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06-05-2014, 02:27 PM   #1
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Advice needed for busy multi camera shoot

Hi,

I have a project coming up next week that I need some advice on. I am going to be shooting / editing a short (1-2 minute) promotional video for a local tree company. They are producing the video specifcally to use on Angie's List, but will also post it on their website, Facebook page, YouTube channel, ect.. There is also the possibility of using a shorter version as a paid ad on the local cable channel.

The guys are going to a property and doing a day & a half's work in 1 long day to try and get as much footage captured as possible. They will be cutting down 2 large trees, bucking logs, chipping branches, doing a lot of pruning, stump grinding, and cutting mulch beds & laying down mulch. They asked for before and after shots of their work. In addition to all of the "action" shots of them cutting and felling, I will need some detail shots and maybe some interaction with the homeowner. I don't think we will be using much if any production audio at all. The plan is to edit to a music bed, with some possible VO.

I wanted to use multiple cameras to try and get a few angles of a lot of the setups. This company does not use a bucket truck and the owner actually climbs to the top of the tree & works his way down. I need to get shots of the man in the trees doing the work. Since I only have 1 shot at getting all of this, my plan was to set up more cameras than really needed. Here is the gear I have to work with:

-Canon HV30. I think this will be the main camera used for the majority of the shots. I was planning on shooting 1080 24fps w/ CINE mode to get a bit of a flat image that I can better control the contrast / color in post. I also thought that I would avoid any rolling shutter issues that I may get with the DSLR's while panning & getting any moving shots.

-GoPro Hero3 White. This will be used mainly on the helmet of the tree climber to get shots of him climbing & cutting, as well as some shots attached to the handle of the chainsaw. This camera will shoot 1080p at 25 or 30fps, and 720p up to 60fps.

-Pentax K-5ii. This camera isn't the most controllable DSLR for video but I have a lot of high quality fast primes and zooms. This camera shoots 1080p at 25fps, or 720p at 30fps. I was thinking about using this camera for some tight shots of the climber in the tree, and as the main 2nd camera in general.

-Pentax K-x. Same as above. This camera only shoots 720p at 24fps. Can use all of my lenses.

-iPad2. This iPad will only shoot 720p, but using Filmic Pro I can get just about any frame rate. I thought I would use this for more medium to wide shots of parts of the work where there was a lot going on at once.

-iPod Touch 4th Generation. In my testing I haven't got the camera using Filmic Pro to capture much without dropping frames or looking "stuttery" but I have it as another option. I was going to wipe all of the audio & nonessential stuff off of it, and then see if the video gets any better.

I have stable tripods for all of the above cameras. I plan on getting a custom white balance for every shot on every camera, and I have a Color Checker Passport I can also shoot to help with matching the color of all of the shots from the different cameras.

I will be editing in Premiere Pro CS6. Other than the possible TV spot, I think the final format for everything else will be 720p. I have loaded footage from all of the above cameras (except the GoPro which the tree guy is bringing to the shoot) in a 720p sequecne in Premiere, and everything seemed to be playing back ok. The file formats for every camera are different as well. I will be dealing with HDV (from tape), .avi, .mov, and ,mp4, at different frame rates all on the same timeline.

My main question is about mixing a few different frame rates for my edits. I was thinking I should shoot in 1080p with all the cameras that would, and then scale the footage down to my 720p timeline for editing. The Pentax K-5 & the GoPro are the only 2 cameras that will do actual 1080p. The HV30's footage is a little smaller, and will have to be scaled up a little to be a true 1080p (as is with all HDV cameras I understand). If I mix 24, 25, and 30 fps in the same edit, will there be a problem with that? If I don't have to match the pitch of any audio, and only am dealing with video will the difference in frame rates be ok? In the little bit of testing I did, I think it all looked ok, but I was having my 6 year old son run back and forth in front of the cameras as a test subject

Does everything I have planned to accomplish seem doable, or I have I missed some important points in thinking about the process.

I really appreciate any advice and / or opinions that will help me pull this off & have a nice package at the end. I will be running all of the gear myself, so I need to be on my game while saws are running & branches & trees are falling!

Thanks very much, and sorry about the long winded post…….

George

06-05-2014, 02:43 PM   #2
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Sounds like a lot of airborne sawdust and dirt. Watch out for the flying safety ropes and chains. It doesn't take much to topple a tripod, when you're the only one there to protect all the setups...
06-05-2014, 03:38 PM   #3
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managing all that will be hard, I think, especially if you want tripods to not appear in your video - it could limit your range of motion. What about using some cams that have a limited recording time as a time lapse? And the before shots, I wonder if you can get those before everyone is there when lighting will be crappy (like noon the day before).
06-05-2014, 05:03 PM   #4
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OregonJIm, yes I think there will be a lot of flying sawdust in the air when the guy is cutting up in the tree. I will have to watch where I stand so I don't get the camera & myself covered.

vagrant10, I think you're right, so maybe I'll only end up using 2 cameras? Hopefully the weather the day before will be similar to the weather the day of so I can get all the before shots the day before as you suggested.

Thanks!

George

06-05-2014, 09:10 PM   #5
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Sounds like a perfect job for a DJI Phantom with GoPro
06-15-2014, 12:09 AM   #6
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Mixing that many frame rates, resolutions and cameras with different lenses etc sounds like a post production nightmare to make it all look seamless.
Timelapse is a good suggestion for non really quality cameras you wont be putting to a specific task during the day.

I'd suggest story boarding your final product out a bit to ensure you get all the shots you will need. Be flexible obviously, to grab anything good during the day.
Also maintain communication with these guys, as they'll know when they're about to be doing something that could look cool.

Acting lessons and a reminder to look approachable etc wouldn't be a silly idea if it's for a commercial end result.

Use zooms to get any dangerous action shots unless you can sacrifice a go pro etc.
Don't be the guy who films his own injury!


Safety first and good luck if you haven't done it already
06-18-2014, 04:25 AM   #7
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Steve's suggestion was one of the first thoughts I had - Flying the Phantom side on to the Tree Feller when he's up in the tree would make a great shot, and would allow you to have all the crew people well away from the tree to avoid Occupational Health & Safety issues.

I agree with Richard on the description of dealing with all the frame rates and resolutions - I'd be inclined to knock the 1080 capable cameras back to 720, and set the project to that resolution.
The less differences you have to deal with on that front, the easier the ingest process will be on Premiere, though it is much better in newer versions then it was before ( but no match for Edius in that regards ).

I'm not sure on the 'White' version, but the GoPro Black does a mode called 'Protune', which close to doubles the data-rate used, it's worth switching on if it's there.
Manually setting the GoPro (And possibly all the rest) to Daylight white balance would be a good move too - you can't do a true manual white balance off a white card on the GoPro.

I'd keep the HV30 for filming the action - IIRC it's a CCD based unit with Global Shutter - and maybe use the fast primes on the K5ii for shooting interview style shots.
Hdv is 1440x1080, it's not 'scaled' to 1920, it's converted from 1440 rectangular pixels across the screen to 1920 square pixels

And as mentioned above Safety First!
06-18-2014, 11:49 PM   #8
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I disagree with the people who say you should scale down to 720p, unless that is absolutely your intended delivery format. If you like 1080p, there's no reason not to work in it. The resolution shouldn't affect how your timeline handles the footage. Also, "1080" on a dslr is probably closer to 720 on a dedicated video camera.

Good luck, be safe, and have fun.

06-19-2014, 01:25 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by fuent104:
"1080" on a dslr is probably closer to 720 on a dedicated video camera.
Huh??
06-19-2014, 10:21 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by richandfleur Quote
Originally posted by fuent104: "1080" on a dslr is probably closer to 720 on a dedicated video camera.

Huh??
fuent104 is referring to the overall quality of the video shot on DSLR/MILC's, and how a camera might conform to a standard video output signal, but not actually draw the number of lines on a screen.

VHS in PAL countries only had about 240 to 300 lines of image information, even though PAL is 625 lines total - SVHS on a good camera could hit around 550 lines, a BetaSP ENG camera was about the only true source, although some of those could actually resolve closer to 800 lines.

A Sony EX-3 is meant to be a 'true' or 'full' HD camera, it outputs a 1080 signal, but the camera only resolves 960 lines from it's sensor at best.
06-21-2014, 01:26 PM   #11
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I'd use the K-5 for any handheld work, cause that's where it excels at with the stabilizer on. Also when there is a lot movement it's a very solid camera, due to the very high bitrate. Don't use it as an on all the time camera, cause it doesn't like that. The sensor will overheat, though hopefully if there is enough light it won't be noticeable (hot pixels). Not sure about the K-x. But I'd use that for time lapses if possible.


But really, if you're alone managing so many cameras... oh my god. Good luck
06-21-2014, 06:48 PM   #12
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I'd run around them all with some white balance cards too, to make it easier to correct them to a reference point in post.
It's not so much the resolutions but the frame rates and colour grading that will be difficult with multiple brand sources.
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