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Shooting a TV screen on Film


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#1 Robert Lam

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 09:28 PM

I am in pre-production for a short in which we are shooting an NTSC TV on 16mm. I have worked with sync boxes before to control the phase of the camera so that flicker problems are eliminated. It worked great when we don't need to have sound sync since the camera runs at 29.97. In this case though, we need to see the image on screen synced with the sound it is recorded with. We do not need to see the elements/actors standing in front of the TV at sync. I am also told by Panavision (we are getting our "Elaine" package from there) that even if I were to set the shutter at 144deg, I would still need to run the camera slightly off speed in order to correct for the position of the roll bar to phase it out.

I have already reccommended that we use an LCD TV (since that's so easy) but the location and the size of the TV that is in place already is ideal for the story of the script. It seems like it would be difficult to restage the scene we are shooting with a smaller television or in another location entirely.

My idea was to have the pre-recorded material we are showing on the TV be sped up by the exact ratio (29.97/24) to approx. ~37fps. In camera (16mm), we would shoot at the 29.97 speed regulated by the sync box. Would projecting/playing back at 24fps in the end-game cancel out the overcranking of the film camera with the sped up video image? Has anyone tried this?
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#2 Stuart McCammon

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 12:34 PM

What about the set-ups that run the TV screen in sync with the camera speed - have you checked those out yet? Actually, if you fed the TV signal off a computer, you might even be able to come up with a homemade version of that rig -
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#3 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 02:19 PM

This is strictly a sidebar answer. If you are editing your film on video, one method to consider is to only do lock off shots so that you can matt in your image in post. This technique is much easier to achieve if the camera is not panning, tilting, zooming or dollying, and finally, no one should walk in front of the set.

I am interested in Stuarts idea as well.

If the soundtrack that is associated with the television image is strictly voice only, then you could just pull up the lines in post.
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The Slider

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