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Release of footage for showreel


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#1 David Hughes

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 09:06 AM

Just venting a bit guys as I don't think there is much I can do about this situation but any suggestions are welcome.

You get the call "We are shooting a short film with no budget and we need some steadicam work done". It was a great crew I got some kit rental cash in the end and it was my first time shooting 35mm with a Panavision Moviecam SL (I got to flick the 24 switch at last) , I did some nice stuff I believe and I have been desperately wanting to put some of it on my reel. I spoke to the director today and she told me that I couldn't have it yet as she doesn't want to have any of her film up on youtube or tinternet until it has been accepted by a few film festivals and to do so would be jeopardizing her chances of being accepted. I understand her concern and I myself wouldn't want to risk that, but all I want is a shot or two for my reel. I plead and beg for something, anything but she is adamant that it is not going to happen. I know I will get the shots eventually but i need them NOW as they form the basis of my new reel. Is she being difficult or should I just be patient and wait till the end of May-June when the edit has been accepted?
Has anyone else dealt with this scenario before?
Nevermind I will just have to go out and get some nice stuff with the Red I have been offered for a few days.

Dave
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#2 Afton Grant

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 10:33 AM

Hey Dave,

I think we've all dealt with similar scenarios before. Obtaining footage, even AFTER it's been released can often be difficult. Before the final product is released, however, it is very unlikely you will get to see your work unless you have a very unique relationship to the project. I know dailies are sometimes shown or given to operators, but they're strictly for viewing purposes only and using them in any other manner could result in harsh consequences.

When I was trying to piece together my first reel, many of my calls were from jobs that could not afford a full day rate. In exchange for meeting their budgets, I would inquire about the possibility of getting my footage back as soon as possible for use on my reel. It was a simple, quick question. Many agreed. Some didn't, but I certainly didn't push it if so. It's their project, their creation. We're brought in as independent contractors in a sense. So like I said previously, unless you're involved on a deeper level, they have no obligation to turn over the footage. The director on your project is not being difficult.

Patience.
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#3 Matt Mouraud

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 12:18 PM

Using an Archos on your sled is one good way to keep these hard-to-get footages...
And it's more discrete than pluging your laptop to the DV recorder at the video village at the end of the day ! :lol:
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#4 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 01:57 PM

We're brought in as independent contractors in a sense.


Be careful of the 'independent contractor' phrase. Most often we are work for hire w/ equipment rentals (kit). independent contractor cuts the production a lot of responsibility, mainly workers comp & liability. But thats another thread...

Using an Archos on your sled is one good way to keep these hard-to-get footages...
And it's more discrete than pluging your laptop to the DV recorder at the video village at the end of the day ! :lol:


Just have to remember to hit record or have your AC remind you... sometimes the AD will help you to, if the director wants a cleaner playback than your wireless transmission to video village.

-Alfeo "@#!*% I forgot to hit record" Dixon
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#5 Afton Grant

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 02:13 PM

Be careful of the 'independent contractor' phrase. Most often we are work for hire w/ equipment rentals (kit). independent contractor cuts the production a lot of responsibility, mainly workers comp & liability. But thats another thread...


Thanks for the note. I couldn't think of the proper phrase, hence the "in a sense".

Just have to remember to hit record or have your AC remind you... sometimes the AD will help you to, if the director wants a cleaner playback than your wireless transmission to video village.


...unless it's a union shoot. This is the jurisdiction of the playback folks and should always be cleared with them first.

The Archos is definitely a great tool for checking your shots, but I wouldn't recommend it as a solution to getting things for your reel. Video tap footage on film shoots is a bit unsightly on a reel. For video/HD shoots, it'll record a clean picture, but I believe the picture size is still only 640 x 480. It's fine if you're only scaling down to web size, but it starts to look bad if you need to scale up for a physical DVD or something.
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#6 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 05:38 PM

I just recently re-cut my reel and I had to rip footage off of DVD's in a few instances because buying the DVD was the only way I could get footage. It's such a bummer because the ripped footage looks like crap. Point being, it's hard to get people to take even a few minutes to help you out and give you footage. You're not alone in having this problem.
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#7 MarkKaravite

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 08:16 PM

Dear David,

My agent's Deal Memo states that production will provide me with footage for purposes of a demo reel, on a specific format. This avoids the later question of "who pays for the dubs?". With that said, on features or TV pilots, you are always waiting for the release before you are able to obtain footage. It's a catch 22, because after so long a wait, it's hard to chase down the footage.

It's unethical and potentially career damaging to use a production's footage off of your Archos prior to them OK'ing the footage released to you. Your Director is probably restricted by her producers and investors, and couldn't give you the footage if she wanted to. Commercials are a great way to get new footage on your reel quickly, but you will need patience on feature work.

Mark
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#8 RonBaldwin

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 08:46 PM

I'm thinking this could be a good business for Afton -- renting shots from his website to us for our reels. The producers would be "I had no idea there were so many ops on Goodfellas!"

rb
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#9 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 01:45 AM

I think you're onto something Ron. I can hear the responses now.....
Producer: "Wow! You look so young! I would have never guessed that you were old enough to have worked on The Shining."
Me: "Uh, yeah, I've aged well."
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#10 chris fawcett

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 04:05 AM

I just recently re-cut my reel and I had to rip footage off of DVD's in a few instances because buying the DVD was the only way I could get footage. It's such a bummer because the ripped footage looks like crap. Point being, it's hard to get people to take even a few minutes to help you out and give you footage. You're not alone in having this problem.

Hi Brad,

Have you tried http://handbrake.fr/ ? It's Mac only, but does a great H.264 rip.

All the best,

Chris
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#11 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 04:16 PM

The Archos is definitely a great tool for checking your shots, but I wouldn't recommend it as a solution to getting things for your reel. Video tap footage on film shoots is a bit unsightly on a reel. For video/HD shoots, it'll record a clean picture, but I believe the picture size is still only 640 x 480. It's fine if you're only scaling down to web size, but it starts to look bad if you need to scale up for a physical DVD or something.

DVDs are only 720x480 so you aren't losing a whole lot resolution wise. The compression isn't too bad either, but you will have to recompress it, possibly even twice which could result in some additional compression artifacts. It is definitely not ideal, and I haven't run it through the whole workflow to get to DVD, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the video recorded on my little archos.

~Jess
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#12 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 05:40 PM

Hi Brad,

Have you tried http://handbrake.fr/ ? It's Mac only, but does a great H.264 rip.

All the best,

Chris

Thanks Chris. Yeah, Handbrake is what I used. I wasn't that impressed. Maybe I mis-used it though....any recommendations would be appreciated.
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#13 chris fawcett

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 04:07 AM

Hi Brad,

I don't do anything special with Handbrake, but here is a screenshot of the settings I use. I didn't try anything on the advanced tab yet, mainly because I don't understand wtf any of it means.

Good luck,

Chris

Attached File  Picture_1.png   86.48KB   30 downloads
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#14 Alan Dague-Greene

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 09:25 AM

The biggest factor in image quality is the video bitrate. I use 4000kbps, which is a good setting that will be close to the original quality of the DVD. For short clips, you can go even higher, but the file size increases accordingly. With that source file, you can make web-ready and standard def DVD files that will still look really good.

However, Handbrake's implementation of H.264 still causes the image to be darkened. On daylight footage, this may not be noticeable, but some details will all but disappear from darker footage. You may have to use a separate program to bring back some of those details before re-compressing.

Alan
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#15 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 02:43 PM

Thanks Chris. I'll check and see if what I did was close to what you posted and try it your way if not.

Alan, does that mean that I should use Chris' settings but change the bitrate to 4000? In some cases I had to rip whole episodes of TV shows. Will the file size be enormous if I use 4000? Thanks.
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