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Ultimate "film look" for EX-3

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Tom Laughlin
Ultimate "film look" for EX-3
on Jan 26, 2011 at 4:42:22 pm

(Ok, so my last thread semi-related to this topic died out pretty quickly, so what I'd like to do it get MORE specific info from everyone, if you have the time to share them.)

What are your best exact settings for setting up and shooting with the EX-3 for the 'film' look, (aside from carefully lighting & shooting at 24fps/1080p Full-HD), so please share.

And if you have shot any feature films or commercials with it, please share the links or anything else that you have. I know lots of people will post encouragements, but I'm looking for more straight up info on what you do, not really what book/article to read at the moment (which I'll continue to do...), but more, if "you" were asked to DP a feature, what camera menu setups and other camera settings "AND" any (if you want to mention) specific camera support equipment (french flags, matte-boxes, lenses, etc) would you use.

Thanks everyone,

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCP7/Sony EX-3/Mac Quad-Core Intel


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Rafael Amador
Re: Ultimate "film look" for EX-3
on Jan 26, 2011 at 6:46:48 pm

Hi Tom,
I just had a fast look to your previous thread.
Forget about codecs, data-rates, lenses, adapters etc.
Start by setting properly the camera.
Google something like "EX-1 Picture Profiles". There is a lot of info but very spread. Search for posts of people like Paolo Ciccone, Bill Raven or Alister Chapman or Paul Joy.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Ultimate "film look" for EX-3
on Jan 26, 2011 at 6:56:14 pm

Film look is very much a personal aesthetic. As Rafael alludes to a big key is the Picture Profile.

Keep in mind there are few rules in that area as well. Compare any number of movies and you'll note that.
Some prefer to shoot fairly "flat" using one of the CineGammas and then color grade in post. In fact nearly every film is color graded.

Another key may be to reduce the edge sharpening that people associate with that "videoy" look.

These days, flesh tone vs teal complimentary color grading is common.



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Brent Dunn
Re: Ultimate "film look" for EX-3
on Jan 26, 2011 at 7:14:17 pm

Like Craig said, set your camera to get a good color, then do your color grading in post. You already have a good understanding of lighting, 24p etc.

You really won't get a film look right out of the camera. You can use prime lenses for more depth of field looks for certain parts of the film.

For a serious film maker, a colorist or someone to do the color grading that understands moods, story, and how to use color to help tell your story is key.

I understand you would like the magic settings, but as was prevously said, there is so many variables depending on the script and your personal taste.

I've seen some amazing independent films shot with the Canon 5D. I think you will get more of what you want and the look you need more from that camera with prime lenses than with the EX-1 or EX-3...and I love my EX-1.

Just my 2 cents. Sorry I couldn't offer you what you needed.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Rafael Amador
Re: Ultimate "film look" for EX-3
on Jan 26, 2011 at 7:53:51 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Some prefer to shoot fairly "flat" using one of the CineGammas and then color grade in post. In fact nearly every film is color graded."
Right. Is very nice to get that Film Look out of the camera but its really tights you for CC. The stronger the look you get in camera, the less possibilities for correction you have.
A flat picture may be much less appealing but gives you lot of flexibility.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Tom Laughlin
Re: Ultimate "film look" for EX-3
on Jan 26, 2011 at 8:06:28 pm

Can you elaborate on what it means to shoot 'flat' and how one would know if it is flat or not, or any setting or lighting to verify? Sorry for the question.

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCP7/Sony EX-3/Mac Quad-Core Intel


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paul watkins
Re: Ultimate "film look" for EX-3
on Jan 26, 2011 at 9:12:52 pm

Tom -

What he trying say is you really don't want to do to much as color in the shooting portion, save that until post. Start off with "pretty pictures" and the sky is the limit and you have a good baseline.

Paul Watkins


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Michael Slowe
Re: Ultimate "film look" for EX-3
on Jan 26, 2011 at 10:39:45 pm

Tom, take a look at the Vortex Media DVD workshop done by Doug Jensen on the EX1 camera. He goes into the 'look' very thoroughly with his Picture Profile chapter. This DVD is essential viewing for anyone with the EX cameras. By the way, you'll know a 'flat' picture by looking at it on a well calibrated monitor. No great contrast, not too much saturation, no great impact. In fact Sony set up their EX with that very look in the default setting, you have to set your own look with the PP's.

Michael Slowe


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Brent Dunn
Re: Ultimate "film look" for EX-3
on Jan 27, 2011 at 3:02:34 pm

Like Michael said, review the Vortex Media DVD. Very informative.

Cameras are shipped with the settings usually right down the middle. Meaning they have a basic profile for the settings. This allows the user to customize their looks through the profile settings in order to get the look they want out of their camera.

The more you shoot and practice with these settings the better understanding you'll have. Shoot one minute shots similar to what you normally would shoot. Shoot in different lighting, locations, etc to give you a good basis to start. At each location or shot, change your profile settings, make note of each one you use, and repeat this for each profile, making the same shot with each profile.

Then when you import your footage, you'll have a good reference and understanding how it'll look with each profile setting, thus allowing you to quickly change according to your location or shoot.

As always, take the time to practice with these cameras. Shoot for yourself as much as possible to really learn the possibilities. There is so much you can do with this camera, but we all get caught up in the business end and rarely take the time to educate ourselves.

I hope this helps.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Tom Laughlin
Re: Ultimate "film look" for EX-3
on Jan 27, 2011 at 5:15:12 pm

Thank you all so much for all your info, and especially thank you to Brent and Michael for your posts as well, very encouraging.

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCP7/Sony EX-3/Mac Quad-Core Intel


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Brent Dunn
Re: Ultimate "film look" for EX-3
on Jan 28, 2011 at 5:11:54 pm

Glad to help. That's why the creative cow is so good. We are all here to learn and help each other.

Enjoy your new toy. I'd also recommend the Canon 5D if you are really going to get into independent film making. You'll see all kind of cool films on Vimeo and YouTube using this camera.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Craig Seeman
Re: Ultimate "film look" for EX-3
on Jan 28, 2011 at 5:41:57 pm

Or if you're on a budget the Canon 60D is good. The sensor is the same size as the 7D (a little smaller than the 5D). The flip out LCD is a major convenience and you can focus on building up a good lens collection which you should be able to use if you move to large sensor video camera.

If you're looking for a lens adaptor for EX it seems the leading ones are the Letus Ultimate and the Red Rock Micro M3. Given their cost it might make more sense to get a Canon 60D.

The alternative might be to get the Sony F3 but it's not a run and gun camera so it's not really a replacement for the EX3.



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Rafael Amador
Re: Ultimate "film look" for EX-3
on Jan 28, 2011 at 5:48:16 pm

But don't forget to have a look to the PANA AF-100.
That's what I've got in mind.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Ultimate "film look" for EX-3
on Jan 28, 2011 at 6:11:54 pm

Sony is working on an NXCAM solution which should be close to the AF100 and whereas the the latter is 4/3 the former should be APS-C (super 35ish). Of course the AF100 is available now and NXCAM is months away. The F3 is coming in a few weeks I hear but I have issues with it (which some would argue with me over).



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Rafael Amador
Re: Ultimate "film look" for EX-3
on Jan 27, 2011 at 8:08:56 pm

[Tom Laughlin] "Can you elaborate on what it means to shoot 'flat' and how one would know if it is flat or not, "
Start by not applying any CINE Gamma curve.
An important tip (although no related with that flatness): Never use STANDARD/CINE Gamma 2. This will make your signal "Broadcast Safe", but will reduce the pictures "dynamic range".
Rafael
PS:

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Michael Palmer
Re: Ultimate "film look" for EX-3
on Jan 28, 2011 at 1:24:03 am

I prefer to shoot to my satisfaction and not for someone else in post. I have some picture profiles that I have fine tuned to my liking and if I'm given the responsibility as DP I will record a look that is my signiture to the project.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Ultimate "film look" for EX-3
on Jan 28, 2011 at 8:21:09 am

Michael,
You are a very experienced professional.
You know very well your camera and how to get what you want.
When things are not like that, is better to let some room to mend mistakes.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Tom Laughlin
Re: Ultimate "film look" for EX-3
on Jan 31, 2011 at 5:29:23 pm

EXCAM VBR 35/MBPS is it showing that it is HDTV 1920x1080i, at 29.97fps, so if I change the frame-rate to 24fps, will that also make it pure 24fps, or will FCP do the convert back to 29.97 like it sometimes does? When 24fps, imports in to FCP, does FCP keep it at 24fps? And is it 1080i or 1080p, or can you do that inside the camera? Do you have to dial that in as well, whether it is 1080i or 1080p? Sorry for the added questions.

Tom

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Salt Lake City, UT
FCP7/Sony EX-3/Mac Quad-Core Intel


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Stephen de Vere
Re: Ultimate "film look" for EX-3
on Feb 11, 2011 at 5:39:57 pm

When working to high broadcast standards (eg. BBC) then it is vital to get exposure very accurate and no clipping of whites or blacks. When recording in 8-bit codecs like the EX1 onboard recorder is there is very little latitude to adjust it later in post without creating noise. The picture profile, particularly the gamma curve, can help with this enormously. For instance with the old 8-bit Varicam we generally used up to 3 picture profiles all the time on a sequence - different profiles for high, medium and low contrast lighting/scenes - in order to use the full range of the recording codec as much as possible. With the new Varicam it is a 10-bit codec so now we generally can use only one profile for nearly all scenes. This is a very dull boring-looking picture but maximises the camera's dynamic range.

Like Rafael recommends - be very careful about making a strong look in the camera. It depends on the assigment of course but for all my shoots over the last 20 years (mostly wildlife TV series) I would have been fired for deliberately producing any type of 'look' in camera.


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