Sunday, October 17, 2010

The never ending discussion about frame rates and lots more...

Not too long ago I was involved in a discussion about frame rates and this and that with a local "Indy" guy. He was showing off his T2i and some home made rig stuff. He talked about what they were shooting etc... and then he said the words that to me sounded like someone was pulling their fingernails across a blackboard. "We shoot at 24 frames for that cinematic effect." - Huh? Are you kidding me? So I asked for him to explain the "cinematic effect" to me. Basically, what does the "cinematic effect" look like? Or, what do you mean by "cinematic effect"? I waited.

As it turns out, the "cinematic effect" that these "Indy" guys constantly talk about is the old film frame rate. Yup, 24 fps. But that is not what creates the "cinematic effect" they were talking about. Nor do they really understand why that frame rate even exists or existed. But they truly believe that if you shoot at 24 fps, you get that "cinematic effect". Wow.

What they really mean most of the time is called DOF or Depth of Field! Bokeh! You know... where stuff is out of focus around the point, object or character you are focusing on. This has absolutely nothing to do with frame rates. It has to do more with the glass you have on the front of that there camera, Mr. Indy.

I had recalled a few months ago that someone actually clearly discussed this topic. Yes, it was someone that probably knows what he is talking about. A guy named:

John Galt, Panavision Senior Vice President of Advanced Digital Imaging, led the team that created the Genesis camera, was responsible for the F900 "Star Wars" camera, and continues to play a leading role in guiding future digital cinema technologies. In this Creative Cow Magazine Extra, join us for a wide-ranging conversation, as John cuts through what he calls the intentional obfuscation of marketing pixels, and considers the range of options that are becoming available to digital filmmakers.

Not only did he clearly explain things about frame rates and cinematic looks yada yada... but he also dissected the whole 2K, 4K and "number pushing game" that all the camera manufacturers depend on for marketing. Personally and in my humble opinion, I think this guy has some credibility. See for yourself. Check out the article over at Creative Cow. (Click will open a new window for you.)

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