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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
  • Love the cinematography. Great intro shot. I just shot a doc on the GH2 and GH13 called "Turkification" in Turkey this summer. I think there are advantages and disadvatages for doc use with the gh2.

    For one, I should have brought a damn zoom lens, I only had primes, and although the shots looked fantastic switching lenses sometimes was a hassle when an oppoortunity would come up unexpectdly.

    Second, it's great for these kind of stable shots, of which you had plenty, but if you have a lot of handheld, these DSLRS can sometimes be a pain. In my opinion. But footage looks great, thing I would say is the shots of the map looked abit overexposed to me.

  • @jbpribanic Thank you for producing a documentary (VERY well shot from what I can see in this trailer) on such an important topic which can be used to educate many on the dangers for our environment from hydraulic fracturing aka "fracking."

  • @cupanudles Thank you! It is certainly a point of climax for our society in relation to energy, philosophy and resources. There are so many facets to this, and not enough pails to go around.

    @n5p We had a 14-140mm panny zoom lens that a newbie used on the set, which worked out great, but in the first month it was stolen and we never had enough of a budget to pick a second one up. The stabilization on the zoom was key, we could use it handheld in interviews with decent light and it was perfect. After losing the zoom we were stuck with primes and basic equipment: cowboy rig, tripod, custom slider, fly-cam stab; but they did the job I think. The best part about using the GH2 is two things: people weren't as intimidated by it (shot w/ a french filmmaker one day who had big cam and audio and people had the deer in the headlights look), and it looks like a photo cam so many times (under the right condition) you can be capturing a raw moment in video when people think it's just a photo cam.

    Since this is my first film, and I haven't had a chance to work with many of the traditional shoebox cameras, I can't give the best comparison. I know that audio was tough since everything was off-cam, but I think it paid off in the end.

    Josh Fox worked with us one day during a file review at a state office and he used on of the panny P2 cams, and for run-and-gun it couldn't be beat... unless you had someone on a DSLR with lightning smooth reflexes and a proper zoom lens.

    About the map, my partner said the same. I had to overexpose it to get rid of the insane amount of text in the map that made it hard to focus on the three spots we were identifying. Had plans to print out a large simple looking map, but $80+ at staples for a decent print wasn't cutting it, when the around the corner $8 school map did the job. I'll keep the exposure opinions in mind when we test-screen it. Thanks for the feedback!

  • Good work @jbpribanic. Have you thought about approaching Discovery Channel with this? Best of luck.

  • @driftwood Right now we're applying to festivals, but we have no plan, as of yet, for getting it to a broadcaster. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Wonderful looking shots, I think you used your resources quite well and the colors look gorgeous. Might I ask what primes you were working with?

  • Loved everything about it. As well as everything others have already said, I wanted to compliment you on the typography as well. That's something I always look for, and you really nailed it.

  • @RyanPW Thanks! I used Minolta MD/MC 28mm, 50mm, 100mm, & Rokinon 14mm.

    @Sangye Thank you, I see typography as a make it or break it, especially for later in the film where people are saturated with information. Good to hear we're on the right track.

  • YO JBP great coloring and shot selection

  • really great. incredibly filmic and beautiful images.

  • Very nice. Definitely draws one in.

  • wow superb @jbpribanic try cluster v8 or v9 for your next project

  • @Bueller @Christianhubbard @mee @rajamalik Thank you! Great to hear you like what we have and that it's drawing in the viewer.

    @rajamalik What's Cluster all about? I'm suppose to be shooting a group of commercials for a law firm in the winter (first solo job)... would it be better to use Cluster?

  • @jbpribanic cluster is not a top notch. Its developed to spans in most sdhc cards. To shoot commercials take sednas,canis or mysteron.

  • A bit of critical advice here. I found the story moved too slowly. To me it appears as though the nitty gritty is how fracking could effect this key watershed, so let's get to it! Say a 45 second intro to talk about the importance and beauty of the area, and then the big BUT and introduce the fracking and all the inherent problem. Then maybe leave us with the question of how this will play out ... leave us wanting more.

    Hope that's helpful.

  • Thanks @Ricochet. Would you have the same suggestion if the story was 100min? In the next section we explain fracking for 8min... Then it goes into our investigations about the area you watched in the opening, from there into how DEP handles natural gas pollution cases, and onward.

  • Here's a few more clips from one of our ten chapters in the film:

    We transcribed the script of this chapter and made available the docs we researched here:

    Anyone have any thoughts on the transition at the beginning?

  • I'm a HUGE believer in protecting our water, especially drinking water and the Great Lakes. When and where is your screening in Potter Country? I'm a bit north of you near the Genesee River & Lake Ontario.

    I'm sending you a private message....

  • Here's a new set of clips from Triple Divide, and another way natural gas well pads can contaminate groundwater. Meet Judy & Judy.

    Complete article on the topic with a set of Judy's file:

  • good stuff, man. Be encouraged

  • @davhar Thank you!

    New Triple Divide Chapter on Vimeo:

    In Pennsylvania, mineral rights trump surface rights and tax paying homeowners are left in the dark on their lifelong investment. For David Barndt in the documentary film Triple Divide, paying taxes on a split-estate does not guarantee you right to your land.

    Read more about Split-Estate & Forced Pooling @

    Learn more about Triple Divide Documentary @

  • i think youve definitely done a pro job here

  • Thank you @leftedit ! Feels good to get the work online after a year in the box.

  • @jbpribanic native rendering is the way - everything else expects break your movies

    but, Fracking is Bullshit - thanks for you protest

  • UPDATE: We've finished our post-production for this documentary and have rebuilt the website:

    Our new trailer can be seen here:

    And you can watch the film online via VOD:

    Thanks again to everyone for their input on the film and for taking time to watch the final product. Cheers, Joshua