Sample Shots from a short at DVinfo.net

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Old June 17th, 2003, 09:41 AM   #1
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Sample Shots from a short

I wanted to share with you my first extensive shooting experience with the DVX100.

It was actually quite a nightmare, but it was my own fault. We were shooting a night scene, and I wanted a contrasty, dark scene, but I way under exposed the shot. I was using the LCD to monitor the shot when I should have been using a video monitor to check levels. Later, when I captured the footage, it was so dark that I thought it was unusable. First I reversed telecined the footage to 24p, then pulled it into AE to adjust the levels, then back into FCP to boost the gain and color correct it. So, it came across quite grainy and splotchy because of the levels boost. So, I added a soft mist-like filter to give it a dreamy look and soften it a bit (which I intended to do anyway).

Let me know what you think. The footage below is not gamma corrected for computer playback, so it'll be darker than normal. The NTSC monitor playback is brighter.

http://toppup.com/treasure/pre/sample_big.wmv (14MB)

It was definitely a learning experience. I look forward to "learning" some more as we continue working on this short film.

Russell
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Old June 17th, 2003, 10:33 AM   #2
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Can't access it :(
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Old June 17th, 2003, 10:38 AM   #3
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Here are some smaller versions:

Windows Media (4M)
http://www.toppup.com/treasure/pre/sample.wmv

Quicktime (8M)
http://www.toppup.com/treasure/pre/sample.mov

Let me know if these work.

Russell
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Old June 17th, 2003, 10:51 AM   #4
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I did get the big to download. Nicely shot and edited - more info about the short?

What did you use as your dolly?

What lighting setup? What FX did you soften with?
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Old June 17th, 2003, 10:56 AM   #5
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I'm impressed by the soft filtering you did. The darkness of the shot actually made the hilight portions step out. Was it supposed to be romantic? Because it totally looks like the start of a De Beers commercial. :)
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Old June 17th, 2003, 11:06 AM   #6
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great mood setting :)

reminds me of me on a long dark lonely night waiting for the next job to come in :)

i think most guys can relate to it, and evenwith the overprocesing, i found it to be intriguing...

maybe do a a series of them.. like "the last cigarette" kinda thing... you never know, its a nice eloquent piece of work...

jsut wondering with the dolly shot of the couch and the restlessness, did you run it numerous times with the different poses, then just blend them using standard crossfade?

ive never considered a shot like that but its VERY effective for something of this mood...

great work keep it up!
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Old June 17th, 2003, 11:42 AM   #7
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Thanks for the comments. I'll try to answer everyone's questions here.

I've created a website to track the entire production:

http://www.toppup.com/treasure

You can read more about the story by clicking on "Preproduction" and then "The Story". There, you'll find the treatment and screenplay.

For the dolly, I built a simple skateboard-wheel dolly using PVC for track. Home Depot--$50. Skateboard wheels donated by the local skate rink.

Lighting setup was just two sources--a diffused Tota dimmed down from the left, and a blue spot from the right. Most of the color was added later in FCP.

For the softening, I used a standard filter in FCP called "Silk Stocking" by Eureka, I think. I wasn't shooting for a romantic look, but it turned out nice. I wanted more of a dreamy like sequence.

For the wrestling scene on the couch, yes, we ran the dolly six or seven times down the couch and then cross dissolved the shots and timed them so that it was one continuous shot. I think one thing we'll do differently in production is that rather than move the camera parallel to the couch, it'll come in more of angle so that the final shot is a CU of the guy on the couch. I think it'll be more powerful.

Thanks again for the feedback.

Russell
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Old July 14th, 2003, 04:13 PM   #8
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that was just down right amazing. what settings did you have everything on?

my problem is i have this camera, and all i really change is the white balance and put it on 24p mode.
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Old July 14th, 2003, 06:10 PM   #9
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I used the standard 24p settings. I used FCP to capture the 24p footage, but then I also used After Effects and some FCP filters to color correct and level correct most of the footage, because I way underexposed the footage.

I think the standard 24p settings are really all you need. Just shoot lots of test clips and find what works best for you. It also helps to really light it well. That can add a lot of depth and filmic quality.

Russell
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Old July 14th, 2003, 06:18 PM   #10
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Hey, what's the name of the heavy metal tune? I liked the music.
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Old July 14th, 2003, 07:37 PM   #11
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did you just use available light? also what color(s) did you white balance on?

that footage makes me want to slit my wrists when i look at what ive done with the camera. its just so amazing.
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Old July 14th, 2003, 09:49 PM   #12
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The music is Chopin's Nocturne, Op. 9, No. 1 in B-Flat minor. The entire piece is so powerful. Just listening to this music inspiried the whole story and motivation to do the short film.

I shot the couch scenes with two lights. A warm, soft light for the dominant front light and then a harder, blue-gel spot for the backlight. Then, the light from the lamp added some more warmth, as well. I white balanced off the little desk lamp. Through FCP color correction, I desaturated it some and then made it more of a golden color.

Russell
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Old July 16th, 2003, 06:20 AM   #13
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Very nice!
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