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Questions on Film and digital capture


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#1 Matthew Novak

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 11:30 AM

Hi, I'm a film student at NYU and I'm writing a paper on digital and film capture technologies. Bellow I?ve listed a few questions on topics my paper will cover. A response to any question would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Matt

I'm looking to hear what people think the effects of students being taught solely on video cameras will be on these future DPs (good and bad). Will this have an effect on the art of cinematography down the line?

Do you think RED will have an affect on Panavision and Arri?s digital motion picture cameras?

Do you find more productions are going to digital for cost reasons or as an aesthetic choice?

What are the major problems with the digital workflow?

Has the improvement in film stocks and the design of new S16 cameras and lenses caused a renaissance in the small film format? Has S16 become a challenger to 2/3 inch cameras or even full frame sensors? [/sub]
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 12:54 PM

I'm looking to hear what people think the effects of students being taught solely on video cameras will be on these future DPs (good and bad). Will this have an effect on the art of cinematography down the line?



Not so much the art per se -- many of those issues lay beyond the capture format issues, things like composition, movement, etc. It will have an effect on their ability to shoot film jobs though until they learn that independently. Film will still be around when they graduate in three years. Plus the history of the art form is bound up in photochemical technology, so they should be learning it.

Do you think RED will have an affect on Panavision and Arri?s digital motion picture cameras?



Panavision has the F900, the Genesis, a few F950's, and they own Plus-8 Video now. Arri has the Arri-D20. Sure, everyone's digital camera has an effect on the competition, they all watch what each other is doing. RED will have some impact on the rentals of those other cameras, since it will be much cheaper to rent. And the fact that there will be so many RED owners will have an effect. But at the higher-end TV and movie production end where they have the budget for more options, some will prefer the HDCAM-SR workflow of the Genesis or F23.

Not sure about renting the Arri-D20 vs. a RED, that's a little more in the same ballpark and RED does have internal recording capability (CF cards) and is cheaper to boot. I expect in that case, Arri needs to address the competition from RED with an advanced version of the D20 camera. They won't be able to beat RED on price so they are going to have to beat it on quality, maybe finally come up with a "D35"...

Do you find more productions are going to digital for cost reasons or as an aesthetic choice?


Most of the lower-budgeted productions look at digital for cost reasons, but some for logistical reasons (like needing the long recording times of tape). Fewer choice digital for aesthetic reasons although that is getting more common as the cameras themselves get better. At the higher-budget level, where 35mm film is an option, the reasons for digital start to be more for creative reasons, both in shooting or in post.

What are the major problems with the digital workflow?


There are too many options because it's so new. Downloading, backing-up and archiving data on a daily basis is an issue for those not shooting on videotape, which has more of a standardized workflow.

Has the improvement in film stocks and the design of new S16 cameras and lenses caused a renaissance in the small film format? Has S16 become a challenger to 2/3 inch cameras or even full frame sensors?


Yes, Super-16 is more popular than ever in the past few years. But that may not last as digital cameras improve in quality and drop in price.
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