SHooting DV : LUSENET : Shooting DV Films : One Thread

Incidentally, for those of you more experienced in production, I am looking for a little advice.

I am writing a script I want to shoot on DV. I was thinking 16mm but after seeing an Oz film maker talk about his experiences starting out, and after he spoke pretty highly of DV, I am pursuing this avenue at the mo. Basically, the film is a mocu-mentary. It's sort of a bit like THE REAL WORLD in that it is intercut with doco footage and interviews. The doco footage will be hand held and the interviews will be static. A lot of the shots are interior, though there are some exterior shots that are mainly done at night. The camera I was thinking of using is a Canon XL1 and editing on Avid, then if it's good enough, kinescoping the vid to 35mm.


1. I want to get 35mm quality and I heard with DUST OFF THE WINGS (I ain't seen it, it left screens very quickly, and even though it's out on video, I want to see what it looks like on the big screen)that the int., low light scenes look EXCELLENT, though the ext, high contrast, were not as good. I'm flying blind because my experience with projected video and video tranferred to film is that it looks like crap. Really crap. I'm talking blue hues, grainy as a gravel pit, and as sharp as a rusty knife. Yet, I haven't seen anything on DV.

Can anyone give me any advice as to what I can expect? Even though this film is doco-like, I still want it to look professional. Any advice as to what should be done and what I should look out for in a DP?

Any particular references to the special consids of the Canon XL1?

2. POST-PRODUCTION - I was thinking of using an AVID - I can get access to an AVID - but if I were to find a cheaper alternative, what do I need to consider? I am a film guy. I really know nothing about video, nor digital editing. I don't know what's out there, but I am aiming for the best. I want to make this for $10,000 (or about $7000US) and then go for a grant to have it Kine'd. So, I'm doing it cheap. Can you mix sound on an AVID or do I have to budget for a mixer - it will be quite a basic mix for non-sync (fade in, fade out, cuts, etc) no real fancy stuff. The look is what is most important at the moment.

Greatly appreciate your help


-- Craig Rossiter (, June 13, 1999


Hi Craig I'm living in Europe trying to do very much the same sort of thing you are. Here are a few suggestions: 1. Shoot DV with the transfer to film already in mind. The last issue of RES has an excellent article on that.

2. Test, test, test. We do it in film all the time but not in video.

3. Talk to a transfer house before you shoot. They've seen all sorts of results and can tell you (and show you) what works best.

4. Consider shooting with a PAL DV camera. They have higher resolution and run at 25 frames per second (almost) like film. But you must find out if you can edit PAL where you are.

5. I use the AVID a lot because i have access to one, it's a great machine, but otherwise it's overkill for offline work (especially if you have to pay for it). I suggest the old fashion way: making a VHS dub with the time code burnt in, logging everything properly, paper edit, offline VHS edit and then going to the AVID.

With your budget you use w

-- kalunga (, July 03, 1999.

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