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Old March 12th, 2007, 12:54 PM   #1
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Travel show

Hello all, we have been working on a network travel show called "Live the Life" for quite some time now. Its a show where host Jim Brasher explores global occupations such as rickshaw puller in Kolkata, India; a windmill repairman in Germany, a Nuliya Fisherman in Puri, a pearl diver in Thailand, etc. The focus being on jobs that aren't considered jobs but simply a way of life.

We've shot episodes 1 and 2 and are currently shopping the series to Travel Channel, Nat Geo (US & Int'l), Discovery US, and Travel & Living UK.

Whats really interesting about our first episode (rickshaw puller in Kolkata) is that our crew was the last to document this profession before it got formally banned, 4 days after our shoot wrapped... What would make more sense out of these clips is the premise we set for the first episode, in which, Jim had to live off the money he made as a rickshaw puller so he took every transaction very seriously! This was unique for this episode as the producers tried to illustrate how harsh the rickshaw pullers have it.

Check out the following links to see random clips from episode 1:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9cnEk7A2JU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E93Pq24_nP4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfNkq1-byKE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50MQIxksnDY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPTpcGsQWpc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hI6ZNOroMF4


For more info on LTL, http://livethelife.craterlionproductions.com

Feel free to ask any questions or comments, critiques, etc. ! More clips to come as they get encoded. Thanks

Last edited by Spike Spiegel; March 12th, 2007 at 02:08 PM.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 05:00 PM   #2
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Spike, did you shoot or edit? The Youtube clip for the Rickshaw intro is kick butt. Good luck on the shopping it, but it is not like you will need it. I am sure someone will jump on it.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 05:07 PM   #3
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Both! I was the secondary camera man for the shoot and one of the editors as well. We plan on having a very small crew (4-5 ppl tops including host) out on location and emphasize our man power on the post production side. We had a meeting with Travel Channel @ Discovery's headquarters in maryland last week and that went pretty well, so hoping for some good news!! Thank you for your comments!
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Old March 12th, 2007, 06:39 PM   #4
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Good luck, Spike.

I liked what I saw, you have a very involved, engaging, and refreshing approach.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 06:59 PM   #5
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Thank you Bruce, very much appreciate the feedback. I wish youtube's quality was a bit better, it dissapointing because the footage is so crisp as its 10 bit downconverted and youtube doesn't really show the clarity. For better quality, please go to: http://livethelife.craterlionproductions.com
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Old March 13th, 2007, 05:51 AM   #6
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G'day Spike,

Nice work.. Curious, what cameras/audio/lighting gear did you use whilst travelling?.. I take it you travelled small and light?....
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Old March 13th, 2007, 11:57 AM   #7
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Hey James, we used a combo of the canon xlh1 (wi/ 1.6x extender for some shots), the sony z1, and the canon hv10 with a raynox .5 wide angle.

All 3 cameras are relatively specialized due to their form factor. The XL was used for the zoom in/outs shots across the city, and for shots where we wanted quicker depth of fields (wi/ 1.6x). THe Z1 was mounted ona glidecam system so we could track the rickshaws from the front and fly it (cameraman had a person watching his back).

The HV10, we used it everywhere really, we made a housing for it and had used velcro to secure it with a safety tether.

Because of budgeting reasons, we didn't have an audio guy so we had 3 sources of audio sometimes. For specific scenes, we boomed wi/ a at897. For the run and gun scenes, we had the at897 mounted on the z1 and a sennheiser lav unit on the host, running into the xlh1. For the seriously run and gun areas, we shot with the hv10 and captured audio with the lav, into a HIMD at 1.5mbs linear PCM.

For lighting, we didn't do ...anything... We didn't want to bring in light kits into the communes or any other area and make it look ready for production, we wanted to capture the places as they were, grainy or not. The cameras held up pretty well in low light, i must say.

It took a good bit of time figuring out what specific cameras to use, as we had to sh oot underwater too in the second episode. THe cameras held up really well in every situation; from dust, pollution, heat, to even salt water and m oisture.

Before we left, we had an idea of what our workflow would have been ; when we came back , it was a nightmare tryign to figure out how to retain the best quality while delivering in SD.

I think for our next shoot, we will definitely get a XDCAM out there and use that as primary and bundle up with a couple of XHG1's /A1's along with a disposable batch of hv20s.

Oh and to carry the gear, we used a large pelican case that literally fit everything in it... ANd camera bags are a great thing to carry as well due to unpredictable airport requirements.
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Old March 17th, 2007, 09:35 AM   #8
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G'day again Spike,

I know what you mean by HDV workflow nightmare... I get told different things from different editors.. One person says shoot HDV then downconvert to SD, others say its better to just shoot 16:9 SD... Do you have to deliver the final cut on 16:9 Digital Beta?

Wow, that must be tough having no audio guy! It sounded fine to me on the web videos so you seemed to do a pretty good job of it... Maybe if you get a bigger budget you'll be able to afford one in the future.. Me personally I hate having to shoot and do audio at the same time. Such a hassle having to wire talent up, making sure there's no mic rubbing noise, keeping an eye on levels, listening through your headphones, all whilst trying to shoot and be creative....

I think the XDCAM will be a wise choice and the step up in quality will be very noticeable.... Having a real lens and being able to shoot on your shoulder is a huge plus in my books... The only downside I find with a full size shoulder camera is not the camera weight/size itself, more the size of the batteries, chargers, tapes, LCD monitors and batteries (since there's not one built in on most shoulder cams although not an issue if you shoot XDCAM).. Plus a much bigger and heavier tripod.. I've always found big tripods a pain to carry and they never seem to balance well when you carry it around... But my shoulders are now used to it.. :)

Anyways good luck and great to see people out there shooting something interesting and to a good standard!...
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Old March 18th, 2007, 01:00 PM   #9
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Hi James, yes, the final delivery is on Digibeta 16:9. No matter what anyone says, shooting in HD and downconverting to SD is ALWAYS the better choice, especially if it is a broadcast quality hardware down conversion via a capture card. Then, there is no doubt! The footage we have looks absolutely stunning raw, and when it i 10 bit downconverted to SD, my god, its still stunning.

I have to say, HDV's compression codec held up REALLY well to what we threw at it, from low light, to fast motion, to whatever else, it is just a dream to work with these diff formfactors of HDV doing what we do; and they're only getting better.

We're budgeting in an audio guy this time around because it is just simply too chaotic handling video, crowds, your own gear, and audio...

In regards to your XDCAM comment, yes, it'll definitely look superior, but we did use the xlh1 which is shoulder mounted (but not as big/heavy as the xdcam). Lugging around gear isn't fun, but thats ok, thats why we have PA's! :P

Next episode is going to be a windmill repairman in Germany.
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