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Old January 13th, 2005, 02:14 PM   #1
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30p or 24p for documentary?

We're shooting a movie that we have a faint hope of transferring to film some day, but are realistically figuring that it will go video/DVD only in the end. Any reason to shoot one over the other? We've been doing tests of both to check looks, but anyone want to jump in as to why we would go with one or the other for the whole thing? What about alternating between both?

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Arne
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Old January 13th, 2005, 05:44 PM   #2
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If you shoot 30p you can just forget about going theatrical. Transfer houses like dvfilm will tell you that 30p is a no no. Why not shoot at 60I or 50I? 24p video is not really good for fast moving hand held cameras, which is something that is very common to most documentaries.
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Old January 13th, 2005, 06:59 PM   #3
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I would go with 30p personally - even given the film out problems. It depends on where the documentary is going and/or who it is being made for.
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Old January 13th, 2005, 07:05 PM   #4
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The problem with 30p is that you can't distribute it in either a theatrical film format, or in PAL regions. 30p is horrible for wide distribution.
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Old January 13th, 2005, 10:26 PM   #5
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Yeah, I would go with 60i/50i on this one. Look, 24p and 30p are terrific and all, but the same look and frame rate can be achieved through software by 60i/50i frame rate conversions. Big movie successes aren't typically winners just because they've been done in 24p or 30p, but if either one of those is what you really want to go with then go with 24p because it is more film-out friendly and it looks terrific if done correctly. But the answer would be a lot simpler if you told us exactly what the movie is about.

Romantic Comedy with no panning scenes = 24p Goodness

Drama with no panning scenes = 24p Goodness

Action with combat and moving action scenes = 24p sloppiness

30p = VERY expensive and difficult to do right a'la "28 Days Later"
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Old January 14th, 2005, 01:32 AM   #6
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Thanks folks...we're shooting a verite documentary...so far the footage fromthe DVX has been beautiful. We've been slowly working out the complexity of it, but it's really shaping up. Though I realize it's more difficult, I don't know if we can ever go back to interlaced. We accidentally shot one scene in 60i, and it looked wierd to us, cheezy in a way.

Anyhoo, sounds like of the "p", 24p is the way to go. While film out is a distant possibility, we certainly wouldn't want to preclude it.
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Old January 14th, 2005, 12:17 PM   #7
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30p = VERY expensive and difficult to do right a'la "28 Days Later"
For clarification, that film was shot on PAL XL1 cameras in frame mode, so the motion signature would be that of 25p, not 30p.
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Old January 14th, 2005, 06:47 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Barry Green : For clarification, that film was shot on PAL XL1 cameras in frame mode, so the motion signature would be that of 25p, not 30p. -->>>

Really Barry? I didn't know that. I thought the Frame Mode shot at 30p in the US and European models. Neat peice of trivia there, Barry, thanks!

Not to change subjects here, but wouldn't this mean that the XL1/S were the first cameras to have a 25p mode in Europe? Not the DVX100/A?
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Old January 14th, 2005, 07:09 PM   #9
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It's not actually 25p, it's "frame mode", which on the PAL camera simulates the look of 25p progressive scan, but at much lower resolution.

They chose the PAL XL1 specifically because of the filmlike motion of the 25p-simulation frame mode. The DVX wasn't out yet, so the only DV camera on the market with the ability to deliver filmlike motion was the PAL XL1.

Frame mode simulates 30p in the US, 25p in Europe.

The first 25p DV camera was probably the original Canon Elura or Optura; those ran at 30P in the USA so I'd assume they ran at 25p in Europe. I believe Canon discontinued the progressive CCD in their subsequent models, but the originals had legitimate progressive scan.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 09:51 PM   #10
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24P for shooting a documentary?

I'm about to start a documentary shoot. It will involve a lot of interviews. I have never shot 24P before, only standard NTSC stuff. I am considering switching cameras from FX1 to Canon A1 in large part for the 24P feature and then shooting the entire doc in 24P.

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?

Thanks for any feedback, I have to make my decision pretty quick here on whether this is going to be a 24P or a regular NTSC shoot.

Cheers,
Michael
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Old March 14th, 2007, 11:09 PM   #11
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What's your final delivery medium? Do you plan to transfer to film? Self distribute DVD'? Cable distribution?

Why does 24p appeal to YOU?
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Old March 15th, 2007, 12:51 AM   #12
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Mainly, I think the film look ads some quality and makes it look a little less 'video' like. I think it ads value in the viewers mind and ads a little more flair to the project, creates more of an artistic viewpoint.

That being said, it is going to have a lot of interviews and the message is the most important thing. So mainly, I'm wondering if docs with lots of interviews work out well in film or 24 fps or if the 29.97 gets a bit of a cleaner message across.

Like I said, I've never shot 24 fps, but I do like the look I'm getting from my fx1 on the 24cineform setting, just that it looks too digi for me. I haven't actually shot an interview at that setting yet either. So I'm wondering what format other interview and street action heavy docs are typically choosing here, 29.97 or 24 fps?

My output is dependent on the quality of my final product. The first place it's going to be shown, as an ongoing piece rather than a one time finished product, is online...
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Old March 15th, 2007, 12:53 AM   #13
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Also though, yes DVD, most likely self distribution, big screen (movie theatre) but most likely dv projector film festival styles.

Broadcast tv, I think that's a little ambitious for this project.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 03:26 AM   #14
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it's your documentary and your formulation of an argument. You can do whatever you like because it's really your vision of what oyu want to get across :)


Many documentaries shoot 24p. on a technical stand point, make sure you won't run into troubles with editing softwares or output.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 06:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Barrette View Post
I'm about to start a documentary shoot. It will involve a lot of interviews. I have never shot 24P before, only standard NTSC stuff. I am considering switching cameras from FX1 to Canon A1 in large part for the 24P feature and then shooting the entire doc in 24P.

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?

Thanks for any feedback, I have to make my decision pretty quick here on whether this is going to be a 24P or a regular NTSC shoot.

Cheers,
Michael
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.

Last edited by Todd Mattson; March 15th, 2007 at 07:03 AM. Reason: clarity
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