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Re: Article: Depth of Field: Gregg Toland, Citizen Kane and Beyond

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Robert Brown
Re: Article: Depth of Field: Gregg Toland, Citizen Kane and Beyond
on Jun 14, 2012 at 9:08:41 pm

[Tim Wilson] "Frame rate is going to be its own pile of worms -- is 60fps really cinematic?"

Well IMO 60 isn't cinematic and it's always been my opinion frame rate is one of the biggest differences between the film and video. My favorite example is to look at the difference between footage from a feature and compare it to behind the scenes footage shot at the same time with a video camera. The video footage looks soap opera-ish. I've also noticed the when using old style film viewers where I could control the speed, if I sped it up a bit it started getting video like to me.

Of course since some big features coming up are going to be shot in 48P so it seems a lot of people don't feel the same as I do but I feel slower frame rates are better for telling a story and say "then" while faster ones say "now". Another interesting thing is that a lot of TVs now have this motion estimation feature that essentially ups the frame rate. I can't stand that. It looks like video to me. I would be pissed if I were a director and saw my movie at Best Buy looking like that - but that genie is out of the bottle.
I guess my main point is I feel there is a retinal stimulation factor due to the frame rate and to me that has big creative implications.

And back to dynamic range the thing with film is that it captures a very high DR but that doesn't necessarily print that way. In the old days when you printed to film you had to pick the shadows or the highlights as the print film wouldn't register all the information there. You really see that on "Citizen Kane" for example. I originally saw that I think on 16mm at film school and it looked awesome and God knows how many generations down that was from the neg. A number of years ago the DVD came out that was all remastered and transferred straight from the neg all that and it looked terrible. The contrast and edge were gone and things like the make-up of the actors became much more fake looking. It had an entirely different feel.

But in reality all of these things are just factors that make up the whole and different people like different styles but I tend to find the grit and organic qualities of film really appealing for story telling and find it can be hard to get digital cameras to give that because they're so f'ing clean. But people seem to be figuring it out.

Robert Brown
Editor/VFX/Colorist - FCP, Smoke, Quantel Pablo, After Effects, 3DS MAX, Premiere Pro

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