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Old May 26th, 2005, 03:06 PM   #1
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shooting a short next summer and confused

I'm about to start a budget plan for an ambitious short film next summer and i must admit i currently have no idea what medium to shoot on. If the script is approved, i should get a more than decent budget.
first i'm definitely not planning to shoot HDV, because it is a very ambitious project and I don't think a 1/3 chip camera can compete with 16mm especially concerning the depth of field.
so my hesitation is mainly between HDCAM and film. the advantage of HDCAM is the possibilty of doing some intense color correction and i think this project might involve a lot of that. i worked as a P.A on movies shot on film and the process is very slow, I'm assuming it's way faster on HDCAM. plus the idea of not being able to make too many mistakes with film kinda worries me since it would be my first real 'big" project. another thing is all the HD equipment issue(monitor, etc...): how much and available is it so far? because i honestly really know little about HD, plus i heard telecine and stuff with HD is very expensive.
another alternative is shooting with panasonic AJ-SDX900. sure it's not HD but from i read from noah kander that cam can render very good results once on film, i wonder if this cam hasn't been underestimated...
so if any of you had any experience with the subject any advice is welcome.

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Old May 26th, 2005, 05:08 PM   #2
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Well first off maybe you should find a talented cinematographer or director of photography and ask his/her advice? I would probably go with their pick as he/she will probably give the best results with his/her choice, budget permitting.

Another way of looking at this is to examine your goals. If it's a short film, you may want to save some money because short films typically don't make that much money, and you don't need to use lots of money to get what it is you may want (i.e. industry recognition, or just doing a project you're interested in).

For budgeting purposes, it may help to budget much higher than your projections so people will think you saved them money.

Perversely enough, that may actually hurt you if you want to get funding for future projects if they see you can do it cheaply. In that case, you could find some way of spending lots of money once production is over (i.e. spend more time on things like color grading, audio mixing, etc.) if you are running too underbudget.

2- If you can afford it, film can offer you more range in color correction because of:
Greater exposure latitude... although you may be able to get comparable exposure latititude with the right camera and camera settings. See
better color sampling, not 3:1:1 or 4:2:2 or lower. Particular cameras have been hacked to get 4:4:4 sampling to record onto hard drive recorders.
No compression
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Old May 27th, 2005, 04:50 AM   #3
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I'll defer to others on the other issues but you mentioned you thought video would be faster since shooting on film "was so slow." I think you are mistaken in the impression that video will be faster. Shot setup, lighting the scene, rigging sound, etc etc would require identical time and attention regardless of the medium the camera uses to capture the image. With video you don't have processsing for the dailies with the attendant costs but that doesn't contribute materially to the shooting schedule.
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Old May 27th, 2005, 11:55 AM   #4
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on video you see he result straight on the monitor while on film you don't which requires much more attention, etc...
anyway I searched on the net about experiences with the aj-sdx900 and i think i will go for it...
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