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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 12:04 PM   #1
David Simmons
 
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Framing

A question about framing our shots for an upcoming feature.

We will be using an as yet unpurchased Canon XL2, post in FCPHD.

I've always shot in 4:3 for corporate stuff but this will be in 16:9.

Can the viewfinder on the XL2 show any or all of the title safe / action safe / 4:3 overlays? Alternatively is there an afordable on set video monitor which will help?

The reason I ask is in the distant possibility that we don't get picked up by a major studio and distirbutor, who foot the bill for our Swiss answer print and subsequently remaster for a 'Full Screen' pan and scan DVD and movie of the week release, and we have to con some schmuck at the local public access station to show our movie but he refuses to do letter box.

If this highly unlikely situation comes to pass whet do we do?

What I am trying to figure out is whether we shoot 19:9 with a mind towards a 4:3 transfer, or simply refuse to sacrifice for our art and force all people to get wide aspect ratio plasma televisions as a minimum requirement for viewing our film.

WWKD? (What Would Kubrik Do?)

Any ideas or guidance?
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 12:06 PM   #2
David Simmons
 
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Frame (correction)

Sorry,

typo on the last post. What I meant was...

"What I am trying to figure out is whether we shoot 16:9 with a mind towards a 4:3 transfer, or simply refuse to sacrifice for our art"

(19:9? what a bonehead)
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 07:35 PM   #3
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David a lot of stations can broadcast in 14x9. You could shoot to be safe in 14x9 that way if you had to go to 4x3 format you would not loose to much info on the sides and in 16x9 it would not look to much out of place. What you would have to do is shoot in 16x9 but find a way to mark your cameras viewfinder to 14x9 and keep all of you subject in that space. If using graphics or titles you would have to make sure they are 4x3 safe. Do some experimenting in 16x9 and find someone who can arc the vision to 14x9 and 4x3 and see what it looks like. Good luck.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 10:04 AM   #4
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David,

If you are quick in noticing your 'typo' error, you can select the "Edit" button in the lower right corner of your post and change what you originally wrote. Any one who looks at the post after you correct it won't even know you made an error. Of course those who lurk here 24/7/365 may still snicker at the original post...but hey, it's a pretty supportive crowd.
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Old February 26th, 2005, 04:58 AM   #5
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I would shoot with what works for your movie, which is widescreen
for me personally. But I was on an XL1S (no true 16:9) and shot
in 4:3 and added letterboxing in post. On the XL2 it would be
more wise to shoot in 16:9 to begin with.

If I'm not mistaken the XL2 cannot show such overlays, you will
need an external monitor for that.

(you could perhaps type some non sticky tape directly on/in the
viewfinder to mask the area you want if you are going to shoot
in 4:3)
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Old February 27th, 2005, 02:29 PM   #6
David Simmons
 
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Framing (cntd)

I definitely intend to shoot 16:9. No question about it.

My concern was that in framing for the aesthetics of the wider aspect ratio, I might get into a difficult situation if I ever need to produce a version of the final movie for display on 4:3.

I have played with doing some basic pan and scan manually in FCPHD and if you take a LOT of time you can SOMETIMES make it look almost acceptable.

I just wondered if there was any practice, or rule of thumb out there which would make this conversion easier in post.

But as you said, I will probably just shoot for the best aesthetics of my project. I will have enough to worry about with managing performance.

Thanks
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Old February 27th, 2005, 02:31 PM   #7
David Simmons
 
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14:9

Also, thanks for the 14:9 tip.

That is a great heads up.

It gives me a wider aspect ratio but will make it less of a sacrifice.

Thanks again
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Old February 27th, 2005, 02:43 PM   #8
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"……and we have to con some schmuck at the local public access station to show our movie but he refuses to do letter box.……."

Can you define/refine the above? I should like my clients, whom I respect, to understand your verbiage.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 08:36 AM   #9
David Simmons
 
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replace shmuck with dude if you like

Simply a weak attempt at self deprication and humor.

I doubt if we will get local access broadcast OR a Swiss answer print.

No offence meant.
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Old March 1st, 2005, 05:13 PM   #10
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A variation on Rob's low budget option... Stick one of those clear PDA screen protectors on the EVF screen and draw your marks on it with a fine point marker. The only problem with those PDA screen protectors is they tend to be matte finish (or worse) and could make focusing difficult. I'd suggest clear packing tape, but that's bound to be a little too sticky for this application and I don't want to be responsible for what happens when you try to remove it. :-)

If you're really bold/crazy, you could draw right on the EVF screen with a fine point overhead projector pen and wipe it off later with a damp towel or lens cleaner.

If you do use some kind of tape or plastic film, make sure to leave some extra "overhang" so you have something you can easily grab ahold of to remove it.

-cw-
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