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  • Best shooting format for Broadcast & DVD?

  • Kathleen Judge

    February 6, 2011 at 1:42 am

    We are creating a documentary video (to be edited in FC and effects in AE). Primary output will be for DVD but we’d also like to plan for possible broadcast. We are in pre-production stage.

    What is the best approach to format/camera/technique which would allow us to keep quality high for both DVD and broadcast?

    We will be shooting in HD.

    Thank you for your consideration and advice.

  • Chad Brewer

    February 6, 2011 at 2:17 am

    [Kathleen Judge] “Primary output will be for DVD but we’d also like to plan for possible broadcast.”

    If you anticipate something going to broadcast in the U.S., you could save yourself time and money by shooting and editing at 29.97fps from the start. There are reasons to shoot at 23.98fps and later add pull-down for 29.97 broadcast and DVD, but it’s best to tap into what your final deliverables may be.

    Being in pre-production, you’re asking the right questions at the right time, before production and post have to deal with things that will cost your project more time and money than need be.

    That being said, provide more information about the cameras, etc. that you plan to use and I’m sure you’ll find further advice here.

    Chad Brewer
    Senior Broadcast Videotape Operator
    TeleVersions, LLC

  • Kathleen Judge

    February 20, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Sorry for delay.

    We will be shooting on:


    We will be doing some test shots before any interviewing to settle on the ‘look’. We will be mixing animation and effects into the documentary too. We are testing various lighting set-ups and also the set-up for shooting some interviewees in front of a green screen to see how well the animation works with both shooting set-ups (live set vs. green screen).

    I believe we will edit in Final Cut, with effects added in After Effects.

  • Alejandro Alvaro

    February 25, 2011 at 2:08 am

    I don’t know the CANON VIXIA HV20, I saw that’s a prosumer camera, under $1.000. I’m used to the CANON 5D MARK IV, (and 7D and 1D), and I can tell you some flaws on this cameras.

    First, they are for still, not for video. That means:
    1) you need to record audio separately, and then sync the audio in post production. Don’t trust on the audio of the camera, it’s not reliable.
    2) There are no trusty solutions for monitoring remotely while you shoot. Those cameras have just a miniHDMI output for an external monitor. This connector isn’t intended for professional use. It’s very, very fragile and unreliable. We use a mini HDMI/HDMI cable to connect the camera to a HDMI split, loop back one cable to a Marshal or miniHD monitor, and send the other to a SDI monitor. So we need another HDMI to SDI conversor to do the trick. The preview wasn’t in Full HD, by the way.
    3) The clips have a maximum limit of 12 minutes. This is like shooting in 16mm, but for video-era-filmakers, it can be a hassle.
    4) If you use the LCD display of the camera for a long time (a couple of hours), in a hot environment, the camera shuts down (specially the 7D)
    5) They use the h.264 codec, which is slow to transfer to FinalCut. Expect 5x times the length of the clip for transfer.
    6) Be careful when you shoot big patterns or wide shots with too much detail. Those cameras use a lot of electronics to make an image look sharp in HD, so they create really ugly artifacts when shooting for example a sunset over a river, with those tiny waves moving all the time. The footage will be unusable.

    Once the footage is in your timeline, you will be enchanted with the DoF of your images. But be careful with grading, the footage is very compressed, so it’s more tricky to do heavy grading.

    There’s a really nice slate app for the iPhone for 5d cameras, very useful (I used in recent jobs, and works really well)

    Alejandro Alvaro
    Producer/ Director
    Blur Filmes

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