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The night of the ad eaters


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#1 Filip Plesha

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 07:57 AM

I always wondered, how do they get all those ads onto film?

Surely, not all ads were finished in HD, so what do they do then, burn it to film from SD?
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 08:17 AM

I always wondered, how do they get all those ads onto film?

Surely, not all ads were finished in HD, so what do they do then, burn it to film from SD?


Filip,

It is possible to do SD to film. Some people are happy with the results but they will look soft in my opinion.

Stephen
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#3 Filip Plesha

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 08:30 AM

Filip,

It is possible to do SD to film. Some people are happy with the results but they will look soft in my opinion.

Stephen



I know it's possible..

I've seen a progressive SD DV documentary once made for cinema distribution. It looked horrible, specially the edge effects.

HD (like Star Wars) does look soft, but it's acceptable in the same way super16 is acceptable for 35mm projection, but SD just doesn't work well in my opinion
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#4 Stephen Williams

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 08:44 AM

I know it's possible..

I've seen a progressive SD DV documentary once made for cinema distribution. It looked horrible, specially the edge effects.

HD (like Star Wars) does look soft, but it's acceptable in the same way super16 is acceptable for 35mm projection, but SD just doesn't work well in my opinion


Hi,

Thats correct, it looks like poop to me too. Some people will say it looks good enough, but maybe they need glasses.

Stephen
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#5 Dickson Sorensen

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 10:30 AM

As far as I know there have been several different pathways. I worked on a project for a major automotive company. Everything was scanned at 2K resolution, the effects work completed in Flame and then the project was converted to SD for television and film out for theatrical. Now many theatre chains are using digital projection for commercials.

Motion picture advertising is nothing new, however, what is new is that the quality of the ads has declined considerably. I believe that the audience resents paying a relatively high price for a ticket and then as a captive forced to watch the same commercials that they see at home. I know that the theatre chains are always moaning about how hard it is to turn a profit but don?t they realize that by turning their screens into billboards they are shirking part of the deal that they make with the customer at the ticket counter? That deal is that they entertain us. By running ads, especially those with no entertainment value, the audience feels cheated. When the ads are shown in standard definition the insult is even more blatant. Audiences need to complain. Perhaps we should start a movement to demand that theatres post the actual show time for films rather than the time at which the commercials start. Would that mean that the ticket price would rise even higher?

If the audience demanded more commercials would the theatres make the movies free? There?s a business model someone could try. Free commercially sponsored movies. Every 10 minutes your movie is interrupted by a commercial, just like television.
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#6 Filip Plesha

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 12:32 PM

Are you saying that most major TV ads already have high-res film elements made?

Over here they rarely project commercials in cinemas, so I don't much about how things are in other parts of the world...
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 12:37 PM

IF an add is destined for cinema release, or hi-def broadcast, they may or may not decide to do the whole commercial in HD or 2K. Otherwise, you're seeing SD uprezzed for film-out. Commercials are just starting to be posted in HD; SD is still much more common.

The commercial I just shot apparently is going to be retransferred to HD after the SD edit because they want an HD version to be broadcast during the Oscar telecast.
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#8 Max Jacoby

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 02:40 PM

I'm prepping an ad for cinema release at the moment where we will be doing a DI.
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#9 Dickson Sorensen

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 02:50 PM

Are you saying that most major TV ads already have high-res film elements made?

Over here they rarely project commercials in cinemas, so I don't much about how things are in other parts of the world...


Yes, most commercials at least in the U.S. are shot in 35mm unless there are budget concerns. 35mm film is still the ultimate highdef acquisition format.
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#10 Filip Plesha

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 08:14 PM

Yes, most commercials at least in the U.S. are shot in 35mm unless there are budget concerns. 35mm film is still the ultimate highdef acquisition format.



No, I know they are shot on film, I ment are they recorded back to film in high resolution, but that question has been answered already



I remember reading about the Levi's "Twist" commercial from 2001.
They made all the effects, made a basic color correction, and recorded back to film, then they telecined that newly recorded film and made a final grade on that footage in SD for TV.
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#11 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 08:53 PM

Hi,

Thats correct, it looks like poop to me too. Some people will say it looks good enough, but maybe they need glasses.

Stephen


Both "28 Days" and "Tadpole" were shot with XL-1, and they looked pretty good to me. I think if you have good lighting, know the limitations of video and have decient post guys, it can look terrific.

Edited by Capt.Video, 16 February 2006 - 08:53 PM.

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#12 Eric Steelberg ASC

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 09:14 PM

I've had 2 ads in the cinema and in both cases they were finished in HD to D5, then filmed out. SD to film is RARELY if ever done now with the 'affordability' and widespread use of HD.

A documentary feature I recently completed is being put to film from Digibeta as we speak. It looks like ass compared to my HD feature filmout. Aside from the lack of resolution, the frame rate conversion makes movement terribly stoboscopic.
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#13 Max Jacoby

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 04:37 AM

Both "28 Days" and "Tadpole" were shot with XL-1, and they looked pretty good to me. I think if you have good lighting, know the limitations of video and have decient post guys, it can look terrific.


I didn't think '28 Days Later' looked good at all, despite them spending so much money on post-production that they could have shot 35mm to begin with. You can't shine a turd.
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#14 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 09:41 AM

I didn't think '28 Days Later' looked good at all, despite them spending so much money on post-production that they could have shot 35mm to begin with. You can't shine a turd.


Well I didn't think Tadpole looked any better than a student film but I thought '28 Days Later' looked amazing, a friend and I stood at the back of the cinema stunned.

It wouldn't be great if it was a romantic comedy but the DV format worked perfectly for the subject matter and genre. Maybe thats why hollywood can't do horror - the production values are too high and that envokes a sense of fiction.

The DV format worked particularly well at 'hiding' the scale of the £10 million production that involved cornered of streets and cgi removed cars and people. Perhaps this is because it is our instinct to think of grundgy and ugly DV as being documentry or 'real'.
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#15 Stephen Williams

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 11:38 AM

Both "28 Days" and "Tadpole" were shot with XL-1, and they looked pretty good to me. I think if you have good lighting, know the limitations of video and have decient post guys, it can look terrific.


Hi,

Its all about what you define as good. 28 days later looked like sxxx in my opinion, OK they wanted it to look that way, so it worked, however that was not a low budget film. For the budget 35mm would have been no problem.

Stephen
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#16 Rod Otaviano

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 12:37 PM

Hi,

Its all about what you define as good. 28 days later looked like sxxx in my opinion, OK they wanted it to look that way, so it worked, however that was not a low budget film. For the budget 35mm would have been no problem.

Stephen


I agree but ... funny story ... I saw "28 Days Later" for the first time two years ago when I was starting to study cinematography. At the time I found the images stunning and quickly sent emails to several friends saying "you guys gotta watch this film ... it's amazing, they shot on a 5 grand digital camera" !!!



Two Years Later ...




I saw the same film again and my opinion has changed completely. Today I find that digital look very distracting and barely can make it to the end.

I read they used those small digital cameras though, among other things, because they couldn't waste much time in setting up the cameras for initial shots on the streets of London.
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#17 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 03:47 PM

I agree but ... funny story ... I saw "28 Days Later" for the first time two years ago when I was starting to study cinematography. At the time I found the images stunning and quickly sent emails to several friends saying "you guys gotta watch this film ... it's amazing, they shot on a 5 grand digital camera" !!!

Two Years Later ...

I saw the same film again and my opinion has changed completely. Today I find that digital look very distracting and barely can make it to the end.

I read they used those small digital cameras though, among other things, because they couldn't waste much time in setting up the cameras for initial shots on the streets of London.


Well it may look like s*** in terms of 'beauty' but they took a format and with a professional approach used it avoid the conventional pitfalls of a genre, that doesn't benefit from photographic beauty. With the exception of the The Exorcist there arn't that many horror films beautifully photographed which are actually effective.

Note - That last sentance will probably open up a wave of exceptions. (But how do I know I hate horror films)

From what I know about it I undertand they just shot it on the XL1s but many of those deserted London street scenes wern't deserted they had things going on in the distance which were removed with CGI - something that you would never imagine considering the 'cheap' DV look of it.
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#18 Filip Plesha

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 06:09 PM

I'm still having a hard time accepting the word "photographed" with digital photo gear, much less with video cameras. Taped sounds better for that. Shot sounds good too, but photographed, well I just sounds stretched.
The process of photography sounds to me like a random natural process of image trail that light leaves on materials. Putting a bunch of sensors in a fixed position doesn't sound like photography to me.
A video camera is a machine, while film is nature doing it for you.
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#19 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 06:25 PM

The trouble with being overly picky about how language is used, denying people shooting video words like "photographed" or even "filmmaker" is that comes off like you're treating them like second-class citizens, and the end result would only be to further increase any animosity between the video and film users.

Truth is that for most of us middle-of-the-road professionals, we have to use both so it doesn't serve much purpose to antagonize video folks when have the time, we're one of them. I've not going to stop calling myself a "cinematographer" or "Director of Photography" everytime I make a feature in HD instead of 35mm.

Language is a living thing that continually changes (unless you're French...) and ultimately words mean what the majority thinks they mean. So if the majority think that a director who makes a movie using video is a "filmmaker" then he's a filmmaker, because he makes films (i.e. movies) not because he uses film.
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#20 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 06:34 PM

I'm still having a hard time accepting the word "photographed" with digital photo gear, much less with video cameras. Taped sounds better for that. Shot sounds good too, but photographed, well I just sounds stretched.
The process of photography sounds to me like a random natural process of image trail that light leaves on materials. Putting a bunch of sensors in a fixed position doesn't sound like photography to me.
A video camera is a machine, while film is nature doing it for you.

Photography literally means "writing with light," so I think it's fair to use the term for video as well as film- both are created with photons striking a light-sensitive surface. Regardless of whatever issues we may have with the medium of video, I think it's overly picky to deny that it's photography.

Hell, I'd consider it a form of photography to put patterned stickers on your skin and go out in the sun to get a tan. The image is impermanent and on a squishy, non-static medium, but it's still an image created with light.
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