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Techniques for Independent Production
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Old January 19th, 2004, 05:32 PM   #1
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XL1s settings for film...

I know that several variables go into achieving a "film look." I know that lighting is a major factor. I also know that there are numerous post programs and plugins that can be applied to footage to transform it.

But I'd like to discuss ways to get as close to the "film look" using camera settings only on the XL1s.

From what I understand, this is the way to go:

Use Frame Mode.
Try to place camera far away and zoom in to get a shallow DOF.
Open the aperature to maximum (1.6 w/ the Canon 16x zoom).
Black Promist filter (1/4 and/or 1/2).
Underexposing bright exteriors by one stop.
Turning down the gain to -3 db.
Under Custom Preset, turn the sharpness down a couple notches.
I've heard "reduce chroma slightly" but I'm not sure if that's color gain or color phase.

Anyone, have anything else to add or refute?

Thanks,
Dirk
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Old January 19th, 2004, 10:00 PM   #2
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bottom line will be if you like your list!

Use Frame Mode.
i like frame mode over interlace ..

Try to place camera far away and zoom in to get a shallow DOF.
i do this but not on every shot. depending on the script. in general i try to use a variety so when the shallow DOF shot does happen it is more effective then having shallow DOF in every shot.

Open the aperature to maximum (1.6 w/ the Canon 16x zoom).
if your zoom is at the long end ( telephoto in - tight shot) - make sure the EYES are in focus. if extreme tight shot 2.8 may give you little better focus on whole face.

Black Promist filter (1/4 and/or 1/2).
i use these in film but i do not like them on hand size dv camera's.
just a personal preference.

Underexposing bright exteriors by one stop.
sometimes and sometimes NOT .. i use zebra's and decide what is going to clip and not clip or if i'm going to crush the blacks .. depends on the scene..

Turning down the gain to -3 db.
usually just use this on exterior shots .. never interior ( yet)

Under Custom Preset, turn the sharpness down a couple notches.
i prefer the XL 1 set nuetral on the sharpness. GL's i turn down 2 notches

I've heard "reduce chroma slightly" but I'm not sure if that's color gain or color phase.
i don't touch these unless i'm shooting under flouresents then i'll make color phases adjust. if i'm underexposing for DAY 4 night i'll reduce chroma a little.

i don't try to make my clips look like FILM. i make them look good. the different looks i can get depends on the script and what is available to me ( crew/equipment/time).
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Old January 20th, 2004, 01:05 AM   #3
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Shoot with a 1/60th shutter speed as well.
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Old January 20th, 2004, 05:10 AM   #4
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I just could not live with the footage (for film work that is) if
I couldn't do post-process color correction. At least with an
S like color curve to increase the contrast. Together with a
low frame rate (advantage of PAL land I'm living) and frame
mode this is producing some beautiful results here.
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