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Old February 9th, 2010, 07:40 PM   #16
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Funny, Mark, but I've never looked to Youtube to provide network content. Needless to say, a film based producer, Grey Advertising, has seen fit to embrace a non-film solution to a game coverage which ended up as a superbowl commercial, which ended up as one of the top 20 best liked commercials of the Superbowl.

The thought that a 1000fps 1080i/p commercial shot under existing stadium lighting to a Nanoflash a few years ago would have been unthinkable.

Jeff
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Old February 9th, 2010, 08:01 PM   #17
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Hi Jeff:
Then the Non-Film based solution which Grey delivered to network MUST have looked better than what you posted as an example on YouTube. (??) There MUST be something wrong with the YouTube encode. You're talking about content, and I'm pointing out what my eyes are seeing. I don't have the benefit of comparison to the original footage.

EDIT: P.S. The Eagle still looked less grainy.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 03:34 AM   #18
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Mark,

There is no doubt that some of the crowd shots were VERY noisy. The light drop off at some of those stadiums in the crowd is dramatic. They made the decision to ask for those shots, and they made the decision to use them. And with all due respect Mark, they are the ones who decided spend roughly $5-6 million to buy the 60 seconds of air time and use the footage.

And yes, the NFL paid for the time on CBS. I am sure the Nielsen estimated 110,391,120 people who saw the ad in the US aren't losing any sleep over it... and the over 400,000 who watched it on Youtube so far.

Also, interestingly, a quick search of the internet found something like this:

10 Best Super Bowl Commercials 2010 (with... | Gather

And even someone in Canadia didn't mind, Mark, lol.

Best of the Super Bowl commercials: the runners-up

Jeff
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Old February 10th, 2010, 02:17 PM   #19
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Quality Redefined As Expediency

Hi Jeff:
With all due respect Jeff, and I certainly mean no disrespect to you or to the producers, but you are making a non-argument. I'm most definitely in agreement about the obvious quality content and most powerful impact of the **content** and ***Editing*** of this TV spot for the super bowl. I do not dispute it's success, nor have I ever attempted to make any contradictory point about its creative essence as an expression of communication, but for 5 - 6 Million US I expect (((PERFECT))) digital HD picture quality. I don't give a rat's wahoo about the lighting conditions on location. These conditions could have been met for this kind of budget.

I was talking with a fellow editor here in the city the other day about this, and we were agreeing how this NFL spot represents a new trend in our industry. Allow me to explain a little. There has been a slow, but detectable decline in the quality of what producers who hire us to shoot and edit now want or are willing to accept as a final product. It first began with these guys asking us to swoosh pan and shake the camera, while combining that with jump cut editing to jar the viewer. After that, it was poorly lit stuff, or video which major broadcasters like CTV and CBC in Canada used to reject. Not anymore !

Today, I have to conclude that *quality* as a general concept is being redefined as *expediency !* As long as you can produce content quick and easy, then this is actually more valuable than high quality. In other words, HQ is not the top priority. Now introduce the new media into this equation ! i.e. YouTube & Web Video in general. I always considered web video formats like .flv (Flash Video), Windows Media Video being the most common examples, as crippled video formats. Yet the new generation of producers and viewers are *all on the Internet and *not in front of any television set !* The new standard in video *IS* Youtube and Windows Media Video. The populace is not viewing programs with proper corrected Gamma, Density, Color, Audio (Do you think audio on a laptop is good ?), and after a few years it becomes the new *Quality Video Standard !*

So along comes this spot on YouTube and everyone's raving about it, and how good it looks, then I look at it, and can't really get that excited about it. Sorry, it just doesn't really look that good to me.

EDIT: Now there was a guy on here a few weeks back, who was showing examples of video he was shooting on a Canon DSLR 5D & 7D, who was posting links here to Vimeo and that stuff looked Great ! Great ! Great ! This guy was shooting stuff at George Lucas's Skywalker Ranch.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 06:45 PM   #20
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Okay Mark,

Let me run with your argument.

I would argue that the Sony EX3 has no business being used for broadcast. The lenses are junk, and used without the Nano, the recording format is pure amateur. That does not stop many people from successfully using it.

Let's examine the insane compression of delivery formats on HD broadcast TV especially when the local stations are using sub channels and there is overwhelming macroblocking as a result.

Let's examine the DVR's people are using to record that compressed feed.

How about their improperly adjusted TV sets.

And Youtube??? Whatever.

You end up with digital mush. And now people are suggesting we will watch this in 3D.

The commercial has a couple shots which have clearly visible noise. One of those shots lasts less than 1 second. The matrix, individual gammas, peds, white clips, and such were carefully controlled. Supplemental lighting of actual games would not be permissible. The one staged commercial released months ago in this series looks obviously fake. Sure it was lit properly. Maybe you could consider that to capture the raw emotion that is expressed in the commercial certain trade offs needed to be made. And also that the rawness of the footage sells the reality of it. And none of it was staged.

I am not sure given your standards what shows are left on TV which you can watch. I for one think that the Simpsons is still quite watchable.

Jeff
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Old February 10th, 2010, 07:50 PM   #21
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I Pretty Much Have to Agree With You :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Silverman View Post
Okay Mark,

Let me run with your argument.

I would argue that the Sony EX3 has no business being used for broadcast. The lenses are junk, and used without the Nano, the recording format is pure amateur.
...Absolutely Right ! I agree with you !
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Silverman View Post
does not stop many people from successfully using it.
...Exactly ! And it should, but because it doesn't stop them, this proves that at least, *some* who are making the decisions have lowered their quality standards, and we editors and shooters who are getting handed these jobs must deal with substandard video *quality* being shot by some folks who frankly don't really know what they're doing and then expect us to turn out what was considered to be utter garbage 10 years ago, but fast and shlock is the new chic ! I'm talking compromise here. For some of us who are committed to quality, an important line has been crossed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Silverman View Post
examine the insane compression of delivery formats on HD broadcast TV especially when the local stations are using sub channels and there is overwhelming macroblocking as a result.
...Yes indeed. Let's do that. I think it looks like crap !
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Silverman View Post
examine the DVR's people are using to record that compressed feed.
...No. Let's not. What they want to use as a private home recorder is their business. Many still use their VHS VCR's to record shows. I know several folks who do just that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Silverman View Post
about their improperly adjusted TV sets.
...As long as they're not the one's adjusting the HD studio monitors on the Super Bowl, then I'm fine with that. :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Silverman View Post
Youtube??? Whatever.
...Whatever what ? This is the new SMPTE Phosphorus "C" Jeff ! - YouTube ! Friggin YouTube !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Silverman View Post
end up with digital mush. And now people are suggesting we will watch this in 3D.
... Yup ! I'm waiting for the local stations to get the calibrations of 3D wrong, then watch the headaches, Vertigo, and epileptic seizures which will ensue from watching American Idol ! (Although watching it in 2D will produce the same effect)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Silverman View Post
commercial has a couple shots which have clearly visible noise. One of those shots lasts less than 1 second. The matrix, individual gammas, peds, white clips, and such were carefully controlled. Supplemental lighting of actual games would not be permissible. The one staged commercial released months ago in this series looks obviously fake. Sure it was lit properly. Maybe you could consider that to capture the raw emotion that is expressed in the commercial certain trade offs needed to be made. And also that the rawness of the footage sells the reality of it. And none of it was staged.
...I believe you, and you could be right on this point. I suppose if only from a possible Internet Viral point of view it is effective to have the gritty vid noise in there. I guess to 5-6 Million US $$$$ was for the *Air Time* and not the production values ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Silverman View Post
am not sure given your standards what shows are left on TV which you can watch. I for one think that the Simpsons is still quite watchable.

Jeff
...Well there you see how you have arrived at my central point. You have successfully redefined quality as expediency. - Thus expediency is good and quality is unrealistic. It becomes foolish to argue for quality as the standard. This was what I was talking to my colleague about the other day. This is the real seed change we're seeing in our industry Jeff :-)

-------And the YouTube NFL spot still looks like it looks to me

Respectfully
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Old February 11th, 2010, 07:36 AM   #22
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Had a room full of 11 people including 3 small wacky kids in my home theater watching the Super Bowl. As you can imagine it was quite noisey.

But when this commercial came on, everyone in the room stopped and went totally silent as they watched in awe. I still remember the moment. And from Jeff's previous generous postings here of similar work, I was certain that it was his team's beautiful production and a Nano was the recording device.

Wonderful work Jeff!
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Old February 11th, 2010, 08:04 AM   #23
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Agree John a story with out narrative all filmed in seconds.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 08:06 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Silverman View Post
I would argue that the Sony EX3 has no business being used for broadcast. The lenses are junk, and used without the Nano, the recording format is pure amateur.
That's interesting because the F350 that I own and many others like it have been used and approved by HDNET and Discovery HD with its 'amateur' format on a number of television shows and documentaries.

As for lenses... the EX3 can mount any 1/2 broadcast lens you care to use, including my 'junk' Fujinon 18x5.5 which goes for around 12K purchased new.

Let's keep the comments 'professional'.

Thanks and regards,

-gb-
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Old February 11th, 2010, 08:35 AM   #25
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Greg,

Obviously the comment about the EX3 was to make a point. There used to be something called "broadcast quality'. That no longer applies. I own both the 2 of the 18x5.5mm and 10 of the 13x3.3mm lenses for my Sony XDCAM chip block based HDC-X310 robo type cameras. They are very nice for what they are, my $35k Fujinon 22x is a lot nicer. My 17-80mm PL mount Angenieux Optimo is vastly nicer, so is the PL converted Nikkor 50-300mm lens we use. The difference in sharpness alone is stunning.

Paul,

An interesting fact of the commercial is that the total amount of reality in the commercial is 1.55 seconds stretched to 50 seconds of video. The remaining 10 seconds are graphics.

Jeff
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Old February 11th, 2010, 08:42 AM   #26
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Hi Greg:
If you move the target, then it's easier to hit the mark ;-)
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Old February 11th, 2010, 08:58 AM   #27
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Mark, I would kindly ask for you to take this conversation to private messages with Jeff, as it clearly has nothing to do with the Nano Flash.

Jeff is kind enough to post about his private use of the Nano flash in his working environment to us mortals (who do not care that there is some noise in a underlit crowd shot at a live stadium).

To be honest, I think attacking him this way is quite rude as he did not have any control over the lighting nor the shooting situation for that matter.

The only way to uphold the high standard you are speaking of is to set the example yourself. Through your own work.

I am not a moderator, but this thread has made me clinch my teeth a bit.

Regards
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Old February 11th, 2010, 09:12 AM   #28
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Sorry

Hi Tim:
I meant no disrespect toward Jeff. I am not attacking him. I just don't like the quality of what he offered up as an example on YouTube. If you take my dissent as an attack, then I'm sorry about that. Sorry, I'm not a cheer leader. I won't follow the crowd and say something is good when I think it's not. I didn't build a successful editing business by ignoring quality. I consider the manner closed and I apologize to Jeff if I offended him. This was not my intention.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 10:10 AM   #29
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Two important things to point out here.

1.) Choose your words carefully. The issue I have with some people who post here is not what they say, but how they say it. We don't do "snark" on DV Info Net. There's nothing wrong with expressing an opinion, but do so respectfully and politely. That's one of our top rules. I kick people out of here -- gleefully -- who refuse to play nice. This is *not* a typical internet message board, and I will remove anyone who tries to turn it into the type of forum experience that can be found everywhere else on the Web.

2.) Use the Report Post function. It's the little "!" icon to the left of any post. Please don't make a post addressing a civility issue, it just creates more meta that we'll have to clean up later. The Report function discretely alerts the forum moderators, who will clean up or close the thread as needed.

Finally -- we offer direct embedding of Vimeo clips here, but some commercial material falls outside of Vimeo's hosting policy so perhaps we need to provide a solution for that after all... it's being discussed. Thread stays open. Thanks Jeff for your patience.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 10:20 AM   #30
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I didn't read anything here as a personal attack guys...

I think the defensiveness branched out beyond the Nano a bit. Generally, if there is noise in video, codecs will try to maintain it. Noise is a shiny object for limited attention span compression that you want to look at image content. The codec looks at luma info as detail and solemnly swears to try to keep it.

Unfortunately, even when you've got 100 Mbit long GOP, you don't want to be dedicating bits to preserving noise. That's still pretty aggressive image compression, as good as the picture looks...

If a digital camera is utilizing gain to make exposure (and in the world of high speed cameras, this is more likely than in everyday shooting for obvious reasons), then the camera is amplifying the noise with the image.

So...other than stating the obvious, I guess what I'm saying is that the noise in the image is likely camera-borne, but it's possible the MPEG compression in the nano might have been challenged with it...it's hard to say. Watching a video on YouTube or Vimeo several transcodes down-line and then judging its image quality just isn't very meaningful.



As far as so many arbitrary attempts at defining the line between professionals and amateurs...unfortunately what usually starts out as nothing more than an attempt at an illustration, ends up feeling like an insult (however unintentional) to somebody by extension.

For every one of these examples, the exceptions to the rule usually end up distorting the original idea because there is such a wide variety of equipment in use for a wide variety of end products, by people with skillsets that are always in question. An EX1 was used on 'Public Enemy' for some specific shots...does that make it a digital cinema camera? If your answer is 'yes'...have you SEEN 'Public Enemy? I question whether you could even give that designation to an F23 (the principle camera on that feature) as I interpret the aesthetic anyway...

However, the director said when he started the project that he was looking for a feeling of 'immediacy' instead of a nostalgic history film. Traditional video tends to feel pretty immediate...and a three chip camera like the F23 gets you closer to that look than an F35, or a Genesis...or a RED...or, obviously, film. Is his intention illegitimate if the look doesn't resonate with me? Who the hell am I? On the other hand, if I don't care for the look, I'm within my rights to express my opinion...


So...I think that you can like the spot in question or not, and say so without being mean spirited toward anyone in the thread, and that's how I saw the original remark.

I think the original point was that the nano is obviously gaining some credibility out there in the world of big, important production in order to be chosen for this use. I think many of us who have used a variety of Convergent Design products and have seen the effort they put into developing their products would have to say...'it's definitely time.'
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