HELP????????????????? : LUSENET : Shooting DV Films : One Thread

First of all thanks for this forum, I've really learned a lot! I apologize for asking this question HERE, but with everyone being so knowledgable, I thought this would be a great place to get some in depth info...

Okay, I want to make a low budget feature. I originally started it in Super8 but decided even Super8 wasn't what I want to use. I'd LOVE to shoot it with an XL-1 but finances keep me from even renting the camera. My computer is not set up for the editing anyway. Obviously DIGITAL is the way to go, but again, without some money up front, I'll have to wait at least a year or 2 to get everything I need.

I thought about 16mm, but here again, finances would keep me from finishing it realistically.

Now here's the question... I've got 2 Canon L2 Hi8 Cameras that I'm extremely comfortable and familiar with. I've already got a complete Hi8 editing set-up i.e., cameras, decks, monitors, mixer, etc. I've always used this stuff for weddings, industrial videos, etc., thinking that making a film with this stuff would suck.

But I gotta make this movie! I'm wondering if doing this with my Hi8 stuff would be a waste of time? Okay, you're asking me what I want to do with this film, right? I'd like to enter it into some festivals and "theoretically and ultimately" maybe even get a distributor to take it to video...

Here are my questions...

If I do this, would it be better to edit with my decks or spring for a good capture card and drives and edit in the computer? If so, what are the best cards? Also, are there ANY IDE hard drives that would work as well or almost as well as SCSI?

Since I already have all the Hi8 stuff, wouldn't it be better to use what I have? Ultimately, the finished product would be a 3rd generation tape... I'm wondering IF let's say someone actually did this with Hi8 and won a festival and a distributor wanted a limited theatrical release, how would this footage look transferred to film?

I've heard of someone doing this a year or so ago, but never found out what it looked like on film.

Should I just forget the whole thing?

Help me out!


-- Matt Retherford (, June 27, 1999


Shoot your film in Hi8 if that's what you have because: 1. If your film is great it won't matter what format it's on. 2. Chances are it won't be picked up for theatrical release... but it will be a great experience. 3. You become a better film maker by making films, not by waiting around for the right equipment.

-- kalunga (, July 01, 1999.

I agree with the above assessment. I would aim at keeping as much of your production digital as possible. Perhaps take the money you plan ending on a new HD and put it towards an under $1000 DV, or Digital 8 camera. If your acquisition footage looks good, it will help with the generaiton loss you're going to suffer anyway editing on an all Hi8 system. But I wouldn't wait until you have all the right stuff in place. Make it with what you can get your hands on. There probably isn't theatrical distribution in the cards for this production, but film festivals and such are well within reason. They're a wonderful way to get your name out there, and if you tell good stories, someone just may pick you up to tell their story, and you won't have to worryabout a dime. Check out my site. I made each of these films for under $3000. Hope this helps.

-- Christopher Young (, November 11, 1999.

Check out Todd Verows film, Little Shots of Happiness. He shot it on Hi-8 then transferred it to 16mm. It played in several festivals. You can order it on his sight

-- eli elliott (, November 29, 1999.

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