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Old August 11th, 2002, 07:47 PM   #16
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Tadpole shot in 4:3 interlace mode???

I read in an article saying the following about the movie "Tadpole"

This story of the innocence of youth was shot with three Sony PAL PD- 150s. The cameras were set to 4:3 aspect ratio and kept in interlaced scan mode. The film was edited in PAL on a Macintosh G4 powered Final Cut Pro system. It was made for $150,000 but sold for nearly $5 million!

Could anyone explain to me why they opted to shoot the movie in 4:3 and interlaced mode instead of the frame mode? I always thought that the frame mode would give it a more dynamic picture quality and more film like look to the footage.

Does anyone know how they can get footage looking this well with interlaced footage???

Without the slight delay in the refresh rate of the picture, normal interlaced mode footage looks very video like the news...

Daniel
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Old August 11th, 2002, 07:54 PM   #17
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According to the article on "Tadpole" in Filmmaker Magazine, the film look was added in post. We've found that interlaced mode works better when transferring to 35mm. You can still get the look of film with Cinelook and other After Effects plug-ins.

Consider this: Probably the best-looking digital film released this year so far has been "The Fast Runner," shot on a Sony Widescreen HD Betacam (The one that costs 150 grand). It also was shot in NTSC, not PAL. The rules are a-changing.

Doug
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Old August 11th, 2002, 08:10 PM   #18
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So go for film look in post???

Hi Doug,

I thought that the films "tadpole and Personal Velocity were projected digitally and that the filmmakers did not make a film print until it went national. Does that mean that the sundance screening would not have looked as good as the public cinema version?

Since I don't think I'll have money to get a film print, does that mean if I were to shoot in interlaced mode, and achieve the film look with software plugins in post production, I have a better chance of getting a bette quality image then if I opt for the digital enhancements within the camera?

I am shooting a feature film in two months time and although I am happy with the frame movie mode of the XL1s, I just can't see to replicate the images of these films...

Will I have better luck if I invest on the plugins and the digital enhancements for picture quality?? Because I have always heard people say that you want to get the cleanest picture you can and worry about the enhancements in post...

any advice?

Thanks

Daniel
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Old August 11th, 2002, 09:31 PM   #19
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Daniel:

There are a lot of varibles to take into consideration for any shoot. Are you shooting a film that will be transferred to 35mm? 16mm? Or will it remain video? It has been our experience that DV shot in interlaced mode produces the best results when transferred to 35mm, but we shoot most of our video that is destined for film in PAL, not NTSC, which means different frame rates, different resolutions, etc. When we shoot footage destined for US video, we shoot in NTSC. Our news clients insist on interlaced video, not frame rate. Our documentary work is generally shot in frame mode. Again, the target medium determines the shooting mode. We are also starting to work in Widescreen HD, which means a whole new learning curve.

Both Tadpole and Personal Velocity were shot on PD-150s, which doesn't have a "frame mode" in the same way as Canon, but does offer progressive scan, which was I understand was used in both films (in PAL).

The DP on Personal Velocity had a lot of film experience and shot the DV with that in mind. Not so with Tadpole, which apparently required more work in post.

Remember that frame mode on the XL1S is 30 fps in NTSC and 25 fps in PAL. Film is 24 fps (as is HD Betacam digital video). If you want to transfer your video to another medium, I'd recommend that it is best to start with the best quality master you can create before going into post.

Doug
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Old August 12th, 2002, 12:49 AM   #20
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I saw "Ivans XTC" projected theatrically in a 35mm print. It was an extremely engaging film, very intense. However it was immediately obvious to me that it was shot digitally, and in some instances very sloppily. Certain scenes had a particular lyricism visually, partially due to being shot in available light that would not have translated well to film capture (would have required high speed stock pushed several stops, causing much grain build-up). Others had plenty of aliasing, ugly blown out windows and excessive strobing (I had to look away from the screen during one handheld scene).

Bernard Rose strikes me as very high on this "digital revolution" primarily because it allowed him to make his film outside of the studio system, which had screwed him previously in his career (worth reading about it if you can find the chronology, a sad and cautionary Hollywood Babylon tale). He's got a significant and political bias, so I find it hard to swallow his assessment of the visual appeal of the medium.

I have just returned from a film festival in Palm Springs, where a short that I shot a while back screened along with seven others in a particular program, on a 40 ft. screen in a 500 seat theatre. Six of the shorts were shot on either 16mm or 35mm, and mine and another were shot on DV. The other DV project was shot available light, mostly handheld and coming directly on the heels of a solid hour of film material (all nice-looking, and some of it truly exquisite) it was a shocker to be faced with the look of straight-up DV being digitally projected. The short I shot was a sort of hybrid really, since it was lit and composed in a filmic style--but it was still shot on an XL1, not an Arri, and both the director and I felt a bit uncomfortable with the inevitable visual comparison to the film pieces. (Had it been a purely DV based screening, it would have been a different ball of wax).

We received positive feedback after the screening, and several commented favorably on the look of the film. We had a long conversation with the group that produced one of the shorts that I felt was the best in the program, which was shot on 35mm. We congratulated each other, and they mentioned that although they could immediately tell our project was shot digitally, they liked how it looked--for digital. Meanwhile, I was able to compliment them without qualification for the look of their film.

Call me old-fashioned, but for all of the wonderful freedom that digital provides, I have a hard time being largely enthusiastic about it from a purely visual standpoint. Had "Ivans XTC" been shot on film (i.e. if they had the budget available to do that) it would have been at least as good, I think. It succeeds as a film because of strong writing and acting, and some very powerful choices (the last twenty minutes is as chilling as it gets on a human level).
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Old August 12th, 2002, 07:36 AM   #21
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<<<-- Originally posted by Charles Papert :

Call me old-fashioned, but for all of the wonderful freedom that digital provides, I have a hard time being largely enthusiastic about it from a purely visual standpoint. -->>>

Charles:

I think you've hit on the problem that many of us face. As a long-time still photographer, I'm torn between the advantages of digital versus the depth of film. Nearly all of my photojournalism work these days is digital (both still and video) but when I do something for myself, I usually load some Fuji in my F5 or some 5263 into my Arri. Digital pays my bills but film satisfies my creative needs. I love the convenience of digital but I doubt I'll ever give up film entirely.

Doug
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Old August 12th, 2002, 07:52 AM   #22
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<<<-- Originally posted by Doug Thompson : <<<-- Originally I love the convenience of digital but I doubt I'll ever give up film entirely.

Doug -->>>

I would have to agree also. If I went strictly digital, I would have to give up my beloved Holga 120S. As Doug mentioned digital typically pays the bills.
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Old August 12th, 2002, 08:10 AM   #23
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<<<-- Originally posted by Paul Sedillo :

I would have to agree also. If I went strictly digital, I would have to give up my beloved Holga 120S. -->>>

Ohmigod, a Holga? How much tape do you have on it to keep light out? And I thought I was a collector of oddball cameras.

Doug
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Old August 12th, 2002, 08:12 AM   #24
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Re: Tadpole shot in 4:3 interlace mode???

>>Could anyone explain to me why they opted to shoot the movie in 4:3 and interlaced mode instead of the frame mode?<<

For one I don't know if they did shoot it in 4:3. I could swear I read somewhere that they used the widescreen lens adaptor but I could be wrong. The movie was widescreen though in the theater. Also, the PD150 doesn't have a real frame mode. The frame mode in the PD150 only records at 15 FPS. But keep in mind, what they did was shoot in interlace but then they de-interlaced in post! That to me seems to be the best way to go. It's basically frame mode after that... just done in post instead.

>>Without the slight delay in the refresh rate of the picture, normal interlaced mode footage looks very video like the news<<

When outputting to film it's best to shoot in PAL since the frame rate is so close to film and the transfer to film easier. It's my belief that is one of the most important aspects of getting the film look - the frame rate. NTSC is 30fps which makes motion look quite different then film's 24fps. But again, there are other things done in post to get the look as well. Just keep in mind... before you start doing all this experimenting make sure to have an untouched master tape as a backup.


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Old August 12th, 2002, 09:49 AM   #25
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<<<-- Originally posted by Doug Thompson : <<<-- Originally
Ohmigod, a Holga? How much tape do you have on it to keep light out? And I thought I was a collector of oddball cameras.

Doug -->>>

Yes it is quite the tape ball when I get done. Have you ever shot with one? They are a bunch of fun.
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Old August 12th, 2002, 09:54 AM   #26
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With the introduction of the mini35 from P+S Technik, HD, combinations of anamorphic methods on miniDV (www.operafilm.com/dvscope.html), the release of software like Magic Bullet and a strong knowledge of post tricks I see no reason whatsoever to shoot film when aquiring for dramatic work in SD and HD broadcast. When it comes to the big screen HD and SD still have a bit to travel (even if HD has many advantages films does not have). Video most often look really bad but that's mainly because it's shot by people who has not yet grasped the full potential of the medium.

After fifteen years of shooting film I'll probably never work on film again.
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Old August 12th, 2002, 03:06 PM   #27
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<<<-- Originally posted by Paul Sedillo :Yes it is quite the tape ball when I get done. Have you ever shot with one (Holga)? They are a bunch of fun. -->>>

Never shot with one or even seen one. Ah, the stuff of legends.

Doug
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Old August 12th, 2002, 04:23 PM   #28
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<<<-- Originally posted by Doug Thompson : <<<-- Originally posted by Paul Sedillo :Yes it is quite the tape ball when I get done. Have you ever shot with one (Holga)? They are a bunch of fun. -->>>

Never shot with one or even seen one. Ah, the stuff of legends.

Doug -->>>

Believe it or not I bough mine from WalMart online. I seem to recall paying $15.00 for it. You can find them online fairly easy. Just do a Google search if you are interested.

They are quite a bit of fun.
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Old August 19th, 2002, 08:20 AM   #29
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Like a sitcom

I thought the movie looked great! I saw it projected on film; I wish I could of seen it projected on video but oh well. no theatre around here projects video.
Was I crazy or did the the film transfer add a noticable amount of grain to the image?
Also it was alot of fun and very exciting to be watching a film originated on video in a theatre with another film that uses video (Full Frontal) playin and is that new Jennifer Anniston film on video as well, cause I saw the trailer for that.
The script for tadpole was all right...it was fun. Like a sitcom. The ending, I don't know, I think the movie was a mix of the graduate and rushmore but ended not nearly as well as either.
All in all an exciting night at the theatre!
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Old August 19th, 2002, 09:25 AM   #30
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the audience was there

The audience was there! THey all sat through a digital video production and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
The film had such a great energy, something that alot of films seem to lack. people just want to be entertained and challenged and they could care less if we originate on film or video or ntsc or pal or whatever.
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