If you are filming with a video camera or a DSLR why are we constantly being told to film in 24p to make it closer to film when it’s a lot of tosh. No one can tell the difference between 24 and 25p as long as they are edited in 24 and 25p respectively so why are so called gurus always banging on about 24p.
24 and 25 frames per second is a term that comes from the film world, if you are producing a 16mm film for the cinema then choose 24 fps and if you were producing a 16mm film for TV then choose 25 fps.
16mm cine projectors run at 24 /25 fps and other frames in between but your TV set does not process your video footage the same way as a cine projector so where does this myth come from.
“Film like” is the answer, video manufacturers have been giving us film like features for years…cine gamma, 24p filming and now shallow depth of field large sensor cameras. Video artists have been craving that cine look for years and have been taken along on that CINE LOOK bandwagon till they and we have been brainwashed into thinking that by setting your video camera to 24p, cine gamma that you will indeed get a picture closer to cine…NO.
Film has a unique look depending what emulsion you use 125ASA for a smother look or 400ASA for a grainer look etc, etc. Film stock between manufactures also add to that look, film has a far greater latitude than video which means it can handle a wider range of exposure before it whites out.
A 35mm film produced 25 years ago will transfer onto a Blu ray HD DVD without any problem but the “look” is indeed film. Video tries to emulate film in many ways but sadly for the artist if you want the true film look then USE FILM !
Video will always look electronic no matter how good it is and this myth about using 24p over 25p to get that true film look is nothing more than fantasy, if its produced on video you can not see any difference between 24 and 25p.
While we are on this topic can news producers stop sending idiots out on news shoots with their cameras switched to 25p as it looks crap, I am forever watching locally produced news where one news insert has been filmed at 25p…you can’t miss it in your viewfinder the moving people behind your talking head are staccato, its a sad sign of the times when we get badly trained operators who do not know their cameras and how to set them up properly.
I have used 720 50p for a few years now with great success, it transfers to DVD like a charm and now shoot 1080 50p, the “p” or progressive look is a closer match for todays plasma and LCD TVs and does not give you those jaggy edges seen in interlaced footage.
I started filming when I was 12 years of age using various super 8 film cameras not because I wanted a film look but video as we know it today in small camcorders had not been invented. You had 50 foot reels of film which lasted 3 minutes and 30 seconds and that was filmed at 18 fps to “save” precious seconds of expensive emulsion, remembering the projector was also set to 18 fps. In fact if you want a true 70s Super 8 look then you should set your video camera to 18p.
I filmed on Ektachrome 400 which gave me a better results in lower lighting conditions but it was all a toss of the dice whether anything turned out in low light, what a disappointment if your two week wait was in vain. It took two weeks for your Kodak film to go to Hemel Hempstead, get processed and come back.
My uncle Ted used a 16mm Bolex at 24 fps and his footage looked fantastic, much richer and less wishy washy than my super 8mm footage. Film gives you a sense for not waisting shots or precious time on filming rubbish unlike video.
Video like digital photography has changed the mind-set of many people to the detriment of the medium being used, it’s like a lot of things today, if it does not cost then who cares, we are riddled with boring footage and hundreds of needless photographs all to end up in the same prison, the HARD DRIVE.
Only when you have saved your pocket money for film stock and used your 3.5 minutes of film wisely can you have any sence and appreciation for that true film look…I am not nicknamed the “Archiver” for nothing.
The only time it makes sense is if you are filming on video and your footage was to end up on film for the cinema then 24p would be preferable but in general 24p has become the flavour of the “film look tool box” along with cine gamma and shallow depth of field…given to us to emulate a look by the camera manufacturer.
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