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


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Old April 23rd, 2004, 01:11 PM   #1
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Cinematic Look

Hi Guys,
I am about to make a purchase for a camera package and still not sure..i just have one question:
With the DVX100 or DVX100A what do you need to able to achive that good nice cinematic look ??? Skills for sure but what else ??
I am planning to shoot documentaries and travel videos where I want my travel videos to have that cinematic look but at those films I will not be able to use proper lightning for example...is it important to use for the look...?
Thanks
Gabor
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Old April 24th, 2004, 06:17 AM   #2
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The progressive footage of the DVX100 (24P and variantions) is what you are looking for. It's not film, but it gives the video a very nice filmlook appearance.

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Old April 24th, 2004, 07:22 AM   #3
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I see....

So the 24p itself gives a good "film look" to the video...thanks.
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Old April 24th, 2004, 07:52 AM   #4
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Yes. I recommend to tweak the settings of the DVX100(a) to customize the look to your own taste. There are a lot of option that can be adjusted, starting from one of the standard presets (called scene files).

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Old April 24th, 2004, 08:11 AM   #5
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Gabor, I'll save you a future post of "Help! My 24p footage looks stuttery!"...

If I read one more of those I'll barf... If you get a DVX you'll see that the lcd monitor (and even a seperate production monitor) will display the video as "stuttery"... that's because the camera has to do a computer process similar to "pulldown"... the gist is that there's so much going on in the camera (to run 24 frames on a 29.97 medium) that it can't display what it's actually putting on tape as it's doing it...

The "apparent" slower/stuttery motion has fooled a lot of people into never using this feature... and wrongly concluding that 24p just looks stuttery.

Shoot something in 24p and capture it to your NLE then see what you have... big difference.

Of course there are action scenes or other sequences that don't lend themselves to 24p as well as 30p... you'll see when you get one.

The other issue that Peter is addressing is that a cinematic look isn't simply the 24 frames rate. The "p" means progressive scan which is a big deal... then you have cinematic gamma (color response) curves which can be adjusted in camera... again a big deal... and you also have BLACK DETAIL which can be adjusted in camera... need I say it?

It's ALL a big deal... EVERY SINGLE FACET OF THE IMAGE THAT YOU WOULD NORMALLY HAVE TO FIX IN POST CAN BE FIXED ON LOCATION WITH A DVX... there are 8 or so different parameters that can be adjusted to suit your EXACT taste for the shot. And when you combine ALL that for your attempt at a cinematic look it is, of course, a big deal.

Get one, you'll absolutely love it.
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Old April 26th, 2004, 12:17 AM   #6
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Gabor,

I'd just like to throw my 2 cents in here...

While I agree with Peter that the 24 fps progressively scanned frame rate goes a long way to achieving a more cinematic look than regular interlaced video, I have to say that I feel it more appropriately stated that 24P gives you the same motion signature as film. Motion signature is key to how we perceive moving images. But motion signature is simply the way an image moves. Remember, 24P is just a frame rate. That's it. The frame rate has nothing to do with color, contrast, tone, etc. Simply using a frame rate of 24P won't make your video "look like film". Like i said, I agree that is goes a long way to help you achieve images that don't have the same look and feel of interlaced video.

I am a Director of Photography and also a D.I.T. (Digital Imaging Technician). As a D.I.T. whenever someone asks me if I can make HD (or any Digital format) "look like film", I simply respond: You tell me what "Film" looks like, and I'll make it look that way. Plain and simple. Some people think the look of film is high contrast and saturated colors. Some think the look of film is a very even contrasted image with gentle colors and subtle tones. So Gabor, what does film look like to you?

Experiment with the different image settings of your DVX and find the balance that YOU think looks like film. You may find that your idea of film is just as varied as film really is. That's cool too. You've got 6 different scene files that you can store those different looks. So create one with high contrast and saturated colors, one with low contrast and muted colors, etc...

Now as a Cinematographer, I gotta state that all the DSP modification in the world won't create the look of cinema that comes from cinematic lighting. So if you're stuck running and gunning on a doc, look for ways to exploit your natural sources. Find angles that put your harder sources BEHIND your subject to create a natural rim or edge light. Exploit the compact size of the DVX to get angles that force your natural sources into place as tried and true 45 degree key's. Etc. etc.

And Matt, (just to give you a hard time) I want to mention that the DVX doesn't quite have all the parrameters available to manipulate the image. But it does give you more than any other DV cam out there. And it certainly has all the main parrameters that have the greatest affect on the image. :)
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Old April 28th, 2004, 01:13 AM   #7
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Jon, sorry I got caught up in the DVX details. I'm normally the FIRST one to point out that all the "extra" work that goes into film is a lot of the reason that "film" is an adjective that we all use interchangeably with quality.

His work is very "film-like" is another way of saying the shoot looks good.

I think you can process 16mm for $300 per minute or there-abouts? No? Is it more?

Anyway... as you can imagine when people are spending a minimum of $300 PER MINUTE just to process the film to completion they definitely DON'T waste shots. Now imagine a shoot where everybody's making a living and some stand to make a killing. Then nothing's taken for granted.

As Jon points out a lot of what makes the "film-look" legendary is the fact that a lot of talent goes into every aspect of the end product.

Next time you get out your camera, no matter WHAT model it is, plan all acting, motion paths, zooms, pans, lighting, special effects, and any other condition I'm forgetting... Do ALL that instead of just "going for it" like we often do... If you plan ALL THAT out I'll bet people will say, "Boy he's really got the film-look going..."... even if you shoot with a High-8 camera.
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Old April 28th, 2004, 10:17 AM   #8
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16mm film at the minimum is 250 a minute ( www.dvfilm.com )
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Old April 28th, 2004, 12:57 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Matt Gettemeier :
I think you can process 16mm for $300 per minute or there-abouts? No? Is it more?
-->>>

You can buy, process, and transfer 16mm film for a grand total of under $20 per minute.
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Old April 28th, 2004, 04:20 PM   #10
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I believe barry is right but what that $20 doesn't take into account is the cost of reshooting when you find out that your cheap ass ebay 16mm camera has a broken lock down for the film as it moves in front of the shutter so that everything you shot got exposed twice and since it takes 4 weeks you can't go back and redo it because your actors are all in las vegas drinking them selves silly. Not that I'm speaking from personal experience...
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Old April 28th, 2004, 05:30 PM   #11
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Barry... read NO sarcasm into this, but if you know how we can do 16mm film for $20 a minute then PLEASE start a new thread or give us some advice on how to do that. Even transfer?

Considering that is less then a tenth the price I've been quoted from everywhere else I'd say that company ought to double their price, advertise, and make a killing.

Do tell. Please.
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Old April 28th, 2004, 06:27 PM   #12
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Okay, let's first make sure we're talking about the same thing: I'm talking about shooting 16mm film, transferring to video, and then editing from video. Not making a film print or anything, although you will have the negative available if you should choose at some point in the future to conform it and make a blowup.

I'm not talking about transferring video up to 16mm film -- that's a whole different ball of wax.

To shoot 16mm film at the rate of $20/minute:

1. Either be a student, or enroll in the Film Arts Foundation, IFP, or some other organization like that which will entitle you to a 20% discount from Fuji.

2. Buy a 400' roll of Fuji 16mm film using your discount: costs about $95 for brand new fresh film stock.

3. Develop at a place like FilmWorks Labs, 10 cents per foot, $40 for developing.

4. Transfer to DV at FilmWorks, $150/hour. 400' can be transferred and color-corrected at 3:1 in half an hour, so $75.

So, you spend $95 + $40 + $75 = $210, and you get 11 minutes of source footage on DV tape from that. Divide it out and it comes to $19.09 per minute. Throw in a little for taxes and shipping and round it off to $20 per minute.

You can save a little by shooting short ends or recans, but not enough to justify the additional risk (IMHO).

If you want to shoot 35mm, you can shoot that for not much more. Because short ends and recans are so much more plentiful in 35mm than 16mm, you can buy short ends for 10 cents per foot. 1,000 feet of short ends would cost $100.00. Processing is $100. Transfer is the same ($75). So you get 11 minutes of 35mm footage shot, processed, and transferred to DV tape for $25 per minute.

And if you're REALLY cheap, you can shoot TechniScope widescreen 2.35:1 35mm film for even less. You only need 500' of film and 500' of processing for the same 11-minute runtime, so $175 gets you 11 minutes for a cost of about $16 per minute. That's the same format that American Graffiti and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly were shot on, basically the same image area as Super35. Finding a 2-perf camera is harder though. But if you find a 2-perf camera, you can shoot 35mm film for under $16 per minute.
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Old April 28th, 2004, 11:20 PM   #13
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Barry:

I looked into this before and think your math is pretty spot on, but the huge problem is the transfer to video stage.

Your price is for transferring to DV which I think is a big waste if your originally shot 35mm - that's what DV is for. Even 16mm to DV seems like somewhat of a waste unless you happen to have access to a bunch of 16mm equipment.

Are you aware of any low cost way to transfer 35mm to 2K or 4K (or even HD)?

My cost for 35mm motordrive system is high ($18 per 12-15 seconds or around $100 a minute) but at the end I have a 2K high res file of my footage....
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Old April 29th, 2004, 06:52 PM   #14
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I don't follow why you'd want to do that.

You can transfer to BetaSP or to miniDV at those rates. If you're shooting a TV commercial on film, that's what you'd do: shoot on film, transfer to the tape format of your choice, and finish on tape.

If you were shooting film for a theatrical release, this is also how you'd do it: transfer to a "video workprint" like DV, edit, then generate a cutlist and use that to conform the negative.

If you were shooting film for a home video release, you'd also transfer the film to DV or whatever your preferred tape format is, then edit on DV, and then stop because you're done: you'd have a finished master product.

If your destination is for film out, you don't transfer to video and then transfer that video back to film, you transfer to video and then use the cutlist to go and cut the original film negative and then do a print from that.

So why would you want a 2K or 4K file? They're pretty much only used for adding special effects, CGI, special "digital intermediate" coloring effects, etc. to something that's going back out to film.
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Old April 29th, 2004, 06:58 PM   #15
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For exactly that reason - effects, color, titles, etc. Basically the digital intermediate. The difference in working with DV files and 2K or 4K at 16bpc is night and day.

Doing that with miniDV does not make sense to me. I can always make a low-rez for simple editing, but shooting 16 or 35 and not being able to color, efx etc. until after the negative conform is painful, limited and expensive.
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