Friday, January 25, 2008

A whole...neeewwww....(digital)...WOOORRLLD!

Did you get that post title reference, didya?

As I spent a large part of the day yesterday trolling the net, learning more about the film Cloverfield and looking at options for an HD camera for a possible future upgrade to my at least 4 yr old Panasonic DVX100, I learned some interesting things about what is going on in the film world.

Films, are being shot completely digital.

Now, this isn't NEW, but I found it interesting to really get a good look and read on what cameras are being used on what films. Films that were shot 100% in the digital realm.

This article here professes that Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) was the fist film to be shot and exhibited completely in digital. The entire article (all 10parts) is a really good overview of the milestones of FX in the world of cinema. It brought back memories I had of some favorite films of my childhood, including this film:


I loved this film, Young Sherlock Holmes, and it's credited with being the first film to composite computer-generated animation with a live-action background.

But back to Star Wars, which was shot on this camera here:


The Sony or Panivised HDW-F900, today, goes for about $60,000. I think at the time, it was being specially built for Lucas, so the cost initially was probably way higher. But then WAIT, now another site says this movie, Vidocq was the first film shot entirely on digital:


Click the image and it will take you to the Youtube trailer. I think maybe Star Wars was filming / in production first, and maybe Vidocq was released first in 2001. I'll call it a tie. They were both shot using the HDW-F900. I'll take just a BRIEF step backwards in technology, but forward in time to Open Water, released in 2003:


This film was initially thought to be shot on the Panasonic DVX100 (which wasn't available at the time) was actually shot on the Sony VX2000 and a PD150. I didn't terribly like the film, but they get props from me for the low budget and huge studio deal after playing at Sundance. Yet another aside, Here's an article on the true story it's based upon.

Once Upon a Time in Mexico also released in 2003 was shot on a "Sony 24fps HD" camera "similar to what Lucas uses." But I couldn't confirm over the internets EXACTLY what camera was used.

But wait a second, wait a gosh darn second! What, you might ask, does all this have to do with Cloverfield, and you searching for a new camera? Well, here it all ties together. SO I said to myself, while searching for an HD upgrade....."I wonder what CLOVERFIELD was shot on?" And here we have This wonderful article, which gives you all that info. At first there was a lot of talk of the camera that I was looking at, this Panasonic HVX200, as being the main camera:


It was in fact used, but very sparingly. Here's a screenshot from the film where you can see the character of Hud, holding the Panasonic HVX200. Which, of course, at at LEAST $3,500 and topping at around $5,000, I don't think he'd be toting this around at a party, unless that was his gig:


Image above can be clicked for a review, rating and video on the Panasonic HVX200, which again, is what I've been leaning towards as a future item for MEEEEE. But I digress, as I'm wont to do, Cloverfield was NOT filmed mostly on the HVX200, BUT, in fact was filmed on a combination of the two camera's below, photos clickable to links to learn more about each one"

The Thomson Grass Valley Viper, which goes for somewhere in the $80,000 range:


and the Sony F23, which is priced around $100,000:


Another film that has used the Viper for the entire shoot, and this was surprising, because I had already seen the movie when it came out and had no idea, was Zodiac:


This blog post gets into some nice detail of the workflow and use of the camera on the film.

Well, there you have it, my day on the internets. There are of course Tons of options these days for HD Camera's of all sizes and prices. Of big note, is the Red One system, which is supposed to revolutionize the industry, has a price tag of $17,000 JUST for the body, and a huge waiting list. And with MY personality and the piece-meal nature of the system, which is extremely smart because it makes it easy to upgrade, as opposed to getting a whole new camera, I would get lost In their Store and rack up a bill of $64,660 (one of everything please).

Well, an informative blog I hope, if not a bit dry. For now I'm gonna just gonna have to stick with My little guy here.

1 comment:

Kenny Couch said...

nice blog, just finished shooting a music video on the red one it is an amazing camera