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Old July 7th, 2009, 06:48 AM   #1
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XDCAM EX footage projected onto 12ft by 20 ft cinema screen

I recently finished making my first documentary entitled "Krishna History or Myth".
Although I initially filmed part of this in 8 Indian cities on a HVR Z1 last year, I was given the funds to buy a PMW EX3 camera this year by friends interested in this controversial religious topic.
I went and shot more footage pertaining to this and my second doc(in post now) with the EX3 and on last Friday we viewed it on a HD projector giving out the footage onto a largish screen 12 feet by 20 feet approximately. This was pre colour gradation to make sure we had a good controversial story which jelled together and images which stood up to this test (in case of private screenings in cinemas)

I must say, both me and the people who had come to see this (including some die hard Panasonic fans) were amazed by how well both the Z1 Apple prores422 (not HQ) codec and the XDCAM Ex long GOP codec stood up to the test.
Also, the XDCAM EX (1080p) footage cuts together really well with the Z1 (1080i)footage.
I was also happy to see that the XDCAM footage had such little noise and that the colours were so vivid.
I had heard rumours that although 10 bit the XDCAM footage was not 4:2:2 but I wonder whether this is a non issue as far as documentaries are concerned?

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Last edited by Manish Pandit; July 7th, 2009 at 09:40 AM.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 02:10 AM   #2
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output method?

Hi Manish

Sounds interesting, though two questions, why did you not use the HQ flavour of Prores and how did you deliver the film to the HD projector?
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Old July 10th, 2009, 08:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
I had heard rumours that although 10 bit the XDCAM footage was not 4:2:2 but I wonder whether this is a non issue as far as documentaries are concerned?
Something is missing. The EX cameras record 8 bit 4:2:0, no secret about that. Unless you were recording directly from the HD-SDI port on the camera there's no issue about what the "10 bit" is or isn't as there isn't any.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 09:16 AM   #4
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why did you not use the HQ flavour of Prores
The HQ version is overkill for most uses. Going to HQ uses a lot more storage space for no real gain when working with footage from 8-bit cameras.
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Old July 15th, 2009, 05:40 AM   #5
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why was HQ not used

Sorry for the delay in answering, I am a full time Consultant Nuclear Medicine Physician in my day job at Birmingham.

As to why was HQ not used?

At the time I was new to the area of documentary film making.
I had already got the footage digitised using a M15 VTR (also paid for by friends) into HDV.
Then I realised from various forums that Apple Prores 422 was better.
I also realised at the time that to digitise all the footage using HQ would take me 2 1 TB hard drives.
So I ended up doing Apple Pro Res 422 for the Z1 footage. At the time I assumed that I would be doing the editing myself. But later after word got out about this project, we managed to get guys at the Adelphi house in Manchester on board.
This film has been made on a less than shoestring budget.
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Old July 15th, 2009, 05:56 AM   #6
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Why I made the film?

One of the main reasons why I made the film is that one of my major interests outside Medicine is Theology and I realised that according to what most of the religious books, there have been many messengers who spoke of God.
But in all of history there has been only one being who a vast amount of religious (Hindu)scripture (around 1000 of their religious books) quotes as being God himself, who says that he is the father and that being is Krishna.
Oppenheimer, who learnt Sanskrit and studied Hindu scripture, said after the Hiroshima bombing quoting Krishna from the Bhagwad Gita in what has now become a famous quote: "I am become Death, destroyer of the three worlds". So even Oppenheimer perhaps believed in Krishna.

But did Krishna really exist or not?

I decided to make the only documentary made on the subject, and I can tell you that it is seriously controversial, especially for monotheistic religious believers.
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Old July 15th, 2009, 08:57 AM   #7
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great subject ...

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Originally Posted by Manish Pandit View Post
One of the main reasons why I made the film is that one of my major interests outside Medicine is Theology and I realised that according to what most of the religious books, there have been many messengers who spoke of God.
But in all of history there has been only one being who a vast amount of religious (Hindu)scripture (around 1000 of their religious books) quotes as being God himself, who says that he is the father and that being is Krishna.
Oppenheimer, who learnt Sanskrit and studied Hindu scripture, said after the Hiroshima bombing quoting Krishna from the Bhagwad Gita in what has now become a famous quote: "I am become Death, destroyer of the three worlds". So even Oppenheimer perhaps believed in Krishna.

But did Krishna really exist or not?

I decided to make the only documentary made on the subject, and I can tell you that it is seriously controversial, especially for monotheistic religious believers.
Great subject and I generally think that you will spend endless years pulling it together and, I'm sure, create a great documentary. Sometimes, you have to follow your heart. Michael Goldberg spent years on TS Suzuki primarily because he realized the last of his students in Zen were getting pretty old. The documentary has yet to make serious headway on the TV broadcast market but ... hell, he did it because it had to be done!
Good Luck!
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Old July 16th, 2009, 04:23 AM   #8
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Thanks Dean

Dear Dean,

Thanks for your encouragement.I agree with what you say.
I was working on the research aspects of the documentary for a full year before I started filming last year. The problem of course is that the sheer magnitude of what I was attempting only struck me when I started filming.
Then of course this documentary goes completely against what the Indian text books and Indologists say about Krishna and the Mahabharata and so getting permission to film in India was not easy. They even refused to acknowledge that they had received dozens of faxes and special delivery letters regarding the shooting script. So in those terms although not explicitly so, it is also a somewhat politically sensitive documentary.
It is a couple of weeks from completion. (I have a 40 minute idea for part 2 if I can raise the funding, my second documentary which is a far more controversial religious documentary is also in post).
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Old July 16th, 2009, 06:49 AM   #9
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sounds intriguing ...

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Dear Dean,

Thanks for your encouragement.I agree with what you say.
I was working on the research aspects of the documentary for a full year before I started filming last year. The problem of course is that the sheer magnitude of what I was attempting only struck me when I started filming.
Then of course this documentary goes completely against what the Indian text books and Indologists say about Krishna and the Mahabharata and so getting permission to film in India was not easy. They even refused to acknowledge that they had received dozens of faxes and special delivery letters regarding the shooting script. So in those terms although not explicitly so, it is also a somewhat politically sensitive documentary.
It is a couple of weeks from completion. (I have a 40 minute idea for part 2 if I can raise the funding, my second documentary which is a far more controversial religious documentary is also in post).

So ... you've managed to raise the ire of those who shall not be named ! Well, in that case, realize that you may have to go the festival route to find interest and for that matter, money to complete your project. I suggest that you have a documentary of making the documentary ready as a trailer! Nothing sparks interest like controversy ... and possibly more money to finish the project? Make some waves.
Take this in it's best light.

ps. It's better to not antagonize those who would destroy for their religion ... they are after all only human! Sometimes the guise of fiction is the best route to a new perspective!
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Old July 17th, 2009, 04:40 AM   #10
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Festival route

Dear Dean,
What you are saying is correct in terms of the festival route. There is however, tremendous interest from the Indian diaspora and Indians themselves as to this documentary.
And whoever has seen the documentary so far has found it to be good.
This film is very nearly complete.
I luckily do have the funding to complete this film (pay people) and most likely the next as well.

As far as the post script is concerned, I feel that I cannot sit and just watch any longer, something must be done, and so this is a start. And in the end, the perspective that I am presenting, I hope will unify rather than divide, although those in the power structures of organised religion I am sure will not see it that way.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 06:53 AM   #11
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good luck ...

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Originally Posted by Manish Pandit View Post
Dear Dean,
What you are saying is correct in terms of the festival route. There is however, tremendous interest from the Indian diaspora and Indians themselves as to this documentary.
And whoever has seen the documentary so far has found it to be good.
This film is very nearly complete.
I luckily do have the funding to complete this film (pay people) and most likely the next as well.

As far as the post script is concerned, I feel that I cannot sit and just watch any longer, something must be done, and so this is a start. And in the end, the perspective that I am presenting, I hope will unify rather than divide, although those in the power structures of organised religion I am sure will not see it that way.
Wish you the best and hope to see the film when it's ready!
all the best
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Old July 17th, 2009, 01:29 PM   #12
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Thanks

Thanks Dean.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 03:47 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Manish Pandit View Post
I had heard rumours that although 10 bit the XDCAM footage was not 4:2:2 but I wonder whether this is a non issue as far as documentaries are concerned?
There is no question of rumours, the XDCAM codec as used by the EX is 8 bit and 4:2:0.

Don't worry about it. 10 bit will take more grading and correction than 8 bit, but practically there are a lot of more important factors to think about than bit depth, and the differences are more relevant to much higher end cameras.

As far as 4:2:0/4:2:2 go, then remember they only relate relative amounts of colour to luminance, so in isolation they are meaningless terms. Much better to have a high resolution 4:2:0 camera than a lower resolution 4:2:2 one, contrary to some popular belief. The EX cameras are probably as good as you'll get now without spending a very great deal more money.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 08:52 PM   #14
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> "As far as the post script is concerned, I feel that I cannot sit and just watch any longer, something must be done, and so this is a start. And in the end, the perspective that I am presenting, I hope will unify rather than divide, although those in the power structures of organised religion I am sure will not see it that way."

I am with you strongly on this Manish - something must be done.

Best of luck with your project - keep us in touch and hopefully we will get the opportunity to see it.
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Old July 18th, 2009, 05:18 AM   #15
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Resolution is as good as anything else at that price or even somewhat more

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As far as 4:2:0/4:2:2 go, then remember they only relate relative amounts of colour to luminance, so in isolation they are meaningless terms. Much better to have a high resolution 4:2:0 camera than a lower resolution 4:2:2 one, contrary to some popular belief. The EX cameras are probably as good as you'll get now without spending a very great deal more money.
That is something which I realised when I saw the footage later.
I think that the high resolution on the EX3 is a winner.
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