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Old October 17th, 2006, 05:30 AM   #1
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Documentary project.

Hi all,

I'm about to start work on a project in HDV (25p) - a short documentary on a photographer friend of mine. At the very least we hope this can be a very good portfolio piece for both our work (him - photography/design myself video and music) - but if we get the right results we're hoping to push it onto one of our local TV channels (city based channel/part community channel).

Bit apprehensive, though it will be a massive learning curve (having to learn from scratch the FCP suite and Logic, coming from Cubase land).
I'm really looking for advice & tips for this medium. I'm looking for a suitable scene file (which of course will be credited!!) to
(a): do justice to the work on show (photographs will be instespersed throughout the film - best to film them or insert them as images?)
(b): suit the type of project being made - possibly flatter colours than usual though still with a strong filmic/cinematic feel to the project.

This will end up as a packaged DVD which we'll either pass around (portfolio) and hopefully push it to a large an audience as possible e.g: will have a screen night in a local bar; loop it on a TV at one of the photographer's exhibitions and if we're lucky enough get it onto the aforementioned TV channel - something I might need to read up on (anything to bear in mind production/post wise for 'TV out'?)

I'm aiming for this to be fairly short 15 mins, enough to be interesting and get the message/s across....fingers crossed.

Thanks all.
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Old October 17th, 2006, 05:35 AM   #2
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Titles.

Just to add, I want to make sure the titles are as professional as possible (they will be used fairly often on this project - titled over the photographs I'll be interspersing).
Unfortunately I do not have (as yet at least) photoshop (which I did on the PC but not on the mac...). Is there anything good enough for this purpose within FCP studio i.e. Motion/Live Type 2? At as push I could keep the PC in action and transfer the files as jpegs, but I want to see as little degredation as possible.
Cheers.
Dave.
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Old October 17th, 2006, 06:49 AM   #3
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When you say "flatter colors", what do you mean. Can you please point out a classic movie (that everyone knows) which is an example of the look your after?

Also, 10 cheers for you for thinking about your titles and making them important. There are alot of TTF fonts available for download that will add beauty to your titles. If you don't have the exact one on your computer then look on the web for something more to your liking. I have over 3000 fonts I've collected over the years.
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Old October 17th, 2006, 07:34 AM   #4
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Yes - same with the sound and music (which I'll both be having a crack at). Devil in the details often.
Good idea on the movie look. I'll get thinking.
Isn't 'flatter colours' a technical term :) I guess I'm trying to subjugate anything which might be too 'techincolour' which can be perfect for certain projects but not so much for this one. The photographer has a natural austerity within his work and I'd like to follow that as closely as possible.
The scenes will pretty much cover all fields; at this home where he works; the area he grew up; bars/coffee joints he frequents etc. Fortunately the light seems to be perfect at this time of year (autumn into winter).

I take it these fonts can be collected for free? The HD100/mac/FCP suite has totally stipped me cashwise...best get looking for more corporate work and possibly weddings etc!
Will Live Type 2 give me a good enough title finish? I really don't have any other option at the moment.
Many thanks.
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Old October 17th, 2006, 07:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scattergood
Just to add, I want to make sure the titles are as professional as possible (they will be used fairly often on this project - titled over the photographs I'll be interspersing).
Unfortunately I do not have (as yet at least) photoshop (which I did on the PC but not on the mac...). Is there anything good enough for this purpose within FCP studio i.e. Motion/Live Type 2? At as push I could keep the PC in action and transfer the files as jpegs, but I want to see as little degredation as possible.
Cheers.
Dave.
Dave
You'll find that motion is ideal for titles - in fact you'll proably find it more useful than photoshop due to its tight integration with final cut pro and DVD studio. Photoshop will obviously give you better filters etc.

i would reallly recommend watching the DVD tutorials that ship with FC Studio as they really do give a excellent preview of the workflow between all the bundled apps. I was going round the world for a short cut before I watched them.

Andrew
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Old October 17th, 2006, 08:25 AM   #6
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Thanks Drew - I've got to work with what I have so if Motion works well then I'm happy (is Livetype 2 part of Motion? - have to check on that).

Aye - I'll soon be spending an evening viewing said tutorials (the box is as big as my old PC) - the examples on the apple site (David Fincher etc) are tantalising enough. I really enjoyed 'Me, you and eveyone we know' and was therefore pleased it was edited with FCP.
Really looking forward to getting my hands into this.
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Old October 17th, 2006, 08:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scattergood
Isn't 'flatter colours' a technical term :) .
Flatter meaning "Portrait" or desaturated overall or ......

Could be alot of things. Is your goal to not color correct in your NLE and just take whatever the camera settings you've loaded as your color correction in camera?
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Old October 17th, 2006, 09:28 AM   #8
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Sorry Stephen - ignore what I've said about flattened colours - probably using the incorrect term there - desaturatred overall is much more like it. Rather less vibrant than certain movies. Almost like the American Photographic documentation of the 1950's (and I can't for the life of me think of a photographer). Almost a slightly washed out look...this is harder to explain than I thought folks - apologies!
I would indeed prefer to capture the colour correction in camera, but then again I don't at this stage know otherwise. Would it more difficult to tone down the colours rather than bump them up in post?

I do like the look of American independents (the movie 'Me, you and everyone...' is a good example.) I also like the work of Christopher Doyle in Asia - kind of greenish/blueish tint which looks great shot with creaky neon lighting; actually I'll come back to that another time as I'm planning a short to be shot mostly in Chinatown in Manchester (some of the stores interiors are perfect for this look). Nobody Knows has a great look also:

http://www.lhp.com.sg/nobodyknows/

I'll search through movie references and see if I can add any more info.
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Old October 17th, 2006, 09:35 AM   #9
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Not sure if I can do this on this forum (?) but here is a couple of stills from 'Nobody Knows' - a really beautifully crafted film - the colours on the scenes here demonstrate quite well just what I am after (though it's not set in stone by any means):



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Old October 17th, 2006, 12:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scattergood
Thanks Drew - I've got to work with what I have so if Motion works well then I'm happy (is Livetype 2 part of Motion? - have to check on that).
Livetype is a seperate app although Motion can use live type fonts.


Andrew
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Old October 17th, 2006, 02:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scattergood
Not sure if I can do this on this forum (?) but here is a couple of stills from 'Nobody Knows' - a really beautifully crafted film - the colours on the scenes here demonstrate quite well just what I am after (though it's not set in stone by any means):



David,

You will find that the color correction tool in FCP is pretty good. It is real easy to correct one of your clips to the look you want and then to apply that same look to the rest of your clips.
It is amazing how much can be done from within the FCP Suite. I like LiveType 2 for titles, though Motion is more powerful. Good luck learning the new apps. Once you do you will be very pleased with what you can do.

Dan Weber
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Old October 17th, 2006, 04:20 PM   #12
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Cheers Folks - yes, just noted that Live Type 2 comes with FCP, though I thought Motion was more graphics rather than dedicated title s/w - I guess I should try both and see what works for me.
Will certainly take some time getting up to speed on the FCP suite though...see you folks in 3 months!

Be good to set the scenes first however...don't suppose there's a 'Christopher Doyle' or 'Nobody Knows' file eh? :)
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Old October 17th, 2006, 07:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scattergood
Cheers Folks - yes, just noted that Live Type 2 comes with FCP, though I thought Motion was more graphics rather than dedicated title s/w - I guess I should try both and see what works for me.
Will certainly take some time getting up to speed on the FCP suite though...see you folks in 3 months!

Be good to set the scenes first however...don't suppose there's a 'Christopher Doyle' or 'Nobody Knows' file eh? :)
I took a look at the pictures. I think they lean to the cool side overall, don't you?. For kicks, load any scene file you wish and then go into the menu and use the Whitepaint B setting. Turn it up in order to lean the overall image toward a cool appearance. Then go further into the menu and take the "color setting" and turn it down to taste. Now, when you achieve the overall look you like, save it as a scene file. Beware because when you white balance your image you'll loose your Whitepaint R setting. All you need to do is merely go into the menu and reset it to what you want. This effect is the same as white balancing against a cool card.

Give it a chance and see if it suits you.
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Old October 18th, 2006, 12:26 AM   #14
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Honestly for a documentary I would avoid messing about with colors too much. Go for a more realistic look. Remember that you're documenting something more than making an artistic statement.
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Old October 18th, 2006, 04:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen L. Noe
I took a look at the pictures. I think they lean to the cool side overall, don't you?. For kicks, load any scene file you wish and then go into the menu and use the Whitepaint B setting. Turn it up in order to lean the overall image toward a cool appearance. Then go further into the menu and take the "color setting" and turn it down to taste. Now, when you achieve the overall look you like, save it as a scene file. Beware because when you white balance your image you'll loose your Whitepaint R setting. All you need to do is merely go into the menu and reset it to what you want. This effect is the same as white balancing against a cool card.

Give it a chance and see if it suits you.
Only trouble is I'm having to 'paint' the scenes using the LDC monitor...I guess I could used my TV but I won't have this on the shoot. It's a shame the iMac 24" doesn't have composite inputs.
I was thinking of using Paulo's trucolour settings, then as you say coo them down a little, unless you could advise me of a more relevant scene file?

So when white balancing I'll only lose the Whitepaint R and not B setting? From what I've read, there's seems to be those who swear by White balancing and those who don't (losing natural white reflections etc). Should I really vear towards white balancing as standard?
Thanks Stephen I'll try that on the menu.

Quote:
Honestly for a documentary I would avoid messing about with colors too much. Go for a more realistic look. Remember that you're documenting something more than making an artistic statement.
Thanks Stephan - all advice and tips are very welcome.
I suppose because this is a joint 'portfolio' of myself and subject (film/music/photography) I was definitely vearing towards the artistic side - I was wanting to try and best match the look of his photographs with that of the film, but you raise a very good point.

Is there any advice for filming photographs? I would much prefer to do it this way rather than inserting image files, which can look a little lifeless. However I'd like to have the effect where the camera appears to move around the photo's (a la 'Cheers' and 'Roseanne'!!) - use Macro and move the camera (tricky) or carry this out in FCP perhaps?

many thanks.
dave
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