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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old February 13th, 2005, 04:02 AM   #1
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Setting up a shot

Question for experienced xl2 users:

Once you have framed the shot, anyone have a checklist or specific order you go thru before you hit the record button? e.g. do you set nd filter, a.e. shift, white balance, gain, presets in any particular order to get best results, quickly and most effectively?
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Old February 13th, 2005, 08:47 AM   #2
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I always set up the white balance etc, etc, before I even start to think of framing shots.
Once the camera is ready for the ambient conditions, then you're away...
..and that goes for any camera, any medium.

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Old February 13th, 2005, 09:41 AM   #3
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Re: Setting up a shot

<<<-- Originally posted by Jon Turner : Question for experienced xl2 users:

Once you have framed the shot, anyone have a checklist or specific order you go thru before you hit the record button? e.g. do you set nd filter, a.e. shift, white balance, gain, presets in any particular order to get best results, quickly and most effectively? -->>>

Roll Camera, Roll Sound... Soundman yells "Speed", Slate the Scene... Action :-)
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Old February 13th, 2005, 10:58 AM   #4
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Re: Re: Setting up a shot

sound and cam happen at same time. no gate to check either. cameraman, soundman, director, and writer are all the same person... ah, the joys of no-budget digital filmmaking! ;-)
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Old February 13th, 2005, 11:35 AM   #5
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I usualy do a check, framing the shot, check lighting, and do a white balance. Then a once over with sound (if possible, with subject for correct lighting and framing tweaks), then shoot it.
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Old February 13th, 2005, 11:49 AM   #6
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i guess what i'm really looking for is some advice on how you ensure consistency over the whole of principal photography. of course i want a unified look for all footage shot for a project, but there is some compromise when shooting in a variety of locations and lighting conditions. do you note all the tweaks you make to the camera, or do you rely on your eye to make the judgement for you?
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Old February 13th, 2005, 12:26 PM   #7
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Hello,

The main info should be on your slate for each shot, which corresponds to your shot-list and the notes that the script supervisor collects.

As far as consistency, well that is a function of your DP and Gaffer... and that is done at the request of the director who dictates the look of each scene.

Not all scenes need to look the same as they may be in different locations and you may want to accentuate that fact. Of coarse you can have an overall look and feel regardless of the differences in location ("Batman"/"Dick Tracy"), but again that needs to be thought out in advance and discussed with your DP, and ultimately the editor or person in charge of your color timing.

This is where art and science work together, but the Art dictates the Science :-)
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Old February 13th, 2005, 12:40 PM   #8
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specifically...

i take it you are an xl2 user, being on this board.

do you check all the settings on your cam before every shot? when you change your settings, in which order do you find you get the best results? white balance first? then gain, etc?

and do you note all the settings for every shot? this is the way i do it, i was just wondering if i was neurotic?! ;-)
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Old February 13th, 2005, 12:51 PM   #9
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Re: specifically...

<<<-- Originally posted by Jon Turner : i take it you are a xl2, being on this board.

do you check all the settings on your cam before every shot? when you change your settings, in which order do you find you get the best results? white balance first? then gain, etc?

and do you note all the settings for every shot? this is the way i do it, i was just wondering if i was neurotic?! ;-) -->>>

Hello,

use different gear for each job, but I do own an XL1, and an XL2.

I white balance my cameras at the same time and place for each sequence. I re-balance if I make lighting changes, that I want to re-balance for (again all cameras on the set would white balance against the same source) (I may want to add color or slight temperature changes to the scene, and of course I wouldn't white balance under those conditions).

I don't check my settings often as once I determine what they are, they stay there unless I make lighting changes, then of course I would modify the settings. I do not make changes during the filming of a sequence as it is a nightmare if scenes are different from one to another!

I do make sure that the camera crew haven't unintentionally changed something (myself as well if I am on a camera).

That is not neurotic, it is just good Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) :-)
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Old February 13th, 2005, 04:00 PM   #10
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Anthony brings up a valid point for a multi cam shoot. It makes editing real hard, when all cams are set up different.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 08:50 AM   #11
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Hello,

Yes, not only do I white balance, but I run tests on my cameras to see how to balance them them best way in the field, and I shoot a SMPTE Color Bar Card in the same position that my Balance card was in. Now I can do color match while editing much easier !

The hardest thing to do in the field is to follow your SOPs, especially while fighting time... and if the client tries to help....

James Bond Ejection Seat :-)
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Old February 14th, 2005, 03:24 PM   #12
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SMPTE Color Bar Card

that's a great idea, to shoot the color bars. where did you get the card? presumably it's a standardised thingummyjig
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Old February 15th, 2005, 05:14 AM   #13
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Hello Jon,

I actually printed one, so it isn't really SMPTE, but it still works for my stated purposes. You can generate color bars from within your NLE or Camera and print the frame.

You can get an official SMPTE Color Bar Card from many places, as well as other great cards used to align equipment, focus, etc. by searching via google (sorry to state the obvious). I did it before I printed mine out. They are not inexpensive, and I didn't need the precision for my purposes, so I didn't purchase any at that time. Bottom line is that I can't tell you of a specific place to purchase them, but I assume that B&H Photo, VideoGuys, and the other standard resellers would carry some of them.

See You :-)
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Old February 15th, 2005, 05:19 AM   #14
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thanks

yeah, tried googling, and nothing. i'll try the places you mentioned.

i guess it doesn't matter if it's the 'official standardised' card, as long as you use it purely for your own personal reference. still a great idea!
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