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Old October 24th, 2006, 06:56 AM   #1
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This is what my DP thinks

He's a guy still in school, he has done music videos and a few shorts.

I want to shoot our movie using one of the prosumer cam, so HDV or the HVX.

He's totally against the idea and things that these cameras are prosumer
quality and with it comes a prosumer attitude with the crew and actors. He thinks they don't stand up in the HD field.

He wants to go cinealta or nothing.

I'm not a DP, but I disagree. What do you think?
Thanks
Andrea
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Old October 24th, 2006, 07:53 AM   #2
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Find someone else, or better yet, have him supply the camera at his own cost.

Mike
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Old October 24th, 2006, 08:12 AM   #3
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I'll state that this is just my opinion, so take it for that.

Perhaps, since this DoP is still in school, him insisting on using a Cinealta is his method of getting experience on that gear on your dime. Does the DoP have experience using the Sony? Varicam? 35?

It is YOUR project after all and if the Cinealta doesn't fit in your budget, neither does this particular DoP. Unless this guy brings something tremendous to the table, I agree with Mike.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 08:20 AM   #4
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He's right.

OK .... if it's YOUR movie project, you can shoot on whatever camera you want.

Yes, with the right experience and practice and comfort level, you CAN shoot with an HDV or HVX camera (which are indeed prosumer ... nothing "wrong" with that) and get stunning images, and cast and crew CAN adapt to working with a small camera (helps to add a matte box with barn doors and a few extra hard drive cases to the back ;) ). Most of all, you'll likely save a bundle of money that can make or break your production budget.

Still, the experience and imagery of shooting HD with something of CineAlta caliber or better IS different. The images do have a different quality and the cast/crew attitudes are responsive to the high-end gear.
I have worked with the same groups of people on different projects, some with XL2s on tripods, and others using CineAlta F950 on a Fischer dolly.
Assuming you have someone who knows how to use it, a CineAlta (or the like) DOES make a difference. Don't discount it.

In the end, you need a DP and a camera.
If this guy says "CineAlta or nothing", what you really hear is "CineAlta or someone else."
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Last edited by Nick Jushchyshyn; October 24th, 2006 at 01:17 PM.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 08:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Brown
Perhaps, since this DoP is still in school, him insisting on using a Cinealta is his method of getting experience on that gear on your dime. Does the DoP have experience using the Sony? Varicam? 35?
It was the same when I went to film school... the only guy in class who wanted to be a dp wanted to shoot a music video that I was going to do as my class project...

I was given some different film stocks by two different film company reps and this guy wanted to shoot all the stock just for the sake of seeing the difference between the stocks because he had never shot Fuji before...
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Old October 24th, 2006, 08:25 AM   #6
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If it doesn't fit your budget, it doesn't fit your budget.
End of story.

And a good DOP shouldn't need a CineAlta to create good images...

Best regards,
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Old October 24th, 2006, 08:56 AM   #7
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What I feel is missing here are the following questions:

1) how do you want it to look (and I do mean type of look, not just 'good')

2) is this your first movie

3) distribution method for your movie

Some other questions that have been asked (budget being the most important)
are important as well. The reasons I ask the questions above are:

1) if you want a tv news look, no need to go with a high-end camera. Same goes for the blairwitch kind of look etc.

2) if it is your first movie I suggest you shoot a few shorts on anything you can get your hands on to get experience. The first ones will probably not turn out as you hope they'll do. No need to spend a lot of cash

3) if distribution is to normal DVD / TV then you can ask yourself if you need HD. It may be nice to shoot HD if you can afford it, but if you can't pay for it then shoot with a good SD camera. It's not a sin :)

Hopefully you get my drift...
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Last edited by Rob Lohman; October 24th, 2006 at 02:49 PM.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 09:09 AM   #8
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Good points Rob. So many people having an opportunity to shoot a "movie" fail to understand all that is involved in "shooting a movie." As you've detailed, it's not only about having a story and a DP, but there's a lot more to it. Not unlike when you first started tinkering with video and realize if the audio sucks, then the project likely will as well.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 09:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrea Miller
He's a guy still in school, he has done music videos and a few shorts.
What school? Diva Filmmakers in Training (DFT).....

Attitude is set by the director, with help from the producer and dp. I vote for nothing for this DP and get a new one.
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Last edited by Cody Lucido; October 24th, 2006 at 10:51 AM.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 12:09 PM   #10
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I agree with Rob's suggestions...

But, if you do get the Cinealta...why not get a DP that has experience with it. I wouldn't spend all that money on a camera, just to put a student behind it...unless I was really confident in his abilities.

Plus I think it would be fun to tell him "You're right about the camera, so I decided to get the Cinealta, and a real DP" ;)

P.S.
I just directed a feature using the "Prosumer" Canon XL-H1 and none of the crew seemed to have a problem with it...everyones attitiude was completely professional. :)
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Old October 24th, 2006, 12:45 PM   #11
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Yes

yes, thank you all for your advice.
That kid is totally out of his mind.

I'm not planning to use cinealta, but I do plan to use either a HD-110 or a V1 after I know what it can do.

the piece is very much like The Celebration, which is a Danish movie called Festen, in Danish.

So low action, only two locations, very few exteriors and all the lighting will be beautifully controlled.

I have experience with the DVX100 and I did a couple of 16mm shorts, so I'm not a "real" beginner, but I don't consider myself a pro either. I thought I'd have a DP. OF course I can't afford real pro and I thought about students. Most of not all of them are lunatics. I've checked several schools on the East Coast and those kids with no reel or just a few music video think they can ask big bucks for their first movie. I just don't understand the mentality.

Anyway, thanks for your feedback and I like what somebody suggested, tell him that he's right about Cinealta, but that I'll get a real DP to use the cam.
I think I'm just going to tell him that.

Of course I'd like Cinealta, but I just can't rent the cam needed for 4 weeks, no way. OF course I'd like the idea to transfer to film, but I do think that the JVC HD110 should allow me to do that. Don't you think?
Thanks
A.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 02:48 PM   #12
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Good to hear you've shot some stuff before Andrea. All the best with your project!
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Old October 24th, 2006, 06:41 PM   #13
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You don't need a CineAlta, though that's a broad term. The F900, F900r, F950, F350, F330, etc. are all designated CineAlta. I'm assuming F900. My opinion is this, the F900 is an incredibly powerful tool and I would only trust someone with a lot of experience with it. I don't imagine that someone is a student.

The Sony Z1 is a good choice.

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Old October 24th, 2006, 09:31 PM   #14
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when i started in the business i refused to shoot video .. if i was going to work long hours for free/low $ then it was FILM or nothing ...

a hvx , hdv, hd110 are ok ...AND they just don't have a cineAlta 900 image.
if i was starting out today & in school/college , had already shot with HVX , HDV ,or HD100 and somebody approached me to shoot on either of those camera's i would probably say the same- CineAlta or nothing ...

you and the DP both have to get something out of the project .. he wants something different for his reel/expeinece .. and you get to produce/direct - maybe you can agree -maybe not .. can't afford a agreeable camera then find another DP ... we all have our little perks ..
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Old October 24th, 2006, 09:46 PM   #15
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Heath and Donatello, I just can't agree with both of you.

The Z1 is the cam I'd avoid. The least I'll do for a narrative is to go progressive, so it's either the HD 110 or the V1. In controlled lighting the low light ability of the V1 is not a problem.

I'm sorry to say, but when you're a DP you have to prove that YOU are the one who's good. Not the equipment. We all know what Cinealta can do. Why not use 70mm while you're at it? The woman, I think her name is schreiver, who shot November just had a DVX100! IF that movie looks good it's because of her, so just think if she'd had Cinealta! Cinealta is a tool that must be deserved. I think you must have shown as a DP that you could do something decent with another format, don't you think?

The Texas Chainsaw massacre is probably filmed in 35mm. You'd have to pay me to go see it filmed in 200mm if that format existed!

When that kid, who only shot music video in DV, talked about Cinealta, I laugh. Then, it's human, I needed to be conforted by other people's opinion, because even though I've shot I'm not a DP. I totally agree with what people have said here, but frankly I feel sorry that out of all the HDV cam out there the Z1 is the one Heath can come up with.

Thank you all for your feedback, I feel much better
A.
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