:60 spot posted--Mini35/DVX100a at DVinfo.net

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Old October 26th, 2004, 08:30 PM   #1
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:60 spot posted--Mini35/DVX100a

Here's a spot I shot and edited recently; think you guys might enjoy it. It's in the Christopher Guest mockumentary vein. We shot the testimonial section with a Mini35/DVX100a and two standard DVX setups for the classroom.

The actor playing the acting coach improvised the whole thing. The footage will eventually be made into a short film. It's priceless stuff, I had a hard time shooting it while suppressing the giggles. My actress girlfriend (who is the poor soul face-planting off the stairs) tells me that this is barely exaggerated from some of the acting classes she's attended, which is somewhat frightening!

The spot was directed by Ahmed Best, a very nice chap who happens to have played Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars 1-3.

http://homepage.mac.com/chupap/Film/...Theater32.html
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Old October 27th, 2004, 12:55 AM   #2
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Thanks Charles. That's some seriously funny stuff.

I liked the subtle camera movment in the interview shots: were you on a dolly?
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Old October 27th, 2004, 07:28 AM   #3
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Yes Jesse, it was a Losmandy Spider dolly in the simple 3-wheel mode, on their Flextrak. We just rolled back and forth. The whole thing was shot in one room, a rehearsal studio. We did a bunch of interviews with the participants which weren't used for the spot but will likely be in the short film version.
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Old October 27th, 2004, 08:01 AM   #4
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Charles,

Very funny stuff. And yeah, it's not too far removed from reality. I always hated directors and teachers who used their authority to inflict "Psycho-drama" on their students. I am not sure which is worse, psychiatrists who think they're directors, or directors who want to be psychiatrists.
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Old October 27th, 2004, 08:31 AM   #5
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Having been through an acting class recently, I find it hysterical. Anyone who's taken an acting class will recognize the tearing out of one's heart and the seemingly silly games that occasionally happen. They're sincere at the moment, but to laugh about it is great!

Great work, yet again!
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Old October 31st, 2004, 08:48 AM   #6
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Charles: was that Amy Jo in the red top? How do you like the
spider dolley with the flextrack? I was wondering how on earth
the track is not going to move and such....?
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Old November 9th, 2004, 09:55 PM   #7
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Sorry Rob, didn't see your post--my damn email notification feature doesn't seem to work anymore.

Yup, that's Amy Jo doing the cat lick or "playing the cello" as we call it when our furry pal engages in a little grooming taste treat.

The track stays put pretty well. I usually put a sandbag on the ends. They supply some rubbery mat that helps keep it from sliding on slick floors. I like the spider dolly a lot, but I'd like to make it the ridable version (can't really justify the expense of upgrading for the amount I use it, though).
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Old November 10th, 2004, 06:54 AM   #8
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Do you have a picture of the mini35 attached to the dvx100?
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Old November 10th, 2004, 07:11 AM   #9
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Try this , it's clearer than any stills I might have.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 07:18 AM   #10
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Did you use photographic lenses or cinematographyc lenses?

I ask this because i still do not quite understand the porpous of using mini35, because the rent should be more or less the same than renting a high end ENG camera. Then why using a mini dv when you could be recording in much better formats?

Or is it the rent of mini35+cinematographic lenses soooooo cheap that it is a better solution?
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Old November 10th, 2004, 07:35 AM   #11
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Miguel:

It's not really about economics, more like achieving a look.

I like the Mini35 because it makes the most out of DV. Since shooting the Seinfeld/Amex spots I've been sold on the look of this combo when it comes to web delivery, where the compression issues of the DV format become irrelevant. For a higher-end production, the same technology is available with a B4 mount (standard 2/3" ENG camera as you described) as the Pro35 at a higher price tag of course.

The idea behind all this is to a) allow the use of the superior and more varied optics found in the 35mm world and b) to deliver the shallow depth of field typical of 35mm. No stock ENG camera can do this, nor can the currently available HD cameras. For instance, I'm about to start shooting a feature with the Sony Cinealta HD camera and the Zeiss Digiprimes, which is a fantastic setup, but I will have more than twice the depth of field of my little DVX equipped with the Mini35 (I could have potentially used the Pro35 with a film lens package, but the budget precluded this).

The bottom line is that if we had set up a good 2/3" camera like the SDX900 alongside the DVX with the Mini35 for the same setups in this particular spot, and I had shown you guys a split-screen comparison, I'd be willing to bet that the shallower focus of the Mini35 footage would have gotten the thumbs up from the majority of viewers. Had that same test been screened on broadcast monitors, it may or may not have had the same result; had it been projected digitally onto a large screen (where the increased resolution/reduced compression in the SDX would become more apparent), that may have had yet another result with the viewers. Hard to say!
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Old November 10th, 2004, 07:42 AM   #12
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Where can i see those Seinfield and superman spots?

I can notice that the far outfocused areas of an image shot with the mini 35 adaptor have some fake bluriness. Why does this happen?
Yes, perhaps you have less depth of field but images show that strange blurriness that we should not like.

So in the end, a 2/3" camera wouldn´t be better?
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Old November 10th, 2004, 07:53 AM   #13
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Miguel:

I don't know exactly what you are referring to as looking "fake"--the images are a good representation of a 35mm depth of field, and would have the same characteristics if shot on film. Perhaps the web compression is making it look funky to you or something.

It appears that American Express has pulled the Seinfeld web movies from exhibition.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 10:52 AM   #14
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The current episode of Frontline titled "The Persuaders" features several shots from the Seinfeld/Superman commercials. Check your local PBS listings.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 04:47 PM   #15
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Damned. That was acted like profesionals. It looked real. I laighed when the actor went all crazy, shaking his cheeks and everything. I wanted more of those moments in the movie! quality is top notch. I can't find any differences between this and a tv-movie really. It is al about the script and the origanilty.
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