1.) Darthcam now calls for some camera tests. First round will be this weekend, which is mostly a comparison shoot with the TRV-950 we used for PFD, though we're going to look at some greenscreen stuff as well since the higher resolution makes that a possibility. There will be some other greenscreen tests at a later time with more precise lighting and with specific purposes in mind, but for a first round, this is good.
2.) Advanced camera tests. This is getting more into the nature of how the camera performs in specific conditions, not having so much to do with greenscreen as other effects. Many of these will need to be outside, so a warmer time is good.
3.) There exists the possibility of a 35mm adapter for Darthcam in the not-so-distant future. I've been researching, and it's well worth the consideration going to high-def. It does add another dimension of difficulty to the shooting, but the images are really really nice. And yes, that will mean yet another round of camera tests. Bite me.
4.) A dayburner project. Something short, that can be shot in one day. Maybe nothing that will ever be shown to people, but something to expose the workflow from capture to finished product. The workflow for HD is a bit different than straight video, and I want to learn how to work with proxy files.
5.) As of yet unspecified short horror film. No dialogue, as is the challenge. This is already partly storyboarded, but other things take priority. This is more of a test for critical function for something to be shown to real people (instead of those fake people I keep in the shed).
6.) The Serial. Episodic thing. Still hush-hush until I actually get it together.
There are more from there, but getting to that point is a happy thing.
The 35mm adapter is a nifty bit of technology. Basically, it's an adapter that allows you to use 35mm lenses (either cine lenses or still camera lenses) with your camera to get the depth-of-focus of a 35mm camera without having a full-size (and freakishly expensive) sensor array in your camera. With it, you are shooting as if you were shooting 35mm film, and it changes some things in the process, like focusing. Did you know that almost all "professional" movies are shot with one person just operating the focus of the lens? And best of all, they rarely look through either the viewfinder or the monitor, but instead rely on measured distances? I was blown away when I found this out-- I knew that most movies relied on tape measures for the initial focus, but I was really surprised to learn that the focus pull (or rack) is done almost entirely by eye by the 1st AC (or focus puller). It's primarily an inherited film production thing: prior to 1983, there weren't even video assist monitors on most productions, and the cinematographer was the only one looking through the lens.
For what I do, I like being able to see the focus on a high-def monitor. That doesn't mean I won't be learning someting new. But really, shooting in high-def makes focus critical, and with the 35mm DOF adapter, the depth of focus is much shallower, making it even more critical. But it means things like being able to rack focus, to keep background separated from foreground, and in general do a lot of "real" filmmaker things.
*Use of the word "film" here does not indicate the use of actual motion picture film, but uses many of the same methodologies. In general, I'm not a film purist, and it's really unlikely that I'm gonna be shooting anything that's gonna get blown up to 35mm for duplication, but realistically it's possible.