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Noodles of Klingon are still running through my brain unbidden, echoes of the intense panic-learning I was shooting for toward the end. It makes me want to wash my brain out with some sort of brain-washing device. Preferably a pretty one, with nice legs. I never got to bring the snowblower into the basement (which I need to try and do tonight), as I slept in very seriously yesterday, finally crawling out of bed sometime around 3:00. I surely needed it, and I am better for it, but holy frangible chitterlings, that killed my day.

Topping it off, when I woke up, apparently the little dog had horked up on the bed, so I ended up with a bit of a laundry emergency. unfortunately it had soaked through to the mattress, so I had to deal with that before heading out to Target for some new sheets and a mattress pad (my backup set seems to have disappeared to the four winds). Since this trip also brought me in close proximity to Micro Center, I decided to wander in.

Okay, a bit of a background: I finally got to play with Darthcam a little bit, and discovered that indeed, focusing is an issue. The focus assist feature does work, but it's sort of like focusing by remote control, and I really want to be able to see the focus. The ideal situation would be to have a high-def production monitor available that I can plug the camera into.

Sounds expensive? Yes indeed it does.

Not having $4k to drop on a high-def monitor (that still only has a 640 x 480 resolution!), I wanted to consider alternatives. The purpose behind this is to display a high enough resolution to be able to pull focus accurately. That means a resolution of at least 1280 x 720, and preferably a 16:9 format, small enough and light enough to carry around with the production gear. Ideal things would be battery operated as well as line power, compact and rugged.

Darthcam has a number of outputs, but only two that are capable of high-def: analog component out and HDMI. The HDMI is nice, as it's fully digital and displays before the compression, but I wasn't really looking forward to lugging around a flat-screen TV, as it would just be unwieldy. There are a lot of computer monitors that have DVI input, and an HDMI-to-DVI adapter is certainly available. Unfortunately as it turns out, there is a little trick with an HDMI port that deals with this friggin' copy protection thing, so your monitor has to be "HDCP compliant" which most flatscreen TVs are, but very few computer monitors.

Hell, it was worth a shot. Since I was there already, I might as well look.

Long story short, I ended up with a Gateway HD2200 monitor. It's 1650 x 1050 resolution, 16:10 (not 16:9) format, with Faroudja technology for the upscaling and downscaling. It's not a ruggedized production monitor, it doesn't display colors perfectly, and it's not ideal, but it's actually pretty damn good for what I need, and it's a 22" diagonal. And considerably less expensive than a Sony production monitor. It's not gonna mount to the camera, it's gonna take some clever MacGyvering to find a way to mount it (already in the works) so that it can be used in those places where shooting is happening. It's not battery powered, though in a pinch I could use an inverter, but for the most part, stuff that I'm gonna be shooting is indoors with reasonable access to power.

To be fair, the monitor that I got has a dead pixel highly visible so I'm gonna take it tonight to swap it for another one, but I tried it last night and it works. Added bonus is that I can hook up the DVD player to it as well and watch movies uprezzed to 1080i.

Making it into something more rugged will likely involve making a custom hardshell case for it, one that can have a monitor hood (to cut down glare) added. And finding a way to mount it on some sort of a stand is critical-- I'm thinking of a built-in mount for a tripod, since inexpensive but medium-duty tipods are readily available.

There's more in the pipe, but for now that's enough.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
qob
Dec. 10th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
r,e,filmmaking
I got to the RakeHell meeting for a little while and was handed, yes, you got it, a script...
Good news? it's in English! We've been threatening to do some new videoes for awhile and I think we have a hook for them. KLinogn B movie serials
magicmarmot
Dec. 10th, 2007 08:06 pm (UTC)
Re: r,e,filmmaking
Snert.

Alien vs. Predator vs. Klingons?
Night of the million billion Klingons?
Mant vs. Klingons?
Dial K for Klingons?
Faster Klingon, Kill, Kill?
Foreheadspray?
The Good, the Bad, and the Lumpy?
A Fistful of Gagh?
qob
Dec. 10th, 2007 08:08 pm (UTC)
Re: r,e,filmmaking
Kahless I can't spell!

We're looking at Kaptain Kang and the Dastardly Dagger of Doom, Kaptain Kang and the invisible army of Death, that sort of thing. 5 minute cliffhangers
magicmarmot
Dec. 10th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC)
Re: r,e,filmmaking
That's about the ideal length for something like YouTube.
qob
Dec. 10th, 2007 08:19 pm (UTC)
what we were planning
what is this MeTube you speak of?
:-P
avindair
Dec. 10th, 2007 10:53 pm (UTC)
Re: r,e,filmmaking
Not to sound all contrarian, but the ideal Youtube video is between 90 seconds and 2 mins, 30 seconds.

Sad, but true.
avindair
Dec. 10th, 2007 08:16 pm (UTC)
Re: r,e,filmmaking
First off, great job in the show. Really wonderful.

Secondly: Scripts? Really? Cool.

Thirdly: Do you think RakeHell would be interested in providing...let's say "unconventional Klingons" for an SSF project?

Fourthly: There is NOOOOOOOOOOOOO Rule Six!
qob
Dec. 10th, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
Re: r.e.filmmaking
"Unconventional" ehh? that's our speciality!
avindair
Dec. 10th, 2007 10:54 pm (UTC)
Re: r.e.filmmaking
Excellent.

I'll forward the script when it's been buffed and polished a bit.
qob
Dec. 11th, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC)
Re: r.e.filmmaking
dunno if you have my email
bhedrick -at- chof -dot- net
qob
Dec. 10th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC)
Re: r,e,filmmaking
also thanks muchly, it was a lot of work and I am happy with how it turned out. I especially liked the applause after my MarlI' scene, I thought they might laugh at everything.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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