Indie Film Live

Friday, March 24, 2006

Technical_03: Performance

3 March 2006: On this day we shot two day’s work in one day. We started at 5am and finished at midnight – and this to capture a grand total of 7 minutes of the final movie.
The technical setup that we used for this shoot consisted of two film cameras, both with composite output to two Wafian boxes and from there to two broadcast monitors for the directors to preview the live feed. The sound also feeds from the tape deck to the Wafian boxes as a reference.
The film camera has a reference output of 720x576 that we record to the Wafians. We ended up with 80GB of Cineform footage, which represents 90 minutes of actual shooting. Besides that we had 4.6GB of still behind-the-scenes images and 5 full DV behind-the-scenes tapes. All the departments, from make up, hair, behind-the-scenes, camera and continuity made use of the Wafian like central data server on set. When all was done, we went back and digitized the film to high definition video (Telecine, just using Wafian) with resolution of 1920x1080 23,976 psf – this gave us another 100GB of data to store and backup.
After a very stressful day, with many problems along the way, I can testify to the fact that the Wafian boxes performed superbly and the hiccups that did occur were quickly taken care of. It seems that Cineform and Wafian together form a winning combination and is the one part of the whole setup that I am most satisfied with as far as performance and quality is concerned.
As it turns out, the dual Wafian box setup made life much simpler for contr
olling continuity. It became possible to watch a recording of the scene before lunch on one box while monitoring the live feed on the other box. Apart from the broadcast monitors, we also had two 23” flat panel screens sitting next to the Wafian boxes. Eventually I had both Continuity and Directors standing around my VT setup so that they could see the action better on the big monitors.
We are learning all the time. We now have to discover all the weird and wonderful things that will emerge from using the new high definition technology.

Just to let you know.

It’s been a while since this blog was updated – so let’s just catch up with some developments:

Spoon, the Movie experienced some setbacks when it turned out that we could not have all our actors in the same place at the same time. This meant that we had to shoot three scenes of the movie on the 3rd of March 2006 and delay the rest of the shoot until May and shoot through to July 2006.

Postponing the shoot gave us an opportunity to investigate (on the camera side) a better digital solution with better high definition specs, which we will now use for the main shoot. Unfortunately it takes time to set everything up for this new camera. To be safe, we decided to shoot the first three scenes using a normal film camera.