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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old June 22nd, 2002, 11:20 PM   #1
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getting a good "film look" with a pd150..

im going to be shooting some commercials and music videos soon, and i will be renting a crew using the pd150.. just in case the camera person is clueless, i would like to know what settings you all use to acheive a nice and smooth film looking video...

im sure that progressive scan mode is a given, but im unsure of any other settings since im an editor and director, not a cinematographer..

what settings have given you your most successful results?

and just as an add on question, how well would the shotgun mic on the pd150 pick up dialog from around 10 feet away?? im going to assume not good, but i hope someone can prove me wrong...

thanks in advance for the help!!

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Old June 23rd, 2002, 01:32 AM   #2
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This is video not film!
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Old June 23rd, 2002, 01:58 AM   #3
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great point!! now does anyone have anything constructive to add?
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Old June 23rd, 2002, 11:56 AM   #4
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i own a vx-2000 ut its about the same as pd150 as far as controls and chips etc. i agree with bryan that this is video not film but anyway there are a few ways to get a more nonvideo look.drop the camera down a shutter speed to 30(60 is norm for ntsc) though u will get some jitteryness and lose half the vert resolution this way but it does look kinda cool.the best way to achieve "film looks" is in post.i use a de-interlace method in final cut pro that looks awesome though its a real long render but def. worth it. here are some links that u may find helpful

<http://www.lafcpug.org/film_look.html>

<http://www.lafcpug.org/meeting_04_24_02.html>

<http://www.urbanfox.tv/workbooks/sonypd150/index.htm>
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Old June 23rd, 2002, 08:11 PM   #5
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Re: getting a good "film look" with a pd150..

There probably is a reason why you would hire a crew and then use a $3500 camcorder and then want a film look.

How much more would it cost to actually use a film camera, say a Super8? The resolution is much more than video, really looks like film and doesn't cost all that much. About $25-$30 per 2.5 minutes (assuming you are shooting at 24 fps for sound.

An incredibly good Super8 camera costs less than $1,000 and you can probably rent one for around $10 per day.

Just a suggestion because nothing looks as good as film except film. None of the plugins look as good.

Just a thought.
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Old June 24th, 2002, 02:29 AM   #6
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matthew,

thanks for the tips and the links.. they will surely come in handy...

mike,

thanks for your suggestions as well...

what alot of people forget about shooting on film is the telecine process, which can cost anywhere from $200 an hour done cheaply, to $400 an hour done right with color correction... not to mention, im an hour and a half away from the closest rental house, and the same distance from a good post house..

sure i can shoot film, but the added expense will exasperate the budget, and then how do i get paid? im surely not in business just to break even...

ive got a local crew with a pd150 and qualifying supporting equipment at my disposal for $100 an hour, and im an hour and a half out of LA, so that makes renting anything difficult... and if i could rent, i would rent an xl1s, and shoot in frame movie mode which upon seeing first hand, looks decent enough (i also double as an editor for a media service company on sunset blvd and have had a few short films and music videos come my way that were shot with the canon)... it just so happens that the only decent video house in this town has pd150's, so thats what im stuck with..

ive spoken to a few friends of mine who have worked with the pd150, and although they said its a great camera, they also mentioned that the 15 fps progressive scan is useless, and im best off tweaking the video with cinelook in after effects.. looks like thats what im going to need to do...

the render time doesnt scare me too much, since im only shooting 30 second commercials with a super low ratio (im aiming for 1.5:1 or less).. thats another reason why shooting with a film camera would be overkill.. not to mention finding a good cinematographer in this town.. no one wants to commute out here from LA for a half day gig besides the actors and actresses...

anyways, i realize that if i want the film look, i need to shoot with film... but to me, by using the "film look" phrase, im refering to methods of taking the edge off the video so it doesnt look like my sisters wedding video..

im not even going to get into the fact that most people in hollywood short of cinematographers and cameramen as well as everyday people cant tell the difference between nice and clean "film looking" video and 35mm film telecined to betacam.. heck, %99 of my clients when i edit in hollywood can't tell the difference between my $5000 premiere editing set up and a $100,000 avid..

but whatever, ive talked long enough... thanks for the help...

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Old June 24th, 2002, 12:13 PM   #7
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Eddie:

I'm hoping for $100/hr, the folks you are hiring have a reel. That would be the easiest way to determine if they are achieving the look you want. If their lighting & composition doesn't strike you as "film-like", then no filter or camera setting is likely to save them...
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Old June 24th, 2002, 12:27 PM   #8
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"im not even going to get into the fact that most people in hollywood short of cinematographers and cameramen as well as everyday people cant tell the difference between nice and clean "film looking" video and 35mm film telecined to betacam.. heck, %99 of my clients when i edit in hollywood can't tell the difference between my $5000 premiere editing set up and a $100,000 avid.. "

Warning, Soapbox ahead

I think you have hit the fallacy of 'film-look' right on the head. Most people don't care about the source. Nor, really, about the on-screen appearance. As long as the entire story/acting/visual/sound/environmental package allows the viewer to suspend their disbelief, they are doing their job.

Sometimes the film vs video debate reminds me of the futile efforts by teachers-whom-shall-be-unnamed who want to investigate what Hemmingway really meant in his stories. I personally think he want to earn a living and boost his ego. Not much more.

Film vs Video discussions always seem to ignore the issues of content, a much more important topic to the success of any work.
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Old June 24th, 2002, 12:36 PM   #9
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mike hit it on the head with the last post!!! im pretty much new to all this and i agree its always content over the way the product was made!!!!

i dont have premiere but i think there is a 3:2 pulldown which u can use to de-interlace u may wanna try it?????? but i could be wrong about this so please dont bash me with a negative post!!!!!
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