any feature films being shot in high def?

Kim Welch

Senior Member
Staff member
Are there any feature films being shot in high def? Are there new problems with set design, make up, costume caused by the new high def?
 
D

Digigenic

Guest
High Def is fun...

High Def is fun...

Here’s a link for High Def Magazine
I have a subscription myself, and I'm learning quite a bit about High Def and it's benefits.
http://hidef.com/news_views.html

There are quite a few high def productions that have been made, are currently being made, and planned to be made. Everyone knows about Lucas and Rodriguez’s quest to convert the world to digital filmmaking, but there are plenty of others who’ve experimented with it as well.

I wouldn't think set design would be restricted in any way; actually I believe there's more flexibility with set design when shooting high def, or in any digital format. As for makeup modifications, I'm not well read on that aspect, but I do recall a majority of these productions approaching the project like it were film, like in terms of lighting, so from that aspect, I’d assume that makeup has remained the same.

You could also visit IMDB and enter the model name of one of the high def cameras I listed for you in the cinematography forum, and see what films come up. Chances are, you'll find quite a few movies were made on those cameras. I know you can enter Canon XL1 into IMDB’s search engine and you’ll get quite a few results.
 

MarkG

New member
HD really isn't going to make that much difference to Hollywood. Sure, you can save a few bucks on film, you can probably shoot a bit faster and you save time and money on digital effects as you don't need to scan film into your computer, but if you save $1 million on a $100 million movie, that's not enough of a saving to make it an easy choice. The whole of Hollywood is set up to shoot film, and if you switch to HD and end up with a movie that looks bad because the DoP doesn't know how to light it, that's $99 million wasted to save $1 million.

The benefit to those of us who don't have much money is that if you can blag a decent HD camera you can shoot near 35mm quality for a few bucks. The downside is that it _is_ near 35mm quality, so you need good sets, good makeup and good costumes, not just something you threw together out of trash you found in a dumpster, which might look OK on DV or super-8.
 
A

aPerfectCircle

Guest
Well, I think the biggest problem with HD right now, for me anyways, is editing. The Adobe Premiere Pro HD plugin runs 1300 dollars!!! The reason the NLE needs a plug in is because my HD cam uses the HDV codec, so the video is compressed as an mpeg2.ts file. The .ts extension indicates that it's a transport stream, which is a way huger file bandwidth than a standard microsoft DV AVI. The way the transport stream works is almost like a pipeline that pushes the information through to a capturing program. The HD plug in is made by cineform (www.cineform.com) it's called aspect hd. There's one in the works for final cut pro, I forgot what it's called, but I know it's more expensive, because it's a series of tools that you purchase seperately. Those tools are made by a company called hueris. But I think now that other manufacturers are adapting the HDV codec, hopefully (crossing fingers) consumer HD editing will drop bigtime in price.

Oh well...
 
K

Kevin_Zanit

Guest
I am currently on an HD feature right now (Panavisied F900). I have also shot several in the past.

I light it like film. The only thing is I have to keep in mind the limited contrast range of the cameras.

If anything, I would say shooting HD is a MUCH slower process. I say this for several reasons:

-Tenting the monitor, etc takes extra time and hands.
-Running all the cable/ the shorter battery life/ most ACs being less familiar with the gear taking slightly longer
-Back focus takes time
-And the director can be less disciplined in his coverage. I see a tendency to over-cover scenes due to the perceived cost decrease . . . a farce if you take longer on each set up, and then don't make your day, etc.


Kevin Zanit
 

Onur

New member
I think the main problems with HD feature films are:

1. All exhibitors, cinema theaters in almost every country have film-projectors. Switching to HD equipment is expensive when you already have a film-setup.
2. Already gained know-how for film and difficulties of leaving a tradition for producers, distributors and exhibitors.
3. The difficulties in switching to or creating an HD crew. (still early)
4. HD's (vertical) resolution is still not as great as 35mm film. (HD: 1080 horizontal lines)
5. Switching to digital will kill industries/companies that produce film-equipment (i.e. companies like ARRI)
6. The belief/knowledge that the picture obtained through light, directly by film will always be more realistic than digital.
etc..

Ofcourse, HD has many advatages on the other hand but I think we'll have to wait a little more before HD or smth else takes over, after some technological improvements.
 
D

Digigenic

Guest
Onur said:
...Switching to digital will kill industries/companies that produce film-equipment (i.e. companies like ARRI)

Uhhhh...ever heard of the Arri D20?
Rest assured, Arri won't suffer.
Neither will Panavision.


Onur said:
...The belief/knowledge that the picture obtained through light, directly by film will always be more realistic than digital.
etc..

I suppose it depends on what your definition of realistic is.
In most of the discussions I've had with regard to both mediums aesthetics, there's a general consesus that film is more "surreal", whereas digital operates automatically like a surgical tool to reproduce what it sees as realistically as possible. Think about it next time you see a reality tv show :lol:
 

Onur

New member
Yes and I also know the Arri 435 :). I didn't mean they'll go bankrupt. and neither will Panavision. But when a monopoly is disturbed, things happen. And people take precautions. It's not only about these companies ofcourse (Arri was just an example); it concerns a big part of the industry and relations.. Companies, factories, investments, agreements...

And about which one is more realistic.. I agree, it depends on what an individual thinks but there is a general belief that film is more realistic. Don't you think?
 
D

Digigenic

Guest
Onur said:
...when a monopoly is disturbed, things happen
Usually for the better

Onur said:
And people take precautions
As they should

Onur said:
It's not only about these companies ofcourse (Arri was just an example); it concerns a big part of the industry and relations.. Companies, factories, investments, agreements...
I understand that initially, there are a great number of jobs that will be lost, and that is unfortunate. Over time, new jobs will become available, but those positions will likely be filled by fewer people assisted by an automated process that will eventually lead to a fully mechanized self-serviced non-human work environment...and the companies have no problem with that.
So, these changes are coming about because the companies are in large part responsible for it. Many of the companies, particularly the larger ones should in no way be treated like victims. The workers are a different story, that is an investment that will never be recovered.

Onur said:
And about which one is more realistic.. I agree, it depends on what an individual thinks but there is a general belief that film is more realistic. Don't you think?
IMHO, film provides a surreal, dream-like platform to tell a story that provides an audience with the means to escape, and take them away into a different world. In contrast, digital automatically has a raw, real, in your face, spur of the moment feel to it.

Film takes the audience away
Digital brings the audience in

That isn't to say that neither have crossed that boundary to achieve the opposite result, it happens quite frequently--really it's futile to differentiate between the two at this point, because with the introduction of cameras like the Dalsa Origin, Arri D20, Panavision Genesis, TG Viper, and so many others around the corner, the boundary is practically non-existent.
 
V

vervor

Guest
what a great discussion -

I'll try to add a valid student filmmaker view to this...As a student with not much money and ideas that come fast and inspiration that I want to be able to work with on the fly, I've come to know and love DV which I consider a little cousin to HD - not in terms of quality, but in the way it acts and what HD will eventually come to be in terms of availability and ease of use. I have great respect for film, its history, and what you can paint with it, but I see no reason why HD can come to be just as good if not better in its own right. Yes, the look is different now, but we're already so good at replicating that film look if that's what you're going for, but I think its pushing things in a different direction. Digigenic I think said it perfectly - they bring the audience in in different ways. I find myself when working with DV just trying to create the most beautiful complimentary image to the story - just as with any medium and it can be done well if the person at the helm is on the ball. To say there are structures of money and power that prevent a valid, simpler, more democratising medium to come into its own is to ignore history and common sense to me! I foresee a future just 15-20 years down the road where prices are low enough that a beautiful HD or digital format is highly democratised and being used by many people to create their stories. I think Roy, having been through a lot of Hollywood history and change, can see this is where things are going and trying to push the envolope - admirable and visionary - can't wait to see how things develop.
 
S

sinjinza1984

Guest
Hi-Def feature films

Hi-Def feature films

I know that there are more and more films being shot on HD, for example Collateral used HD for more than 95 percent of the production. However, I do believe that guys like props departments and set construction guys will have to pay more attention to those aspects, due to the increased depth of field (unless using something like PRO35 lenses). However, film is around to stay (at least for a while), as a movie shot on film still manages to have better overall picture quality than a film shot on HD and transferred to film.
 
So... is it fair to bring this thread back to life with so much happening in HD these days?

IMDB currently lists over 200 movies shot on the CineAlta F900 alone, not to mention several films like EPIII and Sin City which had been shot on the increasingly popular F950.

Does anyone have experience with the Genisis or Viper yet?

Shooting major features on film appears to have a firm hold on the established norm for quite some time to come, bolstered in this digital erra with the help of DI.

For indies though, HD and even HDV seems to hold great promise for improving quality and production pipelines on tight budgets.
Any others with updated thoughts, comments ???
 
G

Glurrk

Guest
Nick Jushchyshyn said:
For indies though, HD and even HDV seems to hold great promise for improving quality and production pipelines on tight budgets.

Any others with updated thoughts, comments ???

I just finished shooting a feature in HDV with an extreme shoestring budget. (the camera was the JVC JYHD10-U) The picture obviously won't hold up against the Viper, but as I'm seeing numerous low-budget features shot in standard-def DV here in Chicago, it's a quality I can live with.

(Especially since the alternative was NOT to make the movie!) :wink:

I say Hooray for HD! :D (It has made a dream come true.)
 

Tim Kolb

New member
On the camera front, things are changing rapidly. It will be interesting to see whatever the RED guys come up with...the scuttlebutt is that the mysterium sensor is now functioning. My attention is currently on the Silicon Imaging camera which shoots direct to disk in RAW. The Viper is great, but the format is uncompressed, it's not anything like photographic RAW...

I think the fragmentation of the film audience (into smaller target audiences) will have the same effect on the film industry as the arrival of 100 channels of cable had on the television production industry.

DV (DVcam, DVC Pro25, etc) was considered sub-standard for television production until the industry had to reduce the cost of production to create more material for smaller audiences...

HD, or more correctly "Digital Cinematography" is being rapidly adopted and the group turning their nose up at this technology for "real" production is shrinking with the size of production budgets.

Time will tell...but I can recall those in the mid/late 80's who said that CCD camera sensors would never catch on...tubes were simply too well established and high quality...

"Adapt or die" has never been more applicable to this industry than it is right now...
 
C

Chinch

Guest
I finished working on the film "My Name is Bruce" and it was shot in HD. Bruce Campbell the director/actor called it HDelay because you do really need to understand how to light for HD which takes a bit longer. He said he loved the quality of the footage though. I think right now HD is still getting a foothold in Hollywood, but as tech gets better and easier to use more and more people will use it.
It's a give and take kinda thing you just have to be willing to pony up extra cash for costums, lighting and makeup.
 
Top