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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 September 26th, 2004, 12:48 PM   #16
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Charles,
The couple you are talking about are Anupam and Kiron Kher. Anupam Kher is himself a director.
To be honest charles, I have no clue of what you'll do there, so maybe what seems like a lot to me may seem frugal to you. But would be interesting to hear about how you'll shoot.

Thanks for the advice about contacting the Lab. I think I will have to do that.
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Old September 26th, 2004, 01:20 PM   #17
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Adding to what Charles mentioned, transfering maybe a minute or so of footage to film to see the end result would be your best choice to confirm or deny any concerns you might have with the final look when blown to film for projection. I know DVFilm in the US will even transfer frame grabs to slides so you can see for cheap how it'll look. It won't show movement but at least for under $50 you'll be able to see if there's too much artifacts and softness for your liking.

And if your DOP already worked with video, he should probably already have a basic understanding of the limitations of the medium, but as someone else mentioned earlier, lighting for video is as much an art form as lighting for film is. Because DV doesn't have a lot of resolution, because it highly compresses color information, because the dynamic range is very limited, the DOP not only has to know the technical implications of shooting with this format (which is the easy part) but also know how to overcome those limitations and still create interesting and beautiful looking images out of it.

Charles mentioned 28 days later, and the fact that some scenes screemed small format video. Well I thought that this harsh and dirty looking footage actually added to the experience of this post-apocalyptic environment. They (director/DOP) were clever enough to realise that the content of the movie would fit the medium like a glove.

Likewise, having lots of close shots to concentrate on faces and cuting your film with tight shots (whether of people or objects) in a minimalistic surrounding should look much better than having wide shots and establishings in highly contrasting spaces (where the disadvantages of DV would show like crazy). This is something the DOP needs to be aware of before shooting and more importantly, be comfortable with. If he knows his craft and has a fair experience with video, this is probably the case. Discuss the matter with him to make sure you're on the same page.
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Old September 27th, 2004, 01:35 AM   #18
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You off-line on miniDV, then take your HD master tapes to an ONLINE edit and compile off your EDL.

Good day.


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Old September 27th, 2004, 01:48 AM   #19
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You off-line on miniDV, or beta or dvcam, I think that if you have the option HD is your best choice... depending on what you're shooting.
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Old September 27th, 2004, 08:39 AM   #20
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Yes, the shots in 28 Days Later that I had issue with were the wide shots inside the church at the beginning (hard to tell that it was a pile of bodies in there, it just didn't resolve) and some of the wide city shots, with the fringing and ringing around highlights that just don't contribute to a cinematic feel.
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Old September 27th, 2004, 10:27 AM   #21
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I agree, especially about the wide shots. It just does not go well with DV. Better to avoid them and construct the scene with tighter shots. Wonder if the XL2 would have faired better... ;)
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Old September 27th, 2004, 10:49 AM   #22
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<<Yes, the shots in 28 Days Later that I had issue with were the wide shots inside the church at the beginning (hard to tell that it was a pile of bodies in there, it just didn't resolve) and some of the wide city shots, with the fringing and ringing around highlights that just don't contribute to a cinematic feel>>

I think the other shots that didn't hold up very well were the "raod" shots where they had views of the english countryside. The chatter and lack of resolution in the trees and vistas was pretty noticeable.
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Old September 27th, 2004, 11:09 AM   #23
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"28 days Later" these issues are a fair price to pay and indeed negligible when one considers that the film, in all its dynamic splendor, would not exist, or simply would be another beast, and probably a lumbering one at that, if not for the existence of the XL1 and Co.
I would not mind having 28Days Later on my reel. And until I see better stories told for less money I will continue to rejoice on what we have at our disposal in the SD Kingdom.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 09:28 AM   #24
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To be quite honest, I consider myself a "shot on film" snob, on "28 Days Later" I thought they did a good job making the super 16mm look grainy and post-apocalyptic.

Imagine my surprise when I found out the film was shot on DV. I was shocked. In fact, I watched it again the other night because I still don't believe it. Maybe on the big screen it was different, but on a widescreen with DVD it slipped by me the first time.

The reason why? Because I was concentrating on watching the story the first time around. The second time around, I was watching the medium it was shot on. And I did notice that it was shot on DV.

I guess what I am trying to say is I think you have one chance to fool people and if you have a good story, acting, lighting and tight editing, you can do it.

But based on seeing "Open Water" on the big screen and "Personal Velocity" on TV, neither of which fooled me, I would say that what is going to make your DV film stand out is hiring an excellent DP and then making sure that DP has a full complement of lights as if the film had an $25 million budget. Otherwise, I think that DV fails on the big screen.

Maybe 24p cameras like the XL2 and DVX100a will make a difference.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 09:57 AM   #25
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DV doesn't fail on the big screen any more than film succeeds on the big screen. Content, vision, execution. DV is the polaroid print of the film world. Sure, 16x20 Ansel Adam's prints are superb, but it aint the format that makes them that way. And there are equally significant statements made on materials such as polaroid instant film, despite the many shortcomings inherent in the materials. I could not care less if there is moire on Joan of Arc's sack cloth garment as the smoke and flames gather around her.
Ok I wouldn't want to see Lawrence of Arabia filmed on mini DV, but there are unique stories to be told in this format.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 01:03 PM   #26
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<<<-- Ok I wouldn't want to see Lawrence of Arabia filmed on mini DV, but there are unique stories to be told in this format. -->>>

I think this is the most important point in a nutshell. Know what your medium can accomplish and work around its limitations. Because you're right, no one wants to see extreme wide shots of the desert on MiniDV. One that refuses to acknowledge that the medium and the story are irremediably linked will fail to achieve good results.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 01:21 PM   #27
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But...speaking of wide shots in the desert...check out "The King Is Alive," if you haven't seen it.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 02:50 PM   #28
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Exactly. THE KING IS ALIVE exploited the DV medium's ability to allow exhaustive searching for alternative narrative, and still managed to hold up well visually.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 02:57 PM   #29
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<<But...speaking of wide shots in the desert...check out "The King Is Alive," if you haven't seen it>>

I'm not familiar with it Bill. how was it shot (what cameras)? Was it a major release, indie, available on DVD?
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Old September 28th, 2004, 03:33 PM   #30
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THE KING IS ALIVE
Jim, I've no idea what happened to it in North America. I saw it in Europe.
It has been released on DVD. Filmed onMini DV, sorry can't recall the camera but it was filmed around 2001 so that should give you an inkling, compared to todays technology. It was shot under the "How much is that Dogme in the window" manifesto.
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