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Shooting film...pre-planned camera moves or you get used to the 'motion blur'?


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#1 Stephen Perera

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:36 AM

.....so shooting film in motion picture cameras means when you start rolling you see the effect of the film passing in front of the gate and you get a 'motion blur' images in your viewfinder (for want of a better technical term!)....if you have your eye in the viewfinder that is.....one-man band mode of course

 

.....so does this mean camera movements are always pre-planned or should you just practice focusing the 'blurred' viewfinder image cos with time you get used to it and you can flow with the scene better???

 

thanks for your time everyone....look forward to getting some good tips


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#2 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:53 AM

Shoot digital .. its much better.. you don't have all that archaic stuff going on.. and well ..between you and me.. it looks better too.. all the good guys are doing it now.. 


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#3 Stephen Perera

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 06:14 AM

thanks Robin but shooting digital is visual communism in my eyes and it doesn't move nor inspire me......

 

I am 51 and trained in the darkroom....developing my own rolls, printing images with enlargers...dodging...burning...developing in trays and all the rest of it.....there is NOTHING like it.....I particularly have loads of experience scanning photographic film actually...as a designer I bought my own drum scanner and scanned all images for my brochures and whatever I had to do.....I love film...

 

Take the attached image for instance.....this is a negative I found of my late grandfather.....its a shot I took as a first year degree student in my Graphic design course part of a project I did.....the negative was perfect.....it's from 1985.....shot on Kodak Tri-X, developed by me back in the day......I re-scanned it with JOY.....relived the memories of the man I spent so much time with....my grandfather.....PRICELESS.....

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Edited by Stephen Perera, 14 November 2017 - 06:21 AM.

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#4 Stephen Perera

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 06:27 AM

...another old negative....this time Hasselblad shot of a Barbary Macaque here in Gibraltar....Kodak Tmax 400 film....hand held shot....handheld meter.....contemplating the subject....moment of truth....click.....only another 6 frames left on my 12 frame roll.....its a way of working....a way of looking through a viewfinder...that's film.....a discipline.....I want to feel the same way creating motion images.....

 

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Edited by Stephen Perera, 14 November 2017 - 06:30 AM.

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#5 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 06:32 AM

Join us comrade before you are put up against the wall ..


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#6 Stephen Perera

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 06:33 AM

hahahahaha good one.....its David Bailey that said that I forget to credit him hahahah.....


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#7 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 06:47 AM

Seriously though I know why you mean.. as a clapper loader  I would always be playing round with the camera but of course not ever actually running film through it.. on most cameras I would see this very nice,pretty bright image.. even with fancy red frame markers in the dark.. and I could see there was nothing to it.. 

 

But then I was 5th camera or something..moment it was turn over.. the whole thing went dark and flickery and impossible to see focus.. ..   I think you just get used to it..   The American Cinematographers  Manual .. has quite detailed recommended panning speeds for various lenses .. etc.. I don't know if its considered a bit old fashioned now.. and people just do what they want.. digital cameras have shutters too so the same things apply in principle .. but digital can have 360 degree shutter.. which of course a film camera can't .. and some cameras have a global shutter F55.. but they seem in the minority .. as super quick refresh rates have made rolling shutter less of an issue.. 

 

Compared to interlaced even digital cameras EVF can look a bit flickery at say 23.98p..if your not used to it..  but there is no light loss.. which helps..


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#8 Mark Dunn

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:11 AM

You would usually rehearse camera movements. But naturally you've got to get used to the shutter flicker.


Edited by Mark Dunn, 14 November 2017 - 10:11 AM.

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#9 Stephen Perera

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:13 AM

yeah pretty much get used to it fast Im finding....


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#10 Bruce Greene

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 11:27 AM

.....so shooting film in motion picture cameras means when you start rolling you see the effect of the film passing in front of the gate and you get a 'motion blur' images in your viewfinder (for want of a better technical term!)....if you have your eye in the viewfinder that is.....one-man band mode of course

 

.....so does this mean camera movements are always pre-planned or should you just practice focusing the 'blurred' viewfinder image cos with time you get used to it and you can flow with the scene better???

 

thanks for your time everyone....look forward to getting some good tips

Hi Stephen, there are two separate issues in your question:

 

First, is about strobing when panning the camera.  As the film standard is 24 frames/sec, if you pan too fast you get jumping in the image.  If you pan really fast, it's all just one big blur, which is usually ok.  If you pan with a moving object (car, actor, etc) it works out fine and one doesn't notice the strobe effect in the background.  This is true shooting film or digital at 24 fames / sec.

 

BTW, the blur is not caused by the film moving through the camera.  When the shutter is open, the film is static.  It only moves when the shutter is closed.

 

The second issue is about seeing focus through the viewfinder.  In all "modern" reflex movie cameras, the viewfinder blacks out while the film is being exposed and the image is visible only while the shutter is closed and the film is moving through the gate.  This causes a distinctive flicker in the viewfinder.  Seeing focus through the viewfinder ground glass is not easy even when the camera is not rolling.  It's not like an SLR where you view focus with a wide open aperture.  So it can be quite dark when shooting ISO 400/500 film.  And when the camera rolls, and the flicker starts, it can be quite tough to see critical focus.  It takes quite a bit of practice to see the focus on a rolling movie camera, and even then, one can be unsure when the focus is close, but not quite critically sharp.

 

To solve this, one uses a crew member, or "focus puller" to change the focus according to the distance to the subject using the distance scale on the the lens barrel.  This is a challenging job that takes years to get really good at.

 

If you don't mind a bit of "out of focus" documentary film style, you can change the focus by eye while you shoot.  If you need the critical focus demanded by narrative cinema, then, yes, rehearsal, focus marks (marks on the floor to get actors in the light, and in focus), and a good focus puller are required.  A good focus puller can sometimes just "wing it", depending on the lens, aperture, distances involved.  If they are really good, they will tell you when "winging it" is beyond their ability.  But often, they just complain and do their best!

 

Happy shooting Stephen and enjoy your filmmaking adventure!!!!


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#11 Stephen Perera

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 11:30 AM

thanks Bruce you have a great IMDB list indeed to know what you are talking about!!!!


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