Shooting first Doc/Travel program. Need some advice.

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by fishcough, May 17, 2011.

  1. fishcough macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2011
    This if my first documentary. We have our shooting script, interviews lined up, and our schedule. We're running a couple of weeks of practice before we go and my lack of technical knowledge is starting to show....

    I'm not sure what we're going to do with the end product. We've had a lot of interest expressed in the topic but are funding it ourselves. I want to be ready for anything that could come (HD broadcast, DVD, web only, no idea), so my plan was to shoot it at the highest quality I have available (shooting on an XF100) which would be, I believe, 50 Mbps 4:2:2 1920x1080. The xf100 is MPEG-2. The plan now, since we're using a nikon d7000 as a b-cam, would be to shoot at 24p. I'll be putting together a rough assembly track upon return and hand that over to an actual editor.

    The thinking is if somehow this were bought for broadcast, the highest quality would be close enough to "broadcast quality" (whatever that is these days), and if we needed to scale down for another use, that option would be available too.

    I'm getting a bit concerned about storage space since I'm going to try to get one or two hours a day worth of footage on a 1TB drive (shooting over 26 days, my calculations tell me I can get about 48 hours at this level). Is the 50 Mbps overkill? Could I get by for "broadcast" at 35 Mbps 4:2:0?

    Anything else I'm missing? Thanks.
  2. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    50Mbps is not overkill... go out and get the best you can. The price of hard drive storage to cover the extra quality is really negligible if you have aspirations of any type of distribution.

    Yes, shoot everything 23.976fps (24p). Transcode both the XF100 and Nikon footage to ProRes/ProResHQ before editing. Stay ProRes completely through post until you figure out where it's going.
  3. fishcough thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2011
    Thanks. I figure the switch to pro res wont be an issue when editing since we'll be home with massive drives at that point.

    The concern is actually less about having enough drives, but rather having too many drives and creating suspicion as we travel around in Asia. Hopefully a 1TB drive (actually two, but I'm backing up the same footage to both) will get us through.
  4. Taximan macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2009
    Remote Storage

    You might want to look at some sort of remote storage since you are traveling and anything can happen. If you are going to give the project to an edit house they should have an ftp set up so you can think about uploading the footage to them. Plus it gives them the opportunity to get a leisurely start on the project and not having to go through 30 hours from the jump.
  5. fishcough thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2011
    Taxi, thanks. I was considering that, but I'm really doubtful that I'll have strong enough connectivity to upload serveral gigs of footage a night. Especially since I'm going through a VPN. But, does anyone have any suggestions for a good cloud storage site for that much data?
  6. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    I'm currently filming a behind the scenes documentary for a feature and I cannot stress how important storage space is. If possible I would try and get some 3TB drives (I think that's the biggest single drive you can get) as I can't believe how quickly I am using up the storage space.

    Today I shot about 80GB from a JVC GY-HM700 and a 5dii as the B-roll and that was just one day!

    I don't know what your content is but sometimes you just have to keep recording until something happens just in case you miss something. My footage is also being used to fill in people that miss the meetings so I have to make sure I get everything!

    Batteries is a really important thing to. I don't know whether you can get some good external batteries but I was using some Anton Bauer DIONIC HC batteries which have a long life and a clear visual display showing me how much time I have left. The worse thing is running out of storage or the camera dying! But good luck with your project! I hope you keep us in the loop!

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