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Old August 11th, 2006, 09:17 AM   #1
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FIRST POST: Music video equipment questions

Hi all. . .

This is a first-time post from an utter newbie.

Over the past two and half years, I went from 0 to 60 and built a wonderful recording studio in my basement. I'm just about done recording a really first-rate album.

I now need to put together several music videos to go with a few of the songs on the album.

Here is what I want to have when I'm done:

1. Videos that can be downloaded in very high quality from my internet site. (Obviously there are bandwidth issues here.)

2. Videos that be sold as very high quality DVDs with today's technology, but, hopefully, can be transferred to the coming HD video players when they hit the market.

3. Videos that are MTV-Ready. . . just in case.

Here are my questions:

1. What are a few of the lowest-end cameras capable of shooting footage to meet the above needs? Please be specific with respect to models.

2. I have heard a lot about 24p and 1080p rates and resolutions. If YOU were shooting a music video for a great band, what formats would you shoot it in?

I'm sure I'll be back with more questions down the road, but I do need to get the gear now to get ready to shoot this coming fall.

Thank you very much for your kind assistance.

Sincerely,

Stephen Pruitt
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Old August 11th, 2006, 09:50 AM   #2
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Hi Stephen there are lots of gear and programs that you can choose from. I also have a recording studio although I only do VO's out of it. Some things that might help us help you are:
What's a ball park for your budget
What software are you using to edit audio with (If it's pro tools you would probably lean more towards Final Cut Pro. I use Audition because it is part of Adobe's Production suite.)
Are you a Mac or PC guy?
How well versed are you with cameras? Still or Video? (if you have a good background with cameras your choices will differ. I like the HD 100 from JVC, I have also owned the Z1U from Sony. The JVC has a more professional feel and produces better pictures for me, but the Sony is a lot easier to just pick up and shoot with.) So give us a little more about you and lots of people will join in to help. REMEMBER MOST OF WHAT YOU ASKED IS SUBJECTIVE. Ask 10 videographers which is the best camera and you'll get 23 different answers.

"2. I have heard a lot about 24p and 1080p rates and resolutions. If YOU were shooting a music video for a great band, what formats would you shoot it in?"

I would shoot it 720p at 30 with a 60 shutter, but that's just me.
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Old August 11th, 2006, 10:08 AM   #3
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I agree with Jerry, we need to know your skill levels and knowledge base. As far as shooting the video, there is absolutely no reason not to go with a HiDef camera. It can be processed down to standard def cable ready, or left HiDef if there should be a market for it. Everything else is really secondary- web delivery, DVD delivery... you need to get it shot first. However, you also need to have some experience cutting and editing. It will help you shoot better, when you know you need extra room before and after the actual shot for transitions between scenes.

Figure iout the camera to use, then you can decide what to edit with. Some cams are picky about what features will work with what hardware/software.
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Old August 11th, 2006, 11:18 AM   #4
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Okay! Thanks for the quick info.

Here are some more specifics:

I'm a total novice when it comes to video, but I am a very good still photographer (THREE Hasselblads, actually).

My director is pretty darn good with working in video, although this will be his first attempt at a music video.

I currently am a Mac man, although that isn't a necessity. I suppose, in a perfect world, I'd stay with the Mac.

As far as putting things together, basically, I'll just be slapping video on top of a running audio track (my song). The video will be edited to fit the audio content, and not the other way around.

Budget? I'd like to stay in the $5000 or so or under for the camera and accessories, but I'm perfectly willing to buy used gear if it is in great shape. (A lot of my great studio gear was purchased used on Ebay.)

So, at this point you don't see any reason to be looking for 1080p or 1080i?

And why wouldn't you want to shoot in 24p instead of 30p? I thought that 24p was the "filmesque" format?

Okay. . . now that I've given you more to go on, can you give me some specific advice?

Thanks very much. Truly!

Stephen
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Old August 11th, 2006, 11:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Pruitt
And why wouldn't you want to shoot in 24p instead of 30p? I thought that 24p was the "filmesque" format?
Stephen
Actually, the way I see it, film is filmic, video is an imitation at best. That is me nit picking and being a purist. The true reason you may not want to go 24P, is because you might not be able to get it to work, depending on the cam and NLE you choose. 24P is touted by many as the greatest video gimick, but there are many issues related to actually getting it to work.
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Old August 11th, 2006, 12:13 PM   #6
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I prefer the way 30p looks it's smother and has a better feel to me. Making it work is a snap in PP2 with Aspect HD. (what I use) I have no intentions of ever converting anything I do to film. (Lucas doesn't) So 24p is kinda lost on me. If your pretty well versed with stills making the change to video will be alot easier. F's are still F's and good freaming is still just that. In that 5 grad is that just Camera and acc's? If so, I'd say Go with the HD 100 and a good tripod (around 5K). Now lights are a whole nother story. They can run more than the camera and no matter how good of camera you get if you lighting stinks so will your shots. Same as with a still, but you can't just use a flash.
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Old August 11th, 2006, 12:31 PM   #7
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That pretty well summed it up. However, don't feel you need to drop $5K on the HD100, or any other cam. There are newer, easier prosumer HDV cams on the market. They won't get the exact same results, but it will work for you, and give you some extra room to budet lights, tripods, NLEs, and anything else that will pop up.
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Old August 11th, 2006, 12:55 PM   #8
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24p. DVX. HD100. XLH-1. HVX.

24p is the standard in the low-budget music-video world, of which I am up to my neck in here in Los Angeles. So much so in fact that the video commissioners at the major labels know the DVX and 24p mode by name for videos in the 0 to $10k budget range.
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Old August 11th, 2006, 02:45 PM   #9
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When you shoot high shutter, might as well shoot 30P IMHO. The perfect camera and format for low-budget music videos is the HVX and two 4GB P2 cards. Perfect for workflow and the medium, shoot out 4 or 5 takes, dump the cards, rinse repeat. Since you are a still guy, might add an M2 at some point and be able to use your lenses you already have... This is a NO BRAINER choice for me... Used HVX and 2 P2 cards can be had for under $6k..



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Old August 11th, 2006, 03:47 PM   #10
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Okay. . . so I should consider a Panasonic HVX-200? Is that the one?

Now, as I read things, it doesn't shoop 1080p, just 1080i. Is this a problem? Or do I really care about 1080p?

I will definitely be using Final Cut for the production (buying the software and a new computer tomorrow!).

Thanks again.

Your help is invaluable.

Stephen
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Old August 19th, 2006, 11:38 PM   #11
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Stephen,

If $5K is your budget, I say get a DVX100, Final Cut Pro if you don't have it and some lights.

I've made several music videos on the DVX100, the camera is ubiquitous for that purpose. If it is an original concept, good filming and tasteful editing, and above all a really good song, the format will be less important. Between the XL2, the HVX and everything else sub-$10K, the DVX seems like the most for the money, especially for a beginning filmmaker. That's my opinion- another log on the fire.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 12:27 PM   #12
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HVX will shoot 1080P but I would shoot music videos in 720P. DVX is fine for 4:3 but if you want to do 16:9 it is the wrong choice.



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Old August 20th, 2006, 05:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Greyson
HVX will shoot 1080P but I would shoot music videos in 720P. DVX is fine for 4:3 but if you want to do 16:9 it is the wrong choice.



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Right you are, Ash. I wasn't sure if true 16:9 was a priority for Stephen, but he did say he had a $5K budget. That's the main reason I say go DVX-otherwise the HVX is perfect for music videos.
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