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Old August 5th, 2007, 03:45 PM   #1
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HELP: HDV and DVCPRO HD or ProRes in FCP6?

So, I have a director friend who has a pilot coming up that has some pretty good names and a producer or two from Seinfeld and they want to shoot for as cheap as possible and are seriously considering the HDV Canon HV20 in its "24p" mode (yes yes, I wish they had more money for ATLEAST an HVX but they are really after the improv run gun style of a Curb Your Enthusiasm etc and want to also cut down on size and costs) - so I will be all the post for the pilot including some edgier color correction, motion effects, an opening with motion graphics and music, sfx etc. etc. - I've never had the curse of working with HDV (I say curse from all the negative response I hear about HDV) but I'm curious the most efficient workflow with what equipment I already have for capturing the HDV and getting it into a more editable format like ProRes or DVCPRO HD? Here's my setup:

Final Cut Studio 2
G5 2.3 dual core
2.5 gigs of ram
I will have access to one of the cameras for capturing tapes from it via Firewire I assume.
Matrox MXO (doubt that helps here with capturing but figured I'd list it just in case)
SATA drives (Raid 0 if necessary)

Thanks so much!
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Old August 5th, 2007, 04:26 PM   #2
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A couple of questions and a couple of comments.

Why 24P? What frame rate you shoot SHOULD have more to do with what your mastering to, if your outputting to film then 24P is probably a good choice, otherwise your seriously complicating your workflow with little if any upside.

If your mastering to HDV then keeping it HDV will work fine, however if your delivering DVCProHD or uncompressed HD then it gets more challenging. I'm not familiar with the Canon HV20, does it have HD-SDI outputs? If not, and I'm sure it doesn't then you'll have to add an additional [time consuming] step in your workflow. You cannot capture via firewire directly to the DVCProHD or ProRes codec, you will need to capture the HDV via firewire natively and then convert to either format using compressor or batch export from FCP. Also I don't believe that your Mac meets the minimum specs for editing with the ProRes codec, you should check with someone who has actually edited with a 2.3 G5 using the ProRes codec.

The cheapest and easiest thing to do would be to shoot HDV, edit HDV and master to HDV. It will look surprisingly good. But remember what you paid for this, if you expect it to look as good as something shot on a Vericam you'll be disappointed.
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Old August 5th, 2007, 04:39 PM   #3
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Well the 24p is because it's just how people (producers) get with things, they love the sound of 24p so they demand it. The final output will not be HDV as no networks would accept any HDV tapes so I think I'll have to convert my HDV footage after I capture it to DVCPRO HD, maybe batch out each day's footage that night before I go to sleep and let it convert overnight. I've heard that cc with HDV is horrible so that was one of my main concerns as it's not just going to be straight cuts but motion effects and cc filters and who knows what else we might end up doing. I've been told that since the 6.01 update that older macs can edit prores fine now (I must say, I'm pretty pissed Apple made a big jump towards making my 1 year old G5 tower obsolete when they added all the intel processor specific features). So batch export using Quicktime Conversion to DVCPRO HD? Does this sound good to everyone? Any caveats?

Thanks guys!
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Old August 5th, 2007, 07:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Chuck Spaulding View Post
What frame rate you shoot SHOULD have more to do with what your mastering to
I'd disagree. It's an aesthetic choice.

I work with plenty of executive producers and video commissioners that understand why they want 24p or 30p. They're not dummies.

24p looks different than 30p looks different than 30 interlaced. The only thing that matters in that decision is the look, to an exec producer.
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Old August 5th, 2007, 07:16 PM   #5
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Might I suggest that they do what anyone else shooting a TV pilot on a limited budget does. Rent a real camera like an F900 or a varicam.

Good Luck with your project!
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Old August 5th, 2007, 07:48 PM   #6
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Might I suggest that they do what anyone else shooting a TV pilot on a limited budget does. Rent a real camera like an F900 or a varicam.

Good Luck with your project!
Trust me, that is SOP for what I usually see but they for some reason want to spend a minuscule amount of money on the camera side and buy the cams for some reason, I don't argue too much, I offer suggestions but I mean, it's their project and I want to cut it :)
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Old August 6th, 2007, 01:25 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Nate Weaver View Post
I'd disagree. It's an aesthetic choice.

I work with plenty of executive producers and video commissioners that understand why they want 24p or 30p. They're not dummies.

24p looks different than 30p looks different than 30 interlaced. The only thing that matters in that decision is the look, to an exec producer.
Your kidding, right?

I'm sure its all about the aesthetic shooting 24P with a $900 HDV CMOS camcorder. I knew I shouldn't have purchased a Cinealta...

Sorry for the sarcasm, but I'm really tired of this debate, do you really think producers or video commissioners (?) who want to shoot a pilot on a (low end) consumer camera can tell the difference? Put a 24P sticker on the side of the camera and shoot it 30P or 60i and save yourself some grief.

"The final output will not be HDV as no networks would accept any HDV tapes"

I'm not sure they accept 24P tapes either, plus depending on which network, they have fairly strict guidlines on how much of the show can originate on HDV as well.

Batch exporting with Quictime conversion works fine but it will take a while. If the producers want to use/own HDV cameras at least get one that has HD-SDI out.
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Old August 6th, 2007, 01:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Spaulding View Post
A couple of questions and a couple of comments.

Why 24P? What frame rate you shoot SHOULD have more to do with what your mastering to, if your outputting to film then 24P is probably a good choice, otherwise your seriously complicating your workflow with little if any upside.
.
Exactly, why 24P?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Roberts View Post
Well the 24p is because it's just how people (producers) get with things, they love the sound of 24p so they demand it.

!
The Majority of Producers (ok all of them) that I have worked with on TV shows have been complete retards. idiots who have never touched a camera, let alone know how to turn it on, or how to even edit the project.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Weaver View Post
I'd disagree. It's an aesthetic choice.

I work with plenty of executive producers and video commissioners that understand why they want 24p or 30p. They're not dummies.

24p looks different than 30p looks different than 30 interlaced. The only thing that matters in that decision is the look, to an exec producer.

I am willing to bet that if I set my JVC HD110U on a tripod, and filmed an intersection in both 24P, and 30P you would not be able to tell a difference.

I am sooo very tired of the 24P bandwagon. So many "indie" idiots who buy cameras, and film whatever they can including their dog taking a shit, are doing so in 24P without any clue as to the real reason you film in that format, for transfer to actual effing film.

I got picked up to film a TV show in Dallas (Number who knows) and the crew is filming in 24P. Moving the cameras fast in a fast paced environment thinking it will look like a documentary, or an actual film. Instead that footage came out like shit, looked blurry from the movements, and cant be used. I had the crew switch to 30P and the footage looks so much better now.

In my opinion, 24P is overrated.
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Old August 6th, 2007, 04:57 AM   #9
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I am willing to bet that if I set my JVC HD110U on a tripod, and filmed an intersection in both 24P, and 30P you would not be able to tell a difference.
I can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Fields View Post
In my opinion, 24P is overrated.
You're entitled to your opinion. Some of us use it because we come from a film background, and we use it well.
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Old August 6th, 2007, 05:29 AM   #10
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Im on a Dual 2,5 GhZ G5, and I can't use ProRes 1080f25 at least, Final Cut tells me my Hardware can't render it.
Maybe I'm doing something wrong though, I just run it through Compressor. The DVCPro files are fine though.

The things that gets me, is that when I run an HDV timeline and set it to render effects to ProRes, that's suddenly fine.. I do'nt understand why that should be ok when it won't let me render other ProRes-files.
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Old August 6th, 2007, 05:36 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Chuck Spaulding View Post
Your kidding, right?

I'm sure its all about the aesthetic shooting 24P with a $900 HDV CMOS camcorder. I knew I shouldn't have purchased a Cinealta...

Sorry for the sarcasm, but I'm really tired of this debate, do you really think producers or video commissioners (?) who want to shoot a pilot on a (low end) consumer camera can tell the difference?
Yes, I do. I worked on a reality-like show the other week with a gentlemen who's been an associate producer the last few years on Modern Marvels. He knew 24p vs. 30p vs. interlaced quite well.

BTW, "video commissioners" are the folks that commission video work for record labels.
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Old August 6th, 2007, 11:45 AM   #12
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Ok, uh thanks for the responses - so I guess DVCPRO HD is the way to go and I just simply capture the HDV footage as normal into FCP then batch export out to DVCPRO HD and which variety of DVCPRO depends on what setting they end up going with on the camera... if they go 24p would I use a 720p24 setting?

And as for all back and forth 24p debate - I didn't mean to start it with my slightly condescending tone. I've never had to work with HDV and never really wanted to considering an HVX can be had for so cheap and hits the target market I usually work in (features, narrative tv) hence my post to make sure I was going about a good workflow path since I've heard CC and motion graphics in a native HDV timeline can wreak havoc. I seriously doubt most networks would accept a show that originated in HDV either - I remember one of Shane's articles re: The History Channel and the HVX was the bottom of what they accepted. I think the hope on my producer's end is if the content is there (the script is pretty damn funny and I read a shit ton of crap) and they can make it look good enough on cheap cameras that they would be happy to save that production money (doesn't it seem that more people are trying to save a buck these days in production?) and if we were to master to an HDCAM SR they would prob just end up lying and say that it originated on an HVX anyways.

I personally am more worried about crisp clear sound - even if the video isn't great or network passable, if they get the proper coverage and the camera is exposed properly, they can promote a web version of the show that would hide the cheaper camera quality and would hopefully be picked up...
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Old August 6th, 2007, 12:26 PM   #13
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Hello,

You may be able to get away with editing in HDV and then compressing or using the Matrox MXO box to send the project to the desired deliverable. Editing HDV would save you a step if you need the extra time for editorial for a pilot project. Keep in mind that no matter what you edit or deliver in, the source videotapes will always be HDV. If you still want to convert everything to DVCProHD to edit; use the media manger in FCP to compress all of your captured footage into a new project instead of exporting. The media manager is another time saver and it's easier to keep track of everything.

Good luck with your project. It sounds like a fun time,
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Old August 6th, 2007, 12:38 PM   #14
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I personally am more worried about crisp clear sound ...

I would be worried to, since the HV20 lacks balanced audio inputs.
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Old August 6th, 2007, 12:47 PM   #15
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I have just finished a project that was shot on the XH-A1 and I used the HV-20 to feed into the Mac Pro via the Blackmagic Intensity card (HDMI connections). Captured in ProRes422HQ and it looks great, no hiccups and color correction looks fantastic. The card is about $250 although I got the Pro version with component ins and outs because I have a CRT that takes those. I haven't captured any footage taken on the HV-20 this way yet, but I have every reason to believe that it will look as good as it can also. See the thread on the Blackmagic card and HV-20 on the forum.
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