exposure or real progressive frame grabbing - but it's still excellent.

I know that it will be going to film for theatrical release which will pose a whole different set of challenges. Anyone have experience with this?

The Director's Guild screening is sold out for Thursday, I'll report how it looks on their screen. Here are a few more screen shots from the feature film.
Attached Thumbnails
Feature I shot on XL2 In Tribeca Film Festival.-e.jpg   Feature I shot on XL2 In Tribeca Film Festival.-180.jpg  

Feature I shot on XL2 In Tribeca Film Festival.-172.jpg   Feature I shot on XL2 In Tribeca Film Festival.-146.jpg  

Feature I shot on XL2 In Tribeca Film Festival.-6.jpg  
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Old May 1st, 2008, 04:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Drews View Post
After we shot our 40 tapes - we uprezed them to HD and removed the pulldown via AE CS3 creating Pro-Res 422 files....
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Threat View Post
We did standard 24p and upres to HD-CAM for the festival....
All this uprez talk, forgive my newbieness, but I use FCP and wonder how exactly do you do this? I'm thinking of going back to an XL2 and this info would seal the deal.
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Old May 1st, 2008, 11:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Threat View Post
We did standard 24p and upres to HD-CAM for the festival. It looks fantastic projected I might add. It is de-interlaced. I used Avid, and spit out a master for upres using the MXF files.
What??!?? Why did you have to de-interlace progressive footage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Threat View Post
In avid you can easily get rid of those scan lines in your 50i/30i footage - they have a stock plugin in the latest versions that'll help you get it to 24p and it works well. Not sure how you pull it off in FCP. Even with the Canon footage, in certain shots or motion, you'll see the scan line artifacts since it's not like a film exposure or real progressive frame grabbing - but it's still excellent.
What scan lines are you talking about? Why are you talking about 50i and 30i (the latter of which doesn't even exist, by the way)? Why didn't AVID remove the pulldown from your 2:3:3:2 24p and give you true 24p? Am I missing something, or is that exactly what you're saying? Is HDCAM interlace-only or something? If so, forgive my ignorance...I just don't want anyone who doesn't know any better to think that 24p on the XL2 isn't true progressive.
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 09:22 AM   #15
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I'm just learning as I go along. You don't have to de-interlace progressive footage - but that's what I did when I did my exports through the process I used to go to HDCAM for the festival.


Just an update. It looked good at the DGA theater as well. The details held up in the blacks - the blow outs in the whites look stylistic - although I cringe a little when I see them.
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