"filmlook vs. professional-look" -- Most filmlook arguments here are wrong - Page 4 at DVinfo.net

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Old October 29th, 2002, 02:30 AM   #46
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The question wether or not to use the word film or video is a matter of linguistics. To quote the online Merriam-Websters dictionary :

Main Entry: 1film
Pronunciation: 'film, Southern also 'fi(&)m
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive
Etymology: Middle English filme, from Old English filmen; akin to Greek pelma sole of the foot, Old English fell skin -- more at FELL
Date: before 12th century
1 a : a thin skin or membranous covering : PELLICLE b : an abnormal growth on or in the eye
2 : a thin covering or coating <a film of ice>
3 a : an exceedingly thin layer : LAMINA b (1) : a thin flexible transparent sheet (as of plastic) used especially as a wrapping (2) : such a sheet of cellulose acetate or nitrocellulose coated with a radiation-sensitive emulsion for taking photographs
4 : MOTION PICTURE

Note that it didn't say "MOTION PICTURE produced with photographic process on thin sheet of plastic coated with either silver-nitrates or other photosensitive materials".

The point is that the word has changed it's original meaning from a motion picture made with film cameras, into any motion picture wether shot with video, digital or film cameras.

I also noted that most film festivals accept any source material, and you don't see many "Video festivals" out there.

So is it disrespectful to the media to call your little short story "a film about ... " when it's shot with a Xl1-s or PD100 or whatever? Who cares about the media! It's the CONTENT that makes the story, not the media on which it is produced. So i'm more upset if i see a bad movie made with film than a good one made with video. Mostly because it's a waste of good film stock :)

If you want to clamp down on one word, then you are basically engaging into an attempt to define something that no one really cares abotu defining. When does it become a "film"? Is it shot with film cameras? Ok. if you change the film magazine into a digital CCD instead. So everything is 35 mm film camera up onto the actual photographic process? Or if you scan the film and run it through a telecine process since you want to edit it on HD? Is it still film since you now have reduced the photographic information into a limited digital variant no different than if it was captured from CCD. Or do you perhaps have to splice and cut it the "old style" for it to be a true film? A practise which is probably only done in schools today. I know not one production that are going for a boxoffice release that are spliced & cut.

In the end, the person who tells his mates "Hey guys, u wanna go see a film/movie/flick/roll tonight?" won't really care wether or not it's shot on video, telecined, shot on film, or shot on toiletpaper for that matter. He's there to see a story.. not what it was made with.


/Henrik
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Old October 29th, 2002, 02:35 AM   #47
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I agree that most people don't care what a movie is made with necessarily, but most DO care if it looks good or not. And from what I have seen so far, MiniDV does not look good blown up to film and shown on a big screen. I'd rather watch it on a TV... it'd be less distracting for me. In fact there is some movie called "In Praise of Love" that has a lot of video junk in it, and it is so bad that you can see the white halos around contrasty parts of the image due to the sharpness being cranked sky high. It was made by some Jean-Luc Goddard guy (he is supposed to be great or something) but he sure is an awful videomaker. Half of the movie was shot on film I believe (have not seen it).
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Old October 29th, 2002, 03:29 AM   #48
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Shot on DV (speaking of terminology, we'll at least get it right: "Mini DV" is the size of a cassette shell, *not* a format -- the format is DV25, or DV at a bandwidth of 25 megabits per second) -- these were all shot on DV25 -- and where you can see them:

24 Hour Party People (2002 Michael Winterbottom) (35mm & DV mixed) http://us.imdb.com/Title?0274309 see also http://www.au-cinema.com/24-Hour-Party-People.htm -- in theaters, coming to DVD

Anniversary Party (2001 Jennifer Jason Leigh) http://us.imdb.com/Title?0254099 -- on DVD at Amazon

Bamboozled (2000 Spike Lee) http://us.imdb.com/Title?0215545 -- on DVD at Amazon

Cicadas (2000 Kat Candler) http://us.imdb.com/Title?0212873 -- at Dallas Fim Festival, see Film Threat: http://www.filmthreat.com/News.asp?Id=979

Chuck & Buck (2002 Miguel Arteta) http://us.imdb.com/Title?0200530 -- on DVD at Amazon

The Cruise (1998 Bennet Miller) http://us.imdb.com/Title?0150230 -- on VHS at Amazon

Gaza Strip http://www.littleredbutton.com/gaza/ -- now in festival circuit

An Intimate Friendship (2000 Angela Evers Hughey) http://us.imdb.com/Title?0212667 -- on DVD at Amazon

Julien Donkey-Boy (1999 Harmony Korine) http://us.imdb.com/Title?0192194 -- on DVD at Amazon

Split Decision (2001 Marcy Garriott) http://us.imdb.com/Title?0254789 -- direct from http://www.frif.com/new2000/split2.html

Tadpole (2002 Gary Winick) http://us.imdb.com/Title?0271219 -- on DVD at Amazon

Tape (2001 Richard Linklater) http://us.imdb.com/Title?0275719 -- on DVD at Amazon

Timecode (2000 Mike Figgis) http://us.imdb.com/Title?0220100 -- on DVD at Amazon

Waiting (2000 Patrick Hasson) http://us.imdb.com/Title?0270059 -- on DVD at Amazon

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Old October 29th, 2002, 03:33 AM   #49
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Chris. Superb list m8! But isn't Chelsea Walls shot on video aswell? I really liked that movie.
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Old October 29th, 2002, 03:49 AM   #50
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Henrik: << But isn't Chelsea Walls shot on video as well? >>

D'oh!! Yes, on DV.

Chelsea Walls (2001 Ethan Hawke) http://us.imdb.com/Title?0226935 -- on DVD at Amazon

Well, that makes fifteen. Sure would like to see somebody else bring this up to twenty.
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Old October 29th, 2002, 06:41 AM   #51
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Like it or not, the meaning of words are changing. Language is not a static thing. It changes with the times. New words are added and words become archaic and even deleted. We live in an exciting time with many new words being added and meanings of old words changing. Embrace the change, rather than being stuck in the past. Except things that you can not change and learn to move on.

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Old October 29th, 2002, 06:50 AM   #52
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The topic of the thread, filmlook vs. professional look?

ok. lets look at this in TWO different areas (that has been mixed up completely during this thread).

1. End product distributed in video resolution...

There has been a lot of discussion of what makes it look like film and video. And the ONLY part that i can see that makes any difference whatsoever is the progressive vs interlaced part. With true progressive cameras (24P) you get a bit more information than if you convert interlaced material. The 25p/24p framerate also gives a slight "strobing" effect that many connects with film.

The way to achieve this with video source is to either shoot it progressive or run a de-interlacer (proper de-interlacer, fieldskit/magic bullet) on it.

As for colour correction so it "looks" like film, this is a misconception imho. Its a matter of setting a visual style of the footage which involves colour correcting, doing white blooms (or black blooms) and generally making the footage look like the DP/Director intended. This has nothing whatsoever to do with film or not film. Its all about what visual style is intended. The tools here can be anything that affects the colours & luminance of the image. Recently it has been popular to have a colder, desaturated feeling to the image, but this "fashion" in images change all the time.

2. End result blown up to film stock...

The only main difference here is the resolution. It's ideal to shoot on HD or as near HD as possible,just because the end resolution will be nicer than if shot on DV. But this is a matter of 1) budget and 2) personal preferences. It is perfectly possible to blow up video material to film, but obviously you will get it grainy and not as sharp as a higher def format would be.

Some additional points that is often brought up:

"Lighting it to make it look like film..." - Now this i don't understand. Having "good" lighting is again a matter of conveying the mood and the message of the scene/subject you are filming. Why would that be different between film & video. The only thing that IS different is the strength of the light you may need, not its placement or how it luminates the subject.

"You get more colours with film... "- True to a degree. You DO have more information stored in the photographic process. But if you want to keep that information when editing the materials you need to work with at least 48 bit graphics. And not many systems handle this massive ammount of data today. And if you are going to video for end result, you can't keep the data anyway.

Ok. these are my very personal opinions re. filmlook vs. professional look. Maybe you agree, maybe you disagree. Its still my personal opinions :)
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Old October 29th, 2002, 07:27 AM   #53
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<<<-- Originally posted by Good Dog : When people say "light it to make it look like film" they are talking about "traditional" lighting as used in major motion pictures--whatever that might be. -->>>

Yepp. thats what i figured aswell, and my point is that this is not a matter of "lighting like film" it's a matter of doing the job proper imho. If the scene requires strange lighting (such as totally flat lighting) then by all means it should be done. But what i was objecting to was the idea that there are any magic lighting techniques that will make your video look like it was shot on 35 mm. It's a step towards being too focused on the technical details so you loose track of the story.
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Old October 29th, 2002, 07:40 AM   #54
 
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In one of Stephen's earlier posts in this thread, he said, "Consider the deep focus techniques of Gregg Toland. He had to use some tricks given his lenses and stocks, but the huge DoF certainly does not make Citizen Kane look like video or "unprofessional"."

(By-the-way, not all of the deep depth of field achieved in "Citizen Kane" was done in-camera. Some shots with the incredible depth were created optically, i.e., mattes.)

At any rate, I've often wonder about this. The depth of field in miniDV is often sited as one of its "failings." I've read others' statements declaring, "If it has a deep depth of field, I know it's video!" Yet I have read more articles in American Cinematographer than I count where the DP did double flips and stood on his head in order to increase the depth of field in certain situations. Now that we have it, we're adding six inches of ND filters on the end of our lenses in order to reduce the depth of field.

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Old October 29th, 2002, 11:29 AM   #55
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Henrik: << "Lighting it to make it look like film..." - Now this i don't understand. Having "good" lighting is again a matter of conveying the mood and the message of the scene/subject you are filming. Why would that be different between film & video. >>

I've been guilty of saying "light it for film" on many occasions. Here's my clarification. The very common question of how to make video look like film oftentimes comes from individuals who shoot video in existing light or with very little additional light, and wonder why it doesn't look like film.

My response "light it for film" has more to do with budget really than lighting. Pick up any copy of American Cinematographer and browse an article about how a certain feature was lit. Usually there's a set plan showing a complex lighting arrangement. My point is that there's a serious budget and serious talent on the set, which has everything to do with it.

Stephen's original post was, that this is an example of professional look, not so much film look. And I agree. But I think film look comes out of that, as an extension of professional look. Ultimately if you want it to look like film, you should shoot it on film, but the best way to begin to approach it is to start with the professional look -- professional lighting -- as a key ingredient along the way.

I would suggest to someone "light it for film" as a way to begin thinking about how much planning, budget, talent and resources are involved in professional feature filmmaking. Those 35mm cameras don't begin to roll until a complex organization of money, expertise and time are all in place. It doesn't just happen. It's intricately funded, staged, rehearsed and executed by a small army of talent.

There's so much more to the equation of course -- and I don't think anyone has mentioned audio yet -- how a cinematic treatment of audio is crucial to a film look. In the words of Douglas Spotted Eagle, audio is 70% of everything you see on the screen.

One side note, with regard to depth-of-field control, this is why the P+S Technik adapter is such a significant factor now. Pretty soon there will be features going into production shooting on High Definition video with Panavision lenses thanks to that adapter. Talk about a film look, I think it will be indistinguishable -- that is, utterly transparent -- to the moviegoing audience, especially when transferred to 35mm. Can't wait to see that stuff. As long as it's got a good story, of course.
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Old October 29th, 2002, 01:48 PM   #56
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Jepp. couldnt' agree more. And as more and more DOP's learn how to shoot with video and get a good end result, the more well lit & shot productions will we see =) And if we are REALLY lucky, they will have good story & good acting aswell :P

And sound is a very important part. Just try to watch a movie with the sound off.
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Old October 29th, 2002, 02:32 PM   #57
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Who here has some video clips they believe looks like film? This can be from good lighting, or 24P or post effects, or whatever. I would just like to see a few good examples. Everyone talks on this forum over and over about how all that matters is the story and lighting. Just looking around this is what the vast majority of the members say here. The story I'll definitely agree with, but I would really like to see first hand what the DV format can look like when "professionally lit". So far all I see is talk. Someone make a believer out of me please, because I have never seen lighting make video look like film.
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Old October 29th, 2002, 02:57 PM   #58
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As for making a believer out of you Brad, check out some of the items of Chris list earlier (page 6 i think it is on). And me personally liked a lot of the different lighting on Chelsea Walls.

If it "looks like film" i will answer when you define exactly how film looks. Especially since during the many years film has been used as a media, it has had quite a lot of different visual styles and looks. So it all bottoms into what YOU think look like film. It doesn't necessarily mean its what I think looks like film.
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Old October 29th, 2002, 03:00 PM   #59
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How about this...it it looks like ANY kind of film?

You're right, I don't particularly care for all of the different looks that film can have, but if someone can replicate a look that is found reasonably common to say a major Hollywood movie, then I will be convinced and hold my head in shame publicly here. :)

I think this forum program has different page numbers depending on the user's profile. Can you tell me a date/time of the post on your page 6? I only have 3 pages to this discussion.
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Old October 29th, 2002, 03:13 PM   #60
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Yes. Post made by Chris Hurd, October 29th, 2002 10:29 AM.

It's a list with several different movies made with video as the source material (cameras).

And i would like to suggest Chelsea Walls to that list. It's shot on digital video (DVCAM methinks) using both prosumer and pro models.
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