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cnn story on hdtv and its effects on talent


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#1 Evan Winter

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 09:47 PM

Found an interesting CNN article about how the industry's approach to make-up and beauty work may be changing to accommodate the additional clarity and size of today's HDTVs.

For ease of use I'll summarize but the full article can be found here:
http://www.cnn.com/2...=rss_topstories

summary:
? HDTV now in more than 30 million homes
"The grain structure of film allows a softness that HD video tends not to have, posing more challenges, especially when it comes to capturing female faces," says Stephen McNutt, director of photography for the Sci Fi Channel's "Battlestar Galactica."

? TV professionals worry about how performers look
-hi-def clarity puts any and all wrinkles, pimples and pores on display in well-lit bathroom-mirror detail.
-big-screen HDTV could lead to the end of the extreme close-up.
-hi-def fears could soon be reflected in artists' contracts.
-"I think there's a danger area of saying the extreme close-up is not flattering -- it's a part of the grammar of television to do that," says Tom Houghton, director of photography for "Rescue Me."
-"Maybe we don't want to be quite so close, now that people have bigger screens," Houghton adds.

? Makeup, lighting techniques making a difference
-new advances in cosmetic applications have done wonders, too, says Patricia Murray, "Battlestar's" head of makeup.
-Murray uses foundation and makeup that is airbrushed onto the skin, rather than by sponge or fingertip.

Hope you find the above interesting,

Evan
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#2 chuck colburn

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 10:05 PM

[quote name='Evan Winter' date='Jan 1 2007, 06:47 PM' post='145594']
Found an interesting CNN article about how the industry's approach to make-up and beauty work may be changing to accommodate the additional clarity and size of today's HDTVs.

For ease of use I'll summarize but the full article can be found here:
http://www.cnn.com/2...=rss_topstories

summary:
? HDTV now in more than 30 million homes
"The grain structure of film allows a softness that HD video tends not to have, posing more challenges, especially when it comes to capturing female faces," says Stephen McNutt, director of photography for the Sci Fi Channel's "Battlestar Galactica."

? TV professionals worry about how performers look
-hi-def clarity puts any and all wrinkles, pimples and pores on display in well-lit bathroom-mirror detail.
-big-screen HDTV could lead to the end of the extreme close-up.
-hi-def fears could soon be reflected in artists' contracts.
-"I think there's a danger area of saying the extreme close-up is not flattering -- it's a part of the grammar of television to do that," says Tom Houghton, director of photography for "Rescue Me."
-"Maybe we don't want to be quite so close, now that people have bigger screens," Houghton adds.

? Makeup, lighting techniques making a difference
-new advances in cosmetic applications have done wonders, too, says Patricia Murray, "Battlestar's" head of makeup.
-Murray uses foundation and makeup that is airbrushed onto the skin, rather than by sponge or fingertip.

Hope you find the above interesting,

Evan
[/quote

Boy what goes around comes around. Talent worrying about to much resoultion on the screen is nothing new. When B&H brought out the Super Baltars, it was reported that some stars of the silver screen had it written in their contract that they were not to be shot with them due to sharpness of the glass compared to the standard Baltars, Cookes etc.

Chuck
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 11:45 PM

Well, the same issues matter when shooting for the big picture screen in 35mm -- you can see every pore sometimes so make-up has to be well-done and subtle, sometimes diffusion used selectively, etc.

So it's nothing new except for TV shows that were used to standard def broadcast only in the past. Certainly it's new for news & reality shows to have to worry about how their hosts and announcers will look in HD.

But it's true that you do have to worry about how your cast will look on an HD broadcast, especially if you are only seeing SD dailies while shooting. Houghton is right that perhaps we can now start to back-off on the tight close-ups and use medium and wider shots more effectively for TV to show the environment and be more flattering to the cast at the same time.

A side issue is how actors look when shot with typical HD cameras versus 35mm film; some digital cameras can be particularly unflattering to older actors due to overuse of edge-enhancement. Random film grain tends to smooth-out some of the lines in a face but something about the fixed grid pattern of a CCD seems to grab onto those facial lines, and if Detail (edge enhancement) is being used, it's even worse. Combine that with a certain tendency for HD cameras to get clippy on skintone highlights and you have real problems. I've always noticed when shooting on the F900, for example, that skin tends to have more shine to it than with film. Actors need more powder than seems correct to your eye just to not look shiney on the HD monitor.
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#4 Matthew Buick

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 12:51 PM

I'm sure it will all be correctable in post, either that, or we can have a new family of softer filmstocks, which could be god news for film.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 12:54 PM

I'm sure it will all be correctable in post, either that, or we can have a new family of softer filmstocks, which could be god news for film.


In theory, I'd rather have sharp film and sharp lenses and just use a diffusion filter if I need some softening. You can always make a sharp stock / lens softer, but you can't make a soft stock / lens sharper.

Anyway, modern film stocks like Vision-2 and Fuji Eterna do already have a softer look because they are lower in contrast than previous generations.
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#6 Matthew Buick

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 12:57 PM

Oh...right...must remember to get a diffusion filter. :lol:
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#7 John Holland

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 01:10 PM

Why Mat , you aging badly :) John Holland , London .
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#8 Mitch Gross

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 02:19 PM

It's really more of an issue onset during production, at least in my experience. Talent is used to seeing SD dailies and a fuzzy videotap image. Now they're looking at a big screen HD feed that is showing every nook & cranny. The end result broadcast in homes may be of little difference, but the experience on set is a very different one.
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 02:27 PM

It's really more of an issue onset during production, at least in my experience. Talent is used to seeing SD dailies and a fuzzy videotap image. Now they're looking at a big screen HD feed that is showing every nook & cranny. The end result broadcast in homes may be of little difference, but the experience on set is a very different one.


Yes, it's a little like having 35mm projection on the set -- the actors aren't used to seeing that level of resolution, even though that's how they've been shot for years if they have been on 35mm shoots. They get a little freaked-out, which is another reason why the thought of being shot in HD can panic some middle-aged actresses. And if the DP isn't taking care of them, they probably should be worried.

On the flipside, I've had producers get worked up over minor facial details & imperfection on some young, pretty actress' face when seeing things on a big HD monitor, stuff that is ultimately irrelevant in a narrative context. Then they ask you to take more time to fix stuff that doesn't really need fixing. And then a few hours later they are complaining that you are behind schedule...
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#10 Igor Trajkovski

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 11:38 PM

Well, the same issues matter when shooting for the big picture screen in 35mm -- you can see every pore sometimes so make-up has to be well-done and subtle, sometimes diffusion used selectively, etc.


This just reminded me of a close up of Patrick Steward,
in X-Men 1, when he was lying on a bed.
Yes, i was awestruck by the detail of the skin and beaty of the shot, watched in a cinema, of course.



...some digital cameras can be particularly unflattering to older actors due to overuse of edge-enhancement.


Arghhh .... edge enhancement.

They shall make a dedicated BIG on/off button for that function.


Back in the days when i was at the quest for the FILMLOOK Grail,
i was "stuck" with the idea deinterlacing/progressive was the
panacea.

All nice, but when i used to watch some TV production
originating on betaSP, slowed down (deinterlaced) and
still screaming VIDEO, i could not understand why. :)

Now i do clearly. The Edge Enhancment was at MAX.
The picture was crawling with artifacted edges. Starting from the
busy (leafs/branches) background, add the deep stop,
blown mini sparks of higlights...

No remedy for over E-enhaced image.

And my suprise when seeing a static shot from a commercial,
beautifull dramaticaly lit person in a chair,
and me thinking "nice film shot".
The first move the talent did i could not believe what i saw.
It was video! 50i. Damn!
:)

Anyway...

Maybe the concerned actors should be
reminded that "our" HD cameras have a
function called Skin Detail.
They can DIAL/Sign in the contract the amount of
skin softening. In camera.
Problem solved!

:)

Regards

Igor


PS: The last paragraph - me being bad.
I do NOT like the uber softening of skin detail.

I see it regularly on a naighbour country music video TV.
Sometimes i see great looking images, fine balance of
all picture settings. But sometims it hurts to watch
how the same (HD/Digibeta/DVCpro) tool can be abused.
Skin detail smoothed at max, than what Daved said - tendency for HD cameras to get clippy on skintone highlights, edge enhanced everything else, some blown outs,.. and top that with interlaced recording!
You get the picture!
:)
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