Cinematographer, director, and writer Elle Schneider came on to our new INDIE Shooter podcast for a fantastic talk about her history in filmmaking, career in the industry and her latest project shooting the short film “Near To Superstition” with Panasonic’s new EVA1.
A USC Film School graduate, Schneider explained how her multiple interests (writing, programming, design, cinematography, directing) and talents prepared her for her work as a DP and director. “All of these different interests kind of grew into the direction that ended up being film”, she explains. It was her time as the Creative Director of Digital Bolex that all her talents were put into effect, but shooting and directing were still her main draw.
However, after a strong five year stint with the company, it was ultimately necessary for Schneider to strike out on her own. “While it was really nice to be doing a lot of narrative and documentary stuff [on the side], I wasn’t doing as many commercial projects as I wanted to do as I was perceived as being so aligned with one particular brand, that it was even just assumed I would have no interest in working with other partners. So this was a very cool experience to kind of come out of that single brand experience and start having people interested in me shooting demo films for different products.”
As Schneider points out, shooting in the middle of August in California in the Mojave desert doesn’t sound like the most practical of choices on multiple levels. Due to savvy planning and hardy gear however, Schneider was able to capture her footage in an authentic way that lends to not only showcasing the Panasonic EVA1, but also her own cinematography and directing talents. The EVA1 held up as well, offering no trouble in the desert heat and giving Schneider exactly what she was looking for. “I would definitely shoot with [the EVA1] again” Schneider says. “It’s a very viable option to me for lower budget narrative work, and I think that if you’re shooting on a VariCam it’s a very good B-camera option as well.”
There were a few points where Schneider references EVA1 Product Manager Mitch Gross, who naturally has a more intimate knowledge of the camera’s specs. In response to some of the questions posed in the interview she was unable to answer, Mitch Gross provided his expertise:
EVA1 Recording Codec
“Elle used an AVC-based Long-GOP 150mbps format. The latest version of Premiere can read it natively and we’re working with the various NLE makers for full support by the time the EVA1 ships.”
“The math is pretty easy, but the easiest way to think of it is this, 150mbps at 24p uses just a little over 1GB a minute. So a 128GB card holds about 117 minutes.”
EIS – Electronic Image Stabilization
“Elle did not employ any in-camera Electronic Image Stabilization on her movie. While the EVA1 can support Image Stabilization in an EF-mount lens, this was not employed either. In fact the lenses used did not offer it. Stabilization came in the form of a Ronin-II and great handheld work by Drew and Elle. There was a tiny bit of post stabilization used on a couple drone shots when crazy winds almost batted it out of the sky.
“In general the settings used on the EVA1 were basic and the camera simply recorded using standard settings. Because these were prototype hand-built cameras, a Panasonic rep (me) kept checking to make sure that no parameter accidentally reset itself or something else odd happened. But nothing ever did and the EVA1s behaved admirably. I did have to spend some time cleaning off all the dust afterward but that was just for looks.”
There’s so much more in the podcast, such as Schneider’s writing experience, more in depth about the EVA1 specs on set, her short film and so much more. So be sure to listen and download above, and stay tuned for next week’s podcast.