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future proof combining film and video in a project


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#1 steve waschka

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Posted 13 June 2015 - 11:14 AM

My projects are 70/30 video to film. So in the past I have shot the film at 30fps to match the video. Everything ends up at 29.97 psf and can go online and dvd smoothly. However, I really like the idea of doing a theater release tour at some point in time. And, I am getting ready to dive into more projects. Would you recommend I modify what I am doing?

 

edit: I know this is not a new topic. And I have chimed in my two cents on some in the past. I am second guessing myself as I am preparing to invest more time and equipment.


Edited by steve waschka, 13 June 2015 - 11:16 AM.

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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 13 June 2015 - 12:00 PM

Why do you shoot 30fps? Since the very first DVD, the format has been 24p native. It does the 3:2 pulldown in the player which allows the filmmaker to do everything in the "proper" film frame rate and distribute exactly the same way. Plus, with 24p it's a progressive signal on disk, where with 29.97, most of the time it's not. So you're dealing with interlacing lines. All standard theatrical disks are 23.98, exactly what came off the HDCAM master. Web doesn't care about frame rate, I've done 23.98 for more than 15 years online. Finally, most scripted television for decades, has been shot in 24fps. They deliver a 59.94 master for broadcasting, but it's all 24fps original. 

 

In my eyes, 29.97 is a dead format. Everything is done 23.98 or 59.94 today, those are really the only two deliverable formats and mostly everyone shoots 23.98. Not only does it deliver a cinematic look, but it saves film and space on disks. Lower the frame rate, the less media you consume, so it's a smart choice as well. I understand the reasoning behind 30FPS, but in today's world it's no longer necessary. 

 

Ohh and what film/digital combo do you use? 


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#3 steve waschka

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Posted 13 June 2015 - 06:00 PM

In my case.... My main camera is the SDX-900. Which I've always downloaded onto a SSD on a blackmagic shuttle if I was going to go to web. Or, onto digibeta if going to dvd. I don't have the panasonic editing deck so in order to get true progressive frames i use the 30p setting as the 24p comes of the camera as interlaced footage. My second video camera is a bvw-d600ws which is always interlaced. But for dvd its looks great so no worries. If I am going to web I run the footage thru a teranex and then onto ssd. But, deinterlacing softens a bit so going back to dvd is not preferable from that point. Most TVs and monitors that I use are 60hz. And messing with frame rates and the mixing of them in the past, for me, has left me with slight judders that drove me nuts. The only way I could get seamless clean footage was to set everything to 29.97and ref and lock everything together. So I abandoned every film camera that would not shoot at 30. Then I had lens compatibility issues and I abandoned every film camera that was not flexible for lens choice. So now i am building an NPR. which is a beast of a camera but I have not yet bit the bullet to buy an XTR. Which is what I need to do. But, I havent yet. So I am looking at reworking this camera to run at 30fps. In the process I decided I had better get some outside inspiration / advice because it's a stretch for me to do so right now... But, one of the guys in my industry is doing the theater tours and I have always wanted to do that ever since I saw the first Warren Miller film. Keep in mind I am trying to get as polished a look as possible on a self funded budget. I don't mind working at things with effort and time. IE: I do a fair amount of tape to tape editing because with the machines locked I get better results than I do on my Macbook Pro with Adobe. My Macbook Pro is a handful of years old now and the longer the footage gets the more relentless it is at choking on itself. So now I have to be more diligent and do a proper EDL before I sit down a work with the decks. But They just work. I can sit there for hours and they wont choke. THEN I can move thing over and go from there where I have minimal to do on the computer. Thats a lot out of me when I need to be listening not talking but maybe it was important to get a better glimpse into the mess that is my system.


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#4 steve waschka

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Posted 13 June 2015 - 06:09 PM

But Tyler maybe I just need to shoot at 24fps get a proper transfer and work with the footage and see how it goes. I am hoping it will be a revelation. And it will save me some soldering and testing on the NPR. The first time I got PSF footage to work it was nearly a religious experience for me. Maybe 24fps 3:2 done correctly will be the same.


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#5 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 13 June 2015 - 11:57 PM

Ohh got ya, so your entire workflow is standard definition. In that case, you're stuck to 29.97 because your stuck with 1997 technology. I'm very familiar with the SDX-900 and the BVW-600, both were great cameras in the mid to late 90's, but technology has shifted since then and workflows have pushed towards high definition (1920x1080) and cameras that have no idea what interlaced means. Honestly, if you wish to stay in 1997 (not a bad year mind you), I think your current workflow should offer you the best results. However, if you sold everything you've got on ebay, I guarantee you could buy a decent cinema grade camera like the Blackmagic Pocket and it would change your world. 

 

BTW, when you edit tape to tape, you have substantial generation loss. Modern editing systems offer 1:1 lossless editing. I shoot with my pocket camera, edit on my macbook pro laptop and turn out a delivery file and it's identical quality to what was shot in camera. Generation loss starts the moment you hit the output of your VCR's, converting what is on tape to composite, S-Video or Component, is the first part of that loss. With digital formats like DVCPRO, if you had the firewire deck, you could capture that material in a 1:1 format, identical to what comes out of the camera and loose nothing. Those decks are cheap on ebay today because nobody uses DVCPRO anymore, it's a lost format unfortunately. 

 

Anyway, just some thoughts. Its cool to see someone still using old gear, I'm happy it's not in a dumpster. I grew up shooting with that stuff. :)


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#6 steve waschka

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 04:04 AM

Agree to all of what you say. But I promise I have found ways around most of the issues you speak except for its still SD. Its just really good SD. Hard to jump to HD from where I am.


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#7 Josh Gladstone

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 12:36 PM

Is your SD workflow and usage of older equipment an artistic choice because you're going for a certain look or feeling, or is it because that's the equipment you have available to you / that's what you're familiar with? Just curious.

 

Also, as an alternative to an NPR, you might want to check out an ACL. They're a lot smaller, and can be gotten for pretty cheap these days. I got really lucky and got a great package for $800 locally, and mine even has a b/w video tap and a crystal speed controller that lets me set the frame rate to anything I want up to 72fps (those were aftermarket add-ons from AZ Spectrum, and wont be on every ACL).


Edited by Josh Gladstone, 15 June 2015 - 12:41 PM.

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#8 steve waschka

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 08:37 PM

SD workflow for me was affordable and became a choice and a process for a look. Affordable has become relative. I had no idea what I was doing with video. I have self taught from project to project. Once I get this NPR on its feet I will run it for a while and pass it on for an XTR or an SR in super 16. I try to pass on cameras in better shape than I found them. I have had my share of "gifts" and boat anchors. its a bit of a gamble sometimes.


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#9 Josh Gladstone

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 05:14 PM

I feel you. Sounds cool. Keep it up!


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