GL2 on the Big Screen Last Night! at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Techniques for Independent Production

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 6th, 2005, 12:48 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 81
GL2 on the Big Screen Last Night!

Hey All,

Just wanted to relay something that made me happy. Our short film was screened at the AFI Silver Theater in DC last night. They have a really nice setup there, with a full theater sized screen and a very crisp projector and sound system.

Anyway, we made our short in 48 hours on a GL2 in Frame Mode a few months back for a contest, and won first prize. One of the prizes was a screening at this theater. In preparation for the screening, I trimmed it a bit, did some color correction, and added some more sound fx and music. Some diffusion was also added with DFT Digital Film Lab. We shot in 4:3 with the GL2's 16:9 guides, and then letterboxed to 1.85:1 in post.

Well, to my surprise (and temporary dismay), instead of showing the film in 4:3 ratio and having the black bars on the top and bottom (all the other films they showed before it had been in 4:3), they actually blew it up to fit the entire screen! It was huge, and it fit the screen perfectly (i.e., no unused spots on the top, bottom, right or left).

I kinda freaked for a second, because I hadn't anticipated such a big blow-up. After reading countless posts about quality loss when cropping in post, I was worried.

Then I started watching the film, and realized that it looked awesome! It was very slightly soft, but since there was diffusion added in post, the softness didn't seem noticeable. The one thing I was very impressed with was the lack of any DV artifacting (no blockiness or pixelation). Jaggies were also pretty non-existent. To be honest, to my eyes, the picture quality was better than when I saw "28 Days" in the theater on the same sized screen.

How much of this can be attributed to the projector, or to the quality of the GL2, or to the post stuff I did, I'm not sure. But what I do know is that anyone who says that cropping to 16:9 or even 1.85:1 in post will look like crap is mistaken. Unless you're screening in IMAX, I just simply cannot see any reason not to do it this way. It costs less, it's less hassle during shooting (no stretched picture on your lcd), and it gives you much more leeway in post (because you can move the shots up or down to get rid of booms, light stands, etc). For that last reason alone, I think that even if I had a camera with 16:9 chips (i.e., the XL2), I would still be tempted to shoot in 4:3 and crop in post. Or at least to shoot in 16:9 and crop to 1.85:1.

And just for the record: I am absolutely not saying that cropping in post doesn't cause a loss of quality. It does. My question has always been, "But how bad is it?" Now I know the answer: "Not too bad, and certainly worth the trade-offs!"

Ryan
Ryan Graham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 6th, 2005, 01:38 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 493
Ryan,

I have had a number of films screened in theaters, and the biggest variable is the projector. They vary greatly in their native resolutions and resizing algorithms. I have been very disappointed at times with the quality degradation caused by crappy projectors, and slightly pleased at other times, but never blown away.

This was all local stuff, and I'm sure none of them had the projector and environment that you witnessed at AFI. I would highly recommend shooting in 16:9 always, if you have a cam with a HQ 16:9 mode. I'm quite certain you'll need that extra resolution in most other environments you screen in.

Last project I did I shot 16:9, protected and cropped in post for 1:2.35. Looked pretty good, and gave me lots of flexability to adjust the framing in post.

Josh
Joshua Provost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 6th, 2005, 02:25 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 81
Yeah, shooting in 16:9 and cropping to 2.35 is a good idea, too. If I had a native 16:9 camera, that's probably what I'd do.

Something to look forward to....

Ryan
Ryan Graham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 12th, 2005, 02:58 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Longmont, CO
Posts: 37
quite often a big projection unit will have a video scaling system on site. your dv footage would be upsampled on the fly before projection. think of it as enlarging an image in photoshop at 29.97fps ;)

these systems are quite expensive, but ultimately necessary for most theatre based video projection. not to say they absolutely were doing this, but its more than likely.
Jeffrey Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2005, 07:49 AM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Somewhere in the Negev
Posts: 1,189
Question for Ryan

Ryan:

What was your short about? Is it posted on a website? Any frame grabs to share? What editing system did you use?
__________________
Interesting, if true. And interesting anyway.
Hugh DiMauro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2005, 08:59 AM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 81
Hi Hugh,

The short is about superhero space lesbians! They have to fight their nemesis, "The Mexican", who has developed a weapon called the "Heteronator" which turns lesbians into "Hasbians" (i.e., it turns them straight).

It was written by, and stars, real-life lesbians, which is good because otherwise we might have gotten some slack for some of the jokes. As it is, we're already getting negative feedback from people who have issues with "The Mexican". Some people are WAY too politically correct these days.

It was edited with Adobe Premiere. All post production work was done in After Effects.

It's not online yet, and there aren't any frame grabs either, unfortunately. I'll have to get some and post them on my site. I'll let everyone know when I get them up there.

Thanks,
Ryan
Ryan Graham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 14th, 2005, 09:57 AM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Somewhere in the Negev
Posts: 1,189
Lesbians! COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL! We love lesbians. God's special angels on earth, I say! (Well, at least the non man-hating kind!)

Now that's quite an out-of-the-ordinary plot! As for your anotagonist, why not make him a veritible melting pot of "internationalness?" Like an Afroamerimexicasian?

Just a thought.
__________________
Interesting, if true. And interesting anyway.
Hugh DiMauro is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Techniques for Independent Production

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:51 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network