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Old August 20th, 2006, 09:49 AM   #1
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Movies made with HD100??

Hello,
Are there any films that have been made with the HD100 that I could rent at a local video store? I know these cameras have not been out a long time but I would be interested to know what is out there that has sold or has a chance of being sold in the way of a feature length film.
This is a question I will be asked when we talk about using the HD 100 for a project coming up so I would like to know what might be available.

Thanks,
Scott
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Old August 20th, 2006, 12:56 PM   #2
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The kind of project that would be available in your local video store wouldn't be using an HD100, unless video stores started stocking low-budget indie films all of a sudden.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 01:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephan Ahonen
The kind of project that would be available in your local video store wouldn't be using an HD100, unless video stores started stocking low-budget indie films all of a sudden.
There are a lot of flims (many of them documentary) that go straight to video or play in Laemmle theaters then go to video. I would think some of these have been made with the HD100.

I was told a local (L.A.-Burbank) person took an HD100 to Africa and the video was transferred to film. There have been (private?) screening and the result is supposed to be outstanding. But I did not see it and don't have details.

I would also be interested in reading technical production details on independent films that are released. However, I don't know if there is a source for this (what camera? Lighting Equipment? shooting days? crew? budget? Unions? etc.)
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Old August 20th, 2006, 01:08 PM   #4
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Sounds like you're talking about Andrew Young, who had one of the very first HD100s and took it on a National Geographic doc to Madagascar. Do a search in this forum, lots has been written about it, most by Andrew himself.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 01:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephan Ahonen
The kind of project that would be available in your local video store wouldn't be using an HD100, unless video stores started stocking low-budget indie films all of a sudden.
Stephen,

I'm not sure what video store you rent from, but even my local Blockbuster carries many films on DVD that would probably be considered "low budget" and were shot with digital video cameras.
"November" and "28 Days Later" come to mind immediately, which were shot on DV with the DVX100 and XL1, respectively.

You can perform a search on the imdb for films shot with the DVX100, XL1, XL2, HVX200, and of course JVC's HD100.

I myself have shot two feature films with the the HD100. One was very low-budget and the other was moderately low budget at just under $1mil. Both are still in post-production and are independently produced, so I can't tell you when or how they will be distributed until the distribution deals are made. I can assure you that both will be released on DVD at some point. I can talk about one of them, the film "Bull", but I am still covered under NDA for the other.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 02:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Dashwood
I myself have shot two feature films with the the HD100. One was very low-budget at around a quarter-million and the other was moderately low budget at just under $1mil. I can talk about one of them, the film "Bull", but I am still covered under NDA for the other.
A couple of questions (actually 12) about shooting the films:

1. Did you use a focus controller on the shoots? If so, which one and how did it work?

2. What lens/lenses did you use on the HD100?

3. Did you use the standard lens?

4. Did you use a wide-angle converter/or adapter on the standard lens? If so, which one/ones?

5. For typical shooting of scenes, both indoor and outdoor, did you find it necessary to go wider than the standard lens offers? If wider is necessary, how much wider (from your experience on these two features, understanding the director's style affects this) -- .8x, .7x, .5x?

6. What was the standard camera setup and what were the indispensible accessories on the HD HD100 for "typical shooting."

7. Did you record to tape, a harddrive, or both?

8. Did you use DVRack?

9. What filters were indispensible. Did you use a softening filter for close-ups... and if so which one/ones.

10. What scene file did you use?

11. How many were in the camera crew and what were their jobs?

12. What support/crane/jib/rail options did you use with the camera and which were outstanding and which were only adequate?

Thank you for any insight and info you can give!
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Old August 20th, 2006, 02:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Dashwood
I'm not sure what video store you rent from
Well, I go through Netflix nowadays so I could probably get all of this stuff, but back when I was going to the video store I don't remember seeing much of anything other than your typical big Hollywood stuff.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 03:04 PM   #8
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Low budget features...

There is currently a low-budget feature shot with a PD-150 playing on HBO or Showtime, it's called Open Waters or something like -- a shark movie. It did well in the theaters too.

The director of the Wishmaster series of features is making a movie with star Andrew Divoff using the HD100. This is probably over a million dollar budget I would think.

We shot a T&A sci-fi spoof feature (that did quite well) with my standard definition JVC D-9 camera. We rented an expensive wide angle broadcast lens to make the space ship set seem more expansive. It got domestic and foreign distrubution, the domestic advance from Zenon put it in the black, Vision Films just sold it to the British version of the Sci Fi channel. And it was 486x720 4:3 60i but 4:2:2.

I've started shooting my next feature "Prank Club" using the HD100, watch for it at your local video store, but don't hold your breath, it's hard to make a movie with a full-time job. I'll try to post a framegrab.

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Old August 20th, 2006, 03:08 PM   #9
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Straight to video

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephan Ahonen
The kind of project that would be available in your local video store wouldn't be using an HD100, unless video stores started stocking low-budget indie films all of a sudden.
Stephen,
Not sure if you have a Hollywood video where you live but I assure you they have some movies made with some inexpensive cameras. I have friends that have worked on very low budget films that went straight to video.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 03:12 PM   #10
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One more question(s) for Tim:

What is the final screen ratio of the two features you have recently shot with the HD100.

If it is wider than 16:9, what techniques do you use for framing while shooting?

At what point in the process is the footage adapted to the wider format?

Thanks!
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Old August 20th, 2006, 04:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Walker
1. Did you use a focus controller on the shoots? If so, which one and how did it work?
I don't have a follow focus unit in my kit, but my focus puller was more than happy working with the typically long depth of field of 1/3" CCDs. He didn't have any problems racking on the barrel for few focus pulls we managed to do. I did request a follow focus early on as a rental, but it was a particularly busy time for production in Toronto and there were none available for 4-weeks with the Fujinon gears.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Walker
2. What lens/lenses did you use on the HD100?

3. Did you use the standard lens?

4. Did you use a wide-angle converter/or adapter on the standard lens? If so, which one/ones?
I used the 13x3.5 100% of the time on the main unit. However, there was a tiny bit of 2nd Unit shooting of inserts that were done with the 16x5.5 and the wide converter.
As well, on one day shooting long lens street scenes in large crowds we used a second camera with the 16x5.5. However, we limited the focal length to around 45mm to 60mm to avoid vignetting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Walker
For typical shooting of scenes, both indoor and outdoor, did you find it necessary to go wider than the standard lens offers? If wider is necessary, how much wider (from your experience on these two features, understanding the director's style affects this) -- .8x, .7x, .5x?
Since we had a very small budget we were only in a studio with built sets for one or two days. The rest of the locations were practical sets, including small offices in a hi-rise building, and a dialogue scene in a stretched limo. The 3.5mm saved us on many occassions in these tight spaces. The director and I also liked the slight amount of distortion as well as forced perspecive when the frame was cropped to 2.35:1.
I couldn't imagine shooting this film without the ability to widen out to 3.5mm.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Walker
What was the standard camera setup and what were the indispensible accessories on the HD HD100 for "typical shooting."
The standard setup used on "Bull" was HD100UA, 13x3.5 lens, Cavision 4x4 bellows matte box, AB mount with 88Wh Swit batteries, typically mounted to an O'Connor 2575 head on the dolly. We always had a 20" LCD HD monitor connected to the component out.
Internally we always shot 720P24, 1/48th shutter, preset WB, 0dB gain.

The indespensible accessory for me was the matte box.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Walker
7. Did you record to tape, a harddrive, or both?

8. Did you use DVRack?
We recorded to ProHD tape. We attempted to use DVRack but just couldn't make it work without crashing on two separate laptops.
Unfortunately, I didn't get a Firestore DR-HD100 in time, or I would have used it.
However, we had no problems with dropouts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Walker
9. What filters were indispensible. Did you use a softening filter for close-ups... and if so which one/ones.
I almost always had at least a 1/4 Black pro-mist in the matte box. I also had in the kit a full range of ND filters, ND grads, blue grad, orange grad and a polarizer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Walker
10. What scene file did you use?
I have a few scene files on my SD card used during the shooting of Bull. My typical settings for controlled lighting were:
Master Black -2,
Detail -7,
V FREQ LOW,
BLACK STRETCH 2,
KNEE 85%,
MOTION SMOOTH OFF,
STANDARD COLOR MATRIX,
CINELIKE GAMMA LEVEL -3,
R GAIN -2, R ROT -1, G GAIN 1, G ROT -1, B GAIN NORM, B ROT 2.

One night I was shooting in a park that had high-pressure sodium lamps. I made the following adjustments to counteract the yellowish spill on skin tones when mixed with my 3200K balanced Image-80s.
R GAIN 1, R ROT, 2, G GAIN 1, G ROT -3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Walker
11. How many were in the camera crew and what were their jobs?
I had a typical camera crew - 1st AC, 2nd AC, and AC trainee. The only difference is that I didn't have a dedicated operator. It was a non-union picture so I was able to operate myself.
Quote:
12. What support/crane/jib/rail options did you use with the camera and which were outstanding and which were only adequate?
We didn't use any cranes or jibs on "Bull," but I have used a mini-jib with the HD100 in the past with great success.
I requested a PeeWee dolly but budget limitations forced us to downgrade to a Cameleon. It was an acceptable comprimise, but it couldn't crab and didn't handle tight curve track very well. We used speed wheels on Filmair track most of the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Walker
What is the final screen ratio of the two features you have recently shot with the HD100.
"Bull" will be cropped to 2.35:1 (2.39 when safe action area is taken into account.) This is mostly based on the director's comfort zone with this aspect ratio. We decided in pre-production to favour the upper 1/3 of the 16x9 frame, so that when a TV version is created our compositions still hold up in 16x9 (or 4x3 P&S from the 16x9 original.) This is similar to a "common topline" technique used sometimes in Super-35 production cropped for 2.35:1. I've attached the original aspect ratio guide the director Kent Tessman made.
To maintain this aspect ration we taped thin paper tape to the LCD monitor (allowing us to still protect for 4x3 and scan for boom mics, etc.) I also taped two of my own hairs to small LCD inside the viewfinder to approximate the 2.35:1 area.
I'll ask if I can post some frame grabs.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf aspect_ratio.pdf (38.8 KB, 239 views)
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Old August 20th, 2006, 05:09 PM   #12
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Tim,

Thank you very much for your answers! These details are very much appreciated.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 02:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Walker
Tim,

Thank you very much for your answers! These details are very much appreciated.

Bravo Tim! Thanks for sharing. Is there anything you would have done differently under the exact same circumstances (ie - budget, time, crew)?


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Old August 21st, 2006, 03:39 PM   #14
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Great info Tim.

On a side note, if I had a budget of around a million, I think I would be tempted to at least shoot Varicam, maybe even Cinealta. Although HDCAM post is still costy, but DVCPRO-HD post is as easy as HDV those days. But depending on the film genre, 1 million should be enough for HDCAM, specially for a non union shot. Heck, 1 million is enough for 35mm too. But as I said, I don't know the specifics of the project.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 04:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Maier
On a side note, if I had a budget of around a million, I think I would be tempted to at least shoot Varicam, maybe even Cinealta. Although HDCAM post is still costy, but DVCPRO-HD post is as easy as HDV those days. But depending on the film genre, 1 million should be enough for HDCAM, specially for a non union shot. Heck, 1 million is enough for 35mm too. But as I said, I don't know the specifics of the project.
The million dollar budget reflects deferred above-the-line "producer's" fees, writer's fees and union actor's salaries. That's unfortunately the way it is in the independent world when you fund a film privately. Basically, if the film does well when sold, the investors will at least quadruple their original investment - plus backend.
Our actual below-the-line cash budget was more like $75,000 + deferrals. This includes all post-production finishing to a 35mm answer print, so 24P on HDV tape was really the only way we could have pulled it in under budget, especially since we didn't have to rent the HD100 or 13x3.5 wide lens.
The format is cinema verité (or at least the illusion of verité,) 90% handheld, mostly available lighting, a very very small crew and a "fluid" script. (Think Christopher Guest.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Walker
Is there anything you would have done differently under the exact same circumstances (ie - budget, time, crew)?
More budget is always good. I wish I had only brought certain items out on dailies when needed instead of including them in the package truck for a month. (Source-4 Par, Pocket par, Kino Car kit, 20x20 frame and assortment of griff, black, silk, net.)
Unfortunately, my prep time on "Bull" was very short, so I had to keep those items on the truck "just incase" I was thrown a curveball on the day. The schedule for the last two weeks was still being tweaked when we started and I didn't want to be caught off-guard. If I had had more time in prep I would have planned the rentals out better.
Fortunately, William F Whites gave us an amazing flat deal on the grip & lighting package so I shouldn't complain.

As for time, I think 20 days is about right for a low-budget feature. It seems to be just enough time to get your pages, but there isn't much wiggle room for pickups. I highly recommend 5 days on, 2 days off though. You need 1 day to decompress and then the other to plan the next week, meet with the production designer, director, PM, etc.

I had a great crew, even though most were young and only had limited experience I hired keys that I could trust. My gaffer found some great guys who had recently graduated from Toronto Film School who could swing grip in a pinch. We had a great vibe on-set, and I think everyone learned a new tidbit of info each day.
The crew worked for a small per diem plus deferral.
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