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sgreszcz

Isle of Wight Mardi Gras Documentary - Panasonic GX80

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Hi all,

I've been a long-time reader of this blog/forum and wanted to report back on my first paid documentary commission that I just delivered.  The project was for a local community outreach project that links in education and culture with Carnival arts (http://www.thenewcarnivalcompany.com/).  I spent since last January (on and off) filming 4 schools and community groups as they learned about the theme (70 years of India's independence) and how that learning influenced the making of thier Carnival costumes.  The last 3 minutes of the documentary is essentially a music video of the final parade through the town of Ryde, Isle of Wight.

I filmed everything with 2 Panasonic GX80 cameras in 4k using primes indoors (mostly native Panasonic lenses with some Voigtlander 17/42.5).  For the Carnival itself I used the 12-35 and 35-100 2.8 zooms.  Everything was handheld except some of the multicam wides and the interviews.  The cameras were great as it was easy to be incognito, film in the historical sites, and the cameras were not intimidating to those I filmed.  I shot in standard 0, -5, 0, -5 and only focused on exposure and skintones when colour correcting.  The auto WB actually worked very good.

The audio was a mix of built-in camera mic, Shure VP83f, Rode SmartLav+/TascamDR10, and Instamics.  I also tried to use the http://www.ohrwurmaudio.eu/ binaural microphone to better capture the ambiance of the carnival, but in the end I didn't get around to syncing it or using it.  The Instamics (although quite visible in the interviews) were so useful as I could get the kids to put them on themselves and didn't have to worry about touching, and wiring up lavs.

Some lessons learned:

I had to move really, really fast as it involved kids and the teachers and leaders were busy - it was really run-and-gun.  I missed having the audio input as I could have got better ambiance audio without having to sync - syncing is a pain.  I wish the GX80 EVF was better as manual focus is hard enough.  S-AF on the native lenses was key as I could ensure focus and cut out the hunting.  I need to learn more about and practice audio post production and improve my editing.

There are some obvious faults (interview eyelines, cluttered backgrounds, slight focus issues, IBIS panning judder, under/overexposure on unmanned b-cam) but overall the client and the organisations that funded the project were very happy with the film.

It took me about 70 hours of editing with 15 hours / 700GB (including multicam) of footage.

 

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