Author Topic: Shooting a Documentary with ML  (Read 2969 times)

ML5D3

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Shooting a Documentary with ML
« on: March 11, 2016, 08:48:46 PM »
Hi,
I am contemplating shooting an 80 minute feature documentary on my 5DMk3 with Magic Lantern.
Has anybody made a long film with ML before?  I've seen short 3-5 minute films and they look great.  Am I crazy to entertain this thought for such a big project?
Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks
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dfort

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Re: Shooting a Documentary with ML
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2016, 09:58:31 PM »
Many documentaries were shot with the 5D3 as well as the 5D2, 7D and other Canon DSLR's. Just today I read an interview with the director of "The Resurrection of Jake the Snake" on the No Film School website:

Quote
I had a hacked GH1 at the time and some of the footage from early on was shot on terrible camcorders. You can see the difference as it progresses — ultimately we shot most of it on Canon DSLRs, like the 5D Mark iii.

Now is Magic Lantern necessary? Not if you're shooting H.264 but ML features like Focus Peaking can certainly help.

If your question is if you can shoot a Documentary in Magic Lantern Raw Video, sure it is possible. The raw files take up lots of space so it all depends on your budget, how much you shoot and whether or not you plan on archiving the original material. You can transcode all your raw files to high quality ProRes and work with that but it will still take up more drive space than H.264.
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ML5D3

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Re: Shooting a Documentary with ML
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2016, 10:10:09 PM »
Thanks dfort.  Yes I want to shoot ML RAW Video.  I realise it will take up a lot of space and I will need a bunch of fast CF cards.  Some shots will also need to be slo-mo.
I'm new to ML so I will have to figure out an efficient workflow.
Thanks for your help.

dfort

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Re: Shooting a Documentary with ML
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2016, 12:35:57 AM »
Slow motion in ML raw is possible especially on the 5D3. Set the Canon menu to 1280x720 50/60fps (depending if you're NTSC or PAL) and play around with the image size and fps override in the ML menu. You can rescale the image slightly and it will still look better than H.264.

I'm assuming you're planning to shoot a lot of footage for your feature documentary. A workflow you may want to try out is to use MLVFS to create virtual DNG files along with MLP or DaVinci Resolve to make log gamma ProRes files. You don't even need to copy the MLV files off the card and only the ProRes files will take up disk space. Of course you shouldn't format the CF cards until you verified that the ProRes files are fine. That's one way of getting most of the advantages of raw without going crazy storing all that material.

Here's some reading material to get you started:

MLVFS: http://magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=13152.0
MLP: http://magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=13512.0
Cinelog: http://magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=10151.0
DaVinci Resolve 12 and ML Raw: http://magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=15801.0

Some of these discussions can get very technical but you can decide how much you really need to absorb to get the results you desire.
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carlosk

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Re: Shooting a Documentary with ML
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2016, 08:22:42 PM »
Hi, I'm also starting a documentary film project with ML. On a 7D! After a year of reading this forum I'm just starting to get acceptable results for a real shooting, in terms of aliasing-moire, tearing, monitoring, workflow, etc. I'll go with miraviewer to prores to final cut, keeping the mlv files for post. Thanks to the developers and I'll post some results asap.

Cheers.