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Old March 4th, 2004, 03:09 PM   #1
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About reusing footage and different takes

I am planning to make a short film. My question is, I know that the pros never reuse any footage and will do lots of takes meaning that they will use up the whole film. Should I do this in my approach? I mean, before I got a digital DV camcorder, what I did was just basically rewind and record over and over just for some recreational events But, now I have learned that it is not good for the camcorder (head wear/clog) and filmmaking aspect. So, I guess I would just film everything at once -- if there are bloopers or outtakes, I'll just keep recording then and edit it during post. I mean, I guess I would sacrifice miniDV cassette storage/space for better filmmaking. I also guess I can have a blooper/outtake section at the end of credits, too!
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Old March 4th, 2004, 03:41 PM   #2
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I tend to accidentally record over my footage, so re-using tapes is a very bad idea for me.

Also... DV tape is so cheap nowadays. ecost.com, tapestockonline, taperesources.com, etc. have tapes for $4 each or less depending on brand (stick with one).
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Old March 4th, 2004, 04:28 PM   #3
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Glenn touched on probably two of the most important points you can make in this post.

First, let's face it, tape is cheap! No real need to be miserly in this area.

Second and most importantly, you should never review your tapes in the field unless absolutely neccessary. This opens you up to the very real possibility of erasing footage that is already in the can. Trust me, everyone has had their "Darwinian" moment with regards to this, at least I have.

Believe it or not, those "out takes" can be a very good source of additional footage that can be intercut between variations of the same shot. Just because it wasn't part of the shot you "printed" doesn't mean you can't use it as part of the sequence.

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Old March 4th, 2004, 10:17 PM   #4
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When you say "review the tapes," ya mean like rewind and replay them or rewind and rerecord over them?
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Old March 4th, 2004, 10:47 PM   #5
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David,

I mean rewind and replay the tapes in the field.

It is not a thing that you want to make a habit of. The possibility of screwing something up by accidentally recording over good footage is much too great, especially if you are in the middle of a shoot and allot of things are going on around you.

The only time I review a tape in the field, is if the shot that I am reviewing is exceptionally tough to recreate or is in anyway dangerous and I don't want to do a second take, unless absolutely necessary. At this point, I would want to positively know that the shot is in the can.

Another exception to this rule is when your notes on screen direction fall through the cracks and you have to check a prior set-up in order to have solid continuity.

I've been on more than one shoot where footage has been inadvertently recorded over due to someone's absentmindedness or negligence. This has been more often than not, due to everyone and his brother wanting to look at the take.

They will just have to wait for the movie!

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Old March 4th, 2004, 11:34 PM   #6
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I couldn't agree more

I've had two occasions where I darn near lost footage by reviewing it after a take. Never again.

If you positively feel you will need to review footage while shooting, one idea is to slave a second camera, perhaps a small, inexpensive camera, to your main cam via Firewire. That way you can capture a second tape and review from that tape. It could also provide some degree of redundancy for your footage.
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Old March 5th, 2004, 01:05 AM   #7
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Of course, as you get years down the road, you have this slight problem.

I have about 400 miniDV and around 50 full-sized DVCam tapes. They take up a lot of room and finding the right one when I need it again takes a long time. I can look right at the 'right' tape and look over the other 399 before I return to that one and repeat the cycle again.
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