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Old October 15th, 2004, 11:09 PM   #1
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DVD Releases of DV films

Hopefully this question makes sense...I just watched "The Chateau" tonight, which is a low-budget DV film from 2001 shot with a Sony TRV 900. On my TV, some of the night scenes, in very low light, looked extremely murky and videoish. Yet some of the brighter, day-light scenes looked much much better, and had a nice grainy film look, although it was still apparent that it was video. Anyways, my questions is, when DVDs of theatrically released DV-films are produced, do they produce the DVD from the 35mm blow-up print, or do they do directly to the DV source? Is there an effort to try to make the film look as it would if you saw it in a theater, grain and all, or do they try to maximize the image quality on the lower resolution of a TV set, by reverting back to the DV image which might be comparable in terms of TV's resolution lines?

Such as, a DVX or XL2 movie, which would look pretty great on a TV set, if shot right to begin with...if they showed this movie in theatres, on a 35mm blow-up, then what would be put on the DVD, the cleaner straight DV footage, or the 35mm blow-up, resembling what you saw in the movie theatre?

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Old October 16th, 2004, 11:38 PM   #2
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Interesting question.
My guess is that they use the final...thing, which would be the 35mm print. Part of my thinking says that that's what's really available to the dvd creators, and part of my thinking says: the final product is intended to be a film, becoming a 35mm print, becoming 24p no matter what it's original frame rate, and everything else that goes into transferring to that format. I just can't see the filmmakers foregoing that element of their creation. Surely they shot their video with that in mind, more often than not. The second half of my reasoning is kinda whimsical, but perhaps not.
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Old October 17th, 2004, 02:53 PM   #3
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Re: DVD Releases of DV films

Quote:
when DVDs of theatrically released DV-films are produced, do they produce the DVD from the 35mm blow-up print, or do they do directly to the DV source?
It probably just depends on the idiosyncracies of each filmmaker & process. 28 days later went from digital to film to DVD, while all Robert Rodriguez's digital films seem to have gone from digital direct to DVD.

The restored version of Kurosawa's Ran went from film to digital to DVD :-)
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Old October 20th, 2004, 02:41 AM   #4
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Didn't do a search on this. Sorry Folks, but anyone know what Rob Rodgriguez uses as far as cameras?
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Old October 20th, 2004, 11:20 AM   #5
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Here in the UK I've seen examples of both approaches on DVD and I definitely prefer the look of transfers taken from a film print rather than the original DV source. Even if the latter is theoretically 'cleaner' I think the addition of film grain makes for a far better viewing experience.

I'd be interested to know if companies make the same choice for each release of a particular title though. Anyone have the Region 1 DVD of Spike Lee's 'Bamboozled'? The Region 2 version is clearly taken straight from the video and looks awful IMO.

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Old October 20th, 2004, 12:21 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Hal Wolin : Didn't do a search on this. Sorry Folks, but anyone know what Rob Rodgriguez uses as far as cameras? -->>>

Rob? You mean Robert Rodriguez?

I think he has been shooting with the Sony F900. Not entirely sure. Maybe I will go ask Steve.
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Old October 20th, 2004, 12:35 PM   #7
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I've wondered this very question. Making a DVD off a film print for a movie originally shot on small format video footage strikes me as insane. "Chuck and Buck" is a good example. It looked dreadful in the theater and I was looking forward to seeing if it would look better on TV. Nope. It looked like utter crap. I mean, just really, really yellow and bad. Good movie though. Anyone know how they did "28 Days Later"? I thought it looked even better on TV than it did in the theater, except for all the strobing on fast action shots. What's up with that? I've never seen it that pronounced before. Maybe because it was originally shot PAL?
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Old October 20th, 2004, 01:22 PM   #8
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As far as I know, based on interviews with the director, the strobing effect was intended. I think they actually used an in-camera feature of the XL1s, maybe just playing around with shutter speeds, to create it.
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Old October 20th, 2004, 01:40 PM   #9
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The strobing effect is caused by using a higher shutter speed and it was done intentionally. I believe they used 1/250 shutter speed. It's the same technique used for SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, BLACK HAWK DOWN and GLADIATOR and to some degree in DAWN OF THE DEAD 04.

It's not unique to the XL1 by the way.
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Old October 20th, 2004, 02:56 PM   #10
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I know it's not unique to the XL1. I was meaning to say that the effect was not caused by the transfer to DVD or TV, and was in fact, accomplished on set, using some basic function of the same kind of camera we all use.
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Old October 20th, 2004, 03:09 PM   #11
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My film, Skye Falling was shot five years ago on an XL-1 and had a small theatrical release (DV only). The DVD came out last year.

When movies that are shot on DV and blown up to 35mm go to DVD, more often than not, if not all the time, the DVD is made directly from the DV source.

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