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Old March 15th, 2007, 07:06 AM   #16
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It's certainly your decision to make. But the 'film look' is much more than just the frame rate. (Depth of field, lighting, grain, gamma response and lattitude all go into the mix)And the frame rate is rarely apparent in a static interview situation. A talking head is a talking head. Frame rate shows up much more in motion related aspects of the shot.

24p will give you a nominally smaller file on compression for web distribution, so that's a plus. And it will show up in camera movement and action sequences. It's also a no-brainer if you're planning a transfer to film at some point. (The primary reason I shot in 24p for the docs I was working on.)

My advice is to do a test shoot with the camera you have. Set up and LIGHT an interview situation similar to what you'll be shooting for the doc. Shoot some 24p and some 30p and some 60I footage. Same thing for some stuff 'on the street' then compare 'the looks'.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 08:25 AM   #17
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It's certainly your decision to make. But the 'film look' is much more than just the frame rate. (Depth of field, lighting, grain, gamma response and lattitude all go into the mix)And the frame rate is rarely apparent in a static interview situation. A talking head is a talking head. Frame rate shows up much more in motion related aspects of the shot.

24p will give you a nominally smaller file on compression for web distribution, so that's a plus. And it will show up in camera movement and action sequences. It's also a no-brainer if you're planning a transfer to film at some point. (The primary reason I shot in 24p for the docs I was working on.)

My advice is to do a test shoot with the camera you have. Set up and LIGHT an interview situation similar to what you'll be shooting for the doc. Shoot some 24p and some 30p and some 60I footage. Same thing for some stuff 'on the street' then compare 'the looks'.
While I do concur that other elements such as depth of field, lighting, grain, gamma, and latitude can add up to a specific type of film look, I do believe that it is the motion of 24P that is singularly most important in a "film" look. After all, in film you can find plenty of examples of deep focus, flat lighting, zero grain, on and on; and conversely if you shoot 60i with a shallow depth of field, on a well lit set, with grain added, whatnot, it's still just gonna be the evening news, a game show or reality show, or a soap opera.

It certainly does become slightly harder to differentiate without movement in the frame, but the difference is very much there, playing it's temporal trick on our eyes and brain. To me, 24P is simply more visually pleasing, and I'm not alone. If I remember there was at one point in time (thinking the 50's here), a guy who shot a film 60P, and then projected 60P as well, and people reacted strongly that they did not like it, felt it was "too real".

With how little modern science really knows about our brains, it's hard to say exactly why this phenomena exists, although I have my own theory - 60i or 60P is perhaps a little too close to our own mental image processors, at least much closer than 24P, thus we have less work to do in contructing the images in our head, therefore our level of actual mental fantasy is lessened, as we do not have to work nearly as hard to make images in our heads at 60i as say we would at 24P. This level of engagement at 24P makes us more susceptable to getting to the point of emotional response, reaching us at more of a viceral level.

This is why, to me at least, 24P is more than just a look, it's more like a "feeling", whereas 60i is just more immediate, colder, harsher.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 09:01 AM   #18
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The importance of the frame cadence is diminished by the lack of motion within the frame. Hence my comments about talking heads being talking heads. 24p is one element of the film look, but again, depending on how it's all assembled and what the setting is, it may or may not be the most important aspect for imparting that look.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 09:13 AM   #19
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To me 24p is an artistic effect. If you want it to be real then don't use 24p!!! Making a feature where mood is to be protrayed involves the image style and sound too. If the attempt is to re-create the feeling of being there, looking through a window, then the motion artifacts of 24p and lack of depth of field ( needed to cover up the motion artifacts)will destroy this image, its not what we see in real life.
I have to admit I dislike the film image and find the increasing use of 24p on TV very annoying, especially in documentaries where I would like to view the output as if I was there, high definition, high frame rate, large depth of field and latitude. Almost the exact opposite of the 24p look!!!!!!
For fiction.. that's different use ANYTHING that will create the emotion intended.

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Old March 15th, 2007, 09:25 AM   #20
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The importance of the frame cadence is diminished by the lack of motion within the frame. Hence my comments about talking heads being talking heads. 24p is one element of the film look, but again, depending on how it's all assembled and what the setting is, it may or may not be the most important aspect for imparting that look.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 02:30 PM   #21
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Argh!

After seeing 100s of posts on and around the 24p issue I have to say this - TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT! 24p is not the holy grail of production, you could have a documentary shot on a $100 Sharp 8mm in full auto and as long as the subject, story, point, characters, editing, etc are good you will succeed. I've seen some pretty good docs shot by people who know next to nothing about cinematography but can ask good questions and edit half-way decent. The footage looked like home video BUT the story and emotion you got from it made you forget about that.

The current project we are doing is heavily influenced by NOT doing all the stuff most production groups do. We are using crazy angles, weird shutter speeds, odd exposure levels, and making certain footage that will NOT match between cameras. It's hard to explain but our vision is based more on reality and what is actually experienced than the "norm". It will be a challenge to edit, but rewarding once finished.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 02:49 PM   #22
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Back to the original question:

"Does anyone have experience shooting interviews and a documentary in 24P? Is there a consensus on whether or not this is a good idea to shoot doc interviews in 24p? "

You've heard from some of us who've shot in 24p, and why we chose it.

As to a concensus...

The answer would be "NO".

There is no concensus.

Back to my original inquiry, "Why 24p?" for YOU. Each has his own needs. Understanding what the frame rate does to the image visually AND subliminally is important to making your decision. Understanding that 'the film look' is more than just a change in frame rate - Also, understanding the technical limitations for various NLE's, and whether or not a film out is planned, etc. etc. etc.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 05:19 PM   #23
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Documentaries, prior to DV, and even prior to non-studio video, were only shot on film, which is 24P. There was even a point at which evening news segments, say on location from Vietnam, were shot on film. Personally, I find that when I see something that is 24P, it feels more "permanent", footage that will look as good 10-20 years from now as it does today. My feeling about 60i footage is the exact opposite, that it is "desposable", for immediate use only. By all means, use 24P.
Film speeds can be at any frame rate you set the camera to. The reason why the film standard is run at 24fps was to save money in film stock, not to achive a certain look. If you like this look, then use it. Me, I liked shooting 30p on the dvx100 more than 24p because of smoother motion, much in the same, I like shooting at half shutter speed rather than shooting frame mode on the canon xl1 and gl2. One thing the xh-a1 will give you is more image control parameters, which is probably more valuable to the look of your doc than 24p.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 05:26 PM   #24
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One consideration, the A1 does not do 24p. That could be the deciding factor for you...
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Old March 15th, 2007, 07:28 PM   #25
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One consideration, the A1 does not do 24p. That could be the deciding factor for you...
Canon's 24F seems by all accounts to achieve the same result as 24P does.

One issue will be if your NLE handles 24F. I've been researching this myself. Avid doesn't. Canopus does. Sony Vegas seems to be the consensus favorite for 24F on the PC. As for Macs, I believe Final Cut does handle 24F.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 07:35 PM   #26
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My Canon XL1s' 24F feature was not all that great for a PPRO final 24p workflow. I'd suggest two tests...

1. Shoot a 24f clip and see what a final 24f/p output will look like.

Then

2. Shoot a clip in 60i, then convert to 24p, see what that looks like.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 10:08 PM   #27
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Well I'm stuck on Premiere Pro (although I've been wondering about my decision after various system crashes and export bugs). So it is sounding like 24F is not ideal for this editing system. Anyone disagree with that?

Great comments from all! Thanks for the feedback. The best plan does sound like the "test both types out" plan, absolutely. Only problem is I don't have access to the A1 at this point, so I can't really test it out!... The 'real' look thing is a consideration. I like a lot of artistic license, but my doc is about truth being stranger than fiction, so I want people to be able to identify with it as being the real deal and not fiction. That being said, a cool look is where it's at for me. The A1 does have a lot of great features, very impressive camera... but point taken above as well, the FX1 is also a very good camera and at some point you have to completely stop on the equipment stuff and focus on the important stuff... the story!

Cheers,
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Old March 15th, 2007, 10:41 PM   #28
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My Canon XL1s' 24F feature was not all that great for a PPRO final 24p workflow. I'd suggest two tests...

1. Shoot a 24f clip and see what a final 24f/p output will look like.

Then

2. Shoot a clip in 60i, then convert to 24p, see what that looks like.
Marco, are you saying this problem is with PPro or with 24F?

I've read that 24F and 24P create essentially the same effect. I've also seen side by side clips of an XH-A1 and an HVX200 shot at 24F and 24P respectively. The differences seemed minimal, with neither being "better" than the other, IMHO.

So I'm very curious, do you believe the lesser quality you encountered was due to 24F or due to Premier? Thanks a lot!
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Old March 15th, 2007, 11:47 PM   #29
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I'm basing my opinion off of dozens of discussions in this forum on that very topic first off. My own experience with it has come out fairly decent but not as good as a true 24p camera or 24F with the cineframe software. There is a whole website dedicated to the "F" function, it is somewhere on this site. I'm with you though, it looks pretty close to 24p. BUT the workflow may be much more to deal with. If Canon has updated their 24F processing since the XL1s, then who knows, it may work just fine...

Here are a couple related-
http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=82024
http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?p=570109

Raw 24F search http://dvinfo.net/conf/search.php?searchid=999250
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Old March 5th, 2008, 12:21 PM   #30
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documentary question

So... I am shooting this documentary about independant bands etc. Well the question I have is more technical. Umm, my main cam is the canon xl2. I really want to shoot this thing in 24p mode. But for run and gun situations I am shooting with "regular" camcorders that only shoot interlaced footage. Like the Canon ZR90. Now, when editing, if I want to keep this at 24p, would it be ok to convert the footage from the ZR90 to 24p. Picture quality isn't that important. Not when shooting with that camera. I know that there'll be a huge difference in picture quality, but it's kind of the point.

So basically, can I still edit everything on a 24 fps timeline?

thanks
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