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re: film look

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re: film look
on Feb 24, 2007 at 8:49:03 pm

Thanks for the prompt reply guys. So even TV movies of the week, and miniseries (back when they existed eg. Shogun, Roots,etc.) were shot on film? What about music videos (old and new), they're shot on film too?

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Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
Re: re: film look
on Mar 2, 2007 at 4:36:18 am

Yep, those movies of the week, etc., "Tonight on a Lifetime Original Movie, Meredith Baxter-Birney gets beaten with a rod..." are historically shot on film, predominately 35mm or S35mm film. It's worth noting though that a few primetime film series, either multicamera ("Working") or single camera ("Walker, Texas Ranger") were shot on 16mm.

There are a few shows now ("The Office") that are shot on HD. The 24p framerate does give more of a film look, but it still really just looks like very very good video. If nothing else, the almost infinite depth of field instantly gives it away as video.

High-end music videos are typically still shot on film.

As was said in the previous thread, hardware though is just a piece of the puzzle, and not necessarily the biggest piece. Direction and DP work have just as much to do with the look as does the medium.

If you want it to look like film, the best way is to SHOOT film. If you want to force video to look like film, the best way to do that is to shoot HD 24P and use real cinema lenses with a depth of field converter, like the ones from P+S Technik. AND just as importantly know how to direct AND to light for film and know how to do it VERY well.

I've seen plenty of video that does look like film, but it was all from real cinematographers who knew how to shoot film well first. I've never seen good "film look" from guys who had only shot video.

We shoot both 35mm film and HD 24p with cinema lenses with DoF converter... when done very carefully we can intercut the two and no one can tell the difference. But it has to be done carefully with the right hardware and the right talent.

There is no "magic bullet" to make plain ol' video really look like film (even though there is a product by that name!). Just converting 60i to 24p doesn't create the complete look of film. Gamma curves, saturation, black levels and a zillion other factors can be tweaked electronically to better emulate filmstocks. As for depth of field, that really can't be done electronically, but rather mechanically (or more accurately, optically) with a good depth of field converter and great glass in front of the camera.


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