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"The War" now on PBS


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#1 Adam Thompson

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 01:56 AM

In the works for a very long time, the Ken Burns doc. The War is now showing on PBS in HD.

Anyone curious about the beauty of 16mm needs to see this new film, among many bigger reasons to watch it of course.

All of the modern day footage was filmed in S16 on 7212 and 7248, mostly by Buddy Squires with his Aaton as I understand it. Check out the interviews. Nothing flatters someone as much and it's nice to see people interviewed on something besides harsh HD or SD cams. It's a radically better image from what I keep seeing in today's TV world, there's just no comparison. There are many other new shots in there as well.... some very nice magic hour stuff showing veterans home towns, etc.

I'm really curious what gels or filters if any were used on the interviews. The lighting for those shots look to have maybe a 1/4 CTO or something on them. Anyone care to guess?

There's an article in the Kodak magazine "INcamera". From the article:

"I love the look of film and the feelings it evokes... It is how I choose to express myself, like a painter who chooses oils instead of watercolors. We were dealing with people's most painful memories. They had seen their best friends killed or maimed and had come close to that themselves. We wanted it to feel organic." -Ken Burns
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#2 Richard Salsburg

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 02:48 AM

Anyone curious about the beauty of 16mm needs to see this new film,


I see Super16 every day and when it is shot correctly, it looks superb. Just have to be careful to shoot it carefully as there isn't much room to slip up or down in post.
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#3 Robin Buday

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 04:57 AM

Couldn't agree more. A lot of the shows I see every day are Super16. Not nearly as much leeway as 35mm in terms of adjustment but those images sure look pretty.
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#4 Nathan Milford

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 08:42 AM

Buddy is a remarkable talent... but it helps to have John Dowdell do your DI. >8)
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#5 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 10:13 AM

Here are some online video's regarding the making of the documentary:

http://www.pbs.org/t...ing_the_war.htm
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#6 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 07:19 PM

I watched it last night . It looked amazing. I really love 16mm.
Part two is on tonight, I can't wait!
Toby
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#7 Will Montgomery

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 12:19 AM

That Super 16 did look fantastic.

I recently watched an episode of the new BBC show Torchwood in HD and I found it to look very "video" since it was shot in HD Video. Some of it looked like the signal from my local TV station's news in HD. None of the warmth of film... too bad really. I'm so glad that most shows in the U.S. continue to use film.

One interesting observation was that watching an SD signal of that same Torchwood show, I found the video look to be more forgiving vs. the HD signal which made it frighteningly obvious.
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#8 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 04:02 AM

One interesting observation was that watching an SD signal of that same Torchwood show, I found the video look to be more forgiving vs. the HD signal which made it frighteningly obvious.


Ha, don't mention the dreaded 'T' word!
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#9 Will Montgomery

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 06:54 AM

Ha, don't mention the dreaded 'T' word!

I remember the earlier Dr. Who using 16mm for outdoor scenes and video for indoors... always thought that was strange but maybe UK audiences are more open to the differences in asthetics.
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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 09:05 AM

> I recently watched an episode of the new BBC show Torchwood in HD and I found it to look very "video" since it was shot in HD Video.

I am reliably informed that it looks very "video" because it was incompetently posted, but I should take this opportunity to point out that HD video does not have to look quite that godawful.

Phil
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#11 Mark Dunn

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 09:44 AM

I remember the earlier Dr. Who using 16mm for outdoor scenes and video for indoors... always thought that was strange but maybe UK audiences are more open to the differences in asthetics.

That was standard practice here for drama until the 80's. I could always tell the difference- stuck out like a sore thumb.
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#12 Will Montgomery

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 12:53 PM

I am reliably informed that it looks very "video" because it was incompetently posted, but I should take this opportunity to point out that HD video does not have to look quite that godawful.

Phil

That's what I thought... I've seen some really good looking HD video, less contrast and more "film-like" although not what we're used to here in the States in primetime with 35mm shows.
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#13 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 01:20 PM

Buddy is a remarkable talent... but it helps to have John Dowdell do your DI. >8)



And it all went through an Arriscan then right? that has also come along quite a bit.

-Rob-
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#14 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 01:53 PM

I remember the earlier Dr. Who using 16mm for outdoor scenes and video for indoors... always thought that was strange but maybe UK audiences are more open to the differences in asthetics.


Generally Dr. Who has been mostly video based even during the 60's, but in the rare instance where they went out on location when it was standard BBC practice they would use film.

I don't know for sure whether this was just the BBCs standard practice, or ITVs as well - perhaps Tim Partridge would know.

Anyway its interesting how much better old ITV shows look: The Saint, The Avengers, Thunderbirds, Miss Marble, Poiroit, Geeves and Wooster, Crackers etc - all have endured the test of time better than the BBC equivalents.
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#15 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 02:05 PM

Generally Dr. Who has been mostly video based even during the 60's, but in the rare instance where they went out on location when it was standard BBC practice they would use film.


Did the B/W 'Dr.Who's use 35mm for the exteriors.

The shows seem to be kinescopes rather than tape, unless tape back than was really bad.
The locations match the studio scenes better than in the color shows.
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#16 Will Montgomery

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 02:31 PM

Anyway its interesting how much better old ITV shows look: The Saint, The Avengers, Thunderbirds, Miss Marble, Poiroit, Geeves and Wooster, Crackers etc - all have endured the test of time better than the BBC equivalents.

Studios are reaping the benefits of using film on many old shows now with DVD and HD releases. I bet that also figures a little into format selections on network shows. 35mm shows will look great for many years into the future.
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#17 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 04:10 PM

Well did anyone catch last night's episode?
I thought it was great. What a great mix of 16mm B/W and color and even a Little 8mm that looked fantastic.
Toby
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#18 Adam Thompson

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 02:09 AM

Well did anyone catch last night's episode?
I thought it was great. What a great mix of 16mm B/W and color and even a Little 8mm that looked fantastic.
Toby


Oh yeah. It's also amazing how some of the footage from the 40's can look so good, considering how basic the stocks and lenses were back then, not to mention the horrible conditions in which most of it was probably stored.

Last night I asked a friend, who knows nothing about cameras or film and who is watching it all on his 50" HD flat screen... I asked how the modern day scenes looked to him, like the interviews and the shots of the neighborhoods, etc. He said, "Oh it's amazing how well those new HD cameras can make things look so real and life like... you can see the smallest little details.". ;)
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#19 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 10:48 AM

Oh yeah. It's also amazing how some of the footage from the 40's can look so good, considering how basic the stocks and lenses were back then, not to mention the horrible conditions in which most of it was probably stored.

Last night I asked a friend, who knows nothing about cameras or film and who is watching it all on his 50" HD flat screen... I asked how the modern day scenes looked to him, like the interviews and the shots of the neighborhoods, etc. He said, "Oh it's amazing how well those new HD cameras can make things look so real and life like... you can see the smallest little details.". ;)



I hope you explained to him that is was S16 FILM not HD Video. Amazing how even S16 looks better that HD video originated material.
Most people think because most Networks have switched over to HD that it's all originated on video, and that is just not true.
Toby
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