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1.85 aspect ratio in HD


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#1 Stephen Whitehead

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 03:13 PM

I am shooting a film at the end of the summer using the sony f900. Now it is my first time using this camera, as most of my previous work has been done on 35mm.

Now the film is intended to have theatrical release in the 1.85 format. Nowat first I was simply thinking of framing the shots so a little bit of the top and bottom could be cropped out later. But the film is goes to call for the addition of post generated camera shake in some parts, as well as stabilization in others. Would it be wise to simply compose the shots so some of the image will be cropped of the side, and a little more off the top and bottom than usual to ad a little more head room for later in post? would this sacrifice to much quality in HD, and how much would everyone recomend to frame out?

Cheers,

Steve Whitehead
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 04:16 PM

I'd just shoot full-frame and compose for 1.85 -- it's almost the same image as full-frame 1.78.

For shots that need bounce & shake added in post, I'd frame a little looser maybe, but the truth is that the bouncing effect will hide a zoom into the picture.

As for stabilizing, I'd do that as little as needed.

The Vista One framelines in the Marker Menu are a good way of framing for 1.85 (it's more like 1.89 but close enough.) Even turned on, you'll notice that the 1.85 lines are barely inside the top & bottom of 1.78 full-frame, it's so similar.

You could create your own smaller 1.85 framelines that are well inside 1.78, but you'd have to shoot a framing chart and all those reformatted shots may end up with black borders on one of the edges, and your final 16x9 home video master may entail a lot more reframing to clean up the edges of the frame from mics, mattes, etc.
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#3 Stephen Whitehead

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 09:10 PM

You see, quite a few of the shots are going to be done on dolly, as we arn't going to bring in a stedicam guy on most of the days, and I wanted those shots and the ones done on stix to "breath" a little, kind of like stedicam shots. I was going to do this by framing the shots with a little excess on the sides, and then adding the movement effect in post. Do you strongly reccomend against this?

Steve Whitehead
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 July 2005 - 10:49 PM

I was going to do this by framing the shots with a little excess on the sides, and then adding the movement effect in post. Do you strongly reccomend against this?

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Yes, on principle. Using post effects to just make the camera frame "float" a little? You can't accomplish that in-camera???

You're going to give up a lot of control over the framing if you shoot everything looser with the idea that it will be correctly reframed in post. If you're lucky. Besides, the shutter speed and the camera movement create natural blur, which a post effect is going to have to simulate. And you're going to spend a lot of time in post trying to get the bobbing to look organic, random, and not mechanical.

In other words, it sounds like the most complicated, time-consuming, and expensive method of achieving a look that still may end up looking worse than if you just kept the fluid head really loose or shot handheld or some other natural in-camera technique. Not to mention you're probably going to lose resolution doing this.

Spend post time and money doing things that post are best at doing. Spending time making the shot look more floaty in post is time and money taken away from something the post people could be doing that will add real value to the movie.

Adding bounce to a static shot and and stabilizing a bouncy shot are generally done in post as fixes to a scene coverage where it doesn't cut well otherwise. So maybe you only end up having to do it to a couple of shots, which is not a big time-waster in post.

Adding bounce in post makes more sense if this were a composite efx shot of layers of separate elements, all shot without a bounce, composited, and THEN the bounce is added.
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