First Film on XL2 - Fuhrman at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old July 14th, 2007, 01:08 PM   #1
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First Film on XL2 - Fuhrman

Below is the link to my very first film, Fuhrman, shot for the Corpus Christi 7-Day Film Festival. Winner of Best Special Effects! Shot on an XL2 in 24p w/stock lens and Canon Wide Angle Zoom Lens. Generally 1/48 shutter speed, though I changed to 1/24 in low light because everything was coming out too dark. Edited on Pinnacle v. 9.

I only had the camera for a couple days before the shoot, so although I was in full manual I used this as an opportunity to learn the camera, and the results were mixed.

All in all I'm proud of my first attempt at filmmaking, take a look and I welcome any suggestions for technical improvement and pacing, and things you liked!

BTW, thanks to everyone here and at DVXuser.com, both forums have provided me with a lot of good info, much of which I incorporated into the movie (including presets).

Cheers,
Brandon

Furhman on Youtube at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfdYk7ftZ5E
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Old July 14th, 2007, 06:19 PM   #2
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It looks nice, but to be frank, the sound is muddy. Were you using the onboard mic? I've managed to get fairly good sound with the regular mic and letting the autolevel handle the record settings, but that was mainly for documentary work. Crew size has a lot to do with sound quality, i.e. is there even a sound guy, or is it just the cameraman and the actors?

Martin
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Old July 17th, 2007, 09:40 PM   #3
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No we actually had a full crew, including a sound and lighting guy, but our sound man was a DJ by trade, and this was his first movie. We were using a boom mounted condenser mic for the whole movie. The first scene in the office was only recorded on one channel (by accident) using the camera's onboard mixer. The rest was in stereo and sounded a bit better. What would you recommend to clean up the sound for a next project? A better mic? Or just more attention to the levels? We were manually adjusting the level, but again it was a first effort.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 06:56 PM   #4
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Can't say if the "problem" was with the microphone, or where it was placed. Assuming it was a decent mike, then it sounds like it was too far away. Was it an omni or cardioid (directional) mike?

Generally speaking, the mike needs to be just at the edge of the frame. A rule of thumb is that if you don't accidentally get the mike in the frame about one out of every ten shots, then your boom guy isn't getting close enough.

Most of what I shoot is solo work, and I'm quite pleasantly astonished at how well the stock microphone that came with the XL2 works. I'm an old audio guy from quarter-inch magnetic tape days (think reel-to-reel tape decks, where cutting a demo tape meant actually cutting and splicing the tape itself). Haven't touched mag tape in over fifteen years, and that was because the place I worked at had to deliver 60-second radio spots on tape to certain markets.

Depending on the surroundings, a "flat" room or location can be improved by dropping in a better sounding "ambient" sound track below the dialog. For instance, I brightened an otherwise dull scene by laying in some sound I grabbed from the woods, where birds were chirping and leaves were rustling. Nothing was done to the actual live audio recorded during the shoot, other than to drop out a couple of passing cars and planes flying overhead during some quiet spots.

Martin
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