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-   -   HD vs DV? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/general-hd-720-1080-acquisition/37890-hd-vs-dv.html)

Brad Mills January 17th, 2005 11:16 AM

HD vs DV?
 
I have to make a decision whether or not to buy an XL2 for my upcoming independant feature, or a relatively equally priced HD camera.

I was always under the assumption HD cameras were over $25,000.00 so I never even considered it...

SO what I want to get some opinions on, is why in the world would I go with DV if I can go HD? HD is so much better, isn't it?

Also, is HDV & HD the same thing?

Sorry for the novice questions, I did a little search and I couldn't find the answers, there's so much knowledge on this site it would take hours to soak it all in.

Dylan Pank January 17th, 2005 11:54 AM

DV is a proven route, there are well worn paths and a lot of people have experience of taking DV (be it 24p or 50/60i) to film or other formats, the various forms of software (mac, PC or whatever) have had most of the bumps and kinks ironed out.

Disadvantage, the resolution is very low and it looks like video when transferred to film (though general opinion is it can be made to look like film if shot and posted right if it stays on a video medium such as DVD).

HDV is on its leading edge, no one has yet gone through the entire HDV-Film route yet (for a completed project, tests have been done) though someone soon will - but the first through the gate will be in unknown territory. The HDV editing process, generally using intermediate codecs, is still in its infancy and nowhere near as seemless as DV editing, and doubtless far more time consuming - though, all told it's probably easier than film-video-film.

With DV you can cheaply monitor edits in realtime, in the native format/codec and for relatively little extra money, monitor effects in realtime too at resolution.

You can edit DV on older less powerful equipment, but HDV is going to require a fairly recent (ie fast) and well kitted out machine (e.g. 1GB ram at least) before you can work efficiently with it.

-

HD means High Definition which means a higher resolution, (eg 1280*720) but I think also prescribes a 16*9 aspect ratio.

HDV specifically refers to 1280*720p or 1440*1080i video with a data rate of 19Mbs or 25Mbs under MPEG2 compression and MP2 sound at 384Kbs.

Brad Mills January 17th, 2005 01:13 PM

alright, thanks a lot. I think I'll go with an XL2 =P

Carl Hamilton January 17th, 2005 08:46 PM

back in the early 90's i dreamt of a digital future where analog generational loss would be a thing of the past, and everything would be sharp and clean and stay that way from camera original to finished product. Who knew that the dream would be shattered by that evil compromise of the digital world - compression. I first met her when first viewing satellite tv at a friend's house and noticing that everything was just a little pixelated, not as sharp as my analog cable at home. I didn't make much of it then, but now i'm seeing that it's the new VHS, it's the new 3rd generation copy, it's that thing that is keeping us from having that super sharp and clean video that we all want. I came up shooting film in school and even managed to put together a 35mm package with some sweet little zeiss prime lenses and a variable shutter body and a crystal motor, but i hardly ever used it because the medium is so expensive. I was a film snob, looking down on video as the format of the news world, but a little movie called "Blair Witch" changed all that. maybe one day we'll have that magical format that has the professional quality that we all want with every manual control with it's own button, lenses with mechanically linked focus and zoom rings with stops and markings that are wide, long and fast, and every other bell and whistle, but for now, it sure is tough to pick one, because none of them do it all, yet...

Brad Mills January 17th, 2005 09:10 PM

Man I wish I could afford to shoot on HD. I was PAing on some commercial shoots this week, and the image they had for one of them was the exact look I need for my feature...

but with only a $40,000.00 budget, I don't think I can afford HD =\

Carl Hamilton January 17th, 2005 09:26 PM

i'm sure u can find an owner/operator with a Varicam or a Cine Alta who would rent u one and shoot it. camera and operator would probably come as a package. you could probably work out a deal if u got a budget. I just gripped on a commercial with a guy from richmond who owns a cine alta. Gear Head Camera is his company if u wanna research it. have u worked on battlestar galactica? i think they shoot that up there somewhere....

Carl Hamilton January 17th, 2005 09:35 PM

u oughta whack that script down to a tight 20 page short. you'd get more bang for the buck. who wants to sit and watch a $40,000 movie for 90 min anyway? I good short beats a bad feature any day... Better yet, you ought to raise more funds - somebody else's - and make your dream feature properly. Or forget the whole thing and get a real job... Or continue to PA and learn from the big guys how it's done, which is what i've been doing the last 12 years as a grip. But don't do it for that long. You reach a point where the mindstate of a below-the-liner becomes detrimental to your long term goals; ie. you act like a p.a., think like a p.a., people treat u like a p.a., and next thing u know 12 years have gone by and u are still a p.a. I hate this business sometimes, but i honestly dont know what else i'd do...

Bill Anderson January 17th, 2005 09:59 PM

Carl, you're thinking like a p.a. Here are a couple of feature films that were made for the price of a decent short: El Mariachi - Blood Simple - Blair Witch- This Is Not A love Song - The Palms - Apocalypse Now-
Ok I'm kiding about one of them but the point is if the Cohen Brothers had taken your advice then they'de be much the poorer for it.
Don't confuse the lack of funds with the lack of passion and ability.

Ken Hodson January 17th, 2005 10:39 PM

Hear hear.

Carl Hamilton January 18th, 2005 10:40 AM

yeah, yeah i'm thinking like a grip, but i guess i've been a little spoiled by working on the big shows. Some of the stuff i work on is so big that it seems inconceivable to make a feature properly without a big union crew, trailers of gear, armies of extras, etc. I've also had a few bad experiences working on no-budget indies, so i guess i'm a little gun-shy.

Ken Hodson January 18th, 2005 12:22 PM

Ya but all of your experience of how it is done right in the "big show" would be invaluable to a small indie production. Thats for sure.

Augie Arredondo January 18th, 2005 02:21 PM

grip
 
Yeah, i made a feature for 800 bucks and got national dvd distro with it. Now I am planning an HD feature with a $20,000 budget and it looks like everything will work. I wish I had the luxury of 40 grand. You can get it done, just be more resourceful.

slp

Dylan Pank January 18th, 2005 04:41 PM

Brad,

I don't want to think I put you off HDV, but seeing as you're asking newbie questions, you probably want to hold back. The format you choose is VERY important to the project as a whole (technically, artistically and financially)

For $40,00 you could almost defnitely shoot on HDV, but really if you're not exactly sure what HDV is then you wither should hold back until you've done a lot more research or hire someone as a technical consultant to guide you through it, or a DoP who has his or her own HDV kit. Since he or she might own the kit, that would save you the cost of buying the equipment, ie spend $4000 on the expertise and hope it brings a camera with it.

The history of indie low budget productions is littered with failed projects that began with the intention to shoot the cheapest way possible yet ended up costing a lot more, becuase the whole production route wasn't planned out.

BTW, what was the budget for that commercial you PA'd on - my guess is was more than $40,000 for just 30 seconds, and you want to get the same look spending it across 90 minutes?

Brad Mills January 19th, 2005 11:06 PM

You're right, the budget was $50,000.00 or 20 seconds. That's why I don't think I can get that look, because it's expensive and I only have $40,000.00.

I also don't have the luxury of getting DOPs with HDV kits =P I'm going to shoot it in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. There's no unions, no film houses, no sound stages...not much of a film industry anymore in the area.

I'm trying to plan it out as best I can with the limitted resources at my disposal. I'm probably going to be working with students hungry for experience, and people with experience that don't work anymore.

Here's my plan so far...

I want to spend $10,000.00 on camera equiptment, lenses, steadicam...build some jibs & maybe a cheap dolly & tracks.

I want to spend $5,000.00 on lights & sound.

I'm going to try to pay the actors/crew a little for the 18 day shoot, and the rest on deferral.

I'm going to feed the cast & crew well, and I'm going to set aside a good chunk for editting.

Hopefully I'll be able to afford to recoup some of my pre-production expenses, other production costs, and the inevitable post-production costs...but I haven't done out a budget yet because I'm still working on the shooting schedule.

Bill Anderson January 20th, 2005 11:44 AM

Brad, have you considered working through an Independent film cooperative? This will at the least triple your equipment and post budget - i.e. you can rent a DVC PRO 50 camera from www.cineworks.ca in Vancouver for 120$ per day, and by the time you've finished begging I bet you could get the thing for less. And for post we have here in Calgary such
fabulous indie outfits like EMMEDIA and Calgary Society For Independent Filmmakers. There is generally no shortage of knowledgeable and talented people affiliated with these types of co-ops - think Guy Maddin and The Winnipeg Film Group. These people can help guide your project to a reasonable fine cut, output that to DVD, and find finishing funds etc. Good luck with your project.


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