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Flicker in old movies?


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#1 Karel Bata

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 02:22 PM

Over the Xmas break I watched Zulu, and then Last Of The Mohicans on DVD. Both exhibited flicker. Zulu (according to IMDB) was shot in Super Technirama 70 (no less!), and flicker was evident when the camera panned in bright sunlight. LOTM was shot on 35 mm (Agfa XT 320, Eastman EXR 100T 5248, EXR 500T 5296) and again showed some flicker in earlier daylight scenes.

I find it hard to believe that this was something unexpected by the cinematographers, or weren't able to fix (with NDs?). Is it an artefact of the telecine process used to create the DVDs?

Questions, questions...


Cheers! ;)
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 03:37 AM

It could be the brightness levels you're viewing at. Flicker seems to be more apparent at higher brightness levels. I saw parts of Zulu on Channel 4 yesterday and wasn't aware of any flicker, are you possibly talking about strobing on fast pans?
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#3 Karel Bata

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 04:21 AM

Yes, strobing. And on slow pans. What made it more noticeable was that it would be absent when the camera was stationary at the beginning of the shot, and would start when the camera panned. It was in the higher mid tones. You didn't see it at all? How odd. Is it broadcast differently? I'll ask a broadcast engineer pal of mine this evening. It wasn't on every shot, and only in bright sunlight. It may have been only once in LOTM, but that really caught my attention.

Or is it my TV? In which case I'd see it all the time. But I don't. Puzzling.

Edited by Karel Bata, 29 December 2012 - 04:22 AM.

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