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Old July 5th, 2009, 12:18 PM   #16
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I just see a 'look' when I watch a film. I find it rather hilarious when someone derides a fully professionally made movie because it looks like this or that. If something looks like video or HD or whatever then that is the look that the director wanted.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 06:33 PM   #17
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And it is a good movie as I saw it on Friday....the lady friend that I was with...(who is not in the business)...did say " it looked well done , for something that was shot on video".....
as she could tell the difference.......
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Old July 6th, 2009, 03:50 AM   #18
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it looked well done , for something that was shot on video
That is the sort of comment that really winds me up though, because it implies that it is somehow not normal that something made on video can be high quality and look good. Perhaps she should watch the series Planet Earth. That looks pretty good too 'for something that was shot on video'.
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Old July 6th, 2009, 03:54 AM   #19
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And it is a good movie as I saw it on Friday....the lady friend that I was with...(who is not in the business)...did say " it looked well done , for something that was shot on video".....
as she could tell the difference.......
Also WIlliam, did you tell your friend up-front that "it was shot on video"?
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Old July 6th, 2009, 04:49 AM   #20
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I just watched the trailer from this site:

Apple - Movie Trailers - Public Enemies

- and when blown up on my 50" plasma, I can see a lot of (what I guess is artificial) grain in it.

I wonder if that has been applied to "mask" the video grain/noise? Anyway, I find it excessive.
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Old July 6th, 2009, 07:11 AM   #21
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That's the look that the director will have wanted. Remember, Michael Mann purposefully put on the gain switch in films like Miami Vice in order to make things look more rough and ready.

Some might find it excessive, but do people really think that Mann would release a film that looked like this unless it was fully intentional and under his control?
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Old July 6th, 2009, 07:22 AM   #22
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Simon,

I absolutely trust Michael Mann's judgement and agree that generally, the "look" has been created on purpose (the latitude, cadence etc.). I just don't like this type of excessive grain, and frankly, suspect it has been a sort of compromise - I have seen it in other Hollywood movie released on BD (one example being the "Spiderman" BD I got free with my Vaio laptop from Sony).

As someone else already put it, it looks like someone wanted to make it look less videoish, but made it even more so - a video with the "film grain" FX overused.

Have you watched the trailer on a really big display, and from a close distance? This particular scene is quite low-light, and without the artificial grain added in post, the video noise would have been visible on a big screen for sure!
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Old July 6th, 2009, 08:23 AM   #23
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Also WIlliam, did you tell your friend up-front that "it was shot on video"?
"nope".................................................................................
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Old July 6th, 2009, 11:41 AM   #24
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Just my two cents, but I think it's pointless to judge the technical qualities of the film from a trailer downloaded from the internet. I'm not an expert, but wouldn't there be a significant difference in the compression on an internet clip, compared to a projected film?
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Old July 11th, 2009, 04:17 PM   #25
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check this

here's a detailed description of how it was shot, and why
http://digitalcontentproducer.com/ca...708/index.html
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Old July 12th, 2009, 08:26 PM   #26
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The look of digital cinematography is unique. It's not film. And it's not video. It's good enough for some of the biggest names in the industry to embrace so how bad can it be?

I saw the comments left at Studio Daily and too many were hung up on the idea that they can see it's not film. One even said it ruined the film for him. If they think that's the most important aspect of the entire film, then they've missed the point of filmmaking.

IMHO, the term "video" implies interlaced standard-definition TV.

Progressive frame HDTV has more in common with film than TV. The frame rate is essentially identical (24 to 30 frames/second, as opposed to 60 fields/second). And the frame's wider aspect ratio is closer to that of film (16:9) than SDTV (4:3).

Certainly the origin of the image is electronic, as opposed to mechanical and chemical. But even still photographers are embracing the virtues of a much more predictable electronic image than the less stable and sometimes unpredictable medium of film.

Having been a photographer for more than 25 years, I've had my share of surprises with processing and printing just about every type of film there was. And as everyone knows, most color film dyes are very unstable.

Stephen Johnson's National Park Project brought tremendous legitimacy to digital photography back in the mid-1990s. At a Mac World convention I attended he openly stated that he was able to get much more accurate colors from his carefully profiled digital camera than any film medium ever could. After seeing what he accomplished I was sold on the idea and have been pursuing it (given limited budget considerations) ever since.

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We're planning to go see "Public Enemies" soon. The fact that it's all digital will be in the back of my mind. But I'll be there to experience the cinematic drama. I'm not going to let myself become too concerned with the technical details. Not at the prices they charge at theatres nowadays! :-)
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Old July 15th, 2009, 01:47 AM   #27
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I saw the movie on 35 and it looked good. The EX shots unfortunately were soft and more video-ish than other shots. Almost looking as if they were shot interlaced. Presuming the distribution is 35 as the reason why none of the 3 or 4 Sony 4k screens in my are were showing it. Mann achieved precisely what he wanted. It had a live edge to it that film does not and was much sharper than film. Digital is a new, and to some uncomfortable, sensation to the eye because we grew up with film, particularly for period films. Here you felt like you were in the reality more so than with film particularly because of the live video look. The Mann formula was successful. I had to concentrate to pay attention to the first EX shots because the story was well photographed.

As far critiquing the digital look vs. the film look in general, I would quickly run out of fingers and toes counting the number of totally crap major studio movies done by "professionals". A $70 million movie released under a major studio doesn't equate with everyone having made the right decisions. Throw the right amount of $$$ at a script and you will get your pick of established actors, director and DP working for you. That is the nature of the business and if wrong choices are committed to it will no doubt be gapingly wide open to be shot down and somewhat deservedly so to keep the bar of quality high for the industry as a whole.

By the way, I also picked up what appeared to be far red contamination in at least 2 scenes. When dillinger is locked up in the cell and when the reporters ask him questions in indiana. That signature iridescent maroon rendition from dillinger's vest and suit was the suspicion. A maroon exactly the same hue and 'chroma' to my seeing as the far red frame grabs posted on this forum. These shots appeared to be either F23 or F950. I'd be quite surprised if that was the actual color of that piece of wardrobe in a character and scene sense and just as far as manufactured clothing color.
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Old July 15th, 2009, 09:40 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Charlie Steiner View Post
here's a detailed description of how it was shot, and why
Michael Mann on making Public Enemies digitally.
Thanks for the link, Charles.

Fascinating bit of info about the flares.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 11:55 AM   #29
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Also to note, EX chip is the same size as a 16mm film cam. Nobody used 35mm adapters when using 16mm. The movie watcher in me finds the adapter look has become way overused and overdone but that's just my personal opinion. A lot of times my brain is thinking "look, shallow DOF" over the story. Often as if a heavy blur vignette is overlaid around the subject blurring everything else in the picture to kingdom come.

My understanding is that a 1/2" 16:9 chip is much closer in size to the 8mm film format than 16mm. 16mm film is closer in size to 1" video format chips. Plus most 16mm film allows the use of fast and/or long lenses to shallow up DOF. on the EX1 we're stuck around f2.8-3.4 on the long end of the zoom. I own one and no doubt it is better than 1/3" but its no 16mm.

As for even discussing 35mm adapters, has any big-budget feature ever used a 35mm adapter on any kind of camera? I cant recall any, and for good reason, i dont use them anymore myself because the light loss and distractingly ugly bokeh and significant softness/abberations they introduce are just too much of a compromise to me.
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Old August 8th, 2009, 01:58 PM   #30
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The word “hyperreal” ended up being important in the decision-making process. After seeing imagery from both media, Mann decided he didn’t want a nostalgic look at 1933, but instead, preferred to bring viewers into 1933. Thus, an ultrasharp, hyperreal view of the characters and their clothes, environment, guns, and textures was Mann’s desire, and he decided digital acquisition was the best way to get there.

“When Dante and I did those tests and worked on it with [Company 3 colorist] Stefan Sonnenfeld and I looked at it, the film kind of looked like it had a period patina to it—like we were making a period motion picture,” Mann says. “The video, on the other hand, and the way we set the F23 and modified some of the settings, increasing the black saturation and building up some of the spectrum highlights—the whites—felt like you were actually there [in 1933], rather than looking at it through some kind of nostalgic lens. That was the relationship I wanted audiences to have with the story—to see it as detailed and specific and textured as reality they see right now. The near focus, the extreme depth of field—those things all gave it the hyper¬real sense of things.”
Just saw the film with my wife, and these were her exact reactions to the movie. She had no idea how the film had been shot, just said it didn't' feel like all those other period movies, but that you were actually seeing it like it was in 1933. I find it remarkable that all of their technical testing would lead to an image than an average viewer would "get."

Where I noticed the difference with film was in the tight close-ups, seeing the pockmarks on the agents face as he leans down to hear Dillinger's dying words, seeing the threads in Dillinger's pants as he fingers his gun. Spinotti mentions that hd still can't compete with film in tonal range and that seemed to be the one place where the image fell down, a little too blown out in highlights in several places.
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