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Multi-Camera sitcoms


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#1 Bryce Lansing

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 02:50 AM

My girlfriend was watching her DVD of the 90's show "Sabrina the teenage witch", a 3-wall set, multi camera sitcom, and I noticed how smooth a slow-motion shot was. My first thought was "they must have shot that shot on film, because video didn't have high frame rates in the 90's". My second thought was "how did they cut one film shot so well with the rest of the video footage?" I looked at it's tech specs on imdb, and it said "Panavision Cameras and Lenses".

Surprised and confused, I search "Full House", which the tech specs also showed Panavision, and specified 35mm as the format! I search Seinfeld, the same thing!

Now I obviously knew I Love Lucy was shot on 35mm. But I was under the impression that all multi-camera, 3-wall sitcoms since the 90s were shot on video. They always look pretty terrible (the flat lighting, multi shadows, and generic 3 camera angle cuts), I assumed quality was not a priority, and that they just cranked these sitcoms out on video while the well-lit single-camera TV series were shot on 16mm/35mm.

How many of those multi-camera sitcoms from the 90s were shot on film? What about the shows now?

I noticed Disney channel went from a lot of Super 16mm single camera shows like "Even Stevens", "Lizzy McGuire", and "Phil of the Future", to simple/easy to shoot multi-camera shows like "Hannah Montana" and "Wizards of Waverly Place". Those are shot on video aren't they?
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#2 John Sprung

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 03:06 PM

TV in the '80's and '90's was almost all film. The concern at that time was to have something in the vault that could be transferred to HD in the future. Sitcoms changed over mostly like 5-10 years ago to 2/3" HD cameras.




-- J.S.
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#3 Bryce Lansing

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 03:20 PM

TV in the '80's and '90's was almost all film. The concern at that time was to have something in the vault that could be transferred to HD in the future. Sitcoms changed over mostly like 5-10 years ago to 2/3" HD cameras.




-- J.S.



So was there never a time when they were shot on 2/3" SD camera's? Were they only used for News?
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#4 John Sprung

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 05:31 PM

So was there never a time when they were shot on 2/3" SD camera's? Were they only used for News?


Pretty much. Very few sitcoms, only the lowest budget shows, were shot SD. Anything that had a potential for foreign sales was film.





-- J.S.
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#5 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 04:53 PM

So was there never a time when they were shot on 2/3" SD camera's? Were they only used for News?


Taped sitcoms, such as the Norman Lear shows, would have used 1 1/4" (30mm) tubes.
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#6 Chris Burke

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 08:48 PM

TV in the '80's and '90's was almost all film. The concern at that time was to have something in the vault that could be transferred to HD in the future. Sitcoms changed over mostly like 5-10 years ago to 2/3" HD cameras.




-- J.S.



isn't three and a half men shot on 35mm
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#7 Rob Vogt

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 09:07 PM

Friends was shot on PV 35, they always used 2000' mags too. There are still a bunch of shows that shoot 35, especially ones that have been around for a while because when they find a formula that works, they stick to it.
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#8 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 02:32 PM

Surprised and confused, I search "Full House", which the tech specs also showed Panavision, and specified 35mm as the format! I search Seinfeld, the same thing!


'Seinfeld' was shot on Agfacolor until the stock was discontinued.
& for most of the run the credits said "filmed in Panavision"
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