My experience with the HVX Pal in a Regional (Asia) TV Spot at
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Old August 15th, 2006, 03:25 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Macau
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My experience with the HVX Pal in a Regional (Asia) TV Spot

(Chris or any other moderator, please erase the former threads, since it seems I had a problem to post)

I just recently completed a Regional TV (Asia)promotion shot with the HVX. It was the first time I put to test the DVCPRO HD P2 workflow with separate Post-Production houses in a very high end professional environment, with Top End Grading and Avid DS Nitris Online editing. The first thing I have to say is. I was impressed. Everything just, well, worked seamesly.

When I started the project, I already had done my testing with the HVX (I don't know if some of you recall my night shooting footage posted here :). I did rough cuts in FCP, and decided (after employers concent) to go for High end post production of the commercial, due to the importance of the subject (I cannot disclose at this time- when its aired, I'll try to post a video of it).

I decided to shoot 1080p 25, for the higher resolution and compatibility issues. (No Slow motion was needed, and I wanted the commercial to have a "Film Look" to it, so no 50i). I used Cine like D and detail +2, coring +1, master Ped -3. I was affraid of loosing detail with this master ped setting, but, the truth is, in grading, the detail was still there and recoverable (more later).

This shot concerned a tricky matter: shooting people on a very impressive historical background, somethimes poorly iluminated. Camera was kept with shutter speed at 50 (with one shot at 25- this certainly softens the image, but it looked great on the end product)

Picture was shot with standard lighting, and no particular color tweaking was done in order to have better color manipulation in Post. Everything went very well, and, once again, the camera performed incredibly in Low ligh situations. We had 3 800w arrilites, but mainly used 2, with a very strong 2000w to help on the background lighting (wich was, in certain cases, about 30 meters away). It worked like a charm, with no perceivable noise in the image.

The picture, after importing to FCP, looked sharp and clear, with spectacular skin tones and detail. I was surelly impressed. We did a rough cut in our own FCP and did some color grading and manipulation in Motion. We sent the original footage with our basic cut with color correction and effects to the post-house to suggest the look we wanted. After that, it was going to the post house for grading and mastering. I did a name list with all the clip names and descriptions to the post house, and when I got there, they had everything on their grading system (a telecine) and it was a joy to see how well the picture survived to this process: We controled some overexposed levels, added color saturation, pushed up the detail on sume underexposed areas, and even added some spectacular subtile glows to specific areas with natural light in order to achieve what we wanted. We where aiming for a "West Wing" look with the TV Spot, and I'm very happy with the result.

The telecine edtor was really impressed with the HVX. He said it was a joy to work with the colorspace, and that it certainly was a lot better than HDV. He completely dismissed HDV for Commercial work. (This made me smile, happy with my own personal purchase of the camera). After this, we went to the Nitris for final tweaking and output.

Here I met a fine editor, who was working on the final stage of the project. We needed to key something in the footage (I wont give it away). When I said the footage he was seeing was shot with the HVX (this was the telecined footage), he couldn't believe it, and said he tought it was HDCAM footage. This is from someone who edits HDCAm footage daily, so, once again, it was a very reassuring thing to hear. The keying went perfectly, final tweaking ditto, and the product was done. No hassles, just swift and problem free. Final output was for Betacam Digital. The results? I think only seeing it will do it justice. For any asian friends reading this, the commercial will be shown in Hong-Kong, Mainland China and Taiwan. I did another commercial for a more specific target market, but this time I did the editing myself in FCP, in an SD 10bit uncompressed workflow. The HD edited material looks a lot better. My personall advice. Do everything you have to do in HD, and only go to SD for final output. The results are a lot better.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. One thing is for sure. I'm very happy with the result, and, as atested by the post house (which also bought an HVX!), this camera, if properly used, can really bring in the results!
If you don't believe in your film, no one else will.
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