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Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.


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Old June 2nd, 2003, 06:44 PM   #1
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I am curious, i have read a ton of artlcles and tried a ton of different tricks including the one on the home page using after effects, non of them work. I am wondering if there is a simple way to get a film look with a simple filter or an easy trick using NLE after rendering the final DV project.

Yes I have read all the threads but I cant get a film look to work. Is there something I am missing here?
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Old June 2nd, 2003, 07:18 PM   #2
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What camera are you using?

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Old June 2nd, 2003, 07:21 PM   #3
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Thanks

Sony DCR-VX2000 see below..

http://www.realnola.com/dvprojects/
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Old June 2nd, 2003, 09:13 PM   #4
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boy, I wish we could get that project going to collect all the Film Look advice and knowledge here in to one place...

Anyway... here goes.


I don't know your camera but here's the basics:

#1 - Above and beyond ALL ELSE. Above any camera, above any post effect or lens filter:

SHOOT IT LIKE FILM.

Light it, set up your shots, invest the time and effort into shooting it like film.

There is NO SUBSTITUTE for Film Craft.

NONE.

#10 (because the above should take presidence over anything between 1 and 9) Shoot in Frame Mode at 1/30 . (or 1/25 if PAL)

You will get that nice frame blur and get the most filmic effect.

#11 - See #1 because you can never, ever have too much film craft.

#12 - learn about Depth of Field in DV and use it. You don't have to have every shot in the film have a shallow or moderate DOF but have it in some shots.

#13 - Learn and try out filters. Sometimes filters can do a lot, other times they don't do jack.

#14 - look back at #1 and don't forget that part of film craft if moving the camera. Don't use static shots for every shot--- it means either you don't know what you are doing, you are George Romero and don't give a crap enough to move the camera or you are doing something experimental.

FilmCraft, FilmCraft, FilmCraft.

that's it. Beyond these, post production or production tricks pale and won't help you save a film.

If you can't shoot it and treat it like film you can have the most expensive 24f camera and it will still look like video.
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Old June 2nd, 2003, 09:30 PM   #5
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ROFL

I agree with #1 BUT my camera will ot do that mode you are speaking of. I want a dolly and track bar and my jib project is most likely going to have to be completed first since I have put so much planing into it. Although the dolly would be the most useful.

I am TRYING HARD to get something done in time to submit it to the filmfest on the late date submission deadline but I dont think I am going to make it. I would like to have it look like film but my friend is the one with the masters degree in that area, not me. He is always busy so I cant bug him about it. I would love to compile the tricks and secrets into one article but in order to do that I need experience and knowledge which I have neither of when it comes to film. In short I am screwed.

I need to start getting into the community here locally and see what gives, I hear there is quite a crowd here in New Orleans. Hell we have a ton of photo opps here.. i just dont think I am up to speed with the world of film to get involved in a crowd like that, I would just be a bother.

Not to get off topic but I just shot the best lightning strike I have seen yet out in my back yard, it came out incredible! Maye I will post a little clip of it on my site:)

Back to the film look - I have tried everything in post and can't get it to look right. I even tried (stupidly) capturing my video in 24fps and rendering in 24fps but it looked horrible. I was hoping that there was a filter or effect I could apply that would come close to looking like film. There is a guy here in town that shoots video on a XL1s and he did a big commercial for Harrahs Casino that LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE FILM and he even rants about his ability to take DV and turn it into film (the look and feel). In short, his stuff is amazing and with awesome clarity and color. He will not let his secret out though. i know there is a way and I know it is not too much trouble.. We just need to look further.
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Old June 2nd, 2003, 10:23 PM   #6
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Hey Kevin,

I'm currently in N.O. working on a feature--how about this lightning storm, huh! Glad you got it on camera.

Luckily we are shooting interiors this week! Yikes!
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Old June 2nd, 2003, 11:31 PM   #7
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Neat

Charles,

What are you working on? I was not aware of anything going on but then again, I dont put myself into that scene too much. I have a friend Lenoard here that directed that police series they filmed here in town (Big easy). He is a member of the directors guild, I need together with him for some input on my documentary I am working on.


Shoot me an email on the side if you have time, frequent New Orleans often? kevin@realnola.com
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Old June 2nd, 2003, 11:35 PM   #8
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HA! Charles!

I know what you are working on.. My bad - it slipped my mind. A friend of mine was an extra in it the other day as a utility worker. I heard about it. MJF is one of the feature talents huh..

They got my buddy to cut his long hair for like 15 bucks from what I understand.. I would have had a problem with that one although I have a buzz cut these days, more respectable and my age is another factor.
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Old June 3rd, 2003, 11:44 PM   #9
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I heard there were no less than three studio features currently shooting around the city, Kevin--I don't think your friend worked on ours (utility worker not ringing a bell). I'm on "Mr. 3000", a baseball movie with Bernie Mac and Angela Bassett.

The last time I was in town was right around the time of "The Big Easy", I was doing a short-lived CBS series called "Orleans" with Larry Hagman. We used to shoot at the Wildlife and Fisheries building in the Quarter, which I see is finally being rebuilt. It was just about condemned when I worked in there, ouch.
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Old June 4th, 2003, 01:08 AM   #10
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yep

like I said, I am not into that scene.. I would not be shocked to know there are several projects going on around the jungle, I don't venture out that way too much anymore since i move to Metairie. I lived uptown, fantastic place to live except the crime just went nuts.
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Old June 9th, 2003, 10:54 AM   #11
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"Not to get off topic but I just shot the best lightning strike I have seen yet out in my back yard, it came out incredible!"

That's it! That's your answer right in front of you. You watched a piece of dramatic lighting produced by the source itself - nature. Good lighting is how you make video look good. Every great cinematographer that ever lived will give you that advice. Study nature. Study how light behaves. How it bounces around and creates shadows and highlights. Shooting great video or film is painting with light. No one can teach you this. You have to teach yourself by exploring. No one can teach you how to paint something interresting. Your brain has to discover how a beam of light behaves in space and what happen when you put an object in front of it.
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Old June 9th, 2003, 02:27 PM   #12
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as you've stated you have read/tried all the techniques out there.
IMO you are not missing anything except a conclusion !

there is no easy way to make these consumer camera become FILM .. IMO for the current time they will always end up being Video with"a sort of film like look "...

have you considered shooting FILM ?
super 8 or 16 ?
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Old June 9th, 2003, 04:06 PM   #13
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$$$

I dont have the $$$ to shoot film and have no clue where to start with editing something like that. how do you even do a transition lol. I am not a film guy, don't know the first thing about it other then it being 24fps and lookign really good.
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Old June 10th, 2003, 12:49 PM   #14
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yes film will cost you more $$ ..

there are ways to keep your cost down ..

i just shot 2 film shorts ...

1) shot on super 8 ... bought 10 outdated S8 carts for $50 .. rented a canon 1012 S8 camera $35 for weekend ... processed 8 carts $55 ... transferred to dvcam $200 ...
now i finish in Video ...

2) shot 16mm project .. 1st i sketch it using my GL. i then edit the tapes. i now have a shot list of what i NEED ... i rent a wind up bolex ( 30 sec wind) for $40 for weekend .. 800 ft short ends for $60 , process 600 ft $90 .. transfer to dvcam $180
now i will finish in Video ...

if i had it to do over i would have used my GL to sketch out the super 8 short 1st then make a shot list and then shoot film ..

i do have a 3rd short i'm planning. i've already sketched it out using the GL and i'm putting together a shot list .. will use a wind up 16mm bolex /reversal film . going to edit this on FILM .planning cuts only.. been going out to flea markets past 3 months bought used 16 mm editor ( viewer/rewinds) for $25 , 16mm bell & howell projector $40 , super 8 viewer/rewinds $10 , super 8 projector $5 , super 8 splicer $3 , 16mm hot splicer $30, 16 splicer $7 ... already own light meters but used ones are cheap .. there's alot of cheap film equipment out there ...

in the end it does cost more the shooting DV .. i used total of 4 60 min tapes on the sketches so i could have probably shot the projects for under $25 in DV ...
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Old June 10th, 2003, 04:27 PM   #15
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"I dont have the $$$ to shoot film and have no clue where to start with editing something like that. how do you even do a transition lol. I am not a film guy, don't know the first thing about it other then it being 24fps and lookign really good."

Trust me. Film is not the answer to good cinematography. Film can look just as bad as badly shot video in the wrong hands. If I would set out to shoot something really ugly and had no budget restrictions to do this I would go with reversal Super8 and underexpose it in broad daylight. Yikes ;)
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