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Techniques for Independent Production
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Old February 5th, 2005, 04:26 AM   #1
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Video to film

I have two old tapes from circa 1990-1993, one being an Elvis Costello tape and the other is a Genesis biography tape. Both absolutly look like film, yet I am pretty certain they are both shot on video to start with since when the camera goes inside a building, the light comes up (can't remember the exact term for it... automatic aperature?). The second tape also uses footage from a live show which I have on DVD that is definatly video, and the first has an unusually high shutter speed, especially on the celloist's arms.

Now, despite the long DOF and high shutter speed, they both look just like film and the only difference I can see between the video and the film transfered versions is the contrast/light curves; the film is alot darker, colors are far, far more saturated and there it has been converted to 25p, obviously. Camparitvly though to another DVD I own which has most definatly been shot on DV and "filmed-up" with what looks like Magic Bullet (the red brick walls are blue!) the colors may be darker and more saturated, the second field is missing and the shutterspeed is high, I cannot understand why on earth it looks so strobey. The film trasferred video is not stroby at all, whereas the dv is. Does anyone have any idea why this is?
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Old February 6th, 2005, 05:11 AM   #2
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There can be lots of reasons including shooting angles, post
production work done etc. etc. I'd say it is impossible to really
answer that question. Sorry.
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Old February 6th, 2005, 11:00 AM   #3
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If one was shooting documentary-style on film and following someone from exterior to interior, you would manually open up the iris at that point. A skilled documentary shooter will do this smoothly enough that it will emulate the auto-exposure mode on video cameras (which is not available on film cameras).

Around the time period you indicated, the Filmlook process was making headway; it's possible the programs you have went through this process. This was the genesis of the 60i to 24p reverse pulldown that is now common. It was/is a post process, and it also included gamma correction (as well as flicker and grain if desired). Essentially they were doing what Magic Bullet now does, but in real time.

Now that one can simply choose to shoot in 24p, it's easy to imagine that their business has slacked off (it's by no means cheap to have footage Filmlooked). However they appear to hold the patents on 24p conversion of video, and are thus collecting license fees from Sony and Panasonic. Considering the number of DVX100's out there, I imagine they are doing just fine!
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Old February 6th, 2005, 11:09 AM   #4
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'However they appear to hold the patents on 24p conversion of video, and are thus collecting license fees from Sony and Panasonic.'

I'm no stranger to the madness of the law and am not saying this isn't true - but holding a patent on 24p conversion of video is pretty broad, even so.
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Old February 6th, 2005, 11:28 AM   #5
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They list the patent numbers on the website I hyperlinked. I'm not inclined to look it up myself, but I'm sure someone will.
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Old February 6th, 2005, 05:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
A skilled documentary shooter will do this smoothly enough that it will emulate the auto-exposure mode on video cameras (which is not available on film cameras).
Emulate auto-exposure? Some people would suggest that wasn't such a desirable outcome. :) :P
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Old February 8th, 2005, 01:57 PM   #7
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That would make sense since both were released in the early nineties, and although both would be PAL origin (one is BBC, the other is British Rock Legends, I believe) the company can obviously take both formats and I wouldn't at all be suprised if they hadn't added grain since both tapes are very grainy. What facinates me is that neither suffer from strobing that I have ALWAYS come across when I've attempted to de-interlace footage myself, no matter how I do it.
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