This is what my DP thinks - Page 2 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 October 24th, 2006, 09:54 PM   #16
MPS Digital Studios
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Palm Beach County, Florida
Posts: 8,531
Andrea,

You're contradicting yourself. You say it's the DP, then you diss the Z1. Check out this still:

http://904am.com/photos.php?pic=23

or this:

http://904am.com/photos.php?pic=48

We shot on the Z1, 50i with CineFrame 25 activated. Then, we captured, cut, and conformed to 23.98 (24p); my DP color corrected the stills and voila. Don't judge a camera until you try it, and make sure you or your DP have the talent to use it.

28 Days Later... was shot on a PAL XL1.

heath
__________________
My Final Cut Pro X blog
Heath McKnight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2006, 10:08 PM   #17
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 2,100
I'm going to agree with Don.

I also agree it's a little rich to say "F900 or bust" for somebody with little experience, but it's a matter of setting your limits. Let me explain.

Once upon a time I was a camera assistant, working only with film cameras. I did this from 1991 to 2000. I gained a lot of experience, I got to do things very few cameramen (in the greater sense) get to do. I rigged 35mm cameras strapped to the noses of Indy cars (at the Indy500, no less), went up in helicopters with Arri 435s, operated steadicam with Movicams, etc etc ad nauseam. Somebody showed up to a shoot I was operating 35mm on with a XL-1 once, everybody crowded around to look at the cool toy.

This was about the time I was starting to operate cameras on these big shoots on my own...I did steadicam for a while. But I was getting calls to DP smaller projects, and I was wanting to build a reel. Building a film reel is a very expensive proposition. I could borrow good 35mm cams off my paid shoots, even cobble together short ends to shoot on. But everything else is expensive, I had prior and knew many people who spent thousands of their own cash building their dp/director reels on film. I did it a few times on my own.

So the year is 1999, DV is relatively new, and here comes this camera (the XL-1) that will allow me to build my DP reel and not look like video. It will look like bad 16mm, but so what? So I buy an XL-1, move to Los Angeles to direct and dp my own music videos, and learn to love shooting progressive video and editing my own work at home.

Guess what? I haven't touched a film camera in a work situation since 2000. It sucks. I'm WAY more than qualified. And it happened mostly because I let it happen, and I never set limits on what I would and wouldn't do. Hey, you wanna shoot DVX? I love that camera, let's go. Etc. etc. I'm a photographer, and I'm not a technology snob. But it's pigeonholed me. There's a lot of guys out there shooting only the big guns that are worse than me. I made a major career shift and embraced the DV revolution simultaneously; I never thought it would limit what people thought I was capable of.

And so that's what happens. Sometimes if you want to set yourself up at a level, then you set limits and that's it. Sure, the kid above might seem arrogant, but he'll keep it up and if he's any good (even mediocre), he'll probably eventually have a crapload of credits, shot only on 35mm, F900, and Varicam. And a day rate better than he would have otherwise.
__________________
My Work: nateweaver.net
Nate Weaver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2006, 11:08 PM   #18
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 1,719
You know as somebody who went to Art School that taught film production I always felt it was more important to work on great projects with a great script and great actors and not worry about the camera. I mean of course the camera has to be decent but once you fill a certain level of the specs and features you are looking for in the camera the rest is all about creativity. I was not a film student but I was a visual effects student and even with us we were more concerned about not working on lame projects then we were about what it was shot with. Hey back then everything was shot with interlaced DV but we didn't mind as long as the content was sweet.
Thomas Smet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2006, 11:18 PM   #19
MPS Digital Studios
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Palm Beach County, Florida
Posts: 8,531
Nate,

Don't be so hard on yourself. I know guys that shoot music videos with the F900 on the weekends, then shoot a feature on the Varicam, then shoot another feature on the Sony Z1, then follow it up with more F900 music videos.

heath
__________________
My Final Cut Pro X blog
Heath McKnight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2006, 11:51 PM   #20
Obstreperous Rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,900
Images: 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrea Miller
frankly I feel sorry that out of all the HDV cam out there the Z1 is the one Heath can come up with.
Nonsense. There is no need to feel sorry. After all, the equipment has no bearing whatsoever on image quality... that impact is made by the people who operate it.
__________________
CH

Search DV Info Net | DV Info Net Sponsors | A Decade (+5) of DVi | ...Tuesday is Soylent Green Day!
Chris Hurd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2006, 11:59 PM   #21
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 2,100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heath McKnight
Nate,

Don't be so hard on yourself.
I understand my post may be construed as little bit of a pity party, but it was kinda central to the idea that this kid is not making the same mistake I did. I worked my way up once and paid my dues when I was in my 20s. Now I'm doing it again as a shooter, because I didn't set limits.
__________________
My Work: nateweaver.net
Nate Weaver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2006, 05:35 AM   #22
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
This has turned into an interesting discussion.

The film student may have a master plan that may serve him well, or he may just be another arrogant film school shmuck who will find himself scrapping to get jobs in the "real world" with the cameras he is turning his nose up at now. Chances are that unless he is especially gifted, he wouldn't have been able to make images with the F900 that would look as good as a working cameraman can produce with the DVX (such as Nancy Schreiber did with November--Andrea take note, it's a quick search on IMDB to come up with the correct name!)

That said, there's nothing wrong with pushing for the best format/camera you can get on a project, but the budget has to be able to support it otherwise it's an unreasonable battle to pursue (and you'll only be hurting your grip/electric budget in the meantime) The bottom line SHOULD be, is this film something I really want to do? Is it a great script, do I have faith in the director and the production? The smart money says that if you believe in a project, it's worth shooting even if it is small format--and if you can make DV or HDV look good, you can kill with the larger formats.

The idea that actors and crew don't take a project seriously if the camera doesn't look impressive is full-on BS in my experience. What garners the respect is the right attitude and skillset in a DP, not the biggest mattebox. But of course if the actors and crew in question are insecure newbies, then maybe they will have some chip on their shoulder about the camera--but that's their problem. There have been too many successful projects shot in small format for any grownup to pitch a 'tude.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2006, 08:02 AM   #23
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Kempner, Texas
Posts: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert
look as good as a working cameraman can produce with the DVX (such as Nancy Schreiber did with November--. . .
Or Wim Wenders with Land Of Plenty.

Not sure about Nancy, but I think WW could have chosen just about any camera he wanted. There must have been a reason to choose a "prosumer" camera.
Daniel J. Wojcik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2006, 08:31 AM   #24
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: DFW area, TX
Posts: 6,108
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert
The idea that actors and crew don't take a project seriously if the camera doesn't look impressive is full-on BS in my experience. What garners the respect is the right attitude and skillset in a DP, not the biggest mattebox. But of course if the actors and crew in question are insecure newbies, then maybe they will have some chip on their shoulder about the camera--but that's their problem. There have been too many successful projects shot in small format for any grownup to pitch a 'tude.
Yeah Charles, this would have been a good place to insert a shameless plug for your DP work on the AMEX commercials with an XL1s, featuring that newbie actor Jerry Seinfeld. ;-)

-gb-
Greg Boston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2006, 09:18 AM   #25
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Springfield, MO, USA
Posts: 389
I like Rob's, Thomas' and Charles' posts... a lot of things I was thinking about.

If you're on a limited budget and if it comes down to I can afford the Cine Alta for a week or if I shoot with a XL H1, HD 100 or HVX 200 I can get a four week shoot. I'd go for the four week shoot.

Not sure if you're making a feature, short, or what. But it sounds like you're more into being a producer or director or both rather than a dp.

So I'd go with someone who can shoot, who's not a diva and make the best project that shows your skills, as a producer, director or even writer on a smaller format camera.

I think people (even buyers) will be more impressed with a great story told with a smaller camera... than something shot with a larger camera that looks pretty... but you're bored to death because the story sucked.

Myself I notice when I start picking apart a movie when I'm watching it is when the story sucks. So the sercet is to have a good story with a good dp and crew who can bring your vision to life.
Gary McClurg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2006, 10:04 AM   #26
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Posts: 548
One other thing to consider is that a camera choice like this doesn't just affect the shoot. You're whole pipeline has to be able to digest the results.

Maybe you're post production team and gear is in place to handle either format, maybe it's not, but it's worth mentioning that shooting the most amazing story and imagery ever on an F900 won't do you much good if you don't have access to the gear, people and shear capacity to capture and handle it in post.
__________________
Nick Jushchyshyn Matchmoving, Compositing, TD
imdb
Nick Jushchyshyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2006, 08:47 PM   #27
New Boot
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: somerset, kentucky 42501
Posts: 23
I saw Casablanca recently in a theatre with a good

projector, screen, and optics. I THINK the copy must have been remastered because it was flawless as regard to scratches, splices and skips.

It was not as sharp and detailed on the screen as 28 Days. The optics it was shot with are obviously soft (at least to me, a Nikon shooter with multiple F2 Photomic bodies and lenses, and my own color darkroom with a durst M800)

Virtually ANY prosumer HDV camera will give you better detail, optics and sound than the equipment that made Casablanca. Oh, yeah, and color.

so, andrea, the EQUIPMENT is holding you back?
Jon Whiteford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2006, 09:53 PM   #28
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert
This has turned into an interesting discussion.
I tend to agree with Charles, Nate and a few others on here. I am by no means a tech savy individual but I do have some basic insight into these kind of situations. I'm a producer of sorts among other things and with that comes the hiring of crews, namely "keys". I've found that since the so-called digital revolution started, more and more people are tending to call themselves or at the very least see themselves as "pro" shooters. It's one thing to have your ( insert fave cam here) with some footage which you want to call a reel, it's another to say you can handle the pressure of being on a real set. Please don't anybody take offense to this but I find it difficult to hire anybody straight out of film school, other then to put them into entry level positions so that they may learn the nuances of our crazy buisness.

I'll give one example here. Back in 2001 my friend, an actor that is quite well known wanted to give a kid he met as a PA on one of his previous productions a chance at directing his first feature. Said actor would star at a reduced rate in exchage for a minor back-end percentage and a chance to share a writing credit with the kid. So, they cobbled together about $1.2 million for the entire production, from prep to post. This is when I was called in, I'm Canadian and we have here a favourable tax credit system to help stretch your dollar as well as other incentives for first time filmmakers, provided you have a Canadian producer/production house as a partner and at least 75% of principal photography is shot in Canada. My actor friend introduced me to the team down in LA and asked if I would do it for them, I said yes. Now when you hire a producer as in any other position, you do so because you trust they can do the job. Well this one wasn't the case, the director decided he wanted to bring all his friends from film school up to Canada to work on the film. I explained that the money would be better served going up on screen as opposed to paying for travel/accomodations/per diems etc... This is when I discovered that the kids (director) father was our financier, great...nothing like working on a tight leash pulling in favours for a bunch of spoiled film school grads who had absolutely zero real time production experience.

Anyways, to make a real long story shorter. I fired the DP, Production Designer and SFX team ( they blew a wall off of a building which in turn knocked out power to several thousand people for a few hours), at that point I laid down the law and said, I bring in my people or I'm out. We could salvage some footage (35mm) and tighten the schedule up and still make it happen. They let their arrogance get the better of them, so I walked and so did the lead actor.

The moral is...nothing, I repeat NOTHING can replace experience...no matter how talented you think you are, there's always somebody waiting around the corner with more talent ready to step up to the plate.


PS: I forgot one more thing...to this day I still haven't been paid. My airfare, scouting, hiring of crew, locking down locations and offices, casting etc...and I don't expect to ever be, I love this wacky business we call film production...so to bite the bullet once in awhile is a small price to pay to be able to do something you love.

Last edited by Jipsi Kinnear; October 25th, 2006 at 10:29 PM.
Jipsi Kinnear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2006, 10:42 PM   #29
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 107
Bump...

newbies should read this thread...
Jipsi Kinnear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 26th, 2006, 01:31 AM   #30
Hawaiian Shirt Mogul
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: northern cailfornia
Posts: 1,261
we all make choices ..Andrea is talking to the next DP and the young DP that wanted a cineAlta is looking for their next experience ... when we are students or starting off in the business we want all the experiences we can get .. at some point you want to try something NEW - so you make a choice to go for it - maybe you find somebody that will go along maybe you don't ...

IMO to move forward you always need to be learning .. when you start off every day is a learning experience after a year maybe you learn something new a few times a month ? seems the longer you're in the business the more you get hired to repeat what you've already done in the past.
we all do favors ( free) for friends and friends of friends .. and free/low $ is good if you are learning .. there's only so many times that you can work for free/low$ and not get any new learning out of it .. many times on these you do meet new friends/connections ..
in general the business plays it safe - they go with experience .. in the commercial world you do your "thing" .. if you shoot metal ( cars) that's why they hire you and pay 2500-5000 day .. chances are you are not going to get hired to shoot food ... if you shoot food chances are you are not going to get hired to shoot metal ...
each time we complete a job we know what worked and what didn't .. on the next job we might make a request/demand :IE got to have a experienced 1st AC for whole project ..sound dept has got to have a experienced boom man ( too many shots no good because of boom dropping into frame on low $$ features)..
Don Donatello 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 10:51 AM.


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