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24 or 25 European Student Film


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#1 DJ Hamilton

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 09:41 AM

Shooting a student film in Berlin on 35mm and am very lucky to have a budget for a 35mm optical print. Since I am a student and American, I have so many questions. But let's start with 3.

#1. My goal is to have a finished film screened in the states with a 35mm optical print. So many Europeans have assured me that it is better to shoot in 25 and that ALL or MOST american theaters accomodate 25 fps. Is this true?

#2 If my goal is to finish with a 35mm optical print, should I shoot in 24 or 25fps?

#3 If we shot 24 fps, how difficult is it to control the quality of the image for interior shots?


Thank you very much for reading, and for any advice you can offer.
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#2 Max Jacoby

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 11:02 AM

Although some projectors can handle 25fps, not all of them do and even those that do would have to be switched which is not guaranteed.

If you shoot 24fps, your film will always be projected correctly but the dvd/video version will have the 4% Pal speedup

If you shoot 25fps, your film will always have the correct speed on dvd/video, but the theatrical projection will very likely be played slower (at 24fps).

Speeding up the sound is much less noticeable and less distracting than slowing it down, so I would go with 24fps. That's the way it's done with the majority of films that you see in the cinema. Just be sure that the editing system can handle 24fps.
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#3 John Holland

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 11:10 AM

Have to disagree with Max this time [ 1st time i think ] i would shoot 25 fps, you really cant tell the sound difference when projected at 24 .
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#4 John Sprung

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 12:45 PM

Have to disagree with Max this time [ 1st time i think ] i would shoot 25 fps, you really cant tell the sound difference when projected at 24 .

Likewise, you really can't tell the difference the other way, shooting 24 and playing at 25. We even had a show that mixed them. You'll use a tiny bit more film at 25 -- for instance, you might have a 60 ft short end instead of 100 ft if you were to roll and cut at exactly the same times.



-- J.S.
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#5 John Holland

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 12:58 PM

the other important thing to me is flicker etc with fluo tubes tv screens etc , 50 cycles so everything is is in sync without having to worry about it to much .
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#6 DJ Hamilton

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 02:09 PM

the other important thing to me is flicker etc with fluo tubes tv screens etc , 50 cycles so everything is is in sync without having to worry about it to much .



Thank you John and Max very much. I am very concerned with the flicker which I've only heard about. If we were to shoot it at 25 as John suggests, then in the states in many cases we'd have to screen it at 24fps right? 4-5% slower than it would screen in Europe... Correct?

-btw do runnaway productions in Europe shoot at 25 as well? If not, how do they overcome the 50 cycles issue?
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#7 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 02:13 PM

I directed a 35mm short which was shot at 24 fps. This was done because the producer assumed the editing facility could handle 24 fps because they'd done so on his previous short. Turned out they had a one off free key from Avid on the other short and Avid were charging thousands for a new key, so we could only edit at 25 fps.

The result was that the editors had to adjust the sound's speed to sync up with the now faster running picture.

In Europe you really need to check that your post people can handle 24 fps.

It's possible to do a sound pitch change for running 25 fps material at 24 fps, but you need to be careful, it doesn't like long sustained notes. So you really need to listen to your sound if you're using it.

As has been stated shooting at 25fps avoids flicker problems.

I'd only consider 24 fps in Europe if the film is over say 40 mins in length, when projecting at 24 fps a shot/edited 25 fps film does affect the pacing and adds minutes to the running time.
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#8 Max Jacoby

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 02:18 PM

If you shoot 24fps in Europe then you set the shutter to 172.8 degrees to avoid flicker. All the films that I have worked on here so far were 24fps.

My last short was 25fps and both the sound designer and sound mixer said I should have shot 24 fps because it sounds better. They showed me the difference of speeding up and speeding down and even I could hear it (and I am by now means a sound expert).
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#9 John Holland

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 02:21 PM

Your showings in the states of your film shot at 25 , projected at 24 no one will know the diffence , {run away productions] shooting have to set shutters of cameras to special settings to avoid the flicker problem . just do 25 . I had a very minor role on the original "Alien" film , there was lots of computer ,tv screens in that ,was shot 25 fps, blown up to 70mm dolby and 35 mm dolby all 25 fps , if you have seen it ? did the sound strange ,bad ?
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#10 DJ Hamilton

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 04:29 PM

Your showings in the states of your film shot at 25 , projected at 24 no one will know the diffence , {run away productions] shooting have to set shutters of cameras to special settings to avoid the flicker problem . just do 25 . I had a very minor role on the original "Alien" film , there was lots of computer ,tv screens in that ,was shot 25 fps, blown up to 70mm dolby and 35 mm dolby all 25 fps , if you have seen it ? did the sound strange ,bad ?



Thank you. I really appreciate it. Very much appreciated all the comments.
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