1st Theatre Production-DVX100a questions at DVinfo.net

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The 4K DVX200 plus previous Panasonic Pro Line cams: DVX100A, DVC60, DVC30.

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Old April 6th, 2004, 06:40 PM   #1
Regular Crew
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: California
Posts: 147
1st Theatre Production-DVX100a questions

I have my 1st theatre production next week and have a few questions regarding the DVX. I will be doing tests inside the theatre this week so I figure I get a head start from you guys...

1. I will be using 2 me64 mikes both set to input 2 in each of my DVX's so I can have them record onto both channels. I was planning to set the audio on 1 channel slightly lower than the other since the play will consist of dialog as well as music. I was wondering if I should leave the ALC on or should I go manual for the audio?

2. Same question for exposure. Lighting conditions will vary from different colored scenes, to very low light situations. Should I set the cameras to auto exposure, change the exposure to different lighting conditions, or set the exposure that would be best for all lighting conditions and leave it at that?

3. Will I need to white balance for different lighting conditions or will setting white balance for the normal scene and leaving it at that be ok?

4. OIS, does it matter? Cameras will be on tripods.

5. Footage will be shot most likely in 24pa, depending on my tests. Distribution will be on DVD and VHS. Majority of people will have 4:3 monitors. I believe squeeze mode will looked squished on 4:3 monitors or is there a way to make it look normal in FCP4? If not, I was thinking of shooting in letterbox mode to have a letterboxed feel to it. Or should I do this in post instead? What are the advantages of doing it in post rather than the DVX? Doesn't it save time doing in camera letterbox?

6. Shutter set to 1/48 in 24pa mode?

7. Any other suggestions, comments, anything I might of missed?

Thank you very much!
Jaser Stockert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 6th, 2004, 07:37 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
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Here's a good thread that covers some of the issues related to filming stage productions: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=18431
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 7th, 2004, 08:25 AM   #3
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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As an amateur I film dance and theatre with two or three cameras. I have found with the local theatre group that I check the brightest and lowest light levels with the lighting tech before the show. Set white balance to indoor preset. This way I can manually set both a reasonable exposure level and focus. Most of the time I then do not need to touch either for the whole show, just track action. Normally one camera full stage ( this is usually set just a little brighter, on the verge of overexposure for the very brightest full stage lighting. For longer full stage shots it is more important to see stage detail than fine face details, though not white blobs!!) the other camera I control to track the action. IF any adjustments are needed I will use just the tracking camera ( usually for a dark/light scene , or close in action knowing that for this scene I will only have this shot available for edit until lighting comes back in range) I use the camera mics plus single point stereo to mini-disc and main camera. With my consumer cams I have no choice to control audio but the mini-disc is on manual control set low so I don't have to play with it!!! I have used roughly this approach since mid 80's then using Hi8 to now using my DV SOny's or for big shows renting Panasonic AGDVC200 as main and DVX100 as second camera. With these two cameras I set gain to 3db which for most lighting I see results in iris at F4 or greater giving me a good depth of field at the stage distance ( I usually shoot from centre back when I am by myself) When I rent these Panasonics I have DVX100 on auto audio local single point stereo mic on tripod and DVC200 with feed from theatre board with pre level check so I don't have to worry during show)
I would switch off OIS. I have to admit to not being a fan of 24p. If you are doing it for the majority of people to watch on a standard TV do it in 4:3 standard DV. Over the years I have learned that people want a record of the event first in as much detail as possible. To me this means sharpest detail, no motion artifacts, cleanest audio possible. If you have the chance do test shoots under the lighting and stage movement conditions at both 24p and standard DV and ask someone else to give their opinion so you are not clouded by your perceptions!!!!
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