Wednesday, August 15, 2007

standard definition vs. high definition as far as my wallet's concerned.

(moved from LiveJournal to December 8, 2007.)

Holy crapamoly.

I just finished doing some basic, preliminary number crunching and if I were to invest in a semi-professional HD set-up with the Panasonic HVX200 and my current computer, I'd have to shell out almost $8000 (that includes the camera, of course) to get everything up to snuff. Funny thing is that, right now, my computer's pretty much there -- this is one hell of a powerful PC and would only need a couple of things to make it HD ready. Most of that money is to RECORD the HD footage and get it onto my computer. Screw the P2 card thingie (a 4 GB P2 card holds 20 minutes of footage...) I'd go for a FireStore hard drive and the 4.5 hour model that I used in my number crunching is $1295. I'm not even including a boom mic in this initial assessment, just the camera and such.

As far as SD is concerned, getting different editing software (the same as in the HD configuration -- Vegas+DVD) to replace my really buggy SD software, the camera, and an external hard drive (because I really don't want to be rooting around in my computer, adding things again...I'm a writer-director, not a computer tech) is only slightly more than my budget allows.

Now, a friend called me a couple of days ago and said he could find a really nice HD set-up that would work within my budget...but because from what I've seen of consumer level HD camcorders, and I can't find any information on the model his beloved Steve Jobs was touting at MacWorld last week, while they might take beautiful footage, they're consumer level, not even semi-professional, and would still require a crap-load more money. Plus, how would I record audio with a boom mic? No consumer level HD camcorder is going to have XLR or whatever the HD equivalent I'd have to record on DAT? That's a whole 'nother headache.

To be honest, this whole HD thing is a headache for me -- when it comes to computers, though I'm pretty savvy, I prefer plug & play, y'know? I just want to make movies, but out of necessity, I have to be able to do it all myself. Thank goodness that, most of the time, writing is a solo affair because if I had to depend on others to write the same way that I've had to depend on others to make movies, I would have been locked up in an asylum long ago...

I need to get some sleep...but standard definition, though it's "behind the times," is looking better all the time.

Monday, August 13, 2007

August 13, 2007 -- the two months until shoot update

(moved from LiveJournal to December 8, 2007.)

Well, the unexpected, but most probable thing, has happened: Someone broke the HD camera so the shoot in Washington is off.


The good thing? I'm taking all of the money I've saved from the film festival , etc., money that would have been spent getting us out there and feeding the cast and crew and such, and putting that toward my own camera. Yeah, I know that sounds like a no-brainer, but I really wanted to go and shoot in Washington with this High Definition camera. Professional / Prosumer HD is right out of my personal price range because if I could afford it, I'd get this camera, the Panasonic AG-HVX200. But, at US$6000 (or even US$4950, which is the lowest, possibly reputable price I've seen) it's WAY out of my price range. /heartattack

So sexy, though.

As it is, nothing in my house is HD or HD ready other than maybe my editing computer if I were to shell out a poo-load more dollars, which I can't. I work at a movie theatre and earn okay money, but the biggest plus to that job is the fact that I get time to write and I don't have to take my work home with me. That is what I like to call a slice of fried gold.

So, I'm thinking about getting this Standard Definition camera, the Panasonic DVX100b, which is also a sexy beast. Yeah, yeah, SD is going the way of the dinosaurs, but not as quickly as one might think. Regardless, film festivals will accept anything so long as they can play it: film, SD, HD, DVD, ABCD...whatever.

That's the story as far as equipment goes. We're still mostly on schedule for the mid-October shoot. I just have to rearrange my thinking and start getting actors and locations together here. I have most of the props and everything so we're still on GO! which is terribly exciting.

And that, as they say, is that.