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Techniques for Independent Production
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Old November 12th, 2006, 12:21 PM   #1
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Help with Music Video

I have just been contracted to do a rap music video for a well known, local artist. He liked the reel I sent him and is looking to push forward. We don't have a large budget and I'm probably going out of pocket for some of it, something I'm willing to do as this guy will be signed in December. Having a then famous artist to add to my resume is what I'm after.

His only concern was quality and that "grainy" look you see on many videos on MTV. I informed him that I couldn't guarantee that with the cameras I have, Sony VX2100 and Panasonic AG-DVC30. I know it can be done and am looking for some suggestions on how to achieve maximum potential. Here is the setup.

Filmed mostly outdoors, mostly during the day.

He wants to do a little something different, documentary style. So no girls, no cars, no bling, keeping it real.
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Old November 12th, 2006, 12:49 PM   #2
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Advice, since at one time I was in your shoes many, many times:

1-Don't go out of pocket. Even if this guy gets signed, he is not your ticket to more work like this. It will help, but in the end it's not worth it, unless it's a real small amount of money (less than say, $200). Trust me, I was in exactly the same position for an artist on Grand Royal (Beastie Boys label back in 90's).

2-You need 24p. That means a DVX or XL2. If you're going to spend any money out of pocket at all, rent a DVX. 30p will work in a pinch.
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Old November 12th, 2006, 12:57 PM   #3
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Yeah, don't count on him getting signed or hooking you up if he does. I wouldn't cash in your kid's college fund to make this video.

As Nate said, use 24p...it will dramatically raise your production value.

Another piece of advice - use lighting, or at least some good reflectors, even if you are outside. Good lighting will improve the look of any production, even if the cameras aren't top notch.
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Old November 12th, 2006, 04:13 PM   #4
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More Info.

Thanks for looking out and the words of advice. I just came from his house and feel a lot better. He is serious and speaks the truth, he is actually already signed for co-production for some pretty big names, Dr. Dre is one. He's no mega rich star yet, but I have in my hand his single that has been on the radio a lot out here -so that gives me more confidence. Also, I'm getting points on the back end written into the contract as well. THe out of pocket part would only be a couple hundred IF that.

Lighting - I have a 3 piece kit, 1500 watts, and a 60watt attached to the VX. It looks like by the time this is due to start production I'll have an HD camera, so the 24p is looking to be a reality. However, if I am not able to do 24p and don't have the resources to get it -that's where I'd like to do everything else to compensate for that.
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Old November 13th, 2006, 06:08 PM   #5
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Access to an XL H1 is possible now. How is the 24F in that? Would it just be better to shoot in 60i with a good DOF and then just convert to 24p? Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old November 13th, 2006, 06:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Wagner
How is the 24F in that?
It's perfect. No issues. If you shoot 24p HDV (aka 24f) however, make sure you TEST your 24f workflow and make sure you can edit what you shot with the gear you have. Otherwise, shoot 24p DV mode...every NLE handles that correctly.

Shooting 24p HDV might add a layer of complexity to your video that you just don't need right now, unless you're a wiz with making these things work first time, every time. Making low budget music videos is tough enough, trust me. Again, if in doubt about your HDV skillz, shoot 24p DV. It'll look great. In fact, shooting 24p HDV and downconverting to deliver will look worse unless you know exactly how to downconvert and sweeten it up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Wagner
Would it just be better to shoot in 60i with a good DOF and then just convert to 24p?
NO. You have a camera that shoots fine, perfect 24p. Shooting 60i and then converting looses resolution, takes oodles of rendering time, and in general, there's just no reason to do it. In fact, I'm completely puzzled by your DOF comment...but there's no reason to discuss it. Shoot 24p. It's important for music vids.
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Old November 13th, 2006, 08:05 PM   #7
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Great! Thanks for the help. So if I shoot 24f HDV with the XL H1- should I start a 24p 16:9 Premiere Pro 2.0 project? Once I have these few things down, everything else should fall into place -I have plenty of time to prepare and get my sh%t together regarding cams/format/angles/scenes/yada yada. I am a former XL1s user so I am a little familiar with how that series handles as well.

Are you familiar with the XL H1 as far as if it will do 16:9 DV? (non HD)
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