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Old May 15th, 2003, 02:45 PM   #1
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X-mas in May for me!!!

Hello, all. So, yesterday I walked into to B&H with nothing but my wallet, and left with what felt like half the store! I'm currently purchasing all the equipment for shooting a MiniDV feature this Summer in Puerto Rico, and I leave in 5 days. So, I'd just like to post a list of the equipment that I've bought so far, and the stuff I'm gonna get in the very near future, and hopefully you all will share your suggestions, tips, and warnings about the equipment I'm getting.

Before I start the list, I should fill you in on the nature of the project. It's a 90 minute comedy set in a High School, about a bunch of friends getting into all sorts of trouble. My brother and I have been writing the screenplay for the last two years, and it's finally time to put it to the test. The ultimate goal is for theatrical distribution.

With that in mind, here's the equipment I've already purchased:

1 Panasonic DVX100 NTSC
1 Extra 4 hour battery
1 Petrol soft carrying case
1 Tiffen circular polarizing filter
1 HHB Portadisc MiniDisc recorder w/ carrying case
1 Senheiser ME66 shotgun microphone w/ K6 power module
1 Basic foam windshield for ME66
1 Gitzo 9' fishpole
1 Audio Technica standard shockmount
2 25' XLR cables
1 Pair of Sony headphones

Equipment that I have yet to purchase:

1 Tripod w/ fluid head
1 Glidecam V-8 camera stabilization system
1 Cobra Crane jib arm
1 NTSC production monitor
1 JTL Everlight Kit w/ 3 lights
3 Spare bulbs for lights
3 Extension cords
1 Surge protector
S-video & RCA cables

This is everything I think I need for now. I'll have a week and a half to test all this stuff and figure out the workflow. If you see any glaring omissions, please post them!

One other thing. My hope is that this ends up in a movie theater. However, I am very aware that MiniDV has many limitations in terms of image quality when compared to 35mm film. I have seen footage of the DVX100 projected on a screen after transfer to film, and for my purposes it's more than good enough. Also, I have restrained myself from getting the anamorphic widescreen adapter, because I don't believe that the slight increase in resolution will outweigh the cost and the hassle of working with said adapter. Plus, it won't suddenly make my movie look like Braveheart just by adding the adapter. I'd rather be able to focus properly, use the filters I want, use the optical image stabilizer, and spend the money on post-production, than gain 100 lines of resolution.

That said, I can't wait to get started. I'm still working on the storyboards, and the contracts, permits, insurance, costumes, and getting a crew. Any thoughts on all this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for listening (reading?) and thanks to DVinfo for being a wonderful, knowledgeable, and friendly community. When I come back in August, I'll start asking you all for info on editing ;)

Wish me luck!
Jaime
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Old May 15th, 2003, 02:57 PM   #2
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Re: X-mas in May for me!!!

<<<-- Originally posted by Jaime Valles : Before I start the list, I should fill you in on the nature of the project. It's a 90 minute comedy set in a High School, about a bunch of friends getting into all sorts of trouble. Jaime -->>>

Is Alex (aka "dummy") going to be in the cast? ;-) Sorry, couldn't resist...

Seriously, I can tell you're excited about the project and it sounds like loads of fun. Good luck and don't forget to write!
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Old May 15th, 2003, 03:18 PM   #3
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It will take you until Christmas just to unpack all that stuff! It looks like you just won the state lottery.

Good for you! Have a blast. I'm particularly curious about using that V-8 with such a light camera as the DVX100. Let us know how all of this stuff works out for you, Jamie. (And, if such an unfortunate event occurs, please don't cite us as being responsible for your bankruptcy.)
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Old May 15th, 2003, 03:48 PM   #4
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You missed this on your list:

Sunscreen :-)

Get Ocean Potion from Wal Mart. SPF 50 and it ends up more or less dry (not greasy).

Have fun!
Dean Sensui
Base Two Productions
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Old May 15th, 2003, 03:53 PM   #5
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That hurts me to see someone part with all that money, since my parents are from the "old country," and they thaught me to be tight fisted. But then again, you bought some nice stuff! Good luck with your project----I'm going to do a bit of shooting in a couple of hours, but I see clouds inthe sky now---darn! Oh well.

Update: now it's raining! Oh well.
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Old May 15th, 2003, 03:58 PM   #6
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Yeah, I was in kind of shock when I got home and laid out all the boxes in front of me. Sooooo many registration cards...

And don't worry, Ken. I won't hold DVinfo responsible if things start going wrong. Only myself, and my lack of experience.

As far as winning the state lotto, I only wish! No, I managed to get someone to fund the project, so I wasn't as nervous making the purchases as if it had been my own cash. Of course, when you think that with the money I'm spending I could have bought a really nice car, that's when it starts to hit you! If nothing else, after principal photography is done, I'll be able to rent out the equipment and maybe even make a profit out of it in the long run. After all, there's lots of NYU film students out there...

I'll keep you all posted on how it all (hopefully) works. My e-mail access will be limited, but every once in a while I'll log on and post away. And certainly if an emergency situation comes up, you guys are my first resource.
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Old May 15th, 2003, 04:06 PM   #7
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One last word to the wise: leave yourself (or your sound technician) some extra time to get familiar with the HHb Portadisc if you/he have never used one. It's a wonderful unit (I have one myself) but it takes more than a bit of practice to learn it's tricks and to make its operation seem intuitive. Also make sure you have plenty of AA batteries, preferably rechargables. The Portadisc -loves- batteries and eats them 8 at a time like candy (my biggest criticism of the unit). It has an onboard recharger that works well, but it takes time.
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Old May 15th, 2003, 04:10 PM   #8
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Jeeez, this is really brave of you and your brother (and sponsor!)

I hope all goes well for you...good luck!
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