Dion Beebe and Miami Vice Movie (Specifically Depth of field) at DVinfo.net

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Old July 27th, 2006, 07:45 AM   #1
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Dion Beebe and Miami Vice Movie (Specifically Depth of field)

Hey Comrades!

A common disappointment among us 1/3" CCD users is our inability to easily achieve shallow depth of field when emulating the "film look". Even 1/2" and 2/3" cameras are challenged in the same way.

This month's issue of American Cinematographer highlights ASC member Dion Beebe and his digital camera work on the "Miami Vice" movie, premiering this Friday. He used Thomson Grass Valley Vipers, Sony CineAlta T950 CCD Block Adapters and Sony Cine Alta F900s. Let me share a quote:

"We also decided that there were attributes of HD technology we liked and wanted to exploit, like the increased depth of field. Because of the cameras' chip size (2/3"), they have excessive depth of field that we decided not to fight, but rather utilize."

Even the big boys now go with increased depth of field. There should not be a stigma attached to wide depth of field. It all depends upon what your story calls for.
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Old July 31st, 2006, 04:09 PM   #2
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With most 1/3 chip cameras it looks like crapola to use increased depth-of-field, especially in exteriors. THATS why people are obsessed with shallow dof, because it's a film technique that can make cheap cam footage look more filmic.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 03:38 AM   #3
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we see the world with ultra deep depth of filed too

juts compare our own eyes with 35mm and HD or any video

it;s very similar. why we never complain our own eyes with deep DOF?

near 110 yrs of film history has been train us a shallow focus is film like or film look.

after all is story telling, i certainly like the shallow DOF, but if u r using wide angle or normal lens this unavoidable to have deep DOF, evenour own eyes

most important is try to use what u have, like MV, just get the video look as part of story.

50% of viewer have no idea it;'s video or film, they focus on story.

i shot 2 films on DV and still have same question every time people watch it , did u shoot on film?

JY
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 05:16 PM   #4
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From the same guy who shot parts of "Geisha" at T1.3 (anamorphic T1.3!!)

It worked for the movie, but it worked to emphasize a "video look" rather than a "film look." He wanted the movie to look like video, so he shot on it.

There have been great deep focus films of course (Citizen Kane), but deep focus was used for the exact opposite reason most people here use DOF adapters in this case (to differentiate from film.) Even Citizen Kane was a departure from soft style cinematography used to create a "weird" look.

Good movie, by the way, and some excellent and very innovative cinematography (although some parts were a bit sloppy.)
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Old August 15th, 2006, 12:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Yamamoto
juts compare our own eyes with 35mm and HD or any video

it;s very similar. why we never complain our own eyes with deep DOF?
JY
Actually, our own eyes have insanely shallow DOF. As an example, look at a : on a piece of paper. Stare at the upper dot and try to keep the lower dot in focus. Good luck.

One of the reasons why shallow DOF looks more "real" to us is for that very reason, it's more like the way we actually see. Deep DOF is jarring, surreal, and is quickly noticed because it is so different from the way we see. The whole "looking like film" is an interesting can of worms in its own regard, as throughout time the cadence and DOF of film have been developed to look "real" to us.

Back to the subject at hand though, I agree that the effect was used very well in Miami Vice, and I hope that this signals a wider stylistic departure from the strict rules of high-budget film making,
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