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Blog: HD Pioneer Randall Dark on Filming 'Closing Escrow'

Here's the latest blog on the production of the motion picture "Closing Escrow," a SAG Modified Low-Budget Feature that is now being produced in HD in the Los Angeles area. This week's blogger is Randall Dark, one of the film's two executive producers, and president/founder of HD Vision Studios:

"Color Timing in the Field...

"We decided during pre-production that it would be virtually impossible to get the required footage using a traditional single-camera scenario for shooting. However, introducing an additional camera into the mix presented a number of risk/reward scenarios.

"The Risk...

"The obvious risk is that if both cameras are not perfectly matched, the end result would be hours of additional color correction during the final stages of post. In addition, we were faced with one camera constantly being pulled to shoot B-footage that required a completely different camera setting, then quickly put back into the two-camera scenario. By the way, have you noticed how many switches and menu settings there are on HD cameras? And how easy it is to accidentally put a knob in the On position when you really should have it Off?

"The Reward...

"These anxieties were completely squashed by the workflow we created during principle photography. Each camera was connected to a paint box and the output was A/B onto an Apple display device and a waveform monitor. This gave us the instant ability to not only make sure each camera was matched, but the DP would actually time the image to the look and feel that the director wanted. So Armen [Kaprelian] basically saw his finished image in real-time.

"Most industry people would say this workflow would slow down the production. I beg to differ. Not only did we complete the shoot on time and on budget; we were able to shoot 57 fifty-minute tapes in only 14 days. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't that equate to 5,000 feet of film times 57????

"High Definition is not for everyone, but I do recommend that the cost-conscious producer take a look at the facts and not the bias fiction we constantly hear from naysayers.

"Again I will state the obvious. Film is an incredible art form. High Definition is an incredible art form. One art form does not replace another but as a business choice, I strongly feel that High Definition is no longer the ugly limited stepchild we have watched grow up over the past 20 years. Its time has come and seeing truly is believing."