2011 Feature Film shot in Camden, ME
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Update from the DP – Prep/Week 1

Week 1  //  Day 4  // July 16, 2011

Here’s something we didn’t know…

We’re in Camden Maine, just finished day four of the shoot.  Day for night interiors at a local bar called Cuzzy’s.  But first, I wanted to mention our make-up test and what we figured out.

So the final (basic) camera gear list for the shoot is as follows:

-Sony F3

-KiPro Mini w/ 32 gig CF cards (3)

-Anton Bauer Dionic batteries + plate

-Zacuto EVF

-5.6” TV Logic (HD) on board monitor

-17” Panasonic (HD) External Monitor

Then we (1st AC Ari Davidson + 2nd AC Cole Christine + I) came across a problem, which took multiple phone calls to finally figure out what was wrong.  We are shooting at 24 FPS (23.98) at 422 HQ 10-bit onto the KiPro.  The KiPro records the video feed running from the camera via SDI.  Regardless of the camera’s actual record settings, the output signal must be set to 23.98 PsF to record that onto the KiPro, not the default 60i.  Then we run the 23.98 HD-SDI signal out of the KiPro to the on-board monitor, then HD-SDI out from the KiPro to the external monitor.  I had to make sure that the F3 we were working with had the latest firmware upgrade since that would allow us to simultaneously run HD-SDI out AND HDMI out.  The Zacuto viewfinder is only HDMI, so this firmware upgrade was necessary.  BUT here was the problem.  HDMI is a broadcast signal only, it DOES NOT send out a 24 FPS signal, 60i only.  We want to shoot at 24fps and the output has to be 24 for the KiPro to record 24.  So what happened was when we ran the HDMI out from the camera (in addition to the HD-SDI) we had no signal to the viewfinder.  So then what is the point of the HDMI/SDI simultaneous output if you want to shoot to an external recorder (not the nano-flash) at 24fps?!!?  When I would posed this question heads would spin and it took 3-5 minutes on average for anyone to really even understand me!  We were pretty sure that the Dual Link output always send a 24 signal, but it wasn’t working.  So we made some phone calls – one Sony rep, two Sony professional technicians, a couple rental houses and no one could figure it out.  Until we called Abel Cine Tech and after being transferred to two different people, someone had the solution.  It was simple – we had forgotten to switch the output display signal back to 60i for the HDMI signal, since the Dual Link SDI natively outputs 24.  Let me tell you, it was quite a bit of drama – last minute figuring out if an AJA or blackmagic or some signal transferring device would solve the issue.  Long story short – you learn new things every day.  This might have been one you already knew and now it’s one I’ll always remember.

Otherwise we’ve done four days of shooting and it’s going well.  We’re shooting with the F3 in CineGamma REC709, varying ISO from 280 – 400 – 800 and I’m pretty happy with the results.  We’re mostly shooting 5600K, one interior car scene at 3200.  The image is a little saturated on the green side, but I think that tends to happen with the F3 often.



1 Kris L. Christine { 07.20.11 at 2:04 am }

Fascinating blog which gives us a peek into the various aspects of shooting a feature film locally — from the technical (quite interesting), to locations, the community, teamwork, unexpected challenges (bugs during night shoots & output display signal switches), to how the crew unwinds at the end of a long day shooting. Thank you for updating us with the blog & photos, it’s greatly appreciated!

2 Geoff Parker { 07.21.11 at 3:24 am }

Another gotcha is that while the TV Logic will transcode HDMI to HD-SDI (if for any reason you need that feature) ir down rezes the signal to the native screen resolution regardles of the input res. I own all three of the monitors you’re using and have noticed at my Panasonic 17″ has a tendency to go green in the mids.

Hello to Caitlin, Sally, and Cole.

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