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RE: Eclair Cameras: question follow up-video tap, s16 conversion, monitor/record

Hi Eric
Far be it from me to assume the role of resident expert in this matter, since there are far more knowledgeable and qualified members of this list who could answer your questions with far more accuracy, but...

Yes, it's possible in theory to pull a video image from a video tap that one could use for color correction etc. In practice, this would involve calibrating your tap system to the end result (i.e. your final telecine'd film master) and then using only that set of equipment (tap, tap camera, monitors, etc) every time you shot. The image quality would depend on the nature of the tap itself and the quality of the video tap camera. There are various anti-flicker devices available to counter the 24/25fps shutter flicker and basically duplicate electronically the each-image-scanned-twice effect that a butterfly shutter has in a projector. Telecine machines do this as well.

Of course, you're taking an image that has gone through not only the taking lens itself but also the prism system, so it's kind of like shooting through a mirror - the entire tap system has to be kept scrupulously clean. Mostly what you'll get is an approximation. Most of us who work taps are only after the approximation anyway, because we know from experience what the film should look like, more or less, just by viewing the scene through a contrast or gaffer's glass. On the production side, the directors/producers are mainly checking for content (i.e. performance, or similar) so they know the shot's in the bag and they can strike the set and move on.

I've actually digitised off a tap into a laptop running Avid XPressDV, cut the scene together (it was a TV commercial) and handed the producer a DVD-R of it before he left the set. Very impressive if he's a client, and very expensive if he's not.

However, I for one believe in the discipline of film - i.e. preparation, pre-visualisation, design, close observation, taste, judgement honed by experience. I don't much like the generation of "choosers" that most of our industry now contains ("I don't know what I want - give me something I can choose from"). So if one knows what one is after, then a Polaroid or a digital still shot can tell you what your lighting's going to be like before the event. If one shoots sufficient coverage (i.e. at least one safety shot) then the rest is, to my mind, padding. The splurging of film from all angles is for documentaries, Kubricks and video trained people, IMHO. And yes, I'm a dinosaur in this respect, and probably well on my way to extinction... :-)


eric jarvies wrote:

hello again,

one more thing i forgot to ask any of the other members ... as stated in my last post, i am going to have an azspectrum acl color video tap installed so i can accomplish the following:

1. have the ability to view framed image/scene on a monitor
2. record said image/scene so i can study scenes, and even assembly then
in fcp prior to having the film processed and digitized/transferred.

i would like to break two bottles with one stone(i stopped killing birds along time ago :) regarding the equipment i purchase. now then, if i hooked up a monitor like the SONY PVM-8041Q, would i be able to, in real time, check my colors as it relates to my lighting and filters i am using for filming any given scene? if so, then i could use a monitor like this for both the video tap and for the nle suite(video out from fcp). or is what i am saying not viable or not required? i do understand i will have to do some color correction of the transferred/digitized film footage using nle tools. but does it help when actually filming a scene to use a color check monitor like this to help make certian my lighting and filter use is correct from the start?

i have neither the experience or knowledge in this area, but when i actually do purchase the monitor and recording device, i would like to be able to get the most milage out of these units if they are able ot serve multiple purposes. any advise would be greatly apreciated.


eric m jarvies
cabo san lucas, baja california sur.  mexico

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