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Old June 26th, 2002, 04:10 AM   #1
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Making Video Look Like Film...(again)

THE most common question in most DV forums.

In my opinion (and I'm wondering if you agree) making Video Look Like Film is easy to explain and hard to perform. It's not about filters, lights, plugins and fields. It's really about HOW you view filmmaking. Is filmmaking all about "looks"?

What is FILM? ...

Answer: It is storys told with light.

No matter how much you try to imitate "the look of film" on video you will totaly miss the point if your film (shot digitally) is not told with the EMOTIONS of light. How do I light sadness or joy? Humour or suspense? Those are the questions most important to answer - not how to make video look like film emulsion. It can't. It can look better than emulsion. Emulsion is often a source of head ache.

When you realize that film is storys told with light all things else will come natural. You will realize that some scenes have to be shot with an expensive dolly or certain optics. Or it has to be color corrected a certain way. It's a lifes journey into deeper knowledge.

To learn how to make Video Look Like Film I suggest studying great painters. They knew a lot about telling storys with light long before any film camera was invented. In a few years the technology of emulsion photography will be something belonging to another century. Light will remain as long as there is a sun.
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Old June 26th, 2002, 05:29 AM   #2
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as long as there is a sun ...... or power to light the bulbs!

Can't agree more. I would also like to add story and story
structure. It is very important to actually tell something and
tell it well. You say told with EMOTIONS of light, Martin. But
I think you can say EMOTIONS only. Without that there is
nothing I think.

Good post!
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Old September 13th, 2002, 12:24 PM   #3
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Re: Making Video Look Like Film...(again)

<<<-- Originally posted by Martin_M : THE most common question in most DV forums.


What is FILM? ...

Answer: It is storys told with light.<<<---

I think you are confusing film with a movie. Film is obviously the celluloid matter in which consecutive images are projected to create the illusion of continuous motion, similar in many ways to video.
but the beginning and end of this topic (which clearly is mainly about how do we as videographers make our video look like film) was stated most recently in the november dv magazine.

Q: How do you get a film look?

A: Shoot film.
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Old September 13th, 2002, 02:18 PM   #4
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I'm not at all confusing film with movies. Movies where the folks "moving" out to California in the early 20th century. Someone confused them with the films they produced. We all know the rest of the story.

If the word FILM provokes you let me refrase;

What is KINEMATOGRAFI? Cinematography? ... it's story told with light stored on film emulsion or disk drives (or something else).

What makes an audience percept a piece of work as KINEMATOGRAFI? Well, progressive image, artistic image correction, filtering, lighting, composition, camera placement and motion, knowledge of lenses etc.
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Old September 13th, 2002, 05:23 PM   #5
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Very good.

That is excellent clarification, I think the connection between
kinematics and cinematography is very useful, and I think that many people (including myself) will benefit from the defining.

its all about content!

but i would disagree with rob to a certain degree. a story is not neccessary for a good piece, many experimental films have very little story but are beautiful works, or installations.

nam jun pak's work has much content, but not much of a storyteller.

and i digress- not to imply that you would have confused the two, but may lead others into a certain degree of confusion.
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Old September 14th, 2002, 06:33 AM   #6
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Jason,

I agree with you that story is not everything. It can be simply a mood. But then it's not cinematography.
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Old September 16th, 2002, 06:21 AM   #7
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Funny to read back your own words in a couple of months. Heh.
Maybe I was a bit harsh indeed. I do think story is very important,
but ofcourse some beautiful things can be made with little or
no story. Story can very much help though!
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