"Living the Dream", short made on XH A1 - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old April 14th, 2007, 09:58 PM   #16
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It was an amazing piece. Well written and executed. It made me smile and feel good the whole way through, and the production values were awesome. The actress delivered a great performance, and you did a super job on editing and camera work. You guys are both extremely, extremely talented!
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Old April 15th, 2007, 02:34 AM   #17
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I shot on the A1 in 16:9 DV mode, because my current computer isn't fast enough to handle HDV...
Ok Chas, color me stupid. What am I missing here? AFAIK, HDV and DV are the exact same data rate and storage requirements. Why would your system not handle HDV?

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Old April 15th, 2007, 03:18 AM   #18
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I'm embarrassed to admit that though I know the scenes, I haven't seen half of these films in their entirety; I'm sure it comes as no surprise that someone my age smiled the most at the Office Space, Fargo, Pulp Fiction and Bugs Bunny bits.

That pile of strawberries looked amazing, though a bit washed out (is that the Mac/PC gamma difference rearing its ugly head?), and I might have liked to be closer to the windows, or just angled up a touch more, for the start of the Pulp Fiction scene (no booths, didn't look like a diner to me), but it was all great anyway, so two thumbs up from me!

Greg, I believe the difference between the two formats is in the way those bits are put together: DV uses intraframe compression, where each frame is compressed as its own entity, and can be decoded at a moment's notice. HDV, on the other hand, uses interframe compression, where data redundant across several frames is thrown away in order to achieve the relatively low data rates of the format.

You have a group of pictures (the "GOP" you hear talked about all the time) that consists of I, P, and B frames. I frames are like DV frames in that they contain an entire image, P frames contain only information about what has changed from the previous frame, and B frames (I think that's "bidirectional", but don't quote me on that) contain information about both the previous and following frames.

As a result, it's no big deal to seek to an I frame, but land on a P or B frame and the software has to go all the way back to an I and calculate each frame, up to and including the one you want, one by one. It's not too difficult for newer systems, but it's a pain for those of us with older machines, and can take ages to work with.
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Old April 15th, 2007, 04:00 AM   #19
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Robert:

Good call on the strawberries, I meant to give them another crunch on the color correction (I think the promist was getting flared by the backlight when I shot it) and forgot for the output. If I go back in I will tweak this more.

And of course you're right about the Pulp Fiction cheat, this was the last thing we shot and I had been fretting about location for this--not only are we missing the booths, but the windows had blinds etc. Doesn't look at all like a diner, more like my living room, because that's what it was...it was one of those compromises where I thought it was more worth having that particular clip in there with a halfass background than it would have been to try to shoot anywhere on location and likely failing (tough one to convince a diner owner to let us do!)
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Old April 15th, 2007, 01:09 PM   #20
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Heh heh

I just watched it again AND ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE CREDITS; that was awesome. Man, what a an awesome short.

I one broke down Hitch's masterpiece shot for shot; I would have loved to be on that shoot.

http://img361.imageshack.us/img361/997/annebh6.jpg
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Old April 16th, 2007, 02:36 AM   #21
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Charles,

I watched some of the others on that site and while each has something going for it, yours is my favorite so far. That lady sure looks like she had fun acting those roles and she really got into it, too.

I enjoyed it very much.
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Old April 16th, 2007, 09:41 AM   #22
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John:

That was really interesting to see the Van Sant version of the scene in thumbnails. I had that movie in mind as I was going through our little shoot, perhaps a bit jealous of the production resources available to them!

I did a similar thing with the original version but built the page in my shooting order to use as a storyboard (so I could have the satisfaction of crossing off setups as we got through them), attached below. One of the shots that I loved after having dissected the scene is the attacker wielding the knife with the focus on the water in the foreground, which we duplicated. We had actually forgotten to pick up the remote shower hose until the last second (Amy made a run while I was setting up the lighting!) which made this shot possible--with the camera in the bathtub, we simply moved the spray of water forward. I think our sequence would have suffered significantly had we not been able to recreate this particular element.

Ultimately, we were able to pick up about 85% of the shots that were seen in the original, although I didn't use all of them in the final cut, and I took a bit of liberty with the order in the edit since it was interspersed with the credits. It took us about 2.5 hours to shoot that sequence. I would have liked to have spent more time getting the performances correct, not to mention the fact that the attacker was played by my lone crew member who had come on board the day before, good sport that he was!

The whole film was a fascinating exercise, and these sequence probably the most fascinating of all to reproduce. My respect for Hitchcock increased once again.
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Old April 16th, 2007, 10:41 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
John:

That was really interesting to see the Van Sant version of the scene in thumbnails. I had that movie in mind as I was going through our little shoot, perhaps a bit jealous of the production resources available to them!

I did a similar thing with the original version but built the page in my shooting order to use as a storyboard (so I could have the satisfaction of crossing off setups as we got through them), attached below. One of the shots that I loved after having dissected the scene is the attacker wielding the knife with the focus on the water in the foreground, which we duplicated. We had actually forgotten to pick up the remote shower hose until the last second (Amy made a run while I was setting up the lighting!) which made this shot possible--with the camera in the bathtub, we simply moved the spray of water forward. I think our sequence would have suffered significantly had we not been able to recreate this particular element.

Ultimately, we were able to pick up about 85% of the shots that were seen in the original, although I didn't use all of them in the final cut, and I took a bit of liberty with the order in the edit since it was interspersed with the credits. It took us about 2.5 hours to shoot that sequence. I would have liked to have spent more time getting the performances correct, not to mention the fact that the attacker was played by my lone crew member who had come on board the day before, good sport that he was!

The whole film was a fascinating exercise, and these sequence probably the most fascinating of all to reproduce. My respect for Hitchcock increased once again.
Awesome awesome awesome

So ... any insight after shooting from the pages of Master himself ?
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Old April 16th, 2007, 03:57 PM   #24
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Great Charles! Tha's one of the most creative videos i've ever seen. Great work all around and the actress was fantastic. However, my only question was did you composite the tv screens, or did you shoot them as is with the video playing?

Once again great work man!
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Old April 16th, 2007, 04:08 PM   #25
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Hey, here's a quick response (I'm in the office today) for you!

The TV screens are mostly shot practically, either off the satellite or DVD (Tiffany's). The clip from "The Office" which was in there because the gent seen in closeup was the organizer of the screening in which this film played, so it was an inside joke (and got a big laugh, of course); I pulled that episode off iTunes and then composited into the existing footage. Normally for that sort of thing I would do a separate layer with reflections etc. but I felt it was good enough. Incidentally, I couldn't wrap my head around getting the iTunes content into a format that I could work with in FCP so I simply reshot the clip off my computer monitor--since it was being sized down it wasn't an issue (and probably gave it more appropriate presence than if it was the actual clip)!

Also, I shot the main part of the scene under tungsten light, and then when I turned around to shoot the TV I lit that side of the room with daylight balance so that the TV would render properly. Normally I would either prepare the footage to play on the TV with an effective warm correction to photograph properly at 3200K or assume it would be burned in later. Since I was using some practicals in the frame in the main part of the scene and didn't have 5600 bulbs for those, I just found it easier to switch to 5600 for the turnaround.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 06:09 PM   #26
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This short should be made into an instructional video for digital cinematography. I know I'd buy a copy. Too bad the rights would be too hard to get for those clips without spending a fortune.

Okay, how many points does a boyfriend get if he puts his girl in a movie where she can play the parts of a dozen of the most famous female roles ever?
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Old April 19th, 2007, 06:21 PM   #27
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Answer: MANY points, Marcus! Good call!

Regarding your first thought, I can say nothing but point you here...!
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Old April 20th, 2007, 12:24 AM   #28
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Charles,

As an H1 owner, and a fan of your work, I'm looking forward to seeing what you can do with it. Looks like you're just recording to tape?
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Old April 20th, 2007, 12:26 AM   #29
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That is the case, yes.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 06:11 AM   #30
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OT: I really think that Amy, the lead actress, looks a lot like a young Alice Krige. I've always thought she was rather interesting looking in an attractive way. She also looked strangely appealing in the Borg costume in Star Trek: First Contact. Hey, there's an idea for a Halloween costume!

BTW, Charles, if you read this don't ever compare your girlfriend to an older actress. That is probably something I would do and stuff like that is why I'm single. Even certain types of compliments subtract points.

I'm looking forward to further updates from the Top Secret shoot.
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