Shots from upcoming shorts: XL1S at

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Old June 7th, 2003, 06:49 PM   #1
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Shots from upcoming shorts: XL1S

This is from a short I shot recently that I am finishing up called The Dental Assistant. I'm posting a few still images, that I think exempfies why when I shoot in mini-DV, i still like the canon XL1s over everything else. (Too bad Canon short changed us on the 3x lens)

This is a cafe, The character was in front of a huge window to the street. It was a challenge to find enough space to shoot him and keep a depth of field that was shallow enough to be film like, but deep enough to have the cafe interior's strong lines behind him. Black and White can save you when you have wildly varied color tempature lights. He is lit from ambient day light from the window and a 100 watt tungsten from the back. There may have been an additional 500 watt halogen as fill. I think the fill was off on this take, but a reflector was in.

The drill is about to go into his mount. There is are 3 lights working in this scene, althought one is hard to spot. There is a loght that points at the male actors face, which provides a rim for the female. There is a rear light that rims the male factor and provides key light for the female actor (who hasnt moved into her light yet) There is a third light: a 500 watt halogen behind a cookie working on the wall. it gentle seperates them from the back wall, but the cookie's pattern didn't really take the form i had hoped.

rear light provided by the overhead dental light. key is placed just off the left in front of her. There are other takes of this where the dental light is placed for flare, or for shining right thru her hair to give it some rim. It unforuantely almost looks like a softbox hiding in the background.

What can I say? Long end of the lens opened way up, with a ND to bring it down. DOF heaven. There just can't be enough shots like this. The female characters lips are in the frame and the drill just off behind her. There is a rack focus on this shot that brings the drill in and the lips out.

This actor was a real trooper as that was a real drill. I think I would have perferred if the frame was a bit father right. Off center, may not cut as well, but it possible may increase the dramatic tension since he isnt in the frame where you would automatically expect him to be.

This shot is just a bit under. A Nd filter, daylight streaming from far down the hall and ugly overhead flourescents. I still like this shot because of composition and it is supposed to be night time, so there is enough detail in the shot to be manipulated to be darker but sharp. Makes as an inset to the next shot

Flatish looking hallway scene. Beautiful old fashion office door. Their shadows cast by overheadlight punch them out from the background. They could have used one more light working on them either overhead to replace the flourescents or far right out of frame.

Two characters approach in shilouhette what is supposed to be a high frequency laser. Unforunately, the lazer didn't register well in this shot. We tried to keep it from being perpendicular to the camera's viewing plane, which made it more visible. We also covered the hallway in baby powder. No smoke machine was availible. Maybe corrected in post with teaks to the highlights, or insert a laser. We would perfer not to put a fake laser in, as we had a real one on the set!
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Old June 7th, 2003, 07:50 PM   #2
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Nice shot, John! Beautiful full lips too (and nicely lit).

What's in the background?

I think the only "minus" in the shot, IMO, is that shiny thing in the background; and that's because that was the first element to catch my attention and kept me staring at it for a good few seconds. Of course this is just what I'm experiencing by looking at your still image...
Stelios G.M.

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Old June 8th, 2003, 12:29 AM   #3
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I like the shots as well, but wish they were full 640x480 size so I could see them better. Not to nitpick, but it seems everyone on this forum links only to tiny versions of their framegrabs.

Also, how did Canon shaft XL1s owners with the 3x lens? Is it not compatible with the XL1s? I don't think I could live without my 3x (regular old school XL1 here).
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Old June 10th, 2003, 09:04 AM   #4
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To me the 3x lens comes in a bit soft at some critical points in it's focal range. I can see it thru the B&W viewfinder and on the NTSC monitor that I use while shooting.

It's quite apparent next to the critical focus you can achieve with the 16x manual. I have heard arguments to the contrary, and I am in the processes of doing test that will prove it.
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Old June 12th, 2003, 02:09 PM   #5
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Nice shots John. I like your lighting in the shots. I agree though that it would have been nice to see the pics a little bigger, as I have large screen res set on my monitor so things are normally a little to start with.

But nevertheless nice shots and nice to see you enjoy the XL1s as much as us other users do. Best bit of kit I have had!
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