Playing around with the HD! version of the 8mm App for the iPhone.

the App processes the footage at 960×720 (1.33:1) to create a 16×9 version (1.78:1) ratio of this video I did the following:

1. Imported the footage to FCP 7, then batch exported the footage to Pro Res 422 960×720 @23.98fps

2. re-imported the footage and created a new sequence preset.

3. In the FCP > AUDIO / VIDEO SETTINGS > SEQUENCE PRESETS. I duplicated the prores 422 960×720 24p sequence preset and changed the “pixel Aspect ratio” to SQUARE.

4. When I dropped the footage into my new sequence preset, FCP forced/stretched the footage to fill the viewer giving it a letterboxed look.

5. to fix that I went into each individual clip and in the Motion tab settings I changed the DISTORT setting from “-33.33” to “0”.

6. Then I edited the footage like I would in any other project but was mindful that I would eventually crop a certain amount of the image upon export. Basically you’re trying to keep your most important information in the middle 60% of your frame.

7. When I was ready to export I chose File > Send to > Compressor.

8. in Compressor I followed Brian’s formula for “Easily creating 2.35:1 format”
but instead of choosing 2.35:1 I selected 1.78:1 instead.

9. the resulting file is 960×540 or “Half HD”. in case you’re wondering; if you select 2.35:1 aspect ratio the resulting file would be 960×410.

10. One last tip. When exporting a movie to h.264 that has a lot of video noise / grain (for aesthetic purposes) it’s a good idea to select in the quicktime conversion motion tab “All Key Frames”. This will take longer to export but will be more faithful to the noise & grain in your final export.

Oh, and the track is “No More Questions” by David Shire form the movie “The Conversation”

In the end, I’ve very encouraged about the look that can be achieved with this App, given that I made a short film with a jailbroken 3G iPhone with a resolution of 360×180 just 2 years ago this is a big improvement.

My previous narrative iphone short can be viewed here:

Good shooting all!

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