I am currently planning production for a corporate Racing based production shot in HD. We are sponsoring a car and printing our logos for the new car wrap and side of the transport truck. This car is similar to NASCAR, however it is a couple of series down in order to improve sponsorship pricing and we have negotiated full track access. This car will actually race and the shots captured from the racing scenes will be integral to the entire production.
Now that you have a little background, I will ask my questions. My first question is this. I usually shoot most of my productions with the Sony F350 in 24p, because I like the look. I know that with the cars moving at high speeds and shooting 24p, I am more likely to get shots that will not be nearly as smooth as shooting 60i. However, if is increase my shutter speed considerably (recommendations would be appreciated here) can I get good looking shots shooting in 24p. If it’s just a bad idea, let me know. If you have other recommendations for shooting race footage, especially camera setup, I would be thankful for that as well.
You might want to run this one by the guys in the Cinematography forum. I have done some of what you are talking about. My only observations is that interlaced anything is really terrible with high speed horizontal movement (which race cars tend to feature). Your best option might be to rent a camera that can capture overcranked progressive. Obviously RED would be awesome (and I've seen RED kits renting for as little as $1k per day). Alternatively I think the Sony EX3 can capture 60fps progressive HD. As I said, might want to check in with the local camera gurus over on the Cinematography forum though...
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Varicam shoots every frame rate between 1-60p and has ccd chips so won't show any cmos "jellovision" when you move the camera quickly. also, if you keep the cars centered in a panning shot, you won't suffer any motion blur.