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Fracking Feature Documentary Shot w/ GH2 Driftwood 88mbs — Is GH2 Fit For Documentaries?
  • Trailer & intro to feature length documentary shot on GH2 driftwood hack (88mbs), transcoded w/ 5DtoRGB, edited in FCP, and color graded w/ CC3way:

    Looking for any thoughts on color grading, or general impressions; and for anyone who is familiar with fracking to help us spread the word about the film. I'm also curios about whether people think the GH2 is fit for documentary productions?

    Triple Divide » A Synopsis

    Triple Divide attempts to answer the question, “How are state regulations and industry handling impacts from fracking?”

    Actor Mark Ruffalo co-narrates this 18-month cradle-to-grave investigation by Public Herald, an investigative news nonprofit co-founded by journalists Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman. Triple Divide features never before seen interviews with industry giants and advocates, exclusive reports with impacted landowners, uncovered state documents, and expert testimonies.

    The film reveals how water contamination is being covered up by the industry and the state, essentially rewriting the history of water quality in Pennsylvania by dismissing predrill tests. Meanwhile, state regulators are using compliance as a means of regulating without enforcing the law, abandoning the public in the wake of shale gas development.

    Triple Divide’s title represents one of only four Triple Continental Divides in North America, a place that provides drinking water to millions of Americans and feeds rivers that reach three separate sides of the continent, signaling to the audience that everything, and everyone, is downstream from shale gas extraction.

  • 51 Replies sorted by
  • @Peternap @maxr @luxis @matt_gh2

    Thank you for the encouraging comments! There's definitely a lot of pressure being piled on the tables across PA. It's unlike anything I've ever seen.

    On another note: You can catch a glimpse of the film in this chapter, "Good Neighbor" which covers a nuisance case for a homeowner. It's mainly shot on a hacked GH1 (I think the GH2 was out shortly after we shot most of the scenes). Sound is a little rough... we used just the tascam Dr-100 onboard mics, until the end of the vid where you here a professor chime in. There's also a few GH2 shots at the end: the water fountain & chalkboard. Enjoy!

    The gentleman in the video had to purchase another piece of property out of state to rid himself of fracking. He was told by the realty company and banks that his home would be impossible to sell since the well pad was built so close to his property.

  • @jbpribanic Image looks great. Congrats

  • @yep! @jbpribanic Good luck with it! And as @peternap said "don't let the roadblocks stop you."!!!

  • Hey Joshua, may be a bit silly, but If it has been censored means that has something inconvenient and unapologeticall to it... which creates "alergies", specially when in contact with semi-hidden power nets.

    Bests of luck!!!

  • @jbpribanic I've been following this and there's nothing I can add that hasn't already been said. From what I've seen, you've done a great job!

    I'm the lobbyist for a rural affairs group and of course, pollution of the aquifers is near and dear to us. What you're running into is pressure from big business and the simple fact that burbanites get water out of the faucet and make the false assumption that what they get is pure. They simply don't care.

    The GH2 did well as you found out. You did well. Keep up the good work and don't let the roadblocks stop you.

  • Find out how Triple Divide got censored at the only festival we've submitted to since completing a final cut of the documentary: — "Film Festival Gags #Fracking Documentary as #Radiation is Discovered in Local Waterway" — is this how it's going to be for festivals and documentaries?

    In other news, based on available data Vimeo's VOD feature is taking around 12% for purchases. And, we'll be launching a national tour of Triple Divide this September, starting in Ohio and moving to California by the spring of 2014, covering 8 states in shale plays. If you or someone you know is interested in hosting a screening during the tour, get a hold of my partner melissa[at]

    We've also updated our website to include a "checklist" section for screenings: We've found this list to be most helpful for groups getting ready to promote a screening.

  • @driftwood no doubt. Although, I think it's crucial to get a good panny zoom (or any zoom) lens for the effect. We had the 14-140 at the beginning of the shoot, but it was stolen! A huge loss. We had to make it happen using all manual lenses, but it was a lot easier to setup a b-cam for someone and tell them to keep the action moving, harnessing in on the lens stabilization, and rake in solid shots for edit. I would suggest if anyone wants to have that shaky cam "documentary" feel while filming to be sure and pick up a good zoom.

    Also, the size of the GH2 made it a lot easier to walk into places and film. Especially in public areas, where most people thought we were shooting photos. Even now, no one really thinks you're filming with that camera. It's a great asset for candid shots.

    @luxis Thanks again!

  • @jbpribanic Thanks for bringing some light on an important issue. Recentlly, I have seen some, mostly American companies trying to push thru the law loopholes in eastern Europe with gas fracking, working with bribes and all the usual corporate dark practices, pretending its all good with bullshit PR stints etc.

    gh2: A friend of mine who is award winning doc maker recently got a gh2 and is very excited about it! ; ) thanks to VK, the previous poster :), LPowell,etc and all who contribute here of course! As a camera it keeps a very low profile and as such is great for certain types of docs especially, imho.

    All the best and keep the vibe alive!

  • Its fit for docs.

  • Thanks for the interest and comments everyone! I've been busy showing the film and setting up promotions, etc., but we've managed to build a new website full of new information: — we've also created an FB page for the film which could use some help from the film community: — and a new article on the pre-drill scandal revealed in Triple Divide is scheduled to be out next week.

    @maxr @ozoufonoun @BurnetRhoades @luxis Thank you all for the response and defense.

    @griplimited Thank you! @ricland send me a private message if you want to be a dick.

    @RBD I don't spend 18 months in research and 5 months behind the editing table to produce propaganda pieces. I'm an investigative journalist and with Triple Divide we were answering the question "How are the negative impacts from fracking being handled by the state and industry?" Every case in the film is backed up with extensive file reviews at DEP's office (some files can now be reviewed here: — w/ the rest to follow).

    Please watch the film before attempting to demote it. Most of the people in the film are republicans, and are not "of course pissed" — they initially wanted the drilling. Only one person in the film has a split-estate, the other 2/3 are neighbors to well pads; they're externalities.

    The film is based on the evidence available to the public and the science produced and distributed in documents by investigations from the state, industry, and federal gov. Also, hydraulic fractruting as a concept has been in practice for over 60 years, although fracking by way of "high-volume slickwater hydraulic fracturing" with horizontal drilling and upwards of 15,000psi to fracture shale formations using a mixture of complex chemicals (around 600 chemicals have been identified) is a new technology, only being used since 2003 in Pa., and for around 10yrs nationally.

    You mentioned American companies, but many of these companies are operating with headquarters outside the U.S., such as Shell or Halliburton. In addition, American companies are all too willing to claim energy independence, and in the back room prepare to sign contracts to export the gas to europe or china.

    This isn't a film about blame, it's about untold truths: illegally buried waste pits without fines, dismissed pre-drill tests without fines or enforcements, and a willful negligence from both the state and industry in regard constitutional rights, human health and safety. The environmental areas degraded in the film have an economic value for a number of reasons, but how are they not configured into the cost of drilling? A well pad that's built on top of an EV wetland is diminishing water quality in a state that receives 80% of its water from forested watersheds.

    My question about whether GH2 is fit for docs stems from people I've met in the field who do not believe that it is fit for docs. It's an honest question, posed to those who believe DSLR bodies are unsuitable for creating a good doc, and would result in out-of-focus shots and a lesser quality in the finished product.

  • Sheesh...

    After I posted, I noticed your title.

    Good try.

    A rhetorical question.

    Everyone on this forum knows the the GH-2 is better than good for documentaries.

    Blatently disingenuous.

    A nice strategy, but pretty much consistent with the intellectual honesty of the film.



  • Well... it's a propaganda piece.

    I won't comment on the science, as my degree is in English Lit., but I'm smart enough to hope it's more even-handed that the interview with the property owners.

    Of course they're pissed.

    But they must have known when they bought the properties that the mineral rights belonged to others.

    Had you interviewed the mineral rights owners... well, you know better than I that they're overjoyed.

    Because natural gas and crude are wealth.

    And, presumably, this is wealth that is going into American hands, as opposed to, say, pockets in Iran, or Iraq, or Venezuela or any of the other OPEC nations that have traditionally fed our insatiable appetite for energy.

    I've always been as concerned about balance of payments--i.e., the imbalance between our imports and our exports--as much as I've been concerned about national debt.

    War takes more forms than military, and only the gods know what the Chinese could do if they had a mind to destroy the US dollar.

    The overview is that the United States has been a monumentally self-indulgent nation.

    Over the last four years there have been some governmental attempts to increase automobile mileage, but, well, we've been infatuated with cars with more power--and pollution--than we could ever use.

    In my own state, California, we've been, so far, incapable of putting together high speed rail.

    It will take at least a decade to do what China did in a matter of a few years.

    And high speed rail takes cars off the the freeway, and is an efficient use of energy.

    The truth is, fracking is not a new technology.

    You know this.

    It's been in wide use for decades.

    As I said, I'll make no judgement on your science.

    Although I'll suggest that it's more than common to see well-intentioned efforts like this one sided.

    What I know for certain is that blaming domestic producers, and fracking, for environmental issues is like blaming your drug dealer for selling you your daily fix.

    Congratulations, of course, on the video issues.

    Well done.


  • I've been following this thread; in silence. It seems to me that now's getting a bit out of its "original intention". About the film and having only seen the clips in the thread, I got curious about this fucking, meant fracking problem and the story of the people affected by it; also it amazed me how much evolution (at least from an aesthetic-wrap-POV) it has had,

    kudos to Joshua and all people involved!!!

    Now, though ricland's response indicates some sort of... belligerent fellow, I must say in my subjective way of grasping the world he's entitled to say what he/she think/feels about it... or what's the problem...?... when you say "I like it" nobody's asking to further develop your POV/critique/comment, but if you say "I don't fancy the voice-off" you have to show your primus inter pares I.D. ?!!!! how could this possibly and positively be evaluated? another thing I always thought kind of funny (just let me get the chainsaw for punctuation) is this "rookie" thing of the forums.

    Many years ago, when dragons ate princes for breakfast, I was told if you hear someone heavily criticizing somebody's work is either because that person is very sure about his/her own work or because he/she knows very well the work which is criticizing. Never heard of having to explain because (having own perspective on subjective reality, "taste" or) an opinion.

    LOVE and a good weekend for U all


    @ricland... you hear the chainsaw, don't you?!!! jaja ajjajaja

  • Yep, just a good old fashion dick. How about you throw up your personal work on docu stuff and let us see how a real pro does it?

  • Sorry about being critical.

    How's this:

    It was beautiful, I loved it. It was like having a religious experience watching this clip. Does Spelberg know about your work? How about Cecil B. Demille?

    Is that better?

  • way to go Joshua. I'm a big fan of Promiseland and although it was minute compared to the scale of this, it helped open me up to fracking.

  • @vicharris once things got rolling I too was just watching and listening and not thinking about what it was shot on, which, ideally, is as it should be I think. It just looked good. Lots of documentaries just up front look like crap, just a guy with an ENG video camera, not even trying, to the point that the visuals are simply there to avoid begging the question "why wasn't this produced as a radio program?" or written as an essay or book.

    I can give docs that rely on lots of hidden video the benefit of the doubt, and a little slack (for instance THE AMBASSADOR is rather amazing regardless of its poor visual quality). It's not often you see the potential for one to equally stimulate the audience on a visual and aural level as well as engage their brain. I like it.

  • @ricland Yeah dude, just leave if that's how you start off a post in a forum but I'm sure you're just a troll so it's all cool :)

  • @ricland

    In addition to working on writing posts that read with a modicum of respect, please get your composers straight. Holst, not Wagner.

  • How about a Troll Dick? Maybe a Dick Troll? Or maybe a D-Bag Troll. I could be pushing too hard though. Probably just a good old fashion dick :)

  • @BurnetRhoades @vicharris +1 @ricland Are you a troll? The first comment you wrote as you joined?

  • BTW, like I always say, while I was watching, I forgot that I was looking at GH2 footage and became immersed in the story...and that's as good as anyone can do. Great job! BTW, we're dealing with this in Culver City, CA right now so I was especially interested in the story. We'll rent it soon!

  • Asking for comments at a place like this, versus what you might get from random people, might sound like a good idea but it's a trap. Take everything you read here with the same grain of salt as the man on the street.

  • sound track all wrong.

    also -- narration dull, uninspiring.

    Finally, all those beautiful landscapes a little tedious -- there should have mixed them up with old farmhouses, rusted mailboxes, soaring eagle... you get the idea.

    And to repeat, get rid of the Wagner.