Video Gear

Here is a shot of me shooting Sam before he shoots me.

To answer a few questions about what video gear we use…

As I said we are using a JVC-HD200 with a Brevis Adapter and Reckrock hardwars and follow focus. Between the Video Copilot team, we have the 2 adapters but the Brevis is about 1 stop brighter and we planned on a shooting a dark alley so we needed the extra stop.

The JVC shoots HDV on tape and we capture with Premiere using a special HD codec. After Effects just isn’t great when working with native HDV even though premiere handles it pretty well.

The Brevis has a reversed image which is a problem for some camera but the JVC HD200 and HD 250 both have the flip function built-in to the camera, which automatically inverses the picture before recording the tape. There are also a lot of DOF adapters that flip the image internally as well.

I’d like to get one of those fancy recorders that record to disc uncompressed from HD component output but they’re a little expensive at the moment. Here is a new product that may show up at NAB and hopefully bring the prices down:
Convergent Design

Camera Lenses:

We have a few lenses but here are some of my favorites. A 100m Canon PL @ F2, a 50mm Canon PL @ F1.5 and the glorious 20mm PL @ 2.8. Now these aren’t at fancy as those Cooke lenses or some of those other nice ones but I got a great deal on these and they are pretty sweet.

We are using a Marshal external HD video monitor which is essential to seeing things in focus with these DOF adapters. The tripod is a Miller Arrow 25, a little expensive but definitely smooth as butter and great head adjustments. I really like the Bogen/Manfrotto tripods as well.

This is not the perfect workflow or setup, but I’m not sure there are any ‘perfect’ ones at the moment. HDV could be better quality and hard drive recorders could have better input options. There are many great cameras out there, some are more affordable then others each with different contrasting features. Just DON’T think you need everything at once buy and learn as you go. Concentrate on a GOOD setup and focus on a GREAT story or concept. We all love gear and specifications but don’t get too hung up, or you’ll never get anything done.

We’ll spend more time explaining other production details on the Advanced Training DVD with the additional on-set video.

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