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Old January 1st, 2007, 10:08 PM   #1
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Helping Brazilian indie producer with GY-HD workflow

Dear Friends.
I am starting a indie company in Brazil. As I am a formely Drama Play writer and producer I was happy to sell a TV Drama to a Local City Government. For the experimental project as it is I received a small budged.

So, my question is what will be a perfect workflow for some specific aims:

1. I will run in HDV for costs reasons.
2. I will have to start a indie company
3. I will have to decide and buy all equipments involved (workflow)
4. I will have to produce 10 episodes of 1 hour each (45 minutes actually).

I have read tons of articles about HDV cameras and I liked JVC models HD 110, 200 or superior. I have lots of doubts, but some things I am sure I have to have:

02 cameras (multicamera technique), for perfect cut of dialogues. Here my doubt is what model of JVC HDV camera have TC synch? Copy to tape or disc? I read lots of good things about FS hard disk device. Some suggstestions about dome displays on set?

But more doubts rise from NLE systems election. I did a very quick workshop on FCP last year, so I would like to use it in this project. But as I want to work with 720p24 can I get all footage from FS device and work with FCP 5 without any problems? And I also planning to acquire a Macbook Pro, some suggestions about configuration for work all this material (Model, HDD, display, etc..).

All advices will be very helpfull. Best Wishes.
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Old January 1st, 2007, 11:45 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luiz Roberto Meira

02 cameras (multicamera technique), for perfect cut of dialogues. Here my doubt is what model of JVC HDV camera have TC synch? .
You will need the GY-HD250U model if you want to have time code locked with two or more cameras.
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Old January 1st, 2007, 11:52 PM   #3
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Thanks Carl. After your statement, I searched and read HD250u manual and notice that.

But, for budget reasons, could I have another way of synch the time code of 2 or more HD200, for instance?

Could someone else suggest a pratical tip to do that? Thanks
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Old January 1st, 2007, 11:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luiz Roberto Meira
Thanks Carl. After your statement, I searched and read HD250u manual and notice that.

But, for budget reasons, could I have another way of synch the time code of 2 or more HD200, for instance?

Could someone else suggest a pratical tip to do that? Thanks
How about an old-fashion clap board, or the photo-flash trick?
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 12:21 AM   #5
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Year, I know that. It is just that, I read in some other post I can recall now, a good tip of set-up the cameras on same hour counter and use that as time code. But this is not the main issue here.

As you can also know, in Brazil we do not have the JVC Company offering HDV cameras (HD 100 or some else). So I think I will have to buy it in US. I only hope that anything goes ok with the equipment during my producion, as I am aware that any problems I will have to deal with the JVC Company only within the US territory.

But, What about the total workflow (since capture to editing) some suggestion?

Best Wishes
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 02:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luiz Roberto Meira
So, my question is what will be a perfect workflow for some specific aims:

1. I will run in HDV for costs reasons.
2. I will have to start a indie company
3. I will have to decide and buy all equipments involved (workflow)
4. I will have to produce 10 episodes of 1 hour each (45 minutes actually).
There seem to be a lot of questions that need to be answered before deciding on equipment and workflow.

Some things that are important are:
1. Where are you shooting? On a stage with stage lighting? Or other.
2. Are you shooting live, soap opera style, or are you shooting takes, movie style.
3. Can you use overhead boom mics? or will you need wireless lavalier mics?
4. What kind of crew will you have, with what experience?
5. What exactly will be your job/duties and what will you need other people to do?
6. What exactly is the format of your finished project. Will it be broadcast, and if so, what exactly are the specifications needed on the final tape, etc. etc. etc.

The answers to these questions will demand further questions (such as regarding lighting needs to make the video look good, etc.). However, in any case, you may well need to team up with an experienced technical person to plan this with, especially if you have always worked in the creative/above-the-line departments, and especially if you experience has only been live stage but not film or video.

A couple of notes on your other comments. The hard-drive recorders on the cameras would certainly make life simpler if you are shooting long pieces with multiple cameras. (Tapes can also be recorded as a safety backup, but the harddrive recorders would eliminate any problems in capturing off the tapes, something that could be a big problem if you have to synch multiple tapes from multiple cameras.)

I don't know if FCP would be the best editor, though I have never used it. You will want a good multi-camera editing tool. Edius and Liquid both have that. I have used both Liquid (a lot) and Edius (some) and for a straight forward project I think Edius, at this time, may give you the best workflow and easiest workflow. Edius handles all the formats with no problem, and it is very solid, clean software, to my mind. With Liquid you could end up with a mess and a lot of wasted time, though you could still get the project out.

Since you are buying all new, I would get Edius... or FCP... if FCP has all the tools and the workflow you need... I have no idea.

If I were you I would find out what others doing what you are doing are using in Brazil in your area... if anyone is. You may need some support locally for either the cameras or the NLE and computer setup.

One final thought... if you are shooting a live production on a stage, I suggest at least a third camera, a cover camera, locked down in a wide shot, to give you coverage when the other two cameras don't have anything, which will happen... and possible fairly regularly. Depending on your final output, the third camera wouldn't have to be the same as the other two, though it would have to be able to match the footage.

I have no idea what your budget is for the 10 shows, but this is a major undertaking. Usually the creative people and the technical people are separate groups, each with years of experience in their own side of the business, and they are tied together by the accountant.

Perhaps for this first project (if it is your first) you might get the best result to work with somebody who already has the equipment and experience and has shot the kind of programming you are going to do.

Anyway, just some thoughts on the subject.
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 03:59 AM   #7
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Olá Luiz!

I use Final cut pro and it is, in fact, a very powerful nle.
There are issues when capturing 720p24 and 25 from tape - you lose about one second at the beggining and at the end of each clip - but this should be no worry for you, since can allow more than that when recording the show.\

Final cut studio has a very nice multicamera editing tool - check it out: http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/...fcp_3_multicam

For this you don't need TC Sync or anything, all you need is a slate or a visual or ausio cue, to sync the track together... it's not so easy, but once you understand it, it's ok.

Anyway, I's advice you to look at the Firestore / JVC DRHD100, since now it offers recording of 720p24 to quicktime movie, which is very nice for FCP users.

Good luck with your project!
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 07:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Walker
There seem to be a lot of questions that need to be answered before deciding on equipment and workflow.

Some things that are important are:
1. Where are you shooting? On a stage with stage lighting? Or other.
2. Are you shooting live, soap opera style, or are you shooting takes, movie style.
3. Can you use overhead boom mics? or will you need wireless lavalier mics?
4. What kind of crew will you have, with what experience?
5. What exactly will be your job/duties and what will you need other people to do?
6. What exactly is the format of your finished project. Will it be broadcast, and if so, what exactly are the specifications needed on the final tape, etc. etc. etc..
Lots of questions indeed. More issues I raised more specific doubts and procedures are needed. But Lets narrow down some.

1. I will shoot both Internal (studio) and external (city streets) as well. And, Yes, I will certainlly use some stage footage as some "special" scenes (as Lars von Triers Dogville´s style)

2. I have a twofold target with this production: Broadcast TV and DVD box set. But, as many film look I can get, better. For this reason I will discuss with our DoP´s several set-ups as 24p, lightnning, etc...

3. We think that both mics will be used (boom and wireless)

4. This one great issue. We have some very good professionals, but few of them with HDV experience. As I will run this project inviting several different experienced DoP´s (mainly from feature film experience) as a producer I have to anticipate and decide about the workflow, at least general one, and tell them what we will have at their disposal for the job.

5. As all of this are quite new, and we have different kind of labels here in Brazil, I am quite sure that I will run a Executive Producer kind of function (Writer and Producer), mainly for my background experience but also because I raised the money.

So, I will hire several directors, DoPds, editors, actors, from different backgrounds and experiences, creatives from stage as well. This is the funny way we think the things will work better.

6. For real..., don´t know yet. We are planning to finnished the material first, and them negociate the exibhition. Again, as this is quite new for everybody (producers, artists, broadcast companies, at least in Parana State) I am starting with the first step, otherwise, nothing will done. But I am confident that if we finnished the material in 720p, we will have quality enough for our Broadcast standards. The Federal government here is only starting the implemmenting HDTV processes. The first decisions only was taken by this year (2006), so, we do not have ANY HD bradcasted, by now, at all.

Thanks for the opportunity to discuss my project! I will certainly built up a site soon (portuguese and english), where all will be detailed.

(PS: Please, everyone, many, many sorry about some possible language mistakes, ok)
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 07:30 AM   #9
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So, for now, the possible workflow (equipment involved) is:

1. 02 JVc cameras GY-HD200u (720p24)
2. 02 Firestore JVC DRHD100
3. Edit with a FCP (multicamera style)

And what about sound capture (mics, mixers)? Camera´s acessories (tripod, crane, steadycam, dolly)? Hardware Computer (Mac G5 or Macbook Pro, requirements)? Other suggestions?

I know that this could seems exhaustive, but I will have to deal with this anyway.

Best wishes
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 11:42 AM   #10
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I'd say to answer this we'd need to know how much money you plan to spend. for example for tripods you can spend any where from $400 to $10,000.
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 12:10 PM   #11
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Caro Luiz Roberto

I live in RJ and maybe I can help you.

If you have skype, we can free talk whenever is possible.

Anyway, Here in Brasil we have a JVC company:Tecnovideo.
Look for: Milton N. Nakano, technical manager,(I think).
JVC Professional Products Co.
Latin America Dept.
Brazil Office
Tel: +55-11-38164021

Good look
Ron
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 01:01 PM   #12
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Brian, the money is really a sensitive question. But I only can spend something about U$ 25,000 with total workflow (2 cameras, HDDs, acessories, lightnning, sound, NLE systems, Computers ans everyhting else). The thing is that I cannot forget anything, this is the total budget I can manage. I think that is not so short budget by as I will have to really detail all that before go to US shop all this. Thanks
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 01:03 PM   #13
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Ron, thanks for the JVC contact you send me. I will send you a message in private asking for your contact as well. Cheers.
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 01:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luiz Roberto Meira
Brian, the money is really a sensitive question. But I only can spend something about U$ 25,000 with total workflow (2 cameras, HDDs, acessories, lightnning, sound, NLE systems, Computers ans everyhting else). The thing is that I cannot forget anything, this is the total budget I can manage. I think that is not so short budget by as I will have to really detail all that before go to US shop all this. Thanks
Off hand I'd say you're in HD110 territory...

One thing I am positive about is that in terms of bang for the buck, Vegas 6 ($99) which comes with Cineform and a homebuilt $1000 PC offers more bang for the buck than any system for NLE. A Mac system will really wipe out that budget.

I'd also allocate at least $3000 for audio.
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 02:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luiz Roberto Meira
Brian, the money is really a sensitive question. But I only can spend something about U$ 25,000 with total workflow (2 cameras, HDDs, acessories, lightnning, sound, NLE systems, Computers ans everyhting else). The thing is that I cannot forget anything, this is the total budget I can manage. I think that is not so short budget by as I will have to really detail all that before go to US shop all this. Thanks
This is not very much money for everything, I do not believe.

If you must getting the editing system out of this budget, I would decide on this and deduct the cost first. It has the cost that is easiest to pre-determine. (You also may think about using an editor that already has a system and not purchasing equipment right now for editing.)

Next I would decide exactly how the shows will be shot, including where, look, by whom, etc.

Where:
Indoors or outdoors?
Sound stage indoors or theater stage?
Complete control over outdoor location or limiting situation
etc.

Lighting:
Will you have studio lighting included with the soundstage?
Will you have to adapt theater stage lighting for video?
Will you use available light and reflectors and covers outdoors?
Will you need softlight key or fill used on location?
etc.

Sound:
How many people will be mic'd at once?
Do you need two boom mics?
Are you going to record sound in camera or to a separate recorder?
Do you need a good mixer? (such as the Sound Devices 302, with 3 inputs and 2 out)
etc.

Camera Support:
Are you shooting handheld or partly handheld?
Do you need more than one adjustable tripod with fluid head?
Can you use one tripod and a high hat or cinekinetic saddle for the second camera?
Do you need a jib?
etc.

Accessories:
What filters do you need?
Are screw-in filters adequate? (matte boxes are probably out in your price range, though Tim D. said the matte box was the most important accessory for his shooting of the film "Bull")
Monitor(s)
Power
Stands (lights, refliectors, etc.)
Outdoor "fuzzy" for shotgun mic?
camera case, other cases?
etc.

Cameras:
Can you use just one camera?
Would a different camera, such as the new Sony V1U --also 24p-- work better for your style of shooting on this limited budget)?
Are you shooting 24p?
Will the standard lens on the JVC camera be adequate in its zoom range? (there doesn't appear to be budget for additional lens)
Will you need a wide angle adapter, either the .8x from JVC or Century -- or the .5x/.7x combo from century?
etc.

There are many more questions that can affect the equipment, especially when buying the absolutely minimum to cover your basic needs with a very low budget.

It is my opinion that a high-end multi-camera studio look is not possible with your budget.

On the otherhand, a handheld, cinema-verite look could be well within the limits.

With the latter, you could use a camera such as the V1U, which is the size of a PD150 and spend less on tripods, heads, etc, use the internal stabilizer, use a cine-saddle, use lower cost (smaller) steady-rig options, etc. The Sony V1U also uses a hard disk, and it records on tape. (I am not pushing this camera, but I was impressed with it when I saw it at a show... and I know it just came out. I was looking at it for a travelling camera, deciding the HD110 I have is too much to carry for where I am going.)

In any case, I get a bit piece of paper, mark categories, and pencil in equipment and prices -- keeping in mind the scripts, the style and the shooting conditions. The direction you need to take with your equipment purchases will be immediately evident.

I would stick with low cost standard options for this guide, such as audio-technica AT4073a, Sennheiser wireless G2 with Tram mics, Bogen or cartoni tripod (depending on camera).

Remeber, this is only a preliminary guide to help give you a clear idea of what you can and cannot fit into your budget based on your needs. The purpose is also to give you a way to understand how you may have to re-evaluate your intitial plans based on the equipment that will fit into your budget.

Use B&H for reasonable street prices to keep you in the ballpark on actual cost.

Doing a chart then going over it with a DP and a line producer will give you an enormous amount of information.
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