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Miami Vice Framerate?


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#1 Larry Wilson

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 01:44 AM

I just saw the trailer for Miami Vice, and I have to say that I'm more than a little disappointed.

It didn't look as if it was shot in HD video on a top-quality camera, like I'm sure the Thomson Viper is. IMHO, it looked like it had been shot on a mid-range MiniDV camera. The scenes I saw had the look of fairly good video, but video nonetheless--complete with noisy low-light scenes and comet trails. Even George Lucas managed to keep both of these under control, and the CineAltas are older than the Vipers were, right?

Did Michael Mann shoot this at 24fps? It certainly doesn't look like it.

I realize it's his movie and he could do what he wants, but I can't help but think a lot of Vice fans are going to be be seriously disappointed, and not just because he's not using Jan Hammer's theme music, either.

I think he could have achieved the same look he ended up with using film. After all, it worked for the original, didn't it?

Also, would you say the look of this movie and Collateral are indicative of the look of projects shot with the Viper?
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#2 Max Jacoby

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 03:02 AM

The films was shot 24fps, since that is what it will be projected at in theatres. But I think what you are referring to is the fact that they used a 270 degree shutter for night scenes, which creates this smearing whith movement.

The Viper's image, if shot conventionally does not look like this. There hase been some discussion on the 'On the Big Screen' forum about what the look of 'Miami Vice'. It certainly is 'different', but is it actually 'good'? Both you and I don't seem to think so.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 12:31 PM

David Fincher's Zodiak movie is probably going to be a more film-like use of the Viper than "Miami Vice". I've seen some clips and other than the fact that a lot of the Zodiak movie is really underexposed, it looks very film-like, somewhat soft-textured like a 1970's movie.

"Miami Vice" is boosting gain, shooting with deep focus, recording with HD processing, not RAW mode like Film Stream mode, using the shutter nearly off, etc. In essense, it's trying amplify its electronic origin, not mask it.

But they ARE shooting at 24 fps. The smeary motion from using the longer shutter speeds resembles a 60i effect though.
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#4 Michael Collier

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 02:18 PM

Well, didnt he shoot collateral with gain up and claim that it allowed them to see into the night with no added noise? I can see the noise on my SD DVD copy. I can't imagine what it looked like in theaters. I think he's a little to on board this digital thing. Maybe he is thinking its so good now that you dont need to treat video speacially. Maybe he likes the look of noise. I can't imagine why.

Oh, david, What about this zodiak? I'm a Fincher fan so I am eager to see it. How did you view it? On a TV or through a large screen projection? how does the look compare to some of his other films? (you said underexposed, which I think just about ever fincher movie is.)
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#5 Bob Hayes

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 06:24 PM

Quite often I shoot my HD video nights with the shutter off. It gives it a slightly dream like quality. I like the feel but it doesn?t feel like film.
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#6 Lance Flores

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 11:33 AM

David Fincher's Zodiak movie is probably going to be a more film-like use of the Viper than "Miami Vice". I've seen some clips and other than the fact that a lot of the Zodiak movie is really underexposed, it looks very film-like, somewhat soft-textured like a 1970's movie.

"Miami Vice" is boosting gain, shooting with deep focus, recording with HD processing, not RAW mode like Film Stream mode, using the shutter nearly off, etc. In essense, it's trying amplify its electronic origin, not mask it.

But they ARE shooting at 24 fps. The smeary motion from using the longer shutter speeds resembles a 60i effect though.


I downloaded the 1020i HD MV trailer to take one last look before we make our final commitment to the Viper Filmstream. Actually I was rather impressed about the facts that it was ?record[ed] with HD processing, not RAW mode? and the SA was 270. I had concerns about flattening out the highlights and saturation in night shoots of muzzle flashes and street lights for our shoot -- but the Miami Vice night scenes looked rather good. I?m sure the large shutter angle was and high gain was thought out. Though I?d feel safer not pushing much past 180 degrees.

So I?m convinced the Viper will be our choice. My last concern now about using digital or optical filters for color balance. Which I?ll begin a new thread.
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#7 Larry Wilson

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 01:28 AM

Check out this month's American Cinematographer. The main story is Dion Beebe's work on "Vice." Turns out that not only did they use the Viper, but a couple of CineAltas and even...film!

Apparently for all that HD can do, it still can't handle slow-mo shots or underwater shots.

Now I'm definitely going to have to see this one.
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#8 Elhanan Matos

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 11:32 PM

Check out this month's American Cinematographer. The main story is Dion Beebe's work on "Vice." Turns out that not only did they use the Viper, but a couple of CineAltas and even...film!

Apparently for all that HD can do, it still can't handle slow-mo shots or underwater shots.

Now I'm definitely going to have to see this one.



HD can do slow motion, and can also do underwater shots quite well. The F900 (through field doubling) the Varicam, the Sony 1500, the new sony cinealta camera which I'm not sure if it has a name yet can all do 60fps, the Genesis can do 50fps. Then there are the high speed HD cameras; The Cine speed cam, the photosonics Phantoms, and the Wescam, which can each shoot up to 1,000fps in HD.

As for underwater, have you ever heard of "Ghosts of the Abyss?" Vince Pace and James Cameron have been doing underwater HD for years now! Also the movie "The Cave" which was mostly shot on film used F950's in underwater housings for all of their underwater sequences.
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#9 David Sweetman

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 01:23 AM

Maybe he likes the look of noise. I can't imagine why.


Same reason musicians experiment with atonality. Some people don't like atonal music becasue it sounds "bad," but it's designed to. The musicians are using the dissonance for a specific purpose, to communicate a specific feeling that can't be communicated with tonal music. Mann and Bebbe did exactly the same thing, but with a motion picture.
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#10 Bill Totolo

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 04:40 PM

I just saw the trailer for Miami Vice, and I have to say that I'm more than a little disappointed.

It didn't look as if it was shot in HD video on a top-quality camera, like I'm sure the Thomson Viper is. IMHO, it looked like it had been shot on a mid-range MiniDV camera. The scenes I saw had the look of fairly good video, but video nonetheless--complete with noisy low-light scenes and comet trails. Even George Lucas managed to keep both of these under control, and the CineAltas are older than the Vipers were, right?

Did Michael Mann shoot this at 24fps? It certainly doesn't look like it.

I realize it's his movie and he could do what he wants, but I can't help but think a lot of Vice fans are going to be be seriously disappointed, and not just because he's not using Jan Hammer's theme music, either.

I think he could have achieved the same look he ended up with using film. After all, it worked for the original, didn't it?

Also, would you say the look of this movie and Collateral are indicative of the look of projects shot with the Viper?



I think if you take a step back and look the movie as a whole you may be inclined to agree that the look of the movie suits the tone of the story being told, and the point of view of the characters inhabiting this world.

Apparently Michael Mann felt a gritty, immediate look and docu feel would transport the audience into his urban sub-world effectively.

I'm not a proponent of video but in this case I think it makes for a very visceral experience. Especially since what I'm seeing on the nightly news is competing for my attention in the movie theater. Anyone can turn on Anderson Cooper 360 and see rockets blowing up the sides of buildings in Lebanon. That's not fiction, that's reality. How does a Director compete with that?

Quite frankly, I would rather see this approach taken with video rather than trying to emulate film emulsion. I'm often dissapointed by seeing video in the movie theater unless that equation is thrown out the window by someone obviously not concerned with the old film vs. video debate.

He embraced the strengths of video and incorporated that into the style of the movie.

Besides you don't use lofty language, lavish set design or ellaborate make up just because you think it's better. You choose the tools you feel are appropriate, right?
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#11 Saurabh

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 05:24 AM

Hi,
I attended a technical seminar on the thompson viper in Mumbai, India. What I don't understand about it is the "cinemascope aspect ratio" i.e 2.35:1 ratio... how is it done, they said " Dynamic Pixel management" I don't completely understand that. Then, if it is just the pixels being managed, how i sit behaving on the viewfinder and then are there any optics changing?
Thanking you.
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#12 Thomas Worth

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 12:35 AM

Check out this month's American Cinematographer. The main story is Dion Beebe's work on "Vice." Turns out that not only did they use the Viper, but a couple of CineAltas and even...film!

You can see vertical CCD flares in the car mount shots on the highway (it's in the trailer). Since the Viper uses a mechanical shutter to avoid this, they probably didn't use the Viper for those shots. So, knowing that, there's no telling how many other shots they didn't use it for!

I think the movie looked terrible. And why is it called "Miami Vice?" Wasn't the whole point of the show back in the day the glamour and the eye candy (babes, cars, etc)? Crappy cinematography doesn't quite fit into that scenario, in my opinion.
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#13 David Beier

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 12:22 AM

Personally, I didn't like the look of Miami Vice. Collateral pushed the low shutter speed pretty far but it was a great movie and, despite the smeary motion, looked pretty nice. Miami Vice, aside from just being a bad movie, looks awful. TONS more noise than I saw in Collateral, even more smeary motion, and just ugly in general. I respect Mann for experimenting but I don't think it worked (still better to fail then play it safe).

Personally, that the 270 shudder looks crappy in 24p. However, I kind of like the effect I get when I shoot at 12fps and then dubble each one to get back to 24. It stops the motion from looking too smooth which reminds me of 60i and makes the trails look more deliberate and surreal.
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#14 K Borowski

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 05:55 PM

Loved the TV show (more precisely: fast cars, flamingos, jai alai, and bouncing boobs :-) oh wait, that's just the stock footage! ), hated the movie ;-)
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#15 Matthew Buick

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 07:31 PM

Oh, Chuckles, you are a funny one. <_<
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#16 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 07:37 PM

Oh, Chuckles, you are a funny one. <_<


Let's try and stay constructive Matthew...again, this isn't an IMDb movie forum, so this is no place for animosity or negativism.

Plus, I have a sense you stalked Karl on that one.
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#17 Nick Mulder

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 03:32 AM

He's out of control ...

As I've said before ... i really appreciate his enthusiasm, but he's just blatantly trolling now - it really lowers the tone of an otherwise great forum

post #19 here also : http://www.cinematog...n...20763&st=15

and quote from his profile "Interests: Spamming up other forums until I'm banned"
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