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Digital vs film look


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#1 Jose luis villar

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 07:29 AM

Hey,  here's a discussion on another forum, if possible match the video look to the film, I found interesting and my opinion is not.

 

http://www.dvxuser.c...ch-Super-8-film


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#2 Nicholas Kovats

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 08:44 AM

I am contemplating it Jose but some members of the Digital Illuminati are extremely snotty and considerably ignorant. They may have no history with film and they tend to attack. There is so much rampant insecurity amongst the millions who own identical digital cameras generating identical images.

 

I have said it before but your Super 8 color negative work is simply sumptuous.  


Edited by Nicholas Kovats, 17 July 2014 - 08:49 AM.

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#3 Nicholas Kovats

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 09:16 AM

I posted. Let the attacks begin. 


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#4 Jose luis villar

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 10:06 AM

Thanks Nicholas, your post is great, It is true that many digital fundamentalists do not know exactly what they say, but they always try to imitate film, very bad indeed.


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#5 Nicholas Kovats

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 10:45 AM

Your welcome, Jose. 
 
I like the term digital fundamentalism. There is a cultural cliche that states "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery". But actually all this digital "film envy" comes from a very insecure place in my book. Film is a very physical analog medium and the occasional dogmatic responses regarding "superior" "cutting edge" "technology" ring hollow.
 
But I am not an absolutist. Roger Deacon continues to pull incredible digital images from his Arriflex Alexa. Considering he has a long history of exposing jaw dropping film frames with his former Arriflex 535/435 motion picture cameras. 

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#6 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 11:46 AM

I heard an add on the radio for Motel 6 yesterday. Their skit claimed that everyone these days likes to shoot digital pictures and then try and make them look "not digital" and then carried out the rest of the add with a projector sound and analog effects over the voicing. Pretty funny and true.


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#7 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 12:07 PM

The problem comes from "standards" and people's expectations. 

 

Film's "standard" with its 24FPS and photochemical color grading, is something we've all come to appreciate as a given norm. 

Because the digital world allows for much more manipulation then the analog/photochemical world, people look to mimmic what they're use to. In this case, 24FPS, photochemical color grading, grainy "filmic" medium. 

 

As a consequence, the digital medium's seek desperately to copy what they aren't, mostly because people refuse to accept anything else. 

 

Its not about comparing numbers, its all about generating a "familiar" image, one the audience can relate to. Its not just about the imager or camera electronics, but also lighting and most importantly post production. Cameras like the Arri Alexa have broken the paradigm of digital cinema my mimicking the look of a flat 35mm negative perfectly and then in post, correcting that into an image which is acceptable by the audience. 

 

As filmmakers/cinematographers, do we accept any other format outside of a "filmic" look? How about Peter Jackson's horrible looking "The Hobbit" in 48fps? Looks like a video game, in fact it looks worse then a video game, looks like a horrible television show. How about these new 120hz TV's which make every movie look like its in fast forward? 


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#8 joshua gallegos

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 01:37 PM

Motion interpolation definitely destroys the very definition of what is cinematic, it's commonly referred to as the "soap opera effect", this effect completely diminishes the artistic integrity of what the filmmakers intended to show. Motion pictures should always maintain motion at 24fps as it looks absolutely perfect! I think one of the reasons why this is happening is that films are becoming so subpar that audiences are no longer able to distinguish them as something important, movies are virtual roller-coaster rides, they're just there for fun and amusement. I think independent cinema is the only dim flame that is keeping the artistic integrity of filmmaking alive, but even so, you'll find most of these films playing in art house cinemas, or they just end up playing in a major cineplex for two to three weeks before the whole theater is taken over by a major blockbuster. 

 

Shows like The Bridge, Mad Men, The Strain, Walking Dead, and so many others have become more cinematic as these shows are more character oriented. The Walking Dead alone will get an average of 13M viewers per episode! Television is where the future is, mainstream, cinema will continue to cater for major motion picture projects which are usually comic book adaptations, or major best selling novel adaptations. Even so, I think digital cameras like the Alexa have produced tremendous results when in the right hands, I can see no difference between film and digital. 


Edited by joshua gallegos, 17 July 2014 - 01:38 PM.

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#9 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 02:16 PM

Take a look at Planet Terror for a hysterical example of faking a cinematic look.  It's over the top with it's scratches and artifacts but there's a point to that and it's in the spirit of the Grindhouse look.  It's ironic because Robert Rodriquez happily moved into digital embracing it for it's consistency.  Being able to see the same image from one screen to the next.  It's hard not to appreciate that aspect of the medium.

 

With film there's an inconsistency and you're at the mercy of labs and chemicals and even a high school projectionist screwing it up.   I  am really glad those days are over.  Now there's no one in the booth to mess up your movie.  Sure, bulbs are often worn and you'll occasionally get some vignetting but it's way better than back when you'd have ridiculous scratches and focus issues.

 

Tarantino on the other hand recently sermonized on the death of cinema saying that digital projection is like going to watch "television in public".  This coming from someone who's very first festival screening of Reservoir Dogs was interrupted by a projector eating the print.  You'd think he'd be happy to see Digital projection get this good.


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#10 Oron Cohen

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 03:04 PM

I read the thread on DVXuser, it's a really good forum for videography, camera operating (mainly small cameras) and tons of technical stuff, but less about proper cinematography, art and film (as in film stocks). in other words, it's not the home ground for such a talk in the first place IMHO, they don't get what you guys are trying to say, and go back to spec sheets, numbers and forgot about the art all together. 

 

I would say most Cinematographers with proper training in lighting and film as opposed to Videographers (which I highly respect and appreciate) , won't need this debate, as they know the qualities of Negative film and how , why and when they would like to use it. 


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#11 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 05:28 PM

If a narrative production is shot well the audience won't care if it's film or digital.  I had no idea that The Walking Dead was shot on 16mm and I had no idea Orange is the New Black was shot on an Alexa.  Now that I know, it really doesn't matter to me much.  I still love both shows for the same reasons.  The writing and performances.

 

But when it comes to experimental film, I for one am seriously annoyed when I walk into galleries or museums and I see video installation art that's completely devoid of any understanding whatsoever of the "craft of cinematography".  

 

I know it's "art" and that the point isn't to create a stunning "cinematic" experience but is almost as if there's a concious decision not to even try on the part of most artists when they do "video art".   I would think that it's the perfect time to pick up a super 8 camera and embrace the medium and channel Maya Deren, Kenneth Anger etc.  Yet they consistently shoot interlaced 29fps video that's just ugly in every way.  

 

It's rare that you get that opportunity  to go completely artistic in commercial projects.  Why it doesn't occur to artists to do it in their own work escapes me.  I'd love to see Super-8 find a home in that field.


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#12 Carl Looper

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 04:00 AM

Here is an interesting interchange in that thread:

 

A: 8mm was never intended as a professional format. It was what people shot their home movies on before 16mm was available, and 16mm wasn't even considered for professional work until film stocks improved.
 
B: Not that I disagree... but 16mm was 'introduced' in the 20's as an 'amateur/non-pro' film stock and attendant cheaper cameras. The 8mm was introduced to provide an even cheaper 'home' camera.
 
A: Yes you are absolutely correct.

 

However the thrust of the statement remains the same for both writers: that because a particular medium was "intended" to be used in a certain way, that it therefore should remain understood in that way. Prisoners to the dreams of the industrial age

 

What is missed is that 16mm, originally sold as an "amateur/non-pro film" became a choice that professionals also adopted. During the war and the post war television age. And anyone using 8mm in a professional capacity today (for example: in advertising, fashion and wedding photography) also defeats the argument. 

 

The concept of "home moves" is invented by the camera/film industry in the 1920s, to sell cameras and film to the great unwashed. Why sell cameras/film to just a small number of professional players when you could sell to everyone on the planet, and what better way to sell it than to sell the idea of "home movies". And this is precisely what the industry did. Millions dutifully fitted themselves inside this "home movie" dream. 

 

Far more interesting are those who don't just take technology on face value, be it in the film domain, the digital domain or a hybrid, but exploit technology in any way they like, for whatever reason they like, towards any ends they like, be those ends artistic, amateur, professional, or home movie.

 

C


Edited by Carl Looper, 19 July 2014 - 04:00 AM.

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