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.

Charles Bronson
February 19th, 2008 @ 6:49 pm
geez.... i need to start saving up.
February 19th, 2008 @ 6:50 pm
I'm enjoying all this behind the scenes on the video shoots. I also can't Wait for the Advanced Training DVD! :)
Kim A. Strandli
February 19th, 2008 @ 6:51 pm
And what is the total price that sounds like music to students with no money?
February 19th, 2008 @ 6:54 pm
wohow, you got a lot to make things good happen.
a really astonishing row of materials.

and your camera makes me wanna have it.

well, Premiere is a good program especially when you to import it Easily in After FX.
I use Vegas from Sony and i can't complain for one of the best HD-codecs there are.

but hey, its not only about the Cut-program its about everything.

-looking foward for this new Training DVD-

February 19th, 2008 @ 6:56 pm
February 19th, 2008 @ 6:57 pm
what's the 'special' codec you mentioned?

any idea on a price and date for the advanced tutorial dvd?
can't wait!
February 19th, 2008 @ 6:57 pm
Damn, your setup is sexylicious! That Flash Recorder looks mint... a lot cheaper than P2 cards, but the MPEG Long-GOP format worries me... Have had bad experiences with Hard Drive based recorders in the past and would definitely not go with anything but solid state for important projects.

I've tried a Redrock M2 on our Panasonic HVX, but it sucked out too much light and created an ugly vignette around the image. I think it must have been set up badly.

Thanks for the info, look forward to the DVD!
February 19th, 2008 @ 7:00 pm
Cant wait for the DVD
February 19th, 2008 @ 7:05 pm
Very nice gear, i'm a bit jealous ;-)

Can't wait for the new DVD's! Great job on all of the work you've done!
February 19th, 2008 @ 7:09 pm
Thanks for sharing Andrew, you're setup is very professional, compared to my camcorder "panasonic gs80" your camera is like a dream that i would like to have, anyways i can still get great footage with this minidv camcorder and with some post production work and editing i can make look at least semi-professional and not home video look

Thanks Andrew Kramer and video copilot guys for giving us a such a great website and helping us in an excellent way, you make us feel like we are in the best school of the world.


Thank you very much, I really apreciated it.

February 19th, 2008 @ 7:12 pm
by the way
I love the "behind scenes"
February 19th, 2008 @ 7:15 pm
i love you website Andrew
cant wait for your DVD to come out :)
February 19th, 2008 @ 7:15 pm
You can use Canon lenses on a JVC camera?

Also, I agree. You don't need the most expensive equipment. Learn how to use what you have. Expensive gear isn't going to make your work any better if you can't learn the basics first.
February 19th, 2008 @ 7:16 pm
@ Andrew Kramer

Good to see you got a Marshal there...I find the viewfinder on the JVC practically useless. I would recomend a Firestore HD for sure, even though it is yet one more thing to strap on! (although Beebop do a swanky little underslung cage)............

With the Firmware v.3.0 Improvements that you can download for the Firestore you can record straight to Quicktime and the gang.

Cheers mate.
February 19th, 2008 @ 7:16 pm
Also something else. You don't shoot with a hood over the lens?
February 19th, 2008 @ 7:25 pm
February 19th, 2008 @ 7:26 pm
I recommend a LCD Screen to preview your work while you shoot. Sometimes you either can't see everthing on the small built in (sometimes monochrome) screen, and with the color ajusted right, you can set the white balance and its easier to set the focus. Way to go Andrew. You know what its all about.
Also, for all those with a Canon XL2, the EF adapter is a great addition to your camera set-up. It opens up a ton of possibilities with Lenes. GO Canon XL2!
February 19th, 2008 @ 7:27 pm
Amazing equipment! I'm dirt poor and using cheap stuff haha.
February 19th, 2008 @ 7:30 pm
Good point at the end there, Andrew. Story is paramount. You could get away with shooting on a cellphone camera if your story and characters are good enough.
February 19th, 2008 @ 7:31 pm
We have a mattebox but we were in the shade so flares weren't an issue.
February 19th, 2008 @ 7:35 pm
Nicely flagged Mr Kramer
February 19th, 2008 @ 7:54 pm
February 19th, 2008 @ 8:06 pm
The quarter is actually for size reference and half of Sam's salary.
February 19th, 2008 @ 8:08 pm
Man! that looks delicious! are they edible?
Jim Andrews
February 19th, 2008 @ 8:25 pm
Andrew Question,
If I win the MEGA Millions (220 MIL) tonight, Can I Pay you to SHOP FOR MY CAMERA AND GEAR?
I will buy you any expensive Item(s) you ever wanted as long as you help me buy the best of the best!

I'll let you know tomorrow if I'm a winner!
February 19th, 2008 @ 8:36 pm
If you win... I'll be your best friend :)
February 19th, 2008 @ 8:42 pm
I use a HV20 with a DIY DOF adapter, Nikon 50mm f1.4 lens. Maybe soon an external monitor, Velbon 507 tripod, Spiderbrace, Rails System, MatteBox, and RodeVideo Mic. Cheap, great quality and works for me.
February 19th, 2008 @ 8:42 pm
Lol that was funny Jim Andrew and Andrew Kramer
David Adametz
February 19th, 2008 @ 8:56 pm

On your 'bullet_hd' clip, I noticed that there some overlapping, or maybe just something unusual going on near Sam's trigger-finger, right before he pulls it.

Could that be from the time stretching? And how it creates intermediate frames, and it's trying to make a correct frame there?
I was just curious as to more what is causing that sort of 'double-fingertip' area, rather than actually telling you that there is an error there. I'm all about learning, and I'm sure you will cover what to expect when working with advanced effects in your finished tutorial, so I can't wait!
February 19th, 2008 @ 9:05 pm
If thats sam's half salary ,that means i work for free. how about that.
February 19th, 2008 @ 9:21 pm
lol i record with a photo camera of 3.0 megapixels at 400x300 ahaha im soo poor :P
February 19th, 2008 @ 9:24 pm
Good looking setup. The Marshall is a great tool... I use it with my HVX.

So do you have no quips with the HDV codec? I've heard that its terrible for picture quality, and is one of the reasons I went with the solid state capabilities of the HVX over tape-based systems. P2 is much more efficient as I see it. What are your feelings on this?

btw: What battery is that on the Marshall, and where can I get one?
Jim Andrews
February 19th, 2008 @ 9:37 pm
I already have a best friend sorry Andrew :)
But..Don't feel left out just yet, I'm always interested in new friends and especially friends as talented as you!
I will keep you on my "List" for best Talented Friends and as always I will "Pay it Forward" like you have done for us.

Thank you Andrew Kramer.
February 19th, 2008 @ 9:43 pm
oh gr8 andrew! Any release date for the DVD ? can't wait .
regards - Sandy
February 19th, 2008 @ 10:04 pm
Great set up. I imagine that cost some $$$. Some day when I get rich!!
February 19th, 2008 @ 11:19 pm
Thanks for sharing and for all the inspiration! I have a 30,000 Sq Ft warehouse in Corona you can shoot in - ha
February 20th, 2008 @ 1:30 am
you know the movie "andrew vs. andrew"? Oh, sorry, my fault.... "kramer vs. kramer"... :)

thanks for all your great tutorials....

Scott Bishop
February 20th, 2008 @ 1:34 am
We shoot straight to HDD and the workflow has never been easier.
David R.
February 20th, 2008 @ 2:36 am
So, Andrew, do you work with HDV in AE ? I find it useless since it is very bad optimized for it and goes very slow even on a fast computer. So how do you go on working with it ?
February 20th, 2008 @ 2:45 am
@ Sean Emer: Woo, that's a nice HVX setup you got there!

I think my biggest (only) quibble with shooting P2 as opposed to tape is archiving. I've had about six hard drives crash on me in the last 12 months and have lost a considerable amount of footage. Been looking into backing up to Blu-Ray. LTO tapes is the other option, but with a BR burner I'd have the ability to master BR discs with Encore... And my research tells me BR discs are incredibly durable.
February 20th, 2008 @ 2:46 am
I bet he converts to QT or another lossless format. I admit, I'm working with HDV too and I'd like to know what codec you use into AE.
Oh, another little question, when you do the conversion, do you leave the PAR like default HDV or do you convert to square pix ? Is there any benefits to do that before AE ?

Pretty nice gear you have here. Must be lot of fun to use.

Mmm, I feel REALLY strange how much people say they can't afford a very good camera, but they spent lot of cash buyin' AE... *sigh*

...Pure sarcasm, of course. Don't kill me. :)

Mmmm, know I understand everything ! If it's Sam's half salary, that's WHY he's trying to shoot you :P
February 20th, 2008 @ 2:58 am
Actually the JVC shoots progressive 720p. 1280x720 there is not pixel squishing. PAR=1
February 20th, 2008 @ 3:02 am
Ah, yeah, I forgot about that :) I'm so used to 1920*1080 anamorphic...
February 20th, 2008 @ 3:59 am
Oh, sorry for the double-posting, but, before the JVC HD200, you were shooting on DV 16/9 right ? With your Canon ? So, it wasn't PAR 1... Have you ever seen a difference between exporting from Premiere with PAR 1 or shifting into AE... ? Just in case ^^
February 20th, 2008 @ 4:02 am
adobe premiere ? good soft i use it to make my home made trailer. but did you tried avid composer ?

if yes, i would like know what you think about this software.

greetings to all videocopilot team,
February 20th, 2008 @ 4:21 am

is a 1920x1080/24P direct to disk system and uses a single 2/3" CMOS sensor which allows the use of 16mm film lenses. It records using the CineForm raw format
Viper has a dockable solid-state recorder, Genesis and the F23 have a dockable VTRs.

Panavision Genesis
February 20th, 2008 @ 5:05 am
@ Blair: You could always try the RAID array for your harddrives... that should solve most fo your crashing problems.
February 20th, 2008 @ 5:10 am

After you bring your HDV into Premiere, do you export out your clips in a different codec to use them in After Effects? I'm running Final Cut but I'm pretty sure I would have the same codec. Apple's ProRes codec works pretty well coming out of Final Cut if you're going to be doing any keying, but I'm wondering if there's a codec that's just as good but doesn't have the larger file size of ProRes.
February 20th, 2008 @ 5:11 am
Please! Take a shot of your workstations and prodution studio for we, intusiastis!
I like so much yours job. Congradulations!!!

Alessandro Silvas (fron Brasil)
"live to image and imagination"
February 20th, 2008 @ 5:49 am
Hi Andrew! Very nice setup!

I'm a lover of gear and specifications, but the money is a great barrier... I'm from Brazil, and there are some difficulties here to get good equipment with a good price, like abusive taxes and other little things... Just to compare: I have a Sony HVR-V1N, bought 3 months ago for US$6.500,00... The same camera cost less than US$4.000,00 in BH Photo Video... Anyway, that's a nice camera, with 1080/24p and 1080/30p in HDV.

But I'm in love with the Sony PMW-EX1... I hope to get some works here to earn some money and buy one... 720/60p in XDCAM HD 35mbps codec, recorded in solid state memory... Full HD in 24 and 30p in the same codec... Check out some videos shooted with the EX1:

Sorry about the poor english, i'm studying to get better...

Greetings for all Copilot team, thanks for the awesome products and tutorials!!
morten enoksen
February 20th, 2008 @ 5:56 am
Great to see that you bring us much more behind the scenes footage then before;)
February 20th, 2008 @ 5:59 am
And one more thing: in my opinion, the world's best software to edit with native HDV in timeline is Sony Vegas Pro 8... Just for one thing: the HDV format was created by Sony (with some partners), and Sony Vegas is optimized to work with the Sony formats, like XDCAM, XDCAM HD, HDCAM and HDV.

Ps: I'm teacher of Video Editing and Finalizing here at an University in my city, and I teach with Sony Vegas and Adobe After Effects. One more time, thanks to Videocopilot for all the stuff that gives me insiration to teach...
February 20th, 2008 @ 6:19 am
Cant wait for the DVD andrew....are you gong to go into any 3d packages in this dvd?
Marc Biorklund
February 20th, 2008 @ 7:05 am
Thanks for making this short video gear review, it's very intresting to see and read about it.

I notice that the colors looks really nice on the monitor. Is the footage of sam (the spooked version) a raw footage or did you made any color correction on it ?
February 20th, 2008 @ 8:28 am

Always cool to see what's behind the curtain. Your cam set up makes mine look embarrassing.
February 20th, 2008 @ 8:34 am
From the looks of this thread, you could clearly sell a training DVD on nothing but work-flow best practices, tips & tricks. I know I would buy one.
February 20th, 2008 @ 8:36 am
I love you man, your my inspiration and my idol. I wouldn't keep making films if it wasn't for you. You're the best!
February 20th, 2008 @ 8:46 am
Hey Andrew

Very very cool of you to post this. I'm sure there are more than a few indy film makers here. I really appreciate you sharing your experience and knowledge with us.

February 20th, 2008 @ 9:03 am
this is more of a request I guess, do you have any tutorials coming up on exporting video, settings for sd and hd?
February 20th, 2008 @ 9:20 am
The special HD codec I use for Premiere and for captures like this is Raylight ENCODER PRO by DVFilm.
February 20th, 2008 @ 9:30 am
Lord and Master Drew Kramer, you’ve managed to amaze me again.
I have been asking for this DVD since bible Noah had teen acne.
I hope you intend to include the 3D Max reactor tutorials and 3D to AE integration tutorials.
Stuff like the bridge collapse and the car crash.
I would like to learn to crash a car at hyper slow mo say 60-90 fps. or the comparable film speeds.
Once again you never cease to amaze.
February 20th, 2008 @ 10:20 am
We are using Adobe OnLocation for recording. Better than Premiere for capturing online... Try it!
February 20th, 2008 @ 10:59 am
Blog topics are every bit as good as the tutorials - thanks Andrew
(Will be making some purchases soon!)
February 20th, 2008 @ 11:13 am
February 20th, 2008 @ 11:40 am
I keep reading about these coding setting and things like that and i dont understand a thing,,please some one explaine to me.lets say i shot my footage i go to my computer bring the camera and start to download the footage to the comuter right .now i use sony vegas 7 .is that right or what .
2- lets say i did a project in after effects iam done and now i want to render it right what is the best setting to render a project and then take it back to vegas for some editing .is that right or wrong .any advice would be great to get best results.
Jordan W.
February 20th, 2008 @ 12:48 pm
What would be AWESOME is if you put up a basic description of your basic workflow, as in (camera to digitizer to AE export to final delivery) because DAMN. Everywhere I go online has descriptions of fixing specific issues with HDV workflow... but none with a complete description of one that works as a starting point. Im trying to set one up using an HDV deck and im having no luck with premiere and its driving me wonky.

Any tips? Any one I can send an email to?
Scott Bishop
February 20th, 2008 @ 12:59 pm
Clancy, When rendering from After Effects to any NLE you must render UNCOMPRESSED, either as an image sequence or movie file.
Mr T.
February 20th, 2008 @ 1:00 pm
What kind of light setup do you have andrew?
February 20th, 2008 @ 1:57 pm
After all the add ons to the JVC-200 aren't you better off just getting a RED ONE?
Flim by Tim Productions.
February 20th, 2008 @ 2:07 pm
Lol thats some rad gear but is it as rad as this guy?
February 20th, 2008 @ 2:12 pm
for more information about adobe on location, adobe premiere pro cs3 includes on location.

February 20th, 2008 @ 2:16 pm
thanks scott,

when i work in after effects on an image i render as JPEG sequence .but as for fottage i render AS VIDOE FOR MOVIE so is that the best ,what about MPEG2? And if any one with an xl2 do you know if it has a setting for high resolution ?
February 20th, 2008 @ 2:39 pm

you wear an Old Navy tee? the stitches on the shoulders look like my black tee bro. Give it back!

Nice gear man. I am drooling over a HVX and a SG Pro, flip modulator and follow focus for my first HD setup. I may have to sell my DVX's first.
February 20th, 2008 @ 2:42 pm
just a question like that! at work we use the jvc prohd GY-HD100, we've got the latest firmware update and still when we capture the media, we're having drop frame once in a while, pretty randomly i would say!! doesn't matter when you shoot the floor or the wall waiting but when it happens straight in the shot or when someone say's something greatit sucks!!

We capture using Mac Pro dual 2.66 with finalcut 5.1.4 trough firewire ie1394

so if anyone knows why it does that could be cool to know!! thanks!! by the way really like all the job you do at videocopilot!! thanks you so much!
February 20th, 2008 @ 2:58 pm
Ugh. I'm so jealous about the flip function of that camera. I'm using a redrock on a panasonic HVX, and I have to flip everything in post. It sucks.
Jordan W.
February 20th, 2008 @ 2:59 pm
I guess I don't want Adobe's information.
While I know in theory everything is supposed to work. they say it will... quite frankly it doesn't so I was wondering specifically how you digitize and what codecs you use and how to incorporate that into AE and Premiere... I guess its a more specific question than can be reasonably answered here by the king alone... :D

Joe Avino
February 20th, 2008 @ 3:16 pm
This is cool. The stuff looks really advanced. Probably more advanced than this: . Remember that old clip Andrew?
February 20th, 2008 @ 3:45 pm
Hi guys, i was just wondering if anyone using EDIUS software - imo their Canopus HQ codec has no opponent if it's about HDV post-processing... Does Sony Vegas operates on a MPEG2 Transport Stream files? If so, your computer is working slower during editing such a file, because it has to decompress MPEG stream "on-the-fly"...... Keep an eye on Canopus software, it's worth it :) Cheers guys!

Greetings for Andrew and videocopilot team!!!! Keep up the good work guys.
February 20th, 2008 @ 4:01 pm
Here is a good site for learning more about camera issues and stuff here:

Let's try to keep this site a creative one.
Alex Lopez
February 20th, 2008 @ 5:11 pm
Hey Andrew,

Love your stuff. Have your dvd's and they are inspiring!. I start class in June in the Academy of Art studying visual effects and want to get rolling on some stuff before start of class. I have aprox. $1500.00 right now and was wondering what sort of camera would you recommend for that price. unfortunately dont really have more to spend than that for now. At least till my 3rd or 4th year after i really get a good foundation of what i am doing. :)

any help appreciated.

Thanks again and definitely getting your advanced dvd when it comes out!
Robin H
February 20th, 2008 @ 5:12 pm
Hey, we have the same shirt :D

Jim Andrews
February 20th, 2008 @ 7:08 pm
Great Idea with the Red name Posting, I know someone else thought of of it, but WOW what a difference it will make.

Thank you
February 20th, 2008 @ 7:31 pm
yes it makes a difference because some people put "Andrew Kramer" as their name and that's not funny
February 21st, 2008 @ 1:06 am
yes, I used to use the ctrl-F for searching feature in firefox to find your user name, to read your priceless writing. Now with the red color it was much easier to find.
February 21st, 2008 @ 1:24 am
Hey Andrew,
I want to be your best friend too :) but right now I don't have much money. But someday I will...
February 25th, 2008 @ 3:19 am
what's the special hd codec that you use to capture in premiere? is there any difference with the original method? thanks
February 29th, 2008 @ 1:03 pm
Hey, Mr andrew you still owe me an answer to my mail i sent you!!!


Good work as usual take care.
March 10th, 2008 @ 7:03 am
can we dowlload some sam loya vids anywhere so we can create a project and credit u
benjamin mydland
March 14th, 2008 @ 1:28 am
omg, how can you aford it? In Norway, the camera cost about $13.500!! To expensive.
March 16th, 2008 @ 8:34 am
I was just curious about the choice of using Premiere over Final cut? Was it just because your using a PC or do you just prefer it? I tend to use final cut for our corporate video and documentaries that my staff produces on the side.
June 4th, 2008 @ 8:16 pm
Final Cut is by far the best video editor out there. If you have a Mac, its a must have program. I use the Sony Handycam HDR-SR1 for my shooting. Its good quality, but the footage is rough to edit when it comes to those codecs. I end up importing them into FCP use the Apple Pro Res 422. PQ is good but the file size is 0_o
June 19th, 2008 @ 1:57 pm
Her's the spec for movies done by videocopilot on riot gear, hope it helps;

File Path:
Type: QuickTime Movie
File Size: 100.6 MB
Image Size: 1280 x 720
Pixel Depth: 1280
Frame Rate: 59.94
Total Duration: 00;00;20;00
Average Data Rate: 5.0 MB / second
Pixel Aspect Ratio: 1.0

Created with: After Effects

QuickTime Details:
Movie contains 1 video track(s), 0 audio track(s) and 0 timecode track(s).

There are 1200 frames with a duration of 50/2997ths.

Video track 1:
Duration is 0;00;20;01
Average frame rate is 59.94 fps

Video track 1 contains 1 type(s) of video data:

Video data block #1:
Frame Size = 1280 x 720
Compressor = Photo - JPEG
Quality = Most (4.00)
February 27th, 2010 @ 5:01 am
Hey I have something to ask
when i import riot gear in sony vegas 8 well.... its displays an error others are working fine like evolution action movie or whatever..
but i got problem with riot gear its not ok in sony vegas it shows an error and shuts itself down by clicking on error's displayed options
can i use twitch in sony vegas 8 pro? how can i?

please reply me
November 28th, 2010 @ 4:25 pm
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