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Population Zero - Short shot on GH2
  • Hi all!

    After using RED and ARRI cameras for most of my shoots I was really impressed with this little camera and how well it performed.

    Population Zero is my latest short film. Check it out :)

    After an alien life form visited planet earth our fate was sealed. Two years later one of the last survivors is desperately trying to find out if there's still anyone out there. Haunted by the past he doesn't seem to see the obvious when he finds a boy in an abandoned house.

    I used Canis Majoris hack (Day and Night) and following lenses:

    1. Voigtländer Nokton 25mm F0.95 Prime Lens

    2. SLR Magic Hyperprime 50mm F0.95 Lens

    3. SLR Magic Hyperprime 12mm T1.6 Lens

    4. Panasonic Pancake 20mm F1.7

    5. Canon 50mm f1.4 (For zooms, 100mm)

    Best Rob

  • 20 Replies sorted by
  • Nice job! I thought the visual effects and camera framing were your strengths. The story was somewhat predictable which didn't really get me too involved to be honest. I think part of the problem is the solo actor structure which is difficult to convey the needs of the character in such a short amount of time. I've personally dealt with this myself.

    Considering gear, how was the SLR Magic Hyperprime 50mm? I am interested in the 12mm, but afraid about a bad copy. How did it work out for you? And why did you use the Canon when you have the SLR Magic? Could you rate the percentage of usage of the lenses?

  • @DaveVegas This is really good. Loved opening with Professor. You should definitely enter this into festival competitions.

  • A "nice job" from me too! I echo what tinyrobot said in that the visual effects and camera framing were your strengths. The interview at beginning was my favourite part and it set it up well. The piece also managed to convey an atmosphere, which is good. I'd also like to know why you used two 50mm (a second camera?).

  • Hey guys!

    Thank you for the feedback! I really appreciate it.

    Due to guidelines of some festivals I had to set the video to private!

    The reason for the two different 50mm lenses was that the Hyperprimes and Nokton lenses were rented and the canon and pancake lens were already my own!

    I loved the Hyperprime, as well as the Nokton. It gave me a lot of freedom for lightning but I had some troubles with F0.9 at some low light situations (DOF is crazy) so I was focusing like crazy and since the hack doesn't allow you to playback I just had to "go with it" in some situations.

    Thanks again guys, really appreciate the comments. Best Rob

  • Ah damn, I wanted to check it out. Let us know when you can put it back up.

  • @DaveVegas Yup, the gh2 is a small gem for sure. But may I ask, from your experience, how you compare the overall difference in the "raw" picture from the 3 of them? I find the gh2 to be more similar to the Alexa in many cases. The Red's often feels a bit.. Videoish. Even after grading. Obviously,in the end if the day, you can make the Red footage look like what ever you want it to. But that can be time consuming in some cases.

  • @vicharris Check pm :)


    The Alexa is my overall favorite but it's also very expensive. RED is a little bit less expensive but gives more of a "videoish"-look in some cases, like you mentioned. I think the GH2 doesn't look anything like Alexa raw footage wise, more like RED. (Which is still a compliment for a 600bucks camera)

    Alexa raw-footage is very milky-looking but that's because it saves so much information and after grading you get very good results. For the GH2, being H264 and 8bit, it doesn't make sense to me to imitate that "milky"-look (Same for Canon DSLR's with cinestyle etc). For the GH2 and RED I usually try to make the on set light and on camera-picture as near to the final image as possible.

    However I was quite impressed what I could do with the GH2 footage gradingwise.

    I also shot a lot of stuff with 5D's, 7D's and GH2 beats them all in my opinion. Overall I love the GH2 for being such a great performer with the hack. It's so tiny, you can make twice as much shots as you want and you don't need as many people in your crew.

    Big downside for me was that I couldn't playback the files on-set and I was surprised that most of the shots were in focus with that tiny monitor for handheld shots.

    Best Dave

  • Hi Dave, thanks for your answer. I agree that the gh2 is pretty impressive gradewize compare to other 8bit/compressed cameras. I believe the DR is pretty much spot on with the 8bit codec. It would probably not be as nice to grade if there was some kind of forced high DR involved (probably result in a lot of banding). Interesting point about the comparison to the Red. I agree that the GH2 don't make anything close DR wise to ungraded Alexa, but than again.. Who would distribute a flat profile like that in any finished media. After applying a curve on the other hand :)

  • I would like to see this. you live in Las Vegas?

  • I'm checking it out 1:30 min at a time! Thanks internet. Looks great so far. Once again, stopped thinking about GH2 and just watched. That's all we can ask for! :)

  • @vicharris So true. Its the craftmanship that counts today, not all about the gear. good times :)

  • @fix Totally agree!

    @Stylz No I'm based in Switzerland :)

    I sent the short to some people on my PM :)

    Best Dave

  • Really nice job Rob. I like it a lot, and of course wasn't thinking about the gear when I watched it. That's great. Congrats.

  • Very impressive. Like the others, I forgot that I was watching GH2 footage! What did you do your color grade in?

  • Finally saw the whole thing. Once again, very well done. Just all around well done. I hate to say anything negative because I feel like I have no right after watching your short but I would say try it without all the vignetting. At points, that was the only thing that brought me out of it. It is pretty noticeable in some scenes. But that's it. I didn't give a crap what it was shot on because I was more concerned with the story and the actor!! Please don't take offense because this is one of the best things I've seen on here. :)

  • @DaveVegas Frankly I totally forgot about Gh2 while watching your cinematic work. Tipping my hat off to you!

  • Thank you all for the kind words!

    @QuickHitRecord I graded in AE with Colorista and Looks.

    @vicharris I agree, thank you!

    Forgot to mention that I used the VidAtlantic Anamorph filter in the Flashback-Sequence (Hence the flares).

    Best Dave

  • Great short in many ways!.. Where to begin :) I think the cutting and timing of several shots where spot on, nicely tuned. Abviously there where alot of preparation involved, which makes the quality high. The sound was amazing, this is where most indie movies crumble IMHO. But not in this short!

    From a straight technical view. My only critic would be the same as @vicharris. To me, the vignettation felt a bit over the top on a couple of shots. But it made the atmosphere claustrophobic and hostile, which maybe was your intention by the effect. So maybe a false critic hehe, but rather subjective choose I would make different. I'm following @stonebat on this one and tipping my hat off to you. Great short that should find a place in most festivals.

  • Now I'm starting to feel like a dick for the criticism! :) I wish I could shoot something that looked that good. And yes, sound is very good. I feel like I'm in a huge ass glass house!!!!

  • Thank you for the reactions! I put the link back in! Let me know what you think :)