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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old September 12th, 2005, 11:47 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Gladwell
It has created a culture of wanabe filmmakers who think 24p and DOF are a higher standard. The introduction of 24p and DOF, as a be-all, end-all, do not create or add to "a higher standard of quality" in film.
Jay, the culture that I was referring to is the culture of American movie watchers, not movie makers. And the standard I was referring to is not "higher." It is an artificial standard. Let me clarify.

People go for years to the theater and see movies that, because they are shot on a certain type of equipment, have a shallow DOF and the motion characteristics of 24 fps. Since what you see in the theater is associated with something of a high quality, people have created a false association between 24p/shallow DOF and the concept of high quality.

This isn't about filmmakers. This is about the ordinary person and what they have come to associate with quality.

Getting a camera with 24p and a M2 to create shallow DOF is simply trying to achieve this artificial standard that the normal person has come to equate with high quality. In other words, I am trying to create images that the everyday person will associate with something of high quality.

That doesn't mean that it truly IS high quality. That is a completely subjective discussion for another time.

On the other end of the spectrum is the video look (high contrast and detail in motion, low DOF) that from the days of early camcorders people have come to equate with low quality. Now cameras have come so far that they aren't low quality anymore. However, the characteristics that make them a higher quality are the same ones that people originally associated with low quality.

Does that make any sense?
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Old September 12th, 2005, 12:26 PM   #47
 
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Yes, Kelly, I understand what you're saying. I guess where we're in disagreement is that I do believe the filmmakers worry more about it than the audiences do, unless that audience is made up of filmmakers.

In all my years, I've never heard an client, or audience member, say: "Man, film that would have looked a whole lot better if you had shot it in 24p or if it had had a shallower depth of field."

As someone above pointed out, it's probably nothing more than a cyclical fad.

It's not my intent to say you, or anyone else, is wrong. I'm only trying to point out that it takes far more than 24p or shallow DOF do not determine the worth, artistically, narratively, or any other way, make or break a film.

There was a post elsewhere in the forum where someone (a new "filmmaker") had listed all this expensive gear that he'd just bought. I have no doubts that he thinks all this great, cool-looking, expensive gear is going to make him the next Stanley Kubrick, and nothing could be further from the truth!

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Old September 12th, 2005, 12:55 PM   #48
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I am not against the 35 adapters, I just dont get it, especially someone building from scratch. If you are going to shoot a movie you will need several 35mm primes. I guess you could go with the cheaper ones but in DV land that could cause some real aberrations.

I also think we need to establish that there are 2 groups of people here. Those who are aspiring film makers and those who are working professionals. As a working professional, if someone says they want "XXXXX" look I tell them what it will cost. I have a shoot this weekend with an XL2 and a shoot next week with a Varicam. If I was trying to make movies with a low budget on my own, I suppose a mini35 set-up would make more sense.

I generally maintain that many people building these mini35 set-ups have never used a 2/3" CCD cam. The Panny Varicam will shoot 24P in almost no light, with a TINY DOF and has a set of image controls that are unrivaled.


ash =o)
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Old September 12th, 2005, 01:09 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Gladwell
There was a post elsewhere in the forum where someone (a new "filmmaker") had listed all this expensive gear that he'd just bought. I have no doubts that he thinks all this great, cool-looking, expensive gear is going to make him the next Stanley Kubrick, and nothing could be further from the truth! Jay
Jay,

Have to disagree with you on that statement.

Who cares about how expensive the equipment is? And who cares if someone wants to think they can be the next Stanley Kubrick. More power to them if they do.

I was under the impression that most people here listed their equipment so they could talk about the best ways to use it.

This is just a place for us to talk about making things work (at 2:00 p.m. or 2:00 a.m.). You've got an XL2, I've got an XL2... let's talk about the settings. You're using velcro to mount some equipment on your Canon Adaptor holder, great idea, I'll do the same. Or as seen at the top of this thread - You're looking for an answer to "What is the difference between a micro35 unit and the XL Mount Interchangeable Lens System?" Here it is... etc., etc., etc.

When I see people in this forum with expensive gear (which seems to me like most of the people here), I never try to figure out their motivations for having it.

Last edited by Guest; September 12th, 2005 at 04:04 PM.
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Old September 12th, 2005, 01:27 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Greyson
I am not against the 35 adapters, I just dont get it, especially someone building from scratch.
Yes, I agree.
Also worth remembering is that even with your Varicam which CAN do 'tiny DOF', you wouldn't want to ALL THE TIME.
The key is to use all these tools we have at our discposal WHEN THEY ARE CALLED for. Subtlety is the key here I think. If placed right, it can ADD to the visuals by directing the viewers where the director wants them to.
I watched a short film recently that used a 35 adapter to it's fullest extent in all but one tiny scene. It was a big distraction, and added NOTHING to the story, although individual screen-grabs did look very cool; BUT: nice pictures a good movie not make!

My $0.02

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Old September 12th, 2005, 02:59 PM   #51
 
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Derek, in post #43 above I said, and I quote...
Quote:
Having said all that, if that's how a person wants to spend his money--more power to him. That's his right!
Just like buying a battleship to go fishing in is the buyer's right,too. However, in such instances it does not always exhibit a great deal of wisdom.

Come on, now, how many times have folks posted here "I just bought __________ (fill in the blank), can someone here tell me, please, how to use it?"

OR...

"I just bought a shipload of really cool, expensive gear. I'm planning to shoot a movie that we're gonna transfer to film as soon as it's done. Can you good people please tell me how to accomplish all this? And by the way, we're starting the shoot this Saturday. Thanks!"

I'm talking about the people that buy equipment they have no clue how to use or why.

{edit}
Derek, a thought just came to me...

Perhaps I'm frustrated because there is so much focus on the "technical" and little or no focus on the "art" of filmmaking, which I firmly believe is evidenced nearly everywhere we turn these days--from Hollywood to here.

Jay

Last edited by Jay Gladwell; September 12th, 2005 at 03:23 PM. Reason: New thought
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Old September 12th, 2005, 04:00 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Gladwell
Perhaps I'm frustrated because there is so much focus on the "technical" and little or no focus on the "art" of filmmaking, which I firmly believe is evidenced nearly everywhere we turn these days--from Hollywood to here.
Hear, hear!

Excellent point, and one that we should all be reminded of every now and then.
If one has a good idea, and some talent, a "good" movie can be made with a $50 tube camera bought off eBay.

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Old September 12th, 2005, 05:08 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marius Luessi
Hear, hear!
If one has a good idea, and some talent, a "good" movie can be made with a $50 tube camera bought off eBay.

Cheers,
Marius
http://vidled.com
No, you can't make a "good" movie with a $50 tube camera off ebay.

It is all about balance. You need a familiarity with the tools of your art in order to transfer your vision more accurately. There is nothing wrong with having an interest in the intimacies of the tools your are using. If nothing else, that allows you to create something that more closely resembles the movie you see in your head.

In my instance, I saw in my head a movie with 24fps motion characteristics and a relatively shallow DOF. I did my research and now I have the tools to get closer to my vision.

That doesn't mean that I have forgotten things like a good story or good actors or good sound or good cinematography or that I think they are less important somehow.

Now, maybe other people have gotten swept up in the technology and they have forgotten the other things that are important. I don't fault their interest in the technology. I just simply say their films suck.
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Old September 12th, 2005, 05:45 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Wilbur
No, you can't make a "good" movie with a $50 tube camera off ebay.
Hmmm.....a challenge? :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Wilbur
There is nothing wrong with having an interest in the intimacies of the tools your are using.
No, definitely nothing wrong with that. But then again, one could have interest in the intimacies of the $50 tube cam off eBay also! :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Wilbur
I just simply say their films suck.
Hehehe....good one, that!

Nice discussion; it's a very interesting subject, tech vs. art.
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Old September 12th, 2005, 06:14 PM   #55
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Marius -

It's not technology vs. art. The two are not mutually exclusive. It's a matter of using the two together and finding the right balance for what you want the final product to look like. Some use more than others, and each person who's shooting video will have their own idea of how much of each that they want to use.

Last edited by Guest; September 12th, 2005 at 08:46 PM.
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Old September 12th, 2005, 06:18 PM   #56
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actually, you can make pretty good videos with cheap equipment. back in the 90s, the fisher-price pixelvision camera was all the rage among art school indie filmmakers. i remember screening some stuff at a film festival by a teenage filmmaker named sadie benning who shot her stuff with, basically, a child's toy. in her bedroom, using barbie dolls. and her stuff was great!

now several of our own dvinfo-ers are attempting to resurrect the pixelvision camera, the irony now being that these gadgets are collector's items, and you have to plunk down $250 or more on ebay to get one, about the same price as the cheapest single-chipper DV camera.

with a single-chipper and a set of 24p filters, you can probably make a pretty good video that looks relatively film-ish.

progressive video and the available filter sets are the real revolution because they remove the video sheen. i tell you, your average college student cannot tell the difference.

i don't think anyone is telling anyone else how to spend their money, but i, personally, think it is helpful to have these discussions, to distinguish what we want from what's really necessary, and why it is necessary. in my dvinfo dalliances, someone, somewhere, i don't know who, but i'm sure someone's snide comments once saved me from buying a mattebox!
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Old September 12th, 2005, 06:19 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek West
It's a matter of using the two together.
Very true.
Just sometimes they just don't get along and start fighting with each other. I hate when that happens!
In Hollywood, tech normally wears gloves with weights in them, and subsequently tends to win out most of the time.
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Old September 12th, 2005, 06:56 PM   #58
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Jay,

I agree with you on your last post. But I do think there does have to be some focus on the technical. Like Kelly said above -

"In my instance, I saw in my head a movie with 24fps motion characteristics and a relatively shallow DOF. I did my research and now I have the tools to get closer to my vision."

Personally, I'm more of an artistic type than a technical type. But when I set forward with the idea of making some nice videos (for testimonials, talking heads, etc) I knew what I wanted the result to be, and had to make sure I had the right tools to make it a reality. And everyone here in the forums probably has their own personal preferences on what equipment they feel that they need to accomplish their own film or video goals.

And frankly, I was really forced into the technical side, because there are so many components like sound, light, framing... the list goes on and on, that you have to balance to have nice final products.

I'm a total novice at this, but since I'm 32, I can't go back to school and take 4 years of film school (although I would really like to do so). So I'll have to learn through "doing," making mistakes and every other channel that I can. This forum was/is a great place to do so. Mostly, I've learned just from reading threads. Most of the answers are out there if you just do a quick search. It's great!

- - - -

Marius

Yes, I've even seen tech with a light sabre.

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Welcome to DVinfo.net Brian!

Last edited by Guest; September 13th, 2005 at 08:49 AM.
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Old September 13th, 2005, 12:57 AM   #59
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Technology Versus Art

Sometimes it pays not to discuss the technology. I had an interesting discussion a while back with someone who made a wildlife series for a mainstream broadcast channel here in the UK, who is an avid XL user.

When he submits footage for broadcast he doesn't tell the broadcaster that it was shot on the XL camera. Instead he transfers to digi-beta and submits the work on this format. Why ? Because the broadcasters are hung up on technology and think that anything less than digi-beta is inferior.

I've seen one of these films. The subject matter captivates you and you simply don't notice the difference, because he used the technology to capture the art. He had a mix of film and DV formats in film, and unless pointed out, you don't notice.

The point here is that technology matters alot, he chose the XL camera for technical reasons (attachment options, portability, and all the reasons why we choose to use it), but the art is more important. Use the tools and all the technology you need to capture and create the art that you want everyone else to see.
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Old September 13th, 2005, 07:03 AM   #60
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Declan Smith
Because the broadcasters are hung up on technology and think that anything less than digi-beta is inferior.
Yes, that's my point. It could be made to read, "Because __________ (fill in blank) is/are hung up on technology and think that anything less than ___________ (fill in blank) is inferior."

I had a potential client call last week from Barbados wanting something shot. He asked what kind of camera we used. When I said "Canon XL2" there was a long pause. Then he asked, "Do you not have access to a higher-end camera?" I wanted to say, "Sure, we can rent an Arriflex D-20," but I didn't want to tick the guy off.

Bottom line? I have great distain for techno-snobs.

Jay
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