Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

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thefilmaddict

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Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostSun Sep 26, 2021 1:11 pm

I’ve been using 2 256GB SanDisk Extreme Pro cards in the URSA 12k. When I have the camera recording in the dual card mode, I can use all of the high frame rates easily. However, these cards are very expensive. I want to shoot some long interviews for a documentary in 8k 16x9 5:1 raw at 24fps. I have some questions:

1. This card is less expensive. Do you think it will work: Angelbird 1TB AV Pro CF CFast 2.0 Memory Card. Other affordable recommendations?

2. This documentary is mainly talking heads. Would you shoot it in 16x9 or a wider screen format? I’m thinking 16:9 is probably the way to go.

3. This doc will be entered into film festivals. After that, who knows. Should I shoot 24p or 23.976? I know it used to be that 24 was for theatrical release and 23.976 was for tv. Is that still the case or does it not matter anymore?

Thanks!
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Re: Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostSun Sep 26, 2021 4:24 pm

thefilmaddict wrote:1. This card is less expensive. Do you think it will work: Angelbird 1TB AV Pro CF CFast 2.0 Memory Card. Other affordable recommendations?


You’re getting a terabyte Angelbird CFast card that is less expensive than a SanDisk? That’s an absolute steal if you ask me, cause it’s usually the other way round. Do you mean they’re more economical in the long term?

thefilmaddict wrote:2. This documentary is mainly talking heads. Would you shoot it in 16x9 or a wider screen format? I’m thinking 16:9 is probably the way to go.


Which shooting resolution do you use? Film in one of the DCI resolutions with an extraction for 1.85:1 if you’re aiming to submit it to festivals. You can then extract 16:9 for TV and everything else, though I’d recommend using 2:1 for online targets, and wherever else possible.

thefilmaddict wrote:3. This doc will be entered into film festivals. After that, who knows. Should I shoot 24p or 23.976? I know it used to be that 24 was for theatrical release and 23.976 was for tv. Is that still the case or does it not matter anymore?


Choosing between 24 and 23.976 has got more to do with post-production audio than just broadcast targets. For film festivals you’ll likely need to make a DCP, which means sticking to 24 fps for everything would be better. However, I’ve read that in North America, post-production audio guys prefer 23.976.

Whichever frame rate you choose, ensure it matches with your post audio and timecode frame rate.
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John Paines

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Re: Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostSun Sep 26, 2021 6:47 pm

Festivals should be able to accommodate whatever standard aspect ratio you choose (1.37, 1.66, 1.85, or 2.39). Widescreen presents obvious challenges for framing talking heads; it wouldn't be most shooter's first choice. For streaming, you'd need to consult the service for its preference, if any.

In the U.S., 23.976 is the usual choice, regardless of whether it's going theatrical or not. The conversion to 24fps for a DCP is routine.
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Re: Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostMon Sep 27, 2021 7:47 am

If it's mainly talking heads and the background is out of focus, you should try one of the Q compressions.
They may give you longer recording times for the same quality.
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John Brawley

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Re: Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostMon Sep 27, 2021 4:33 pm

Try the Q settings. They are usually GREAT at reducing file sizes and keeping the same IQ.

Angela bird are generally GREAT cards. I use them all the time.

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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostMon Sep 27, 2021 10:14 pm

John Brawley wrote:Try the Q settings. They are usually GREAT at reducing file sizes and keeping the same IQ.
+1 to this.
On virtually everything I shoot for docs, I record in Q5. The only exception is some highly detailed deep depth of field wide shot cutaways (on which I'll only roll for less than a minute) where I'll use 5:1 or Q0.
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Re: Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostSat Oct 02, 2021 2:25 pm

Great advice, everyone.

That Angelbird card was $200 off at B and H, so it was cheaper than the SanDisk cards that I have. At full price, maybe not.

When using the URSA 12K, I find that writing to 2 cards option allows me to shoot very high frame rates (and high resolution) without any issues. I am only buying 1 1tb card, so I won't be able to do that. I am hoping that the single Angelbird can handle recording 8K 23.976 for long periods of time at Q0 or 5:1. Anyone know for sure?

I'll be recording all audio directly to the camera (just a shotgun mic for the interview and a shotgun mic on camera to record nat sound). Look, we never know what's going to happen with a DOC, maybe it will get into festivals, maybe it will find distribution. I'm hoping to be able to accommodate all of the possibilities. So is 23.976 the best option?

As far as resolution, I think I will use DCI and then reframe for different types of delivery if need be.
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Re: Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostSat Oct 02, 2021 8:56 pm

The only reason to go 23.976 is if the doc will be cut together with a substantial amount of fractional frame archival footage (either 23.976 or 29.97). If accommodating archival fractional frame sources isn’t needed, then stick to 24.00 instead. Fractional frame rates are an analog TV anachronism that need to die.
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Re: Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostSat Oct 02, 2021 9:19 pm

The campaign referenced above to get rid of 23.976 may be noble in purpose, but it's not a basis for making a decision. Anachronism or not, there are good reasons to work in 23.976. It remains dominant in broadcast and streaming, and broadcast and streaming is where things are today.
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Re: Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostSat Oct 02, 2021 9:21 pm

John Paines wrote:The campaign referenced above to get rid of 23.976 may be noble in purpose, but it's not a basis for making a decision. Anachronism or not, there are reasons to work in 23.976. It remains dominant in broadcast, and broadcast is where things are today.


Yes.

I'm starting a show right now for a major broadcaster. No way are you not shooting 23.976. It's slight amusing to think that we have a choice in these things as cinematographers.

I am quietly excited that I've managed to convince them to let me shoot 2:1

There aren't really any US broadcast shows doing 2:1 that I know of. I keep thinking they're suddenly realise it when we're halfway through and force us to re-frame everything in post.

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Re: Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostSat Oct 02, 2021 9:38 pm

John Brawley wrote:… I've managed to convince them to let me shoot 2:1…

JB


Will you capture or deliver 4320x2160?
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Re: Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostSat Oct 02, 2021 9:40 pm

rick.lang wrote:
John Brawley wrote:… I've managed to convince them to let me shoot 2:1…

JB


Will you capture or deliver 4320x2160?



They still only require a 1920 NOT HDR delivery.

So we won't be grading HDR. We won't be doing a 4K delivery.

So many think that 4K is here and I promise you that most broadcast TV drama is still shot 1920 and SDR.

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Re: Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostSat Oct 02, 2021 9:42 pm

Thanks, John. Still good to be using 2:1.
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Re: Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostSat Oct 02, 2021 9:47 pm

There's actually a name for 2:1: "Univisium". But, as you already gathered, it hasn't caught on commercially, though it's been talked of for years. Industry resistance, I guess.
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Re: Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostSat Oct 02, 2021 9:52 pm

John Paines wrote:There's actually a name for 2:1: "Univision". But, as you already gathered, it hasn't caught on commercially, though it's been talked of for years. Industry resistance, I guess.



2:1 was championed by Vittorio Storaro, probably one of the greatest cinematographers ever. He didn't invent the format, but it's name "Universium" along with Univision, but yeah the same idea.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Univisium

2:1 is VERY VERY successful and has most certainly caught on with streamers. Many many shows right now are being shot 2:1. House of cards being one that most famously started the trend.

But broadcasters really don't want to transmit anything other than 16x9 / 1.78. Streamers don't seem to care as much about the aspect ratio.

Convincing them otherwise in the US hasn't ever really been done that I know of. I'm starting to think the show I'm doing now might be the first one.

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Re: Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostSun Oct 03, 2021 12:11 am

thefilmaddict wrote:I am hoping that the single Angelbird can handle recording 8K 23.976 for long periods of time at Q0 or 5:1. Anyone know for sure?

They’re “Compatible and Recommended by Angelbird”: https://www.angelbird.com/compatibility/?model=9
So you should be OK, but test it nonetheless. Though I’d suggest using Q3 to keep storage economical.


thefilmaddict wrote:I'll be recording all audio directly to the camera (just a shotgun mic for the interview and a shotgun mic on camera to record nat sound). Look, we never know what's going to happen with a DOC, maybe it will get into festivals, maybe it will find distribution. I'm hoping to be able to accommodate all of the possibilities. So is 23.976 the best option?


If you’re doing postproduction yourself, I’d recommend sticking to 24 fps for your footage and audio to keep things easier, especially because your distribution isn’t yet set in concrete and you have no 23.976 fps mandate from any broadcaster.
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Re: Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostSun Oct 03, 2021 1:45 am

John Brawley wrote: I'm starting a show right now for a major broadcaster. No way are you not shooting 23.976. It's slight amusing to think that we have a choice in these things as cinematographers.

I am quietly excited that I've managed to convince them to let me shoot 2:1

There aren't really any US broadcast shows doing 2:1 that I know of. I keep thinking they're suddenly realise it when we're halfway through and force us to re-frame everything in post.

JB
Ah well, yeah if a broadcaster requires it, then you gotta shoot whatever they require. Kinda ironic that they would mandate fractional for capture now, since all the way up until the Alexa was released, all the evening broadcast dramas were shot on film at 24 and the fractional frame rate was added as part of the telecine post transform to 59.94i.

Very cool that you got them to agree to 2:1!
Will it then be broadcast as 1920 x 960 pillarboxed in a 1920 x1080 container?
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Re: Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostSun Oct 03, 2021 1:48 am

Jamie LeJeune wrote:Will it then be broadcast as 1920 x 960 pillarboxed in a 1920 x1080 container?



That's the stupid thing.

A letterboxed 1920 delivery.

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Re: Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostSun Oct 03, 2021 2:08 am

John Brawley wrote:A letterboxed 1920 delivery.
Please forgive my ignorance here — wouldn't letterboxing 1920 result in wider aspect ratio than 2:1?

2:1 at 2K is 2048 x 1024 and at HD is 1920 x 960 — both of those are pillar boxed relative to the standard container

How would letterboxing broadcast 1920 x 1080 deliver a 2:1 aspect ratio?

EDIT: Facepalm. Letterboxed. Yes.
Last edited by Jamie LeJeune on Sun Oct 03, 2021 8:03 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostSun Oct 03, 2021 2:18 am

Jamie LeJeune wrote:
John Brawley wrote:A letterboxed 1920 delivery.
Please forgive my ignorance here — wouldn't letterboxing 1920 result in wider aspect ratio than 2:1?

2:1 at 2K is 2048 x 1024 and at HD is 1920 x 960 — both of those are pillar boxed relative to the standard container

How would letterboxing broadcast 1920 x 1080 deliver a 2:1 aspect ratio?



4.5K Mini LF framed for 2:1 shooting ProRes 4444.

Delivered as 1920x1080 file containing a 2:1 framed but scaled from 4.5K image (1920 x 960) with black bars at the top and bottom baked into the image.

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Re: Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostSun Oct 03, 2021 4:21 am

Jamie LeJeune wrote:...wouldn't letterboxing 1920 result in wider aspect ratio than 2:1?

2:1 at 2K is 2048 x 1024 and at HD is 1920 x 960 — both of those are pillar boxed relative to the standard container


You may have gotten it the other way round – pillarboxing inside a 1920 × 1080 container would be necessary for an aspect ratio NARROWER than 16:9 – 1.33:1, 1:1. Anything wider than 16:9 would be letterboxed inside, including 2:1 and even 1.85:1.

Think of it this way – 1920 × 1080 comprises 1920 vertical lines each being 1080 pixels in height. Let’s get rid of 120 pixels from each vertical line, 60 from the top, 60 from the bottom. Now you still have 1920 vertical lines, but they are shorter – 960 pixels in height.

Fit this in the 1920 × 1080 container and you get 2:1 1920 × 960 in 16:9, letterboxed.

Horizontal resolution denotes vertical lines. Vertical resolution signifies horizontal lines.

Constant height, cropped width – pillarbox. Constant width, chopped height – letterbox.
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Re: Ursa 12k media and Doc questions

PostSun Oct 03, 2021 8:07 am

Yes. Letterboxed. My brain swapped the meaning of the words on me today.
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