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Scary Movie 4


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#1 Dan Goulder

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 01:30 PM

Just got back from a screening of Scary Movie 4, which I believe is the first release shot on the new Panavision Genesis HD camera. The two companies that will benefit most from this movie are Kodak and Fuji, as it appears they will be putting out a superior acquisition product for quite some time.

Edited by dgoulder, 14 April 2006 - 01:35 PM.

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#2 Max Jacoby

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 02:25 PM

Anything in particular that you didn't like?
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#3 Dan Goulder

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 03:00 PM

Anything in particular that you didn't like?

The colors looked washed out. The few scenes that did look okay, such as the opening one, look as if they may have been shot on film, although I don't recall seeing anything in the credits to verify that. However, the overall look for the majority of the movie was just conspicuously lacking in the level of color saturation one normally associates with film. In a large theater, HD seems to work best when projected in HD, although there are currently a limited number of venues for that.
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#4 Max Jacoby

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 03:03 PM

Did you see it projected on film or digitally?
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#5 Dan Goulder

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 03:16 PM

Did you see it projected on film or digitally?

I saw it projected on film.
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#6 Emmanuel Lariviere

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 07:40 PM

Hi, I've also seen "Scary Movie 4" today and I am very impressed with the camera. I've seen every major release shot digitally in the theatre and this is the first one that really looks like film. I even feel more confident about "Superman Returns" now. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying it's perfect but I feel it's about 90 percent in reaching it's goal. I did see smearing in like several shots. Who knows, those could have been done in the begining of the shoot. I'm not arguing with the original poster, I'm just giving my opinion of the camera. I think the experiment is a success. I saw it on a film print. I wont be surprised to see at least double the number of pictures shot on this camera next year.
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#7 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 15 April 2006 - 02:42 AM

It looked like a comedy from this genre. It honestly took me a minute or two to remember it was even shot digitally.

There was nothing in the movie that screamed HD except for a few instances during night exteriors where it seemed they used a slower shutter.

The other thing I noticed was a large amount of blue noise, especially in the "blue moonlight" night exteriors. This noise could be from anything in the post process though, I have seen plenty of DIs, especially early ones with this much noise.


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#8 Matthew Parnell

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 08:48 AM

Just saw it, film projected. Colours werent too bad, however I am really not sure whether it was all shot with the genesis, because some of the images looked great, good dof, the motion looked like film, then there was some stuff that really looked like video with a really deep DOF and the motion looked like video.
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#9 Alex Haspel

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 08:56 AM

Just saw it, film projected. Colours werent too bad, however I am really not sure whether it was all shot with the genesis, because some of the images looked great, good dof, the motion looked like film, then there was some stuff that really looked like video with a really deep DOF and the motion looked like video.



well, the (potetial) dof of the genesis should not be different to 35mm, since it's got a super35 sized chip.
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#10 Tim Tyler

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 10:24 AM

I agree that the look lacked. It had a flat feel, almost like it was timed for TV broadcast.
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#11 Filip Plesha

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 12:43 PM

Whatever it looks like people are going to get used to it, specially those who will grow up with it, so lets' enjoy film while it lasts
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#12 Keith Mottram

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 01:16 PM

Whatever it looks like people are going to get used to it, specially those who will grow up with it, so lets' enjoy film while it lasts


oh please lets not have a generation growing up on 'scary movie' that is a fate i cannot take. i could not sit through a frame (or field!) of a 'scary movie'-i am currently spontaniously vomiting at the sheer awfullness of the prospect from airplane to this how low can you go etc etc.... but seriously this look issue, i dont get it- as far as i'm concerned there is no more need for genesis footage to look anymore 'tv' than any other camera system. its just lighting and grading or am i missing something....

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#13 Filip Plesha

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 04:42 PM

there's movie look and then there is film look.
Movie looks comes from light, art direction, 24fps motion etc.

film look is just the way anything looks on film.

If you point that camera into something that can not be manipulated as a film set, like nature,
or simple street documentary stuff, it won't look like film.

The cool thing about film is that, when you use it like video, it still looks like film.
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#14 Jim Murdoch

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 09:54 PM

If you point that camera into something that can not be manipulated as a film set, like nature,
or simple street documentary stuff, it won't look like film.


In a few words, you have pretty much summed it up.

TV cameras work fine in closed set situations where you have total control of the lighting.
Unfortunately, most movies and TV shows contain places where you don't have that control.

If you shoot the images on film and then basically "photograph" that with a video camera (or more likely a Telecine) the enormous brightness range of the original scene is compressed by the film emulsion into something a video camera can handle.

In effect, it's as though you could put the Grand Canyon or New York City in a giant black tent and then light it for television.

CCD sensors are still quite a few orders of magnitude short of the performance needed to equal the performance of modern colour film. Unless you could somehow cool the silicon to close to absolute zero, there is no conceivable way around this limitation; it is another of those little-understood but still remarkably durable technological "brick walls".
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#15 Jim Murdoch

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 06:14 AM

The colors looked washed out. The few scenes that did look okay, such as the opening one, look as if they may have been shot on film, although I don't recall seeing anything in the credits to verify that.


Yeah, I thought that opening scene looked too sharp by half! If it really was shot with the Genesis, why couldn't they have made the whole film look like that?

However I thought the colour was generally OK, certainly a cut above what we saw on the last two Star Wars films at any rate. No way did it have the crisp saturation of top-notch film-originated material, but for a fairly run-of-the-mill movie, well I've seen worse stuff that really was shot on film.

The biggest problem for me was simply the lack of sharpness; it looked like a super-16 blowup. And it all too clearly showed the biggest drawback of attempting to "up-rez" HD images to look like film-derived ones: as things progressively move out of focus, the detail correction abruptly fails at some point, and the background jumps from half-sharp to totally blurred.

However I have to press the "No Cigar" buzzer for a different reason: Did any of you notice that none of the exteriors were shot on clear sunny days? With only one or two minor exceptions, every outside shot was on a dull cloudy day. I don't know if that was deliberate or not, but the flat lighting that usually produces wasn't going to be much of a challenge for the Genesis's dynamic range! Significantly on the few "clear-day" shots the sky was blown-out white, not blue.

I also distinctly saw the dreaded vertical smear on one candle-lit scene, although I don't think the average punter would notice it. I also noticed some strange faint vertical lines superimposed on the backgrounds every now and then.

Interestingly, I also saw a trailer for the new Adam Sandler movie "Click" which was also shot with the Genesis. Maybe it was just a poor copy, but the images were really sad and washed-out looking.

Look basically, while there seems no question that you produce some sort of film using these things, they seem really more suited to bottom-end productions, but Panavision insist on trying to market them as "Top-Shelf" items. Why would people want to pay an over-the-top rental for something that produces clearly inferior images?
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#16 Filip Plesha

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 07:12 AM

In a few words, you have pretty much summed it up.

TV cameras work fine in closed set situations where you have total control of the lighting.
Unfortunately, most movies and TV shows contain places where you don't have that control.

If you shoot the images on film and then basically "photograph" that with a video camera (or more likely a Telecine) the enormous brightness range of the original scene is compressed by the film emulsion into something a video camera can handle.

In effect, it's as though you could put the Grand Canyon or New York City in a giant black tent and then light it for television.

CCD sensors are still quite a few orders of magnitude short of the performance needed to equal the performance of modern colour film. Unless you could somehow cool the silicon to close to absolute zero, there is no conceivable way around this limitation; it is another of those little-understood but still remarkably durable technological "brick walls".


Yea, that's true, but I didn't just mean technical problems such as dynamic range. I also was refering to the fact that most people who watch films didn't see the actual sets, and when you are seeing a photograph of something that you don't know how it really looks like it is harder to isolate the "look" of the medium from the look of the subject that was being photographed.

For example, you may see 100 sci-fi films shot on some motion picture stock, but you still have no idea what kind of "look" that stock really has, unless you were on set. But if you took a piece of that film stock, put it in a camera and shoot your own living room, backyard or your own town, then you really get the idea of what it looks like. When you see something formiliar and ordinary on screen, then you "get" the medium.

I bet every young DP is suprized when they see their first film daily, even after seeing thousands of movies
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#17 Keith Mottram

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 10:41 AM

Okay so here is where i think were going to have problems. i dont believe in the film look/ video look. its a dead concept. deceased. it relies on outdated notions of what 'recording' and 'manipulating' an image are. does 'film look' refer to depth of field? or 24fps? as we all know all these things are as available on high end digital aquisition. what about grain? well this and gate weeve or any other problems that film throws up can easily be synthesized. and as for 'video look' what does that mean- it looks tv-ish? shot on set? this would therefor apply to many sitcoms shot on 35mm. i agree that a few years ago when digital aquisition was not in the sphere it is currently that you could apply a 'film look' as i was asked to do many times- this meant defield, up the contrast and add grain in general. but that is strictly corporate anyway. in summary a 'look' should not be applied to an aquisition medium as this is not the way anyone will ever see it. a '60's' look fine, a 'noir' look fine, but 'video' look doesn't mean anything. infact the very term video is pretty sketchy- by all means talk about artifacts ascociated with digital aquisition- banding, blowouts, strobing etc. but 'film' look and 'video' look do not mean, or at least should not mean, anything in the proffesional world anymore.

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#18 Filip Plesha

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 12:50 PM

Well all that you have said so far, suggests that you don't see it. Which is perfectly ok, not everyone is sensitive to the same things, I'm sure you are a great singer or something else. But a lot of people do see it and it makes a world of difference to them.

It really does not depend neither on motion, or subject. Take a flower pot, put it on a table in your backyard, shoot a single frame, and you'll still see the difference.

Put grain on 24P video footage, and it won't look like film, it will look more like: 24P video with grain on it
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#19 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 01:52 PM

As digital gets better, closer to film, I think we're just reaching the point where a lot of this argument is over attitudes (the scientific argument between precision and accuracy, which are two different things.)

It starts to be like a chef telling you that there is no true substitute for butter or lard or sugar, whatever. If you want to be precise about things, that's true. But the reality is that we substitute other compounds all the time for those things and get away with it in cooking.

You can take the hard line approach that film and digital are such fundamentally different things that the gulf can never be bridged and on one level you'd be right. Or you can take an attitude that the simularities become more common than the differences, to the point where there starts to be no practical differences when you start talking about images in more general aesthetic terms.

Not that we've reached that point yet, even with the Genesis, but I feel there are some people who will never accept digital as a replacement for film, and there are others who are all too ready to make the leap over, regardless of whether the technology has reached parity with film in almost all aspects.

My reaction to some of the criticisms over "bad" shots in a digitally-shot movie sometimes is "why is it nobody notices that a lot of film-shot movies have technically bad shots?" Washed-out colors? Too soft? Lack of good blacks? Digital artifacts from a bad D.I.? We all know that 35mm is capable of looking fantastic, so we don't see the occasional bad shot as being indicative of the quality of the format, yet for some reason, the occasional bad shot in a digital production is one more piece of evidence in the argument against using digital.

It particularly shows a prejudice when people ascribe any good-looking shots as "they must have used film for those" rather than entertain the possibility that those could have been shot digitally.

The main problem I see with a lot of 24P technology, if creating a perfect film-look is your goal, is that in the rigors of production, and the vagaries of post, it can be impossible to control the elements to maintain that illusion -- something always happens in the frame at some point to give away the digital origins, which is understandable -- it IS digital. At least with film, shooting it badly doesn't make it have digital artifacts (unless you use a bad digital post.) It may get soft, grainy, dirty, etc. but it is hard to make it behave like something it isn't. Whereas the burden on digital tends to be that it should never look like a digital image, at least until our attitudes change.
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#20 Filip Plesha

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 02:16 PM

It starts to be like a chef telling you that there is no true substitute for butter or lard or sugar, whatever. If you want to be precise about things, that's true. But the reality is that we substitute other compounds all the time for those things and get away with it in cooking.


But what if you like real butter so much that your favorite part of cooking is having places where you'll put real butter. What can I say, I'm obsessed with film. The whole reason I started shooting photography was because I liked how things turn out on film, because I liked that look so much. Film has changed a lot since then, but I still find satisfaction in it.
That's why I'm not a photographer, even when I get payed for it, but rather a film enthusiest.
Photographer shoot images, film enthusiests expose film just to see how things turn out on their favorite emulsion.
Untill I stop caring about the medium, I can't be a photographer

Edited by Filip Plesha, 19 April 2006 - 02:18 PM.

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