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200 degree shutter angle


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#1 fstop

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 09:29 AM

I found this clip from THE MAKING OF SUPERMAN III on Youtube:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xay_9has99o...man%20reeve

During one behind the scenes set up, in which the crew are filming a scene of Superman crushing a piece of coal into a diamond, you can hear cinematographer Robert Paynter (white hair and glasses close to the doco camera) request a 200 degree shutter from his 1stAC (Jeff Paynter). I read on CML that some DPs believe you can get simulated diffusion from a 200 degree shutter angle, but the halated diamond sparkle effect seen in the film is definitely an optical. I'm assuming it was only shot with a 200 degree shutter angle so that the slight motion blur will give the two seperate shots cut together a smoother movement. Being a Lester fan, I also noticed that his editor John Victor Smith (the guy with the beard) is stood next to the camera consulting on the shot.

This all seems unusually (and pleasingly) hands on resourceful creativity for a cinematographer. I guess today it'd be a plate of the hands and then off to the CG department...
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 08:53 PM

Switching between 180 and 200 degrees on the shutter of a camera like the Panaflex produces no discernable difference in visual effect -- you're only talking about a 1/6th of a stop increase in exposure and a small difference in shutter speed.
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#3 fstop

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 07:09 AM

so, what is the simple reason as to why Paynter shot at 200 degrees? I'm guessing it's something painfully obvious.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 12:28 PM

A lot of DP's use the 200 degree feature as a safety margin for exposure, but it really isn't helping that much.
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#5 fstop

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 07:20 AM

Oh really? Then why isn't 200 made standard like 180 considering it is more or less the same with an added 1/6th stop?

You've always mentioned David that SUPERMAN III tends towards the grainy in terms of it's photography. I love Paynter's work which always has a grainy rugggedness (much like most of Bruce Surtees work from the same period), but that sequence from SIII certainly wasn't low light (you can see banks of lights being erected right next to Christopher Reeve),so the 200 just makes me curious as to how he was exposing. When you are that plain medium gray with no intention of reaching for a dense neg, what can 200 degrees do? Not that I'm gonna even bother second guessing Robert Paynter! ;)

Many thanks
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Visual Products

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

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Rig Wheels Passport