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Old December 6th, 2011, 11:51 PM   #16
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Silas,

I've been shooting a low budget feature with a friends epic over the last few weeks. These are somewhat 'buggy'. I mentioned it somewhere and was told that the epic X are sold with the full knowledge of the buyer that these are in beta build. They do release firmware upgrades pretty frequently.

You will want the Canon mount as there are definitely advantages to using Canon glass, especially if you have lots.

Like I said, it's just good to have your eyes open. We don't have a Rocket, and it is sloooow... and we have had a raid drive crash.... yikes!

I would think that there will be lots for rent in your area as soon as they hit the market. So you can dip your toes in the water. Also something to be aware of is the lack of XLR inputs on the Epic, which will presumably be the case with the Scarlet. Not a big deal, but something to be aware of.

Canon will be announcing the price for the C300 in January. It's expected to be considerably less than the 20k that was rumored. These cams are ready to shoot out of the box (just add a lens). It's 1080p, large sensor, long battery life, dual CF cards, the XF codec....
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Old December 7th, 2011, 01:40 AM   #17
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Yeah I might need to wait to we hear more about the Scarlet, after all it just came out. I definitely don't want some buggy camera lol
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Old December 7th, 2011, 02:20 AM   #18
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

My recommendation for you, Silas, is that you should push your 5D until you outgrow it. Save your money until the current technology is mature, or even until something else comes up on the horizon--or better yet, put the money up on screen. For the price of a fully equipped Scarlet, you can buy a lot of other support or lighting gear that may improve your films much more than the difference between cameras. Rent a Scarlet for one of your shoots and feel out whether it is worth it to you. Don't get hung up on the numbers.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 01:24 PM   #19
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Excellent advice, thanks guys!

I am going to wait a few months and see what Scarlet Users say as footage and information comes out now that its about to ship. In 6 or more months I may be working on a new short film and at that point might consider getting it. One of the reasons I wanted to get Scarlet was because on the last film, we got permits and insurance to shoot on city locations, and also had aerial shots in our film (a lot of my own money went into it). Mostly done with the Canon 5D and Sony Ex1r. I thought it would be nice to swap the Canon out for the Scarlet and be able to do more grading in post. You can check out the trailer to my last film here: (Just selected at the 2012 Trail Dance Film Festival!)

PERSPECTIVE short film by Silas Barker
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Old December 7th, 2011, 02:31 PM   #20
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post
5D Advantages:
Cheap
More shallow DOF with full sensor
Could be more sensitive than a Scarlet
I'd like to suggest that shallow DOF is actually a DISADVANTAGE to the 5D2.

First, to be technically correct for the new filmmakers in the crowd (not directed to you Brian), the 5D2 doesn't have more shallow DOF as the DOF will be the same on either camera at the same focal length. What is has is shallower DOF given the same field of view, where you'll need to use a wider lens (shorter focal length) on the S35 sensor camera to achieve the same FOV as the 5D2.

Anyway...
Why it is a disadvantage...
It's too shallow DOF for the skills of most filmmakers. I see a LOT of DSLR footage, and its shocking how little is in focus. 85mm f1.4 on a tight shot and your actor blinks? Out of focus.

Super35 has been the go to for filmmaking for a million trillion years, shallower DOF doesn't add anything to the toolbox.
That's my mini-rant. I'm getting tired of seeing out of focus indie films.

Silas,
Do what Charles says, learn to shoot the hell out of your 5D2 and put your money on screen. No one cares what you shoot on. Rent a Scarlet for the shoots someone else is paying for.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 03:28 PM   #21
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Oh I agree the 5D can give a too shallow DOF and some people do get obsessed by the art of out of focus blobs behind the characters.

For telling a story the DOF on a Super 35 camera does the job and a f1.4 lens on that format will give a skilled 1st AC a hard enough time, never mind doing it on full frame 35.

Much of the time you don't need a very shallow DOF to direct the audiences eye, it'll naturally go to who's talking or where there's movement. Perhaps it works best when a character feels emotionally isolated, rather than directing the audiences attention.

You don't need to spend money on buying a camera unless you feel you're at the stage when you can make full effective use of it. Get the lights etc in place and then worry about buying higher end camera, or just rent it for your film. There are also cameras that cost less and will do a more effective job than the 5D as a video camera, there are a number of options around.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 04:36 PM   #22
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Upon reflection... Silas, you should buy a Super16 camera and shoot real film.
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Old December 8th, 2011, 11:11 AM   #23
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Listen, if you can monetize the Scarlet (I see you shoot local spots, weddings, etc), then certainly go for it. Making short films is not a moneymaker in and of itself as we all know. Most people who make features out of pocket end up with nothing to show for it but a stack of DVD's and credit card debt (yes, some get distribution, but only a few even recoup their production costs).

I think you have a good eye and obviously you are developing solid CGI skills. My honest assessment of the trailer is that the visuals are competent but cookie-cutter--they look like what everyone else is doing. Actually they are decent enough that they could make a lot of people think you are shooting higher-budget projects, except for one thing; the acting is clearly not at that level. So my best advice would be to invest into a more skilled level of actor. That may not be as tangible or sexy as a piece of compositing software or a higher bit-rate codec, but it's far--FAR--more important to the success of a film. Sacramento is a short plane ride from LA--there's thousands of good actors down here who are willing to work on the cheap!
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Old December 8th, 2011, 12:29 PM   #24
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Yes, it's amazing how good the simplest camera work and lighting looks when you've skilled, well cast actors in front of the camera.
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Old December 8th, 2011, 12:39 PM   #25
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
I think you have a good eye and obviously you are developing solid CGI skills. My honest assessment of the trailer is that the visuals are competent but cookie-cutter--they look like what everyone else is doing. Actually they are decent enough that they could make a lot of people think you are shooting higher-budget projects, except for one thing; the acting is clearly not at that level. So my best advice would be to invest into a more skilled level of actor. That may not be as tangible or sexy as a piece of compositing software or a higher bit-rate codec, but it's far--FAR--more important to the success of a film. Sacramento is a short plane ride from LA--there's thousands of good actors down here who are willing to work on the cheap!
I was going to say the same thing (as well as buying a monitor to tell when you're not in focus), but...

SILAS, LISTEN TO CHARLES. No matter what you do, your efforts will always be brought down to the level of your actors. One great actor is worth all the shallow DOF and visFX in the world.
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Old December 8th, 2011, 03:11 PM   #26
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
Most people who make features out of pocket end up with nothing to show for it but a stack of DVD's and credit card debt (yes, some get distribution, but only a few even recoup their production costs).
Silas... yes... listen to Charles,

The writer/director of the low budget feature that i'm working on went all-in. Like everything he has is on the table. We'll see how it works out. He's a friend, so myself and a veteran DP, are working for free essentially (well, deferred payment). Another friend has an Epic that we're shooting on,essentially for free.

He did fly one actor in from LA, and several others have good experience. I can tell because they're the ones who I can count on to consistently hit their marks. We also have some less experienced actors in prominent roles, and the director is having to spend lots of time (and takes) trying to coax the perfromances out of them.

Whoever might want to buy this film will look at the acting waaayy before they care what camera it was shot on. If the acting isn't there, resolution, fx and grading can't fix that. And I would agree that in your short, the acting is pulling it down.
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Old December 8th, 2011, 03:29 PM   #27
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

To date two of the features I shot were released theatrically. In both instances the cinematography received glowing reviews from sources such as the New York Times, Variety, Ebert etc. although the overall reviews were variable to weak. Despite DVD release, neither have made their money back.

I'm proud of my contributions and I learned a lot. The most important lesson I learned was: unless I'm being paid my rate, I'm never again going to shoot a film that doesn't start with a strong script and continue through strong casting. It's also part of the reason that I haven't directed a feature yet--haven't found the right script to make it worth it.
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Old December 8th, 2011, 04:27 PM   #28
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Once interested in the story pitch, who's attached is the first thing potential production funders always ask.

You can spend as much, if not more, time casting your film as shooting it.
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Old December 8th, 2011, 08:02 PM   #29
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Great advice guys, thank you!

Yes I want to do less events and more commercials, but I'll have to get that working better with the 5D before I get Scarlet I think. I do commercials and infomercials and love that, but I have to supplement that with events to make a living currently.

And thanks for the advice about the actors, one of the problems was that I was directing and shooting the same film, but honestly I am more of a cinematographer then a director or writer, and in wearing all the hats, I was not able to deliver a top directing job, so that's party my fault that the acting is not quite as good as it could have been.

Honestly in the future I would rather just work with a director and focus only on cinematography but I will probably direct at least a few more films till I have more experience working in various environments with different lighting set ups. I know what you mean about the shots - some of it could have been more original or creative! We had a limited time in every scene and really ran out of time every day we filmed. (With permits and insurance we had limited time do get things done!)

And I hear you on the being paid your rate deal - that short film was my own invention and therefore the story, writing, and acting and directing were a little compromised. But still, its not bad at all for a 40+ volunteers giving me their time for free for several days!

Again, one of the main reasons for wanting the Scarlet for short films is because after I put $10,000 - $12,000 of my own money into a project, its just nice to be able to grade it and make it better in post, although of course good actors and directors in the beginning would help maybe more then that in the future!

One of biggest things to making my next film will be making sure I take ALOT of time to direct the actors to do exactly what I want, on the last one I know there were a few points were we ran out of time and I simply said "Action!" Either that or get someone to direct the film for me while I have all the fun lighting and shooting it!
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Old December 8th, 2011, 08:10 PM   #30
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Good to hear your response, Silas, you sound like you have the right attitude and approach to your work and future.

"We had a limited time in every scene and really ran out of time every day we filmed. (With permits and insurance we had limited time do get things done!)"

Sadly--this is almost everything these days! I wish I could tell that it all gets easier in the legit industry but it doesn't, and it's worse than ever. On my recent series we were working under such oppressive time constraints that it was almost comical sometimes (grim smiles, not real ones!). Ultimately, it all comes down to good planning, smart scheduling, the ability to think quickly when things don't go according to plan, and intelligent time management. And being able to kill your "babies" without remorse. When it's the choice between that crane shot you dreamed of and three other pieces of non-exciting but critical coverage, it can be so painful to let go of the crane shot but you gotta, you gotta...

I forgot to mention: that shot of the dumpster and alley with the hot sky was quite lovely.
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