Director’s Journal #8

Monday, May 11

After four or five days of continuous research, I have preordered the GH-1 from amazon. I have been so obsessed with this thing, I’ve been feeling sick. Went to bed thinking about it. Woke up thinking about it. None of that, of course, helped my research, but I tend to obsess on things. This camera could provide the look I’ve been hoping to get on this film at a very doable price, and I couldn’t get it out of my head till I made a decision on it.

Tough choice, cause it’s not perfect. And I don’t have one to play with. Thankfully, though, there are people out there like Director of Photography Philip Bloom, posting footage and laying down some knowledge on his blog:

And another DP, Kholi Hicks, on who tested the shit out a Japanese model whose menus he couldn’t even read. Posted a lot of footage, and all of his findings. Very very helpful.

Of course, I didn’t interact with any of these guys. I just lurk.

In a nutshell, what I have learned is that at 1080, the codec falls apart with lots o’ detail or fast motion. But at 720p 60fps (which can be easily converted to 24p if I choose) we should be ok for this film. There’s an automatic gain control for the audio that can’t be turned off, no vu meter, and no way to monitor live audio or video while you shoot.

There’s also a sweet auto focus; some kind of crop factor option that apparently get you tighter on your subject than your lense allows with, apparently, no loss in quality; then there’s the sweet freaking picture.

It’ll be a little weird shooting a feature with a still camera, but I’ll get over it. Just hope it gets released on time and I don’t wind up on backorder. I really want to shoot on this camera.


One response to “Director’s Journal #8

  1. Hmmmmm. So I think my main question is how come you can’t use the equipment at work for free? Why is that no longer an option when you shot a short test video with it in preparation for this movie last summer and thought it was some of the best footage you ever shot?

    And more questions: Why are the drawbacks of the GH1 not serious drawbacks to you? Because you’re the only crew member and wouldn’t be monitoring anything live anyway? Does the camera have AV outs so you can play things back on a device other than the camera itself but just not live? And why isn’t the audio gain a big deal? And why spend $1500 bucks (plus batteries? adapters? lenses? tripod?) on a camera and not on cast/crew meals or something else? Though I pretty much know the answer to that last one: you can abuse the shit out of your cast/crew and you’ll still have the camera once the shoot is over.

    I don’t get why you’d want to spend the money if you don’t have to. They’ll be yet another better version in another year so why not use what you’ve got especially since you’re still working with mostly (entirely?) non-professional actors.

    I should probably just e-mail you instead of posting my blog graffiti since I would like to know the answers to these questions. Maybe future entries will address some of them?

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