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On an isolated island trying to make some camera settings decisions

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jack Niedenthal
On an isolated island trying to make some camera settings decisions
on Nov 10, 2011 at 11:07:48 pm

I am in an unusual situation, so I need to do a bit of a build-up to my question.

I live in the Marshall Islands. I am the only person making family feature films, amateur films I will proudly add, though the 3 films I have made so far are wildly popular as they are the only films in the Marshallese language incorporating some of the traditional Marshallese legends (imagine growing up your entire life never seeing a film in your own language, set in your own country, dealing with situations unique to your own culture, hence my motivation as my wife and kids are Marshallese). Our last film actually won Best of Fest at the Guam Int. FF. and Best Foreign Language Film at the Hawaii Ocean FF, so we are improving. Each film sold 2500 DVDs here in the Marshall Islands.

Our first 3 films were shot with a Sony PD170 in SD. I used Final Cut Express 4 to edit. I had to teach myself the camera and the software with no help at all outside of what I could learn on the internet, so if I sound dumb with the next few questions, that's why.

I just bought the Panasonic HPX 170 with a 64 GB P2 card. I use a new iMac i7 (OSX 10.7.2) with all the bells and whistles and have now (reluctantly) gone to the new FCP X for software.

So now my question: We are about to shoot our 4th full length feature film (roughly 90 minutes). I have read through the manual and a book about the camera but I'm just not getting enough information to make the ultimate decision as to what camera settings I should use to shoot the film.

In the end I expect the film to show at a theater here for a few weeks, and then a few film festivals and then ultimately, hopefully, sell a pile of DVDs out here. Important note: People here do not have sophisticated plasma TV/DVD setups, so I have to consider this also when shooting the film.

So.... I would really, really, really appreciate some opinions as to how I should go about this, i.e., 24p? 30p? 720? 1080i? If it were you, what settings on the camera would you use to shoot this film???

Thanks so much in advance.


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Chris Tompkins
Re: On an isolated island trying to make some camera settings decisions
on Nov 11, 2011 at 2:16:24 pm

I would shoot 1080i-60i.

60i looks great on SD DVD & BluRay.

You can deinterlace for webclips if so needed.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Jack Niedenthal
Re: On an isolated island trying to make some camera settings decisions
on Nov 11, 2011 at 11:59:06 pm

If I shoot at 1080i/60i wouldn't this appear more like a home video as opposed to a movie, say, shot in 24p? Is there an advantage for the requirements I mentioned above to shooting this in 1080i/60i as opposed to say 720/24p?

I really appreciate the responses to these questions that may make me appear is a neophyte. As I have said, I am in the wilderness.

Jack Niedenthal
Microwave Films of the Marshall Islands


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: On an isolated island trying to make some camera settings decisions
on Nov 12, 2011 at 3:03:27 am

You only have the one card?

I'd shoot 720pN24 to maximize your time on the cards.

24p can easily go to sd DVD and looks more filmic if that's what you'd like.

Congrats on your successes, sounds pretty cool, Jack.

The camera will be a good step up from the pd170.

Jeremy


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Jack Niedenthal
Re: On an isolated island trying to make some camera settings decisions
on Nov 13, 2011 at 3:17:38 am

Thanks, Jeremy. I used to think living in the middle of nowhere was a challenge and an adventure, then I got this camera...

The time on the cards could become an issue as most of my shoots are done in my free time (weekends, after work, etc), so we cram in a lot of hours at those times.

Jack Niedenthal
Microwave Films of the Marshall Islands


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