View Full Version : Autism Documentary, A1 & HV40?
2010 April 26th, 23:13
Hey everyone. Just recently got a grant from Pepsi to create a full length documentary traveling around the country speaking with families and individuals affected by autism. I've had an XH-A1 I've used for quiet a few videos and shorts, but I'm going to need to step it up a little and was hoping some experts here might be able to sort some things out.
I have searched A LOT the last 3 months for info on these topics, so I'm not afraid of doing more research if you know of a specific thread. This is my first big feature though, and I want to make sure I get it right for these families.
I'm pretty sure I'm going with the XHA1 with a Letus35 and some faster Nikon Prime Lenses - 35, 50 and 85. I'm also looking to add an HV40 with the same setup as the secondary camera. Glidecam vest for the A1. Good 3 point lighting, NTG3 for A1, possible crane jib as well for some special landscape shots. The questions I can't seem to solve are 2 fold.
1 - Which frame-rate should I use for matching the 24p HV40 with the 24F A1? My plan is to shoot for a possible transfer to film, but certainly more then just TV. Do I need to do a reverse telecine pulldown on the A1 footage in AE before adding it the the same FCP timeline, or do I do the pull-down in the camera itself as I'm shooting? I really have tried to understand all the different threads, but this one I can't seem to pull together in my head.
2- What settings could I use to match the colors as close as possible on the tapes? I LOVE some of the presets available at DVINFO and have tried them out, but I can't fiddle with that unless I can get it to match the HV40 well. The A1 is just too washed out in default, so I need to brighten it a little. Also, we'll have a very high shooting ratio with these kids, since we don't know when the 2 second shot is going to happen necessarily with a special needs child, and I can't spend a ton of time in post.
Thank everyone for any ideas. I'll keep searching. We start shooting in a little over a month, so any help would be most appreciated.
2010 April 27th, 00:28
24F is 24P by another name. There is no pull down to remove. The frame rates already match.
Search for threads by Lunchbox (Taky) as he has posted extensively regarding matching the A1 and HV20. The HV20 is nearly identical. Basically your going to use a more saturated preset in the A1 like VividRGB, TrueColor or Panalook2.
For a documentary I'd skip the Letus 35mm DOF adapter and use your A1's zoom at about half way to create your DOF. Concentrate on lighting and sound, especially sound instead.
2010 April 27th, 00:45
You do realize that the NTG3 is a shotgun mic and, therefore not suitable for indoor use?
Do you have a boom op?
2010 April 27th, 15:49
THank you Duke. I thought somewhere I had heard that the native 24 of the HV40 matched the XH A1. I'll make sure to check out Lunchbox's threads.
If I don't go with the Letus, I would just get another A1 I think to match the two better. I've just seen some of the Letus DOF videos and was really impressed with the feel on the XH A1. I agree about sound and lighting being the most important, but I want to make sure I capture the best visuals as well.
Yes, HuyNRolf, I have a boom op, so that's why I'm going to keep the NTG3. I've used them indoors and they work great. With lavs, I always have problems with interference and batteries. Any thoughts on getting around that?
2010 April 27th, 19:04
With lavs, I always have problems with interference and batteries. Any thoughts on getting around that?
Here's a good article I dug up in another thread -
My fiancée's son is autistic, but very mildly compared to what you see in documentaries. Compared to what is normally thought of as autistic, we have it quite easy. Other than a short attention span, a sensitivity to loud surprising noises, and the repetitive behaviors associated with autism, he's really quite a normal 13 year old. He likes to play guitar, but with the repetitiveness, I think he'd be more suited to play bass.
There was an autism documentary on the Sundance channel a couple weeks back called Autism Every Day. Still on the DVR, haven't had time to watch it.
According to one reviewer at IDMB,
From a purely technical standpoint, what stood out for me most in this film was the crappy sound.
Maybe you can do better :hv20-smilie77:
Read the reviews at IMDB to help you know what not to do.
PS - Keep me posted on how this goes. I'd love to see it when your finished.
2010 April 27th, 20:55
I always have problems with interference and batteries. Any thoughts on getting around that?
What lavs have you used? Batteries last for many hours, put new ones in for each shoot and you should be good. I use the cheap Azden (UHF) kit. it's clean, reliable and the mic, cheap though it is, has tons of noise rejection.
2010 April 27th, 23:38
The point you should be taking from these comments is that sound capture is vastly under rated. Bad sound will make your production seem cheap no matter how good the pictures are when viewed.
The problem with shotguns indoors is that they are so good at reaching out they tend to pick up echo off the back wall if they are turned up as high as most people like. Especially if its a setting with hard floors, hard walls and hard ceilings. This will kill your sound and you can't fix it in post.
Lavs, hard or wireless, are placed uniformly close but can pick up rustling noises if you're not careful. In the group you describe I don't think that would be possible.
I prefer XLR hard wired mics whenever possible to avoid any possibility of interference. But I would pick a cartiod mic that doesn't reach as much but still rejects side noise, instead of a hypercartiod. Unfortunately the labels aren't as exact as they should be. Look at the reception graphs if possible.
2010 April 28th, 18:04
The problem with shotguns indoors is that they are so good at reaching out they tend to pick up echo off the back wall if they are turned up as high as most people like. Especially if its a setting with hard floors, hard walls and hard ceilings.
That's one of the first things I noticed when I first got my smx-10 and tried it out on our son playing piano, in a giant living room, with thin drapes and wood floors.
2010 April 29th, 12:58
Thanks for the great points about sound! It's definitely one of the things I want to get right, along with the lighting. I just didn't want to ask too much because this is a camera forum.
I'll make sure to check out the Azden line. I will be having translators on site to communicate through a wireless system while I interview some of non-English speaking families, so I have to make sure my monitoring system doesn't interfere with the Lavs. I think the suggestion to use the XLR input would work best.
If I used a cartoid, would I still put it on a boom so my op can use it or attach it to the camera?
Zagnut - Yes, that film has a lot of critics, and not just technically. One of the families from that film will be in ours as kind of a "see what they're doing now" kind of feature- the one with 3 kids if you remember. We will have some high functioning self advocates in the film as well, so your fiance's son should see some relatable people.
2010 April 30th, 08:56
The thing that makes good sound is the signal to noise ratio. In general terms that means getting the mic as close to the person speaking without interfering.
For a bunch of moving people that generally means a boom operator so he can move the mic from person to person. It has the possibility of boom handling noise, or not movingfast enough.
In a static situtation booms on stands, like in a studio for an interview, work best.
If its a 'host' going from interview to interview the old standby of a hand held works.
It depends on the situation.
2010 July 13th, 13:32
Have you looked at wired lavs? I am about to shoot a documentary on Alzheimer's Disease and I went with wired lavs since most people will be seated during their interviews.
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