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Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.


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Old August 2nd, 2007, 10:46 AM   #16
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I think there was a little confusion over time at the question. I didn`t mean wide versus ECU. I meant distance to the subject getting the same shot. So if its a medium shot, lets say you need to be 4 feet at full zoomed out to get it. The take the camera back 12 feet and zoom in to the same shot, gives it a whole new feel. I think the posts on the DOF were correct in what I was asking about, just thought I`d clarify it a bit.
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 03:30 PM   #17
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In video, wide shots turn the background in to single "Pac Man" (the atari 2600 version, not film's coin-op version) blocks...turning distant leaves rectangular, for example. As the leaves move in the wind, you get color flutter as a pixel can only represent one color at a time, if that average color changes, the pixels seem to shimmer in the background showing off the low resoution. You can use the wide shot if you pull the DoF slightly shorter...but it won't be in focus (obviously). Most DV filmmakers get around this by framing tighter to spend more pixels per item in frame...and trying to lower DoF to blur the background pixels to get rid of the shimmer.

Remember, in film, you are capturing an image...in Digital, you are approximating it. Spend your pixels wisely...your budget is small in this case too.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 04:38 PM   #18
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I agree with all posts here and wanted to add that just like in photography, if you use a telescopic lens (narrow angle or zoom), you also change perspective thus making your subject "distorted" differently and appear more flat. also, background would appear closer with less details than if it was with the wide angle lens.

Just this will not make your work look more professional, but proper composition, distance, lighting and sound will do.

please excuse my terminology.

Here is a good link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perspec...n_(photography)
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Old August 28th, 2007, 10:25 AM   #19
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I was going to post about the same topic that victor posted about.

After getting into still photography a few years back, I really started to see lens or barrel distortion in video.

I think this is what the original poster is talking about.

Wide angels tend to round the world out. Straight lines are a bit curved.

Video cameras often have lesser quality lenses on them, so they distort more than expensive film lenses.

In Portrait photography, it is standard practice to shoot between 70mm to 110mm (full frame, 35mm image) in order to keep physical proportions correct.

After doing still work, I now see that high level film work is much the same, and lenses are chosen with perspective in mind.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 05:55 PM   #20
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pre TV Hollywood movies - far fewer close-ups.

The modern trend towards handheld cinematography favors the wide end -
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Old August 29th, 2007, 11:37 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
For an excellent and highly entertaining example of this, watch the Cohen Brother's "Raising Arizona," shot wide by Barry Sonenfeld pretty much throughout the entire movie. There's nothing at all amateur about it, in fact, the choice of wide focal length enhances the humor, which is why Sonenfeld refers to wide-angle as the "comedy lens."
On the other hand, look at Orson Welles' "Touch of Evil," or Stanley Kubrick's "2001," for examples of movies that rely heavily (almost exclusively) on wide-angle shots to create a decidedly dramatic, not comic, effect.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 04:25 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
...
In Portrait photography, it is standard practice to shoot between 70mm to 110mm (full frame, 35mm image) in order to keep physical proportions correct.

After doing still work, I now see that high level film work is much the same, and lenses are chosen with perspective in mind.
Excellent point - the reason is that the human brain interprets what the eye sees with a "telephoto" perspective. The actual focal length of the eye is a slightly wide angle, about equivalent to a 45mm lens on a 35mm camera. But the brain tends to concentrate on just the portion of the image that is of interest, in effect ignoring the edges of the the frame (and one of the hardest things to learn as a still photogrpaher is to pay attention to everything that's in the frame, including the edges). That means that while our optics are like a 45mm lens, our perception is more like an 80mm lens. And short telephotos in the 75mm-100mm range also tend to preserve linearity of straight lines near the edge of the frame.

"Perspective" is the relative sizes of near and distant objects and that is determined solely by the camera position. If one were to come up with a magic formula for a setup, whether with a still camera or a film/video camera, it would have one choose the camera position that establishes the position within the 2-dimensional space of the frame and the desired size relationships between the near/far elements in the scene, then adjust the lens focal length to "crop" the image within the frame so it's the right size and nothing distracting is at the frame edges. Finally, the scene is lit using the principles of chiaroscuro lighting to provide areas of light and dark that direct the viewer's attention toward the important dramatic elements within the frame.

For some reason as I was thinking about composition I just remembered a classic example of framing and lighting - the ending of the old Jimmy Durante television show back in the 50's. He'd be downstage in front of the curtain and say goodnight to the audience as he shrugged into a battered trenchcoat and put on an old fedora hat. The stage would go dark and the curtain opened behind to show a line of pools of light from stationary spots leading upstage. He'd walk into the first pool, turn to the audience, lift his hat, and say his tagline "Goodnight Mrs Calabash, wherever you are!" then as the theme and credits played out he'd slowly go from light pool to light pool, stopping in each one to turn toward the audience and lift his hat once again until he walked upstage out of the last pool and the stage went dark.
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