Jump to content


Photo

HD for British television spot


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 James W

James W
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 14 posts
  • 2nd Assistant Camera
  • Germany / England

Posted 21 March 2007 - 01:19 PM

Hello everybody!

I will be shooting a short spot for broadcast on British television, and I'm interested in any comments, advice and help. There are a few HD technical aspects regarding my equipment requirments, broadcast/output considerations and lighting issues that I would appreciate support on. Any wise folks out there that can share experiences?

Thanks!
  • 0

#2 Brian Drysdale

Brian Drysdale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5070 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 21 March 2007 - 03:11 PM

Hello everybody!

I will be shooting a short spot for broadcast on British television, and I'm interested in any comments, advice and help. There are a few HD technical aspects regarding my equipment requirments, broadcast/output considerations and lighting issues that I would appreciate support on. Any wise folks out there that can share experiences?

Thanks!


Here are the BBC's guide lines:
http://www.bbc.co.uk...ormats_v1_4.pdf

The main problem would be if you're planning to shoot on HDV, but they do list in the guide lines what they regard as "SD" - this includes HDV.
  • 0

#3 James W

James W
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 14 posts
  • 2nd Assistant Camera
  • Germany / England

Posted 08 April 2007 - 08:50 AM

Thanks alot Brian! I did'nt think of going straight to the source!

james
  • 0

#4 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 11 April 2007 - 04:04 AM

Interesting...


2. Standard Definition
2.1. The following formats are considered to be standard definition:
o All standard definition video formats
o HDV from all manufactures
o Cameras with image sensors under 1?2?
o Super16 film whether transferred to tape in high definition or not

  • 0

#5 Stuart Brereton

Stuart Brereton
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3059 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 11 April 2007 - 04:20 AM

Interesting...
2. Standard Definition

o Super16 film whether transferred to tape in high definition or not



The BBC has a strange attitude toward s16. They've effectively banned it from their HD channels because the MPEG encoders they use can't handle film grain. Rather than admit that their encoders are crap, they've decided to pretend that it is film that is at fault.

This looks like another expression of this philosophy - "You can't use 16mm because it's only standard definition, oh and it's grainy...."

Guidelines written by engineers.....
  • 0

#6 Andy_Alderslade

Andy_Alderslade
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1055 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London, UK

Posted 11 April 2007 - 12:11 PM

The BBC has a strange attitude toward s16. They've effectively banned it from their HD channels because the MPEG encoders they use can't handle film grain. Rather than admit that their encoders are crap, they've decided to pretend that it is film that is at fault.

This looks like another expression of this philosophy - "You can't use 16mm because it's only standard definition, oh and it's grainy...."

Guidelines written by engineers.....


I bet those enginers didn't notice anything 'standard definition' when watching trailers for the recent feature 'Venus.'

The BBC are currently still making super16 dramas - a new production of Sense and Sensibility (orginial I know) is currently shooting on Super16, while the Super16 - Life on Mars is recieving record figures and nominations.

Meanwhile compressors seem to be stugling more and more on all channels, I've become addicted to Big Love currently showing on Five Life, and depsite being shot on 35mm it can't make it through a whole episode with out turning to bricks several times.

And its not only on that, there's no point trying to watch a Christina Aguirella music video any more - such a shame....
  • 0

#7 John Holland

John Holland
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2248 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London England

Posted 11 April 2007 - 12:20 PM

i have spent to many years [more than i care to remember] fighting white coat engineers at the BBC, looking at that list they have re HD and what they will accept , says its for their HD test thing that they are pushing out on sat. at the moment ,think they will change their minds before they broadcast HD for real .
  • 0

#8 Carl Brighton

Carl Brighton
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 222 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera

Posted 13 April 2007 - 09:25 PM

Meanwhile compressors seem to be stugling more and more on all channels, I've become addicted to Big Love currently showing on Five Life, and depsite being shot on 35mm it can't make it through a whole episode with out turning to bricks several times.

So in their eyes "High Definition" means "something that can make it through our half-baked transmission chain without it sh!tting itself too often".

I'd noticed that on some S-16 BBC dramas, every now and again the picture seems to "stick" and then skip frames to catch up. I thought it was my local TV station. You never see that on CSI or "Desperate Housewives" :D

Oh well, as long as they keep the original negatives.

Edited by Carl Brighton, 13 April 2007 - 09:26 PM.

  • 0

#9 K Borowski

K Borowski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3905 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • I.A.T.S.E. Local # 600 Eastern Region

Posted 13 April 2007 - 10:45 PM

So in their eyes "High Definition" means "something that can make it through our half-baked transmission chain without it sh!tting itself too often".


Yeah, and a gimmick to make more money off of cable customers smart enough to actually request the service for their HD-compatible sets, as rare as those people that know how to present films in the proper aspect mode these days. . .

I'd noticed that on some S-16 BBC dramas, every now and again the picture seems to "stick" and then skip frames to catch up. I thought it was my local TV station. You never see that on CSI or "Desperate Housewives" :D


If you want to see this phenomenon present itself like "Old Faithful" tune in to Spike TV on American Cable. It's not just the UK that has an incompotent television industry, the incompotence is everywhere.

Oh well, as long as they keep the original negatives.


Good thing the UK has such a good track record with preserving and archiving shows shot on tape, like what was that show about a Doctor, Doctor who was it?

I'm personally glad that a staff consisting most likely of EECS Major and AV club geeks (and THEY don't have any opinions, ever, do they? what a humble group, even humbler than Pre-Laws) is now going to have the same opportunity to demonstrate the excellence they demonstrated with moon landing tapes, one of a kind television broadcasts before tape was invented, and archives stored at room temperature (film won't REALLY fade, its just a conspiracy between film and film and refrigerator manufacturers, right?) With a "proven" track record, the choice is "clear". Oh, and computer hard drives never crash, even when you cary them around in your pocket and drop them on the ground "That's a common misconception. THese are more resilient than you'd think." --A Famous Criminal, Once Committed, That Had His Own Set of Misconceptions (by the way, what do you think happened to the harddrive after it got dropped on the ground a few more times?)

I will say this again, you folks in the cinematography industry are SO LUCKY that your work is stratified in such a way that you have assigned positions for the AV types that keep them as FAR AWAY from the creative decision making process as possible. There are a few flukes, I can even think of people that have used whole trilogies just to advertise their namesake special effects companies, but you've done a pretty good job keeping THEM out, usually placated in front of 100 computer monitors rendering dust digitally in slow motion realistically. In the still photography world, these same people would be ruining all kinds of jobs and causing an almost universal reduction in quality.

OK, so here's a stupid question: if they don't even understand how 16mm film grain works, why not just shoot on say 200T, do a mild degrain or Digital GEM pass, and submit as "HDcam footage, unspecified source" :lol: THere'd be a couple hundred thousand GBP unaccounted for, but that can just be explained away as funds that "slipped through the cracks" Frankly, it's better spent that way then hiring not just one person, but a whole CREW of people that fit the "AV club" description to the T, right down to the "I have no social life" t-shirt, or the "I have no fashion sense" pinstripe sport coat accompanying the t-shirt and '80s style short jeans.

Yeah, I only wish they wore lab coats here, so you could avoid them from a distance. My buddy is actually trying to start a trend with lab coats. I gave him a hard time for wearing them with jeans and sneakers, but come to think of it, that would also be good because we wouldn't then get confused with people who have actual real qualifications who wear the lab coats!

OK, enough biting sarcasm. I tried to make it sound as much like a typical angry British film industry type, since the "usual" is surprisingly absent from this thread. I'm sure he's just missed it.
  • 0

#10 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11937 posts
  • Other

Posted 14 April 2007 - 10:24 AM

To be honest it is a bit unfair to ask an MPEG codec to compress very grainy film material. If you were to give it equivalently noisy video, people would soon be shrieking about how the problems were being caused by the source material.

Having said that, and assuming nobody is a dumb enough puppy to try and shoot 500 push 1 in 16mm for HD broadcast, I can't see there's a reason to block it.

Phil
  • 0

#11 jan von krogh

jan von krogh
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 454 posts
  • Producer

Posted 14 April 2007 - 11:19 AM

indeed, the bbc could perform a degrain before encoding S16/16 to mpeg.

but it really seems that they are decided to stop s16/16 production and broadcasting, at least for their HD broadcasting.

at their conference in the BBC television center discussing their "road to hd", their executives made pretty clear statements. some quotes:

?Drama on film has got to stop.?
Alan Yentob, Creative Director of the BBC.

?With HD cameras, we can do anything we want them to?.
?With HD you can move more quickly and less encumbered?.
Jane Tranter, Controller BBC Fiction.

?There will be no Super 16mm on the HD channel?
Andy Quested, Principal Technologist BBC.

i really hope they reconsider, it would be a shame to not see so many brilliant 16mm productions, especially old ones, once more in HD.

but the trend is not only at BBC.

recently when doing some documentary postproduction, a frightened producer informed us that we might have to rescan large parts of a historical documentary, as it wasn´t scanned 35mm but only 16mm telecined to pal and then upconverted.

now, this is nothing special - the footage was from 1920-1940, and almost all archieves don´t have them higher than pal or ntsc, and they don´t give the negatives out, and they don´t have 2 or 4k scanners.

besides, especially historic documentary as a genre would become much to expensive when all the vintage filmstock would have to be rescanned.

i am not entitled to disclose who this broadcaster is, who seems to silently also ban 16mm, but it is one of the worldwide top 3 documentary broadcasters. also i hope that this method was only applied to this special documentary, as it is a very prestigious one.
  • 0


The Slider

Paralinx LLC

Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks

Metropolis Post

Technodolly

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

Rig Wheels Passport

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Visual Products

CineLab

Wooden Camera

Opal

CineTape

FJS International, LLC

Abel Cine

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

Wooden Camera

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

CineLab

The Slider

Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

Opal

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

FJS International, LLC

Technodolly

Rig Wheels Passport