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Splitting Bethany – Feature Film Shot on GH2

I am in the final stages of post production right now for my upcoming feature film – Splitting Bethany. The film follows the life of Jack Anderson, a recovering addict as he struggles through a failing marriage and pregnancy with his wife Bethany who suffers from severe borderline personality disorder.

The film was in 14 days over the course of a month this past fall. All principal photography was completed using a single hacked GH2 with a variety of lenses. In particular I utilized a nice set of Zeiss Primes as well as many lenses from my own kit including the SLR Magic 12mm 1.6. It was an interesting experience as I DP’d the film while directing, which I haven’t done before on a feature film.

Both the trailer and the film itself were cut on FCPX and I had an excellent experience using the software. More on that in a future blog.

Here is the teaser:

About Author

Noam Kroll is an award-winning Los Angeles based filmmaker, and the founder of the boutique production house, Creative Rebellion. His work can be seen at international film festivals, on network television, and in various publications across the globe. Follow Noam on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more content like this!

45 Comments

  • Xiong
    January 24, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Wow, this just looks impressive as hell! Really like the tone of the teaser, really captivated me and some really good acting. Hope for a recap of your experience, what was the budget?

    Reply
    • Noam
      January 24, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      Thanks a lot Xiong. I appreciate the kind words! This was literally a no budget credit card film. I would love to do an in depth blog about the process of directing, shooting and editing this film. Let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to touch on.

      Reply
  • antonio
    January 24, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    graat quality, looks very nice movie !!!

    Reply
    • Noam
      January 25, 2013 at 12:14 am

      Thank you Antonio.

      Reply
  • Francesco Dal Bosco
    January 25, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Not so usual to see something so well acted and directed on the web these days. Music and sound are very good too. It’s wonderful you have made it with a little camera and a very low budget. Bravo Noam.

    Reply
    • Noam
      January 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      Thanks Francesco! Appreciate the feedback. I will be sure to post it when the film is completed and available.

      Reply
  • Aaron
    January 25, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    would love to see a blog on types of stabilization and lighting used for it. great trailer.

    Reply
    • Noam
      January 25, 2013 at 11:20 pm

      Great idea, I’ll be sure to include those points in a future post. Thanks!

      Reply
  • John Wilson
    January 26, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Good for you well shot.I am convinced now to use my GH2 for a doc in Phillipines I am doing with my DSLR Rig.

    Reply
    • Noam
      January 26, 2013 at 11:24 pm

      Good to hear, best of luck with your doc!

      Reply
  • Ju
    January 27, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Very Beautiful Cinematography. Bravo !
    Did you do the grading with Davinci Resolve ?
    which gh2 hack ?
    Please make a tutorial of this color grading ! 🙂

    Reply
    • Noam
      January 27, 2013 at 7:23 pm

      Thanks Ju, I did the grading with DaVinci and did a single pass through Film Convert to finish it off. It was all shot using Flowmotion V2. I will be sure to post a more in depth blog/tutorial shortly!

      Reply
  • Benedict
    January 31, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Trailer looks excellent, great job! If you do an in-depth look at it I’d like to hear some details on audio capture/post on a low-budget shoot.

    Reply
    • Noam
      February 1, 2013 at 2:45 am

      Thanks a lot. I am working on a more in depth look into this film and will be sure to include that!

      Reply
  • Flaaandeeers
    February 1, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Very very nice Noam! Congrats…
    I’d also like to know everything you can tell us about production: lighting, sound, etc…

    About lenses, I will insist on a question I made a few weeks ago 🙂
    I have the chance to get Zeiss 35 2.4 and 50 1.4 to compliment my Panny 14 2.5 and Summilux 25 1.4
    Do you think that would work as a nice set for narrative filmmaking? Maybe in the future I can replace the Panny with more Zeiss.
    My other option is sell the Panny lenses and get a Rokinon cine lenses set.
    What would you do?
    Help! 🙂
    Thanks.
    Keep it up Noam, your work is truly inspiring.

    Reply
    • Noam
      February 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      Thanks again Flaaandeers. I do think that the two Zeiss lenses you are purchasing would compliment your existing two very well. I also do like the Rokinon lenses a lot, but haven’t tried all of them. For now I would stick with the two you are getting, or possibly get the 85mm Zeiss or 85mm Rokinon instead of the 50mm Zeiss. The 50mm is an excellent lens, but you will have a lot of “normal” lenses, without anything telephoto (not sure if you need that though). Also, many good 50mm lenses are quite cheap so if you were to purchase an 85mm rokinon for $349 and then a Canon or Nikon manual 50mm for another $200 or so, you could get a couple of very nice lenses for a fairly low cost. Hope this helps you!

      Reply
  • Flaaandeeers
    February 7, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    That helps a lot Noam.
    Many thanks.

    I’ll be expecting the details of your production. I’m really interested in knowing the gear that you’ve used (lenses, lighting, etc) and every other detail you can share with us. That footage looks amazing.

    About lenes, I think I will pull the trigger on those two Zeiss, and maybe in the future add a Rokinon 85mm.
    Also, if SLR Magic 25 0.95 is released with a nice price tag, maybe I will replace my Panny 14 and 25 with SLR 12 and 25.
    I just don’t like the focus by wire in Panny lenses.

    Congrats.

    Reply
    • Noam
      February 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      Absolutely – I will be releasing another post in the next few days I hope, so please keep an eye out for it. Great to hear that you have made your decision on lenses. I am also eagerly awaiting the SLR Magic 25 0.95 – I am really impressed with that company and the quality of their products and anticipate that may be an unbeatable lens for the price.

      Reply
  • Lorenzo
    February 23, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Hello Noam, I have two questions for you.

    I have a GH2 and I would take a GH3 for my upcoming feature film. Is it possible to integrate the images of the two cameras in the case of scenes in which the use at the same time?

    In another post you wrote that the lens through which you shoot the most is the Leica 25mm 1.4. I would like to ask how you solved the problem of “focus by wire” of this lens when you want to make a change focus with a follow focus. I have this lens and it is fantastic but for this problem I would be thinking about taking a Samyang 24mm.

    thanks

    Reply
    • Noam
      February 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm

      Hi Lorenzo,

      The GH2 and GH3 intercut exceptionally well. They have a very similar look and feel and you should have no trouble matching them. The one thing to be aware of, is that even when both cameras are set to the same white balance, the GH2 has a slight green tinge on it. This can easily be taken out in post, but it is good to be aware of that.

      The 1.4 is a great lens, but when I’m shooting anything with an AC/Follow Focus set up, I don’t even consider using it. It’s quite annoying to use with any FF setup because of the focus by wire and the size of the lens itself. With that said, for one man operating with no FF, it works well!

      I’m also looking into the Rokinon/Samyang 24mm. Hopefully will be able to do a review on their lenses in the near future.

      Reply
      • Lorenzo
        February 26, 2013 at 10:54 am

        Hi Noam,
        First, I ask forgiveness for not having thanked you for the work you do, your decision to shoot your second feature film with the GH2 convinced me to work on my own with this camera that I know quite well. We are bombarded with new cameras every day and sometimes we forget that it is the story we want to tell the most important thing!
        Soon as I have in my hands the Samyang 24mm and 85mm I also will not forget to do a review for you.
        Thank you and excuse my english google

        Reply
  • neng
    March 29, 2013 at 8:22 am

    I just shot a features film and compare to this Wow love it!! Better than Canon dslr…

    Reply
    • Noam
      April 5, 2013 at 1:08 am

      Thanks neng!

      Reply
  • Jordan
    May 3, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    This looks great! How were you able to overcome the noise commonly seen with the GH2? I have just started using Flowmotion V2.02 myself and love it!

    Reply
    • Noam
      May 6, 2013 at 4:27 am

      Thanks Jordan – I tend to shoot at low ISO’s and when I had to shoot above 800, I would use neat video to denoise (if necessary). In some cases the grain worked well, but often times I had to denoise in post. I find the GH2 with hack is actually fairly easy to denoise which is the good news!

      Reply
  • Badmoon
    May 4, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Your lighting, shot selection, and cinematography was completely beautiful on the trailer. I have also found your blog to be filled with very useful and unbiased information with real insight. I have read pretty much every article and really appreciate your artistic eye for detail and secrets to getting a cinematic look out of the Gh3, Gh2, and Blackmagic 2.5k. That being said, FCPX is a terrible program. They completely took the professional out of FCPX with that imovie magnetic timeline. Any person serious about editing should consider using Priemire Pro CS6 or just stick with FCP7. Priemire Pro has hover scrub which is nice for finding and organizing clips, a few extra effects and transitions, and works so well with After Effects CS6. FCP7 is still a really good editor and many pros I know have stuck with it especially with Motion graphics.

    Reply
    • Noam
      May 6, 2013 at 4:32 am

      Thank you very much! I’m glad you’ve found my posts valuable and appreciate your feedback.

      As for NLE’s, I don’t think of any of them as better or worse, simply different from each other. I think Premiere Pro, FCP 7 and Avid Media Composer are all great tools that in many cases could provide benefits over FCP X or over each other respectively. However, in most cases I find that editing in FCP X allows me to have much more freedom to try ideas and move more quickly than in other NLE’s and that’s why I tend to use it as my primary editor. It certainly could use some improvement in many areas (as could the other major NLE’s), but I would say that it is absolutely a professional tool. I regularly deliver work on FCP X that is broadcasted internationally and in some cases theatrically.

      Reply
  • Brian
    November 16, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Greetings Noam,
    I was wondering how I would be able to screen this film? I would really like to see it. It looks amazing.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      November 19, 2013 at 4:16 am

      Hi Brian – Thanks for the kind words. I’ll be sure to keep you posted when it’s out there for public viewing!

      Reply
  • Marc
    November 18, 2013 at 7:58 am

    What is the update on the film? Looks good.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      November 19, 2013 at 4:20 am

      Will let you know when I know!

      Reply
  • christophebailleau
    January 13, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Do you think is it possible to make an impressive shooting film with a sony nex-5n, i have received one. If not, i would like to buy a blackmagic camera , or o pana gh3. What is better? Thanks ans Thanks a lot for your blog, very good and que full.. Christophe from Belgium.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 14, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      I believe you can make a great film with just about any camera. The NEX 5N can be a powerful tool when used properly, but like any camera shooting on a highly compressed format you just need to be extra careful about nailing your look and exposure in camera and not relying on ‘fixing it in post’. Thanks for visiting!

      Reply
  • christophebailleau
    January 13, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Do you think is it possible to make an impressive shooting film with a sony nex-5n, i have received one. If not, i would like to buy a blackmagic camera , or o pana gh3. What is better? Thanks ans Thanks a lot for your blog, very good and usefull Christophe from Belgium.

    Reply
  • Christopher von Greb
    February 13, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Hi Noam,

    Nice work! I also really love the GH2. Could you tell us what you used for sound, meaning did you shoot dual system and have a separate sound engineer, or did you do that in camera as well? Just curious what you did for that.

    Thanks very much!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      February 15, 2014 at 2:21 am

      Thanks! I did shoot dual system and my sound recordist handled the mic’ing and booming himself. I wouldn’t recommend rolling audio on the GH2 for narrative, but it is completely workable for documentary or corporate work.

      Reply
  • Brian
    November 25, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Hi Noam,
    I own a GH3 and was wondering if there were any settings in picture style you would recommend if I wanted to do some color grading in post. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      November 27, 2014 at 8:24 pm

      Hey Brian! I would use Standard and dial your contrast back as far as possible. That should do the trick.

      Reply
  • Joseph Scholl
    August 9, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Hey Noam, I have thought this project looks awesome for about a year. I can’t find any publication of it. Has it ever been released?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      August 19, 2017 at 4:11 am

      Actually, no! I never released the film, but I may one day…

      Reply
      • Joseph Scholl
        August 24, 2017 at 4:52 pm

        I really hope so! I read this when I was looking at purchasing the gh2 last fall, and I was intrigued.

        Reply
  • Howard
    September 8, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    Hi Noam, all great stuff. I’m finishing up a feature shot with hacked GH2 and wondering if you sharpened up your film in post. If so wondering by how much. I have not see any of my footage on a large screen so it’s hard to tell what it will look like. Again thanks for all the good advice.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      September 14, 2018 at 8:41 pm

      Hey Howard – no, we didn’t do any sharpening at all! Contrast on your feature too, would love to see it at some point.

      Reply
  • Howard Friedman
    September 17, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Thanks Noam, would love to show it to you when done.

    Reply

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