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#1 Kyle Geerkens

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 03:33 PM

I'm proposing a music video and in order to receive funding from the broadcaster there are some specs that confuse me.

I want to shoot with the HVX200...

Their spec sheet says that they will not accept Hgh Def.

They want film or HD24P.

What confuses me is the difference between high def and HD24P. Obviously they want the 24P look. So do I.

So are they just saying that i can't shoot HD at 29.97 FPS and have to make sure it is 23.98?

Or is there a specific camera they are directing me towards?
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#2 Troy Warr

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 05:35 PM

I could certainly be wrong, but this sounds contradictory to me, too. "High def" could mean anything higher-resolution than 480i NTSC, which would realistically include everything up to 1080p60. "HD24P" could be interpreted as 720p24 or 1080p24, which would fall well within the definition of "high def."

I would guess that they're asking for true 24p content, i.e. shot with a progressive sensor, not 1080i60 with a reverse 3:2 pulldown or something like that. So yeah, I would assume that 29.97fps would be out and you'll want to shoot at 23.98fps. But, I think it would be worth it to ask them to clarify, if possible, since that seems less than specific.

Just curious, did they specify what film formats they'll accept?
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#3 Michael Nash

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 06:30 PM

Their spec sheet says that they will not accept Hgh Def.

They want film or HD24P.


Is this the extent of their spec sheet, or are you paraphrasing? Because this is very vague and contradictory. I could speculate as to what they mean, but without knowing the precise language I'd just be adding to the confusion...
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 07:14 PM

Hi,

I'll ask the same question - is that exactly the phraseology they're using? The only place I've seen "HD24P" spelled out is in the status display of a JVC GY-HD series camera. In that context, HD24P is hi def.

Phil
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#5 Kyle Geerkens

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 06:44 PM

Hi,

I'll ask the same question - is that exactly the phraseology they're using? The only place I've seen "HD24P" spelled out is in the status display of a JVC GY-HD series camera. In that context, HD24P is hi def.

Phil



I agree I have never seen this wording before either. hence the question. I will quote the page directly:


"Videos shot on 35mm ?lm have a ?ne grain, details in the blacks, increased resolution
that allows lower levels in lighting while still maintaining the integrity of the scene and
an overall vibrancy in colours that does not exist in 16mm or super 16. In certain cases,
HD24P as a shooting format is acceptable if a Digital Betacam master is submitted.
Please note, regular Hi-Def will not be considered."

"Shooting Requirements:
1. Video must be shot on 35mm ?lm or HD24P"


So to clarify... I don't think I'm being dumb here.. this is very vague. It sounds like its written by someone who has no idea what theyre talking about. I get this from the written specs:

Forgetting about film.... they want any High Def - But not shot at 30FPS to avoid the "video look". To me it sounds like they have heard a bunch of buzz words and are using them to sound specific.

If I am wrong please tell me!!

I could certainly be wrong, but this sounds contradictory to me, too. "High def" could mean anything higher-resolution than 480i NTSC, which would realistically include everything up to 1080p60. "HD24P" could be interpreted as 720p24 or 1080p24, which would fall well within the definition of "high def."

I would guess that they're asking for true 24p content, i.e. shot with a progressive sensor, not 1080i60 with a reverse 3:2 pulldown or something like that. So yeah, I would assume that 29.97fps would be out and you'll want to shoot at 23.98fps. But, I think it would be worth it to ask them to clarify, if possible, since that seems less than specific.

Just curious, did they specify what film formats they'll accept?



They did not specify what film formats. But I do not have the budget to shoot film in any case!
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#6 Michael Nash

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 07:19 PM

Please note, regular Hi-Def will not be considered."


Regular being the operative word. They don't want an interlaced picture. They want a 24P image, even if it's delivered on an interlaced format (Digibeta).

Using the HVX-200 would be... specious, though. They sound pretty specific about the resolution and grain-free image of 35mm or high-end 24P HD, like that of the F900 or Viper ("in certain cases, HD24P as a shooting format is acceptable..."). If they've ruled out Super16mm, chances are they wouldn't like the HVX image either. Remember, it's basically an up-rezed standard def sensor, and only up to 720P at that. Its resolution and noise is generally no better than whjat you get with Super 16. You might be able to slip it by them, but it may not pass QC.
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#7 Troy Warr

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 07:35 PM

I'd definitely agree with you. Unless I'm missing something, 35mm film has no inherent advantage to any other film format with regard to shadow detail or color vibrancy - the capabilities of a particular film stock, negative vs. reversal, processing, telecine and work of the colorist will determine that, all other things being equal.

The way I initially read their words was that "regular Hi-Def" could refer to the submitted video format rather than the shooting format; in other words, they may want to evaluate the look of the video based on a Digibeta dub rather than in an HD format like broadcast 1080i60. That's just one interpretation, though, and I would still think you'd want to contact them to clarify before committing to a format. It does sound like any non-24p shooting format is out, though.

The reason that I was curious about the film format is that I thought that might say more about their approach to the subject. At first it had sounded like they weren't particular about the film format, which would imply that Super-8 was just as acceptable as HD in that case. But, it sounds like they're reluctant about any film format but 35mm, but the question remains as to what HD format(s) is/are acceptable.
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#8 Kyle Geerkens

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 08:22 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. I will be contacting them to get a final answer and will post my response on here ASAP.

If anyone else feels they may have any insight into this topic please continue to discuss.

On a side note:
Personally I see absolutely no reason why shooting 720P (24p native) on the HVX wuld be a problem for them considering the quality is still great and they are receiving/broadcasting an SD version anyways!

comments?


Thanks

Kyle Geerkens
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#9 Jonathan Benny

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 09:05 PM

If anyone else feels they may have any insight into this topic please continue to discuss.


I think its possible that they are stating that they do not want an HD product shot at 60i. They want it shot at 24p. "Regular HD" to them probably means HD shot at 60i.

Just a possability,

AJB
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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 09:52 PM

Hi,

Well, it's always best to follow the rules.

However, it's not particularly unusual to be given a spec like this that really doesn't make a lot of sense, and implies that the client really doesn't know what they want in a technical sense. I would consider 24p HD to be entirely "regular", just as 60i HD is also "regular" - it's an incredibly unspecific term.

Their comparison of the capabilities of various film and video formats is also all over the place. Any type of film will typically have less detail in the blacks than equivalently sensitive video. It doesn't allow lower lighting levels and the vibrancy of the colours is effectively the same as the same stock in 16mm. Also, what if you happen to want to shoot with really crushed blacks? I do, all the time. Are they taking over creative control too?

These people haven't the first idea what they're talking about. As a practical matter, I suspect Mr. Nash is entirely correct, but they clearly don't really know what they want or how to ask for it.

This may mean that the technical QC will be done by a nontechnical management pedant who will reject anything that doesn't specifically conform to a written description. It may also, and probably does, mean that you can probably get away with more or less anything so long as it subjectively looks OK.

I'm sure shooting on an HVX will look reasonably good if you finish it uncompressed and output it to SD digibeta, but you'd better be prepared to lie to them if they ask.

Phil
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#11 Mark Henderson

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 09:56 PM

They just want the music video shot on film or HD with a cine gamma look. They added the 24P to the HD because they don't want the 60i "live" video look. They want a quality music video shot with a "film" look.

How do they want the finished product delivered to them? DigiBeta?

It is what they weren't saying that is important. They didn't say shoot it on BetaSP, use a HDV cam, etc.

Mark
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#12 Michael Nash

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 02:01 AM

Personally I see absolutely no reason why shooting 720P (24p native) on the HVX wuld be a problem for them considering the quality is still great and they are receiving/broadcasting an SD version anyways!


...Not as "great" as 35mm. Again, if they're specific enough to draw a distinction between 35mm and Super16mm when submitted on Digibeta, they may well be able to distinguish uprezed 540 lines from true 1080 lines. Maybe, maybe not. But do you want to gamble your production budget on it?

While standard definition display may reduce the resolution difference between formats, the higher resolution origination format will always look sharper and with more detail, due to oversampling. This is why 35mm looks sharper than 16 on standard def -- both can resolve more detail than standard def can display, yet 35mm still looks sharper in the transfer.

The same principle applies to HD material. 35mm is sharper than 1080P HD, which is sharper than 720P HD, which is sharper than 540 uprezed to 720. These are incremental steps, but you can still see the difference even on standard def. And I'm not bashing the HVX, either. I like the camera quite a bit but I know it doesn't look like 35mm. It looks more like Super 16mm.

Regarding shadow detail, the network's reasoning is not completely out of line. It's not the shadow luminance that's in question, it's how well you can see shadow detail that makes the difference. 35mm can give you sharp, grainless, visible detail in shadows; 16mm may have more grain and lower resolution obscuring that dark, difficult-to-see detail. This is not a new concept. ("Videos shot on 35mm ?lm have a ?ne grain, details in the blacks, increased resolution that allows lower levels in lighting while still maintaining the integrity of the scene and an overall vibrancy in colours that does not exist in 16mm or super 16.") 24P HD video is also acceptable in this regard, by their standards. Of course there's no difference in color depth between 35mm and 16mm, only the aforementioned softness and grain that might obscure subtle color detail. I guess maybe they feel that 1080 24P HD resolution makes up for the lower color depth, at least compared to 16mm.

Of course you can poke holes in their specs, like Phil suggests. What if you want a grainy or contrasty image by design, even if it originates on 35mm? Would that be forbidden or accepted?

Maybe the guy who wrote the spec sheet has moved on to another job. Maybe their QC guy will be hung over the day they get your tape. But again, do you really want to gamble your production costs that they'll take anything less than what they've told you? It's worth confirming...
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