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Old October 6th, 2003, 12:15 PM   #31
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The home video version of Blair Witch Project was transfered from film instead of using the original Hi8 as source material. 28 days might look equally bad unless they decide to do a DV transfer like they should.
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Old October 6th, 2003, 12:33 PM   #32
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ted Springer : The home video version of Blair Witch Project was transfered from film instead of using the original Hi8 as source material. 28 days might look equally bad unless they decide to do a DV transfer like they should. -->>>
Or equally Good... as "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"... :-)
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Old October 6th, 2003, 01:30 PM   #33
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Can anything look as bad as Blair Witch? Maybe America's Funniest Videos.
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Old October 6th, 2003, 02:03 PM   #34
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It's intent was to look video, aside from the fact it was. Remember it was a tape that was found recorded by the victims.
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Old October 6th, 2003, 07:36 PM   #35
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Which would have made it even more realistic if they had made the home video versions from the Hi8 tapes, in my opinion. Anyone else notice that the video was presented inside a square border onscreen?
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Old October 7th, 2003, 11:07 AM   #36
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I know, I know. I think BW was a good idea. The hype (marketing campaign) around it was even better. I think it made for an interesting peice of work; unfortunatley I still thought it was crap. Props to the filmakers for taking the resources they had at thier disposal and running with it, but it kills me to see other bodies of work getting passed by. I think Miramax purchased it for a mil? And then proceeded to spend 7 mil more on advertising.

I could be way off on those numbers (correct me if needed). I just remember walking out of the theater thinking: I just paid $7.50 for that?

Yes, I know the intent was to appear as if: Thir footage has been found...

But who cares. If a dog does "his business" on a canvas, does it make it art?
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Old October 7th, 2003, 11:10 AM   #37
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It might! <g> ... I've seen far weirder things already
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Old October 7th, 2003, 11:25 AM   #38
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First.. I didnīt like the BW... But I knew all the fuzz about the movie before watching it... so I was not surprised by it...

But I got to admit I liked the STORY.... not the one in the movie.. but the whole thing surrounding it..

But hey, marketing is an art in itself... put it like this.. the typical teenage camping night ghost story is not scary when you are 16, loitering in the mall drinking a coke. So these guys tried to make people feel like they were 10 sitting by a fire in the woods listening to a Witch story... and pay for it.

And in other "art" forms.. the same thing happens.. a guy who paints crap... getīs famous because some New York Magazine made a good review.. and all of sudden you have a half million dollar piece of canvas with two red dots in the middle...
And then have real artists with real talent not getting recognition and selling their paints in streets for 10 bucks..

At least the "movie-industry" is more sincere in the fact, that they admit is an Industry... although some of us want to believe there is still art somewhere in there...

Uff... itīs out of my chest now...
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Old October 7th, 2003, 12:32 PM   #39
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Although I am a former film snob, I really enjoyed both the Blair Witch Project and 28 Days Later. With both films the story and style were captivating enough that I forgot about the medium and was drawn into the story.

I also feel that transferring both films from the film sources instead of the original video sources in entirely appropriate. The very fact of putting 60i video content on 24p film changes the temporal nature of the image substantially, not to mention the film texture, contrast and color changes that are imparted on each frame. At least for 28 Days, this process was an intregal part of the cinematographer's palette in creating the final look of the film.

To say that you'd prefer to see the original video footage on a DVD release is like saying you want a one-light transfer of the original film negative, so as to avoid all those silly color timing and printing tricks that cinematographers use. How dare they muck around with the image liek that - I want to see the film the way it left the camera ;-)

Home video releases should adhere to the theatrical experience as much as possible, or at least to the extent that the director, DP and studio choose. I, for one, would hate to sit through a video version of either of these films - I'll bet it would look like hell.
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Old October 11th, 2003, 06:46 PM   #40
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Real world comparison

Besides the funny/dramatic story that started this thread, I feel it has gone through pathways that are not quite real. Or practical from an independent filmmaker point of view.

Let's state a point first: do you REALLY think that video, the highest gear available now, state of the art, gets even close to what film has to offer?

Has any of you really carried on serious tests to prove so?

Not many years ago, maybe 12 or so, when some people were shooting features in super-8 for home-video released, it was suggested that a super 8 frame had similar information capacity than an analog Betacam or 1" taped video, whatever the camera you were using.

16mm or 35mm were miles better than video, particularly because the high-lights knee and low lights knee still were too evasive for video resolution. You learned to cheat them in video work or video for film, but they were still there.

That has not changed too much, in spite of HD video!

Maybe resolution is getting now close to what a super 8 or maybe 1:33 16mm frame can achieve, and the grain can be a problem on 8mm, but any video image can be shamefully defeated by a properly shot super-16, 35 or super-35 negative.

Using film for the original material is still the rule for serious theatrical fiction releases, and it will probably continue to do so for at least 10 years or more, because resolution is much better. Film is like a carrot and the proverbial donkey. When the video industry thinks they got there, Kodak pulls a fast one and there they go.

Some years ago I had the chance to go back to shoot a film after years of doing broadcast video on the best equipment available. This documentary was shot in 16mm color, and I had to shoot a scene in mid-day Brazilian sun. No lighting was possible because the hand held camera was shooting cars stopping at a light and went to interview the drivers when the red was on. No diaphragm correction either.

I metered the hot sun and the deep shadow, which was about 8 stops from each other. That means you had about 20 stops between high light and deep shadow! So I went for the middle and left the correction for the lab. And off we went.

At the lab, when color correcting, I was amazed to see how much film had improved in the last 15 years. The information was all there in the negative! You could pick your copying light for the car's interior or the sun and it would be fine. In fact I told the director to cut that scene in the middle, editing something in between, so we pick the right light for high light and shadow.

And we weren't using fast lenses or anything.

Now go do that with video!

This is only to demonstrate my case. In "normal" situations, you get a more natural look when shooting film, because resolution is more forgiving. Nowadays you can almost get what the eye can see, with high ASA film and fast lenses. That is why film continues to be used.

This doesn't mean that we shouldn't use video. We must! It's a tool like any other. And it's alright trying to emulate film, as I did that many times on most videos I shot. Hopefully will continue to do so on several projects to come that I expect to tell about in this Community.

Film is certainly more expensive and far from practical, as it takes a lot of time and work until you get your results. That is the main reason why video had to get serious investments to get closer to the film look, but it's only a resemblance.

If you move away from HD video, with their very expensive Panavision or Sony cameras (that are not easy to get and are quite fragile) you get nothing even close to what you can get from film in image quality.

Please don't take my word for it: if you never shot a film, do go follow someone that is doing so, if possible in 16mm and 35mm, and look at the final picture on a film theatre.

We will probably have film for many, many years to come yet, and also video for we low-budget folks to work on. And I think it's fine for that to happen, as both should have their niches.

Considering film as a "better" medium is not being snob, is just acknowledging how things are.


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Old October 12th, 2003, 11:21 AM   #41
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Carlos,

I would normally not get involved in this kind of discussion... but I guess either Me or you didnīt fully understand or follow this thread.

I donīt think anyone here is arguing that Video cannot achieve what Film can...

I think the whole point to this thread was to comment or deffend what VIdeo IS capable of doing by itself... and stand up against those arrogant (and uninformed) comments made by that teacher or speaker or whatever it was the he did.

And Video is capable of doing a lot of great things... one for starters.. is letting a whole lot of people make movies and tell stories, that otherwise would not have been made. Of course there are a lot of horrible things done in video.. (also there are a lot of horrible thing made in Film).. but that the creators fault not the medium..

Going back to the Painting analogy... No one is trying to make Oil Paintings with Crayons... Here we are trying to make great drawings with crayons... Most of us wonīt ever see a dime out of it.. and maybe a few of us would get our story-message through... But just the fact that "WE" exist makes it enough victory for VIdeo... independently of whatever the future brings...

And whatever the "industry" says itīs the medium of choice.. and whatever anyone says about Film quality, I rather see one hundred "28 days later" made on "cheap" video with "ugly" pixels than most of the stuff that comes out of the "expensive" Film factories of Hollywood... or some of the "Artistic" masterpieces of European-asian-whatever that put me to sleep very quick...

Once again... "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"... and the beholder can think different than what he/she is tought to think by culture-media-school-marketing-etc...

I just think that both media can live together, and Iīm sure that Film has much more than 10 years of "movie domination".. but still, Film industry is too big, and FIlm artists are very elitist.. and they are scared of what might become to them if Anyone could make great movies...

I guess youīre right in most of what you say... I just think itīs in the wrong discussion...

But hey thatīs me... and read my signature...
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Old October 12th, 2003, 11:50 AM   #42
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Re: Real world comparison

<<<-- Originally posted by Carlos E. Martinez :

Let's state a point first: do you REALLY think that video, the highest gear available now, state of the art, gets even close to what film has to offer?

<snip>

Considering film as a "better" medium is not being snob, is just acknowledging how things are.

Carlos -->>>

Well, while I see your point, I don't think I completely agree with it. Right now a lot of studios are using 4k digital interpositives. That's 12-bit 4096x3112 resolution that they're scanning 35mm negatives at and then editing on non-linear editing machines and using a laser-printer to print their results to film. Almost nobody can tell the difference between an optically printed 35mm image and a digitally printed 4k 35mm image and working entirely in the digital realm allows a range of color timing and correction tools to be available to the filmmaker that wouldn't be there if film was the medium throughout post.

I had a chance to use a Canon EOS-1Ds last summer. It shoots RAW images at 12-bit 4064 x 2704, which is very close to the 4K systems. My opinion was that it was not only a superior format to 35mm, but it could give medium format a run for its money. You look at a current 720p or 1080i HD image and you're seeing essentially a 1 megapixel image. Mini-DV is about a third of a megapixel. Almost nobody would buy a digital still camera that shot at those resolutions and certainly nobody would try to compare them favorably to film. However, there are a number of imaging sensors that have been announced for motion picture use that will operate at the kind of resolutions that the Canon shoots. When the first of those begin to arrive next year I imagine it will pretty much be the writing on the wall for film. Sure, it will take a while for the studios to adopt the new technology, but shooting 35mm will essentially be an anachronism at that point.

I'm sure there will continue to be elitist snobbery about the intangible "something" that film offers and endless debates about which kind of horse hooves made the best gelatin base or what kind of anti-halation backing was least prone to shadowing. At the end of the evening the group can all climb in their covered wagons and go see a digitally projected 4k feature film at the local theater. ;-)

-Rob
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Old October 12th, 2003, 01:15 PM   #43
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Sorry, but you're wrong. Most films that use a DI are scanned at 2K, not 4K. It's expensive enough and slow enough to get a 2K DI. 4K is almost prohibitive at this point unless you have lots of time and a big budget.

Still, DIs are still the exception and not the rule. Even then, many complain about the poor quality of going with a DI despite the flexibility it allows in some areas. Quentin Tarantino and his DP, Bob Richardson, hated the idea of using one on "Kill Bill" but decided they had to so it would be easier to maintain their unusual look across genres.

You can beat a digital system using film throughout if you don't have a lot of opticals and effects. Film needs to be degraded for CGI effects. Opticals degrade with each pass. But any film made with contact printing will run rings around digital. With a lot of effects, digital can only come close to film.

Depending on the study, 35mm motion picture film is from 12M to 25M pixels. But we haven't even begun to talk about color saturation, contrast, etc. Nor has anyone mentioned the possibility of the studios going 70mm, MaxVision, or other much cheaper methods.

None of the 10 or so cinematographers I know that work for the studios have said they would even consider using digital now. When digital can accomplish what film can do, then OK, but they haven't seen it yet.

Remember, digital integrated circuits, including CCDs, are still made using film lithography.
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Old October 12th, 2003, 01:32 PM   #44
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Frediroc summed it up nicely, it is not about whether video can
match film or which one is better. It is about video can do some
amazing things within the limits of that format.

Thanks for all the contributions but lets try to stay on topic now,.
thank you!
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Old October 12th, 2003, 02:07 PM   #45
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I saw a few digital, HD, Beta and low budget 16mm films at the Vancouver International Film Festival the past three weeks and I have to say that only one thing counts.

THE STORY.

Well, and the content.

People are willing to forgive a lot if the story is at all interesting and compelling.

After all, a good many documentaries are video and no one complains about it not looking filmy. That's because the content, the story is what is interesting them.

The only digital picture I walked out on had a really stupid, wacko story. The others, rough or poorly lit or shot on the cheap, had enough humour, action, story or theme to keep me going.
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