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Old June 11th, 2007, 03:42 PM   #1
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2 Sony TRV900's.....will they cut it?

Currently have them hooked via firewire to laptops and capturing straight to the drive. I havent had much experience using them in "perfect" set lighting but have used them for filming bands at a club. They seem to work great there. I'd love to have a much nicer and newer camera but I don't have the money.
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Old June 11th, 2007, 05:11 PM   #2
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And your question is ???
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Old June 11th, 2007, 06:22 PM   #3
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damn sorry, i was distracted badly whilst typing this. I was just wondering if they would be good for a serious short film project?
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Old June 12th, 2007, 04:35 AM   #4
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For a movie short, you only need one camera unless you are going to do stunts that can only get one take. It is generally too cumbersome to light and compose a scene for two cameras. The TRV900 isn't a bad camera but like all cameras it has limitations. I think you will want to look into learning color correction or consider getting Magic Bullet software to tweak the colors. The TRV900 has a very "cool" look that you might want to warm up and intensify the color. Don't increase the saturation in-camera as it won't look good. Don't plan to do widescreen as the TRV900 doesn't have 16:9 imaging chips. Stay within the camera's operational boundaries, get good exposure and composition, and tweak the color to your taste in post. I'm sure everything will be fine, especially if you get good lighting and composition. An occasional complex (yet smooth) camera move will keep things more interesting. Have you looked into something like a jib/crane or a skateboard dolly?
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Old June 12th, 2007, 06:13 AM   #5
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The TRV900 is the first of the 'real' small MiniDV camcorders and apart from 16:9 (which it wasn't really designed to do) it handles most things very well indeed. It has a fine lens, a big side-screen, proper manual ND filtration and is way better than the TRV950 and 1000 that followed it.

It depends what the bands want from you but the 900 is pretty good in low light, just needing a good wide-converter. As far as a serious short film project is concerned, the camera in your hands brings far less to the shoot than the experience in the hands. My only thought is that a serious short film project has to be in 16:9, right?

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Old June 12th, 2007, 08:33 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. I do have the Magic Bullet software and plan on using it. Right now I am trying to find the easiest way to maneuver the camera because it is attached to a laptop at all times when filming. What I have thought about it just getting my camera operator to sit in a wheelchair with the laptop and have the camera attached to a monopod or held by hand whilst someone pushes the operator.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 01:05 AM   #7
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Shooting SOMETHING on what you got is ALWAYS better than not shooting anything waiting for a better camera. There are numerous examples of successful movies shot on prosumer (and sometimes even consumer) gear.

That said, obviously better gear makes for better production value and can help in making your project being taken more seriously. If you are a director with ideas, try posting an ad on Craigslist for a DP with gear to partner up on shooting. Be upfront that it is not for pay - but you'd be suprised that some of us guys with pro gear will gladly work on something fun once and awhile for free to escape the boredom of soulless corporate viceo and reality shows that we normally do...
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Old June 16th, 2007, 02:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
For a movie short, you only need one camera unless you are going to do stunts that can only get one take. It is generally too cumbersome to light and compose a scene for two cameras.
Many TV series are shot with two cameras. It is a valid technique and has its pros and cons.

A great post on this is here (by David Mullen ASC):
http://www.reduser.net/forum/showpos...3&postcount=72

2- You could record to miniDV tape? (To avoid the laptop problem.)

3-
Quote:
My only thought is that a serious short film project has to be in 16:9, right?
IMO, the answer is clearly no. You don't have to limit yourself to a particular format. For example, look at South Park... it was originally made with construction paper / stop motion (though I believe now they use Maya or something).

There's no reason why you can't get creative / do whatever the hell you want.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 04:14 AM   #9
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That article points out one serious problem with running two cameras. When you run two cameras, you need two camera crews. If you are doing low/no budget stuff, that's a lot of people and equipment to cram in a room. Also, if you are shooting "guerilla style", you will attract a whole lot of attention with two crews running around. A movie that has a budget may not have a problem running two cameras, but a beginning crew will have enough trouble with just one camera.

You don't need to shoot 16:9 to make a movie. I think good color and exposure is more important to the look than anything else. Widescreen and 24p may be nice, but that isn't what will make your movie look good to the average person.

Oh, you might want to turn down the sharpness on the TRV900 so you don't have quite such a harsh video look. There is no way to make SD look exactly like film. Instead, shoot for the medium that you have. Big wide shots won't be detailed enough for SD, so make more of your shots close and medium. You need to use as many of the pixels you have to make SD look it's best.
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