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Filming Televisions


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#1 Cole Webley

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Posted 27 May 2006 - 02:10 AM

I am shooting a music video on 35mm with four or five television sets set close together with different videos playing on each television. The attached photo shows what we are going to do... My question is, how do we get all of the televisions to be in sync and not have any flicker problems.

We will be shooting everything with the television sets at 24 FPS.

Thanks for any help on this one.
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#2 Oli Soravia

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 05:10 PM

I am shooting a music video on 35mm with four or five television sets set close together with different videos playing on each television. The attached photo shows what we are going to do... My question is, how do we get all of the televisions to be in sync and not have any flicker problems.

We will be shooting everything with the television sets at 24 FPS.

Thanks for any help on this one.

Hi there,

one the best ways to visualize it is to shoot the screens as green and superimpose the televison shots in post.

greets, oli


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#3 Cole Webley

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 12:19 AM

Oli,

That is what we originally going to do but we decided to try and do it all in camera -- the direct wants that raw look as it plays through the television -- he wants it to look (and I feel like this word is over used) "organic"

I have attached the file again so you can open it and see what we are trying to accomplish.

Thanks again,

Cole

Nevermind, I can't get the file to work. Sorry.
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#4 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 05:28 AM

There are special sync 24fps video playback systems one can rent in North America, but I'm not really sure how it works. Here in Europe all I do is run the camera at 25fps, phase out the roll bar and we're off (doesn't work with a camera that has a butterfly shutter). Couldn't you get a PAL TV and do it at 25fps?
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#5 Hal Smith

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 05:56 AM

I'm not very up-to-date on video anymore but I do know that if you're going to do it with live TV's, you need professional video playback and/or camera equipment that can all be locked to a master sync generator. That way all the live TV screens are in exactly the same time relationship with each other. Otherwise "phasing" out the vertical blanking interval bar on one TV will not phase it out on the other TV's.

Talk to an engineer at a TV station, they'll know what you need in the way of playback, sync, and monitor equipment. Adam's suggestion to simplify things by using PAL gear and filming at 25FPS is a good one - it'll save you a lot of unnecessary extra hassle with syncing things up.

An afterthought. If you use PAL gear and since this is a music video you'll need to work with the band to resolve tempi and pitch issues created by filming at 25FPS. If they're going to be lip-syncing to previously recorded tracks, you'll probably want to arrange for the playback they hear to be ran fast by 25/24 or even 25/23.976 to make the film tempo when played back at 24FPS match the original track's tempo and pitch. Depending on the instruments involved, a 25/24 upshift in pitch may, or may not, become an issue. I've worked with a jazz band in the past (Oregon) whose members could readily sense a small difference in pitch and tempo.
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#6 Cole Webley

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 02:43 PM

Thanks guys. I called a place called TV Specialist and spoke with one of thier rental guys and he wasn't able to give me any information as to what kind of sync generators I would need - or any information for that matter, unfortunantly.

I think using PAL television sets would be great, if I could find some -- but again I have been unfruitful in this attempt - Utah is a long ways away from Europe.

I am leaning towards composing it on the screens -- which would bypass a world of technical issues while at the sametime creating another level of post work, work which doesn't seem to be too heavy in comparison to the number of VHS players to DVD players + sync issues, etc. etc.

We have a really good After Affects guy on our crew so I will try to convince him of my plans.

-Cole
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#7 Chris Keth

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 06:27 PM

I am leaning towards composing it on the screens -- which would bypass a world of technical issues while at the sametime creating another level of post work, work which doesn't seem to be too heavy in comparison to the number of VHS players to DVD players + sync issues, etc. etc.

We have a really good After Affects guy on our crew so I will try to convince him of my plans.

-Cole



Definately the way to go. Syncing with one monitor is easy. Two isn't bad with a little luck and time, but without the right gear, syncing with more than two is nearly impossible.
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#8 Anthony Meade

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 05:18 PM

Hi,

I think another option maybe to use, if it a vaiable option, LCD flatscreen monitors. Just finished a shoot we had three or four in shot on one scene, no problems.
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#9 Michael Collier

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 09:31 PM

To sync up several different sources to eachother you need a framesync (simple name, expensive peice of gear. probably affordable for a 1 day rental type deal) and a blackburst generator. You may need a seperate framesync for each of the monitors (you might find one that does 2-4 channels or more though) to get everything in order.

I would recomend calling a company that specializes in live video. The kind of company responsible for putting the cameras on a jumbo tron, or the kind that does live sports broadcast. Since your use is well outside of their normal area you can probably get a good deal. They would have the frame sync and a video switcher, which could be useful to you.
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#10 Hal Smith

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 10:00 PM

To sync up several different sources to eachother you need a framesync (simple name, expensive peice of gear. probably affordable for a 1 day rental type deal) and a blackburst generator. You may need a seperate framesync for each of the monitors (you might find one that does 2-4 channels or more though) to get everything in order.

I would recomend calling a company that specializes in live video. The kind of company responsible for putting the cameras on a jumbo tron, or the kind that does live sports broadcast. Since your use is well outside of their normal area you can probably get a good deal. They would have the frame sync and a video switcher, which could be useful to you.

Good approach, I was thinking more of TV studio practice of having master sync feeding VCR's, cameras, etc. but using frame stores driven off of a common sync source would work real well.
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#11 Travis Cline

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 10:21 PM

Cole

I've always had luck shooting TV's with a 150 degree shutter. I've never tried it with more than one screen before, but that could be a good place to start if you still want to do it in camera. You could get lucky. Has anyone else done this, could it work for more screens?

Travis

Edited by travisclinedp, 07 June 2006 - 10:21 PM.

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#12 timHealy

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 10:28 PM

I don't know where you are but if you are in NY, give this guy a call. His company specializes in just your sort of problem.

Best

Tim

JOE TRAMMELL
C/O NAVESYNC, INC.,
306 W 38 ST. - 5 FLR,
NEW YORK, NY, 10018

212-244-7177, SHOP
212-244-5495, FAX
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#13 Michael Nash

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 04:58 PM

I've always had luck shooting TV's with a 150 degree shutter. I've never tried it with more than one screen before, but that could be a good place to start if you still want to do it in camera. You could get lucky. Has anyone else done this, could it work for more screens?



A 144 degree shutter will synch with the TV's display, but you still end up with a thin black bar on the screen somewhere. With mulitple TV screens you're likely to get that black bar in different positions on the different screens. Also the images played back on the TV screens at 30fps/60i will appear a little strobed, since you're not sampling every field or frame of playback.
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#14 Canney

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 09:45 PM

There is another solution but it mights be a little costly. You could you LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) televisions and screens. Frame rates and sync's are not a problem with LCD screens, because electricity is shot though liquid crystal which changes and morphs it into different shapes and colors to produce images and it doesn't use scanning at all. I've shot it with film and video for years and have never had a problem.
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#15 Cole Webley

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 02:04 AM

Thanks for all of your replies. We shot it the other night. We ended up having four television sets. And, I ended up just shooting them all blank -- I couldn't find the equipment to sync them all up. 98% of the shots were static the other two shots were just a slow push in and a slow move out on a dolly -- I have been told that it shouldn't be too hard for the post guys to drop our images in on the televisions. We'll see. Once again, thanks for all of the remarks and ideas.

Cheers.
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#16 Cole Webley

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 07:49 PM

Just transfered this TV stuff at R!OT -- they did a great job and were willing to work with our budget. I would recommend them to any and all.

I will post some stills when we transfer them from the DigiBeta.

Thanks again everyone.

Cole
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