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Old July 16th, 2005, 10:26 PM   #1
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Realism or pessimism? (wake me up!)

A few years ago, a really upsetting new kind of shows made "waves" on TV: REALITY shows. A few years before that other kinds of shows were shaken by the advent of Digital Cinema (HD cameras) and shows "traditionally" shoot of film (16mm) have switched to HD (X-files). A few years before that movies shoot on 35mm (and intended for TV distribution) started being shoot on macaroni (16mm). Ok, you got the picture.
Back to "our days". HD is getting grounds. Consumer HD cameras?
Hi8 (back in 1992?) would have been a dream format for the 80's television.
Now HD is pretty much in everyone's hands (who can afford it and can generate a return on investment, producing a material that would SELL!!!)
Most of the new generation of "film makers" (is just the term, no kind of pun intended) have not touched a film camera, they are flipping from one NLE system to another and trying all that used to be TABU and only avail to Grande post houses. The same new generation, does not seem to have the patience (nor the tools that would have required) to "set up" a shoot and do it the "old fashion way". Most of the shoots are "gun and run" style.
More and more are shooting and less and less are watching.
50 years ago, there were a few movies made every year and everyone watched them. Now a day, people seem to be more interested to PAY!!!!!
repeat: PAY!!!!! to have THEIR SPECIAL EVENT MEMMORIES shoot (Weddings, etc) than ANY other show. Theatre attendance decreased steadily (and the trend continues) with the explosion of digital cinema (big screens) OK; we have big screens, we have hundreds of channels (no need to go over the quality of the programs) and countless DVD released (own your copy today- or at least rent it!)

Who cares any more about quality shows? Are there any quality shows?
Are the shows/movies that have A LOT of production value GRAVED into the making going to see REVENUE?

Is it not a bigger RISK to go for a BIG SHOW, rather than smaller and AIMED to a SPECIFIC market (or even made for direct customers) productions?

And if that would be the case, who on earth would care to get the "film look" (with all the work/equipment and trouble implies)???????????????
For what kind of show???????

Who would be PAYING for a production shoot on DV to get the extra production value? Is this a REAL market? Is this market capable to PRODUCE QUALITY and shows that would PAY?

To somehow summarize the above:

Is it not the future belonging to "just video" and this last "desperate attempts" to preserve the "film look" will be long gone before we know it?

I am anxious to hear anyone's working and EARNING a LIVING shooting or editing this kind of material opinion on the matter.

Last edited by Dan Diaconu; July 17th, 2005 at 06:08 AM.
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Old July 17th, 2005, 12:00 AM   #2
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Dan,

So sorry to say this, but your post seemed like a running sentence rant and I really didn't get the point even after reading it carefully several times. I'm sure alot of the viewers of this site would be more than willing to contribute an opinion if they knew the exact point of your post.

Your post was obviously heartfelt and passionate but would you consider editing it and making your question more understandable? Maybe I'm just too "simple" to get your message.... I hate reality shows as much as you seem to and I would love to rant along with you.

Much happiness,

Stephanie
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Old July 17th, 2005, 07:24 AM   #3
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Thank you Stephanie,
my previous post wasn't too concise.
Here it is again in a few(er) words:

Chaplin's DVD's sell for over $20. The film cameras used (on his first movies) did not even have a tacho to regulate the speed of film passing trough the gate! There was neither FCP nor Avid. Yet his movies still make me laugh and cry EACH AND EVERY TIME. I do not have this kind of emotions provoked by contemporary works (regardless the length of the worms)

Give a thousand monkeys 1000 Macs (or PC's) Do you get 1000 Shakespeare?

It seems the better/more affordable the tools, the less skilled craftsmen. Again:
The less it costs to produce a show, the more "garbage" we all get.
Paradox? Reality? Does it make sense?

We can "all" shoot and edit to tell "nothing"! What is "worth while" watching these days? Hasn't TV become just "chewing gum for the brain"?

We are EVERY DAY discussing the "tech" aspects of production (and post) and not much of "substance"! Is there any of it left?

To top it up: I see quite a few enthusiasts (myself included) going the extra mile to get the "film look" on video.
To shoot what????????????
Felix? (...and friends)

Is there a REAL NEED for it or just a trend and "mass hysteria"? Does anyone know the answer?

What kind of shows now a day would USE and PAY to get the “film look”?
Is there a market anymore for this extra mile? Or is just TV and nothing matters anyway, the show must go on and the shows WILL go on, with or without a film look. I’d be curious to hear from Charles. You got recently the Mini35. What did you shoot with it? I would like to understand the substance of this “trend” (if there is anything to understand and make sense of)
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Old July 17th, 2005, 07:59 AM   #4
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I have to agree with Stephanie, and even after reading your second post I'm not sure what the point is. Are you asking whether it's worth striving for a "film look?" Personally, I think that term has become such a cliche that it's meaningless.

But I see some very good work being done with video. I don't care whether something was shot on film or video as long as it is well crafted. Long before video came on the scene people were making lousy movies with film cameras too.

I read an interview with Spielberg as part of the WOTW PR blitz where he talked about how much he loved film as a medium, and not just the look of it but the feel of holding it in your hands and the physical action of cutting/splicing it. He said they edited the movie by actually cutting film which is almost unheard of today in Hollywood. This is part of his background and represents feelings which have formed over many years. For me personally, I can't identify with this since my film background was limited to the 8mm stuff I shot with my friends when I was 14 years old in the early 1960's :-) I don't feel any need to return to that...

But in the same interview Spielberg mentioned his upcoming collaboration with Lucas on the Indiana Jones sequel. He said "If anybody could convince me to shoot digital it would be George."
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Old July 17th, 2005, 08:13 AM   #5
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I think he is saying, you give a monkey a camera and a Mac, and you have network TV.
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Old July 17th, 2005, 08:16 AM   #6
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Same as it ever was, but the monkeys were using film cameras before...
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Old July 17th, 2005, 08:21 AM   #7
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And, going from banging the rocks together to using a Mac? Not really an advance... ;)
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Old July 17th, 2005, 08:39 AM   #8
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I could be wrong, but I think English is a second language for Dan? If that's the case, I applaud his effort to open a dialogue on film aesthetics in a second language. I couldn't do it in French, and I lived a year in Paris.

I took his rant to be an exasperation of the focus on technichal minutiae over content, no? A deep reading of similar threads on this board will eventually uncover the mantra "Content is King"... which is what I think most of us will admit to. In which case, how come so much crap makes it to the screen?

I think the answer is that there is so much more screen to fill. In a macro sense, you see the same phenomena in the news world. When all the news you were going to 'see' was crammed into thirty minutes in the evening... it was pretty much the most important stuff. Now that news is "entertainment" and profit driven... (remember, it's only recently that news divisions were expected to MAKE money)... you have to fill the airtime 24/7 with SOMETHING... ANYTHING that will keep people from turning that dial. And we know from advertising that SEX sells, and DRAMA leads... (If it bleeds, it leads)

So, to sum up my rant/response. "Yeah, there's plenty of crap floating in the pool... but the cream rises to the top..."

Hmmm.... not sure I want to go wading in that pool anymore.
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Old July 17th, 2005, 12:36 PM   #9
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Thank you all for chipping in.
“Less is more” so here it is:

1. Does it PAY (in today's world; see above at large explanations and logistics if need be) to get the "film look" (with all technical, financial and aesthetical implications) for a show?

2. What kind of shows would PAY the extra production value?

3. With a decreasing "trend" from drama to reality shows and now a day towards web intended material (mostly info, less artistic content) is there a "market" willing to PAY for extra quality?
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Old July 17th, 2005, 01:14 PM   #10
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I'm sure Sci Fi channel spends a pretty penny on their original series, like Stargate. History channel and Discovery channel both have a high quality to them.
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Old July 17th, 2005, 02:05 PM   #11
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Just a short response. Content "IS" still king, but I fear the king is dying. When you see a movie and find yourself engrossed in it, then you have to go see it several more times to catch how it was shot and look for technical features, it was shot with content. Does not happen that often anymore. Special effects have overtaken content as the dominating part, and that is sad.

I think the film look WOULD eventually die, except that it will eventually just be built straight into the cameras from the factory! After all, isn't that what most of the posts are here? Whose camera will have that great film look, without working at, just push the right button! Perhaps that is not really so bad, as the film maker can concentrate on content! That is if they do not have all those great special effects in it!

Mike
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Old July 17th, 2005, 04:32 PM   #12
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Although content should prevail over form, the real king (I think) is "budget". period. Have it, and you have it all, have it not, and all the meanings are lost in "whatever HIS majesty allows us to do”.
I must confess now: I have done something over the last three hours I haven't done for quite a few months now: watched TV!
I was curious to see first hand what "grabs" me. I found that "hard core info" (Discovery) was on top of everything else. We live in an explosion of information times. Net, TV, who's got time for "who-knows-who's" bed time story? Although there may be plenty of romantics out there with time on hands for that kind of shows, I think I got a glimpse at what the future lays ahead of us. On top of that, I found this link in my email box:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4681859.stm

But I do not think our times are more troublesome than the “sound picture” was a short while ago....(blimp-ing the big dinosaurs to be able to record sound... what a pain....)
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Old July 17th, 2005, 06:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Diaconu
Although content should prevail over form, the real king (I think) is "budget". period. Have it, and you have it all, have it not, and all the meanings are lost in "whatever HIS majesty allows us to do”.

That's it! That expains "Istar" and "Water World!" :) :)

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Old July 17th, 2005, 08:43 PM   #14
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Water World had at least some redeeming value! What about when the girl messed up Costner's boat, so he hacks off her hair? Then, the woman ends up the same way? That was hilarious!

Ishtar, on the other hand...
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Old July 17th, 2005, 08:54 PM   #15
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A quote from said link:

Paul Brett, a former head of exhibition and distribution at the British Film Institute (BFI), pointed out that a strip of celluloid has black bars dividing each frame.

Digital film does not have these and, as a result, "in layman's terms, it's 15 percent brighter."

- Now, I might be being stupid here, but does that sound like a total crock to anyone else??!

Sounds a lot like a guy who doesn't know what the hell he's talking about to me - it's not as if the black bars get somehow distributed across the frame!! Not to detract from the piece itself, which I'm sure in general is accurate - but that's what we've got to put up with over here.

No wonder the British film industry's in a shambles...
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