About 7 months ago I started a project, a new web series of short short movies. We shot the majority of one of them, but always intended to shoot the last shot on the next one. Life intervenes and here we are more than half a year later and finally getting that shot and doing another short for the series. This isn’t a series as in one continues storyline or anything; merely a series of vignettes with a similar concept. I don’t want to make a big deal of these because they are simple ideas with elementary execution.
Today we shot with the new Panasonic AF100 as an experiment. We used my Glidecam Crane to get a cool shot, but after being so nice and loaning it out for free to several people it’s now barely functional and several key pieces are missing. Generosity has its downsides.
The AF100 is meant to be the DSLR buster. In low to no budget indie films, the DSLR still cameras have video functions and make pretty images for filmmakers with shallow depth of field. Cameras like the Canon 5D, 7D, and T2i (now T3i) make some great digital films. We used the 5D on the first one of this series, but they are not ergonomic for film work, so you have to trick your camera out with a rig to make it video-friendly. The new AF100 is a video camera based on the same technology. The biggest difference is in the video CODEC (Compressor/Decompressor) software which is vastly better on the Panasonic AF100.
I’ve already started to conform all the video and audio. Even though one of the appeals of these cameras is “tapeless” using SD cards or CF (Compact Flash) media drives, for me to edit with the footage, I prefer to conform them to our Matrox codec for editing and effects. So I save no time removing the “digitizing from tape” benefit of tapeless workflows, but I am happier to have files that work in 1080P in real time with effects and color correction, so I save time on the back end.
I promised myself that I’d get back to this series once I got further along on FRAMELINES and then the re-do of BITTER OLD MAN got in the way. Speaking of which, I submitted the revised BITTER OLD MAN short to a film festival that has rejected my 1 submission a year for a solid decade now. This is my 10th entry that I have no hope of getting into. Every year I also promise myself I won’t submit, but because it has no fee, I always send something anyway.
Call me Sisyphus.