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


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Old December 6th, 2002, 11:50 AM   #16
 
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Mark, I couldn't agree with you more. It's not what you've got, it's how you use it! I think Robert has proven there are no limits if one has talent, desire and drive.
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Old December 6th, 2002, 11:51 AM   #17
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Direct download link to the full version at high quality:

http://www.starwaypictures.com/expired/qt_full_length/EXPIRED_Full_640.mov

It is about 110 MB large, be warned!
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Old December 6th, 2002, 01:54 PM   #18
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I can't add anything to the commentary except to note what a wonderful example this really is of what's possible with the basic tools available to us. I've always been immensely impressed by people who just stand and deliver by making creative use of limited resources. What a kick and inspiration to see examples like this.

Thanks so much for sharing it with us all!
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Old December 6th, 2002, 05:23 PM   #19
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And I can't add anything more than what Ken has just said, except to say that, inspired by this, I'll be killing myself on my next shoot trying to get such a nice look. For inspiration value alone, it's worth several looks...and then some.
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Old December 7th, 2002, 05:26 PM   #20
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It's sure looks good, very well composed and lit. Anybody can see that they really worked hard in their production value. But to say it doesn't look like video is a little fantasy. Anybody can see it's video. But it sure looks like good video. The story is not really original.But the production is "A" class!

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Old December 7th, 2002, 05:44 PM   #21
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Well actually it's neither video nor film; it's a highly compressed data stream which looks like neither. But still looks damn good. (Yes, the story's a bit hokey.)
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Old December 7th, 2002, 06:05 PM   #22
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You got a point there. But let's not forget we are all watching it on a 10"x4" little screen. Basically on hands of a skillful DP, any DV camera would look good in this size. I would like to know how would this image hold if transferred to film and project on a big screen. I bet it would look just like any of the DV to film movies. If we could get a image quality on the big screen as good as this one, maybe hollywood would not be using the panavisons anymore. They would all save money and buy Dv cameras. Because this short film's picture sure looks good enough in the little bit screen.
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Old December 8th, 2002, 04:50 AM   #23
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And re. the comments about "DV's flat contrast compared to film", ken is touching on a important point here. We don't colourcorrect our important broadcast piece based on a Sorenson 3 quicktime playing on our computer monitor now do we? So wy do we judge the image quality based on what we see on the computer monitor? Now if you were watching the proper video version on a calibrated tv/monitor, then by all means judge.

I personally liked it quite a lot. There was a story, but it was a short one. And coming from a vfx background, the effects with the rotoscoping could perhaps have been done a tad better. The background could easily have been a greenscreen with tracking markers and then done the entire thing in 3D instead. It would most likely have been way less work than rotoscoping the flying cars. I also noted that it was only in certain shots that they bothered. The lack of traffic in close / mid shots were noticable (at least to me, occupational hazard :)
Me personally i would also have muffled the driveby sound a tad, since it should have been behind glass and thus most likely soundproofed.

As for positive notes, i really liked the DOP work and the acting of the nuBreed exec. The voice shifting showing that she was also an android worked pretty well methinks. And the music was excellent though i didnt pick up in the credits afterwards or the online credits who had done it.

Well that is my happy feedback anyway :)

A truly inspiring work.. especially since im now waiting the arrival of my own anamorphic adapter :) wooohoo!

/Henrik
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Old December 11th, 2002, 10:04 PM   #24
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I concur---this looked real nice on my computer monitor---I would love to see it on a TV.
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Old December 11th, 2002, 11:11 PM   #25
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"We don't colour correct our important broadcast piece based on a Sorenson 3 quicktime playing on our computer monitor now do we? So why do we judge the image quality based on what we see on the computer monitor? Now if you were watching the proper video version on a calibrated tv/monitor, then by all means judge."

My original assertion was that the example clip retained all the tonal flatness of DV. Dynamic range is independent of and unrelated to color correction. Gamma does change the way pixel values are mapped to monitor brightnesses, but changes in gamma anywhere in the signal chain do not alter the dynamic range of the footage.

A significant advancement for filmlook, and a necessary step in video's quest to overtake film, would be a pumping up of dynamic range. Even an intelligent requantization process that could be implemented in post would go a long way toward removing the stigma of uck!--that looks like video! (STAR WARS--Episode II was a fiasco in this respect. Everything looked so flat.)

Very rarely have I been fooled into thinking that video was film, but it its relatively easy to make film look a lot like video by resampling and quantizing it, in effect lowering it down to video's resolution and dynamic range.

If your point is that we should only judge video-originated footage on NTSC monitors (not computer monitors), I fail to see the logic. Computer monitors are higher resolution, higher dynamic range--quite simply, they're built to higher spec. If what we're looking at is a digital video stream, we shouldn't expect to suffer the loss of minute analog nuance by looking at the stream on our computer monitor anyway. The color may not match perfectly, but our perception of (lack of) dynamic range will be unaltered.
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Old December 12th, 2002, 06:58 AM   #26
 
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tv monitors vs computer monitors

There are a great many people in this community who are very proficient in the technical aspects of video. I am not one of them--never have been. My strength lies in getting results (not that you can't have both). If I'm required to explain technically (beyond naming the tools) how I did it or achieved the result, I'm at a loss.

Having said all that, all I can say is, everything I've ever read (which I didn't always fully understand) has said that you cannot properly judge the video image on a computer monitor. There are major differences between the two. This is why the major NLE software manufacturers (Vegas Video, Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Avid Express, etc.) strongly recommend you have, in addition to your computer monitor, a NTSC monitor on which to properly, and fully, evaluate your video image. Based on everything I've seen (and in this instance I have seen many) I whole-heartedly agree. Walk into any major video production facility (a state-of-the-art t.v. studio, for example) and you will immediately notice that they are not viewing their video on computer monitors (except in the edit bays, which always have a NTSC monitor along side the computer monitor).

Therefore, I have to respectfully disagree with Robert's evaluation above. If you can afford it, by all means, get a NTSC monitor and do not attempt to rely on your computer monitor alone.
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Old December 12th, 2002, 07:24 AM   #27
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Yes, and one would think that the goal of those who want to make video look more like film is to transfer their video to film, then I for one would love to see the end product projected on the big screen---
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Old December 12th, 2002, 08:12 AM   #28
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I don't think that Robert was saying that you should judge the
look of your video on your monitor (although I cannot speak
for him ofcourse). I think he meant that you do not need
an NTSC (or PAL) monitor to see the flatness (as he
refers to it) of the/a video signal.

Just my two cents
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Old December 12th, 2002, 08:25 AM   #29
 
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Rob, his statement was, and I quote, "If your point is that we should only judge video-originated footage on NTSC monitors (not computer monitors), I fail to see the logic."

When "judging" an image--something visual, be it video, film, photograph, painting, etc.--what are we doing if we're not judging or evaluating the way it "looks"?

He said "footage" (image). You said "signal" (electronic information, either analog or digital). I think most would agree that those are two different elements.

By-the-way, thanks for your two cents. ;o)
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Old December 12th, 2002, 08:28 AM   #30
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Dont get me wrong, I think it looks fantastic---but I can show you a load of stuff I have compressed for streaming on the net that looks real cool---but when blown up loses so much. That was my whole point---
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