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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jon Strong, Aug 25, 2002.
To the point: Can It Shoot Slow Motion? Well? And How High?
The only one I know of that can is the Panasonic VFR camera. It's a 1280x720x60p camera in 'native mode.' It can shoot pretty much anywhere from 4fps to 60fps, and on playback, your edit system can convert it to play out at anywhere from 4fps to 60fps.
SO. If you shoot 60fps and play out at 24fps, you can get a moderatly nice, mild slow motion. Likewise, shoot at 4fps and play out at 60fps, and you get one heck of a speed boost!
I don't know of any 1080p stuff capable of doing this, and 1080i just doesn't count. (Yes, I'm biased. )
The panasonic page in question is...
I was talking about the cameras used for the newest Star Wars and Robert Rodriguez flicks. Maybe slow motion is an advantage of film...
So I guess Michael Bay will be sticking with film since he can't shoot at excess of 100fps for those superslow motion shots we all love.
Just a note - there are some issues with the varispeed Panasonic camera. It always shoots at 60 fps. Because of that, many frame rates require an interpolation between frames. The software does a pretty good job of it, but it still can't come close to the result of a true variable speed 35mm camera.
The best way to describe the tests I've looked at is that some frame rates have a dream-like slight smear effect. I could certainly see how some DPs could use the effect to their advantage, but once you notice it it is pretty easy to see every time.
Slow-mo will be the range of film for a long time to come
Really, this is just the kind of thing that makes digital filming not really a replacement, but rather a supplement.
I think digital filming has its places and that many of those places haven't even been explored yet. But film has it's uniqueness and is just not going to lose that any time soon. Just imagine Robert Wise dragging a harddrive across the floor for Citizen Kane for example. Sure you can IMITATE some of these things, but often it's not as easy or effective.
But this rush to bury analog techniques IN ANY TECHNOLOGY is a mistake. There is a lot of good science behind those analog techs.
Seth: While I agree there's a certain something to film that won't ever be replicated with digital, I don't think variable framerates will be one of them. There'll probably be one that does true variable frame rates by the end of the decade. Almost any of the technical superiorities film currently has will be matched and then exceeded by digital. Still, you're right that Citizen Kane wouldn't be the same movie had it been shot digitally with the exact same actors and setups, with limitless filters to match the greentwinged film grayscale and grain patterns.
I think the two types of filmmaking will complement each other until film becomes economically unfeasable like current 65mm film production has. And that will be a great loss to filmmaking. Still, if it means we get more films like AOTC and Spy Kids 2... the former the nearest to visual poetry of any movie I've ever seen and the latter blissfully free of the stoginess and constraints of the modern film--It's hard to say whether that (and all the other things as yet unexplored by the format) would be worth sacrificing the future "Citizen Kanes," "Casablancas," "It's a Wonderful Lifes," "Apocalypse Nows," and "Moulin Rouges." I don't know. I really don't. But I suppose the future generations will find out. I can only hope they realize what they're missing, and value what their gaining.
I read an article in some magazine where Robert Rodriguez talked about shooting some slow-motion shots for Once Upon a Time in Mexico, which is 24p. However I think it involved shooting in some special interlaced mode. One of the shots is in the trailer. Unfortunately I have to go by memory since I can't find the magazine anywhere.
Not to change the subject, but wasn't Julia and Julia and One From The Heart by Coppola both shot in High Defintion?
Yes, but those movies were shot with the earlier generation all analog HD cameras and not the current digital ones.
To answer the original question, I found this answer from Robert Rodriquez who just finished his latest movie Once Upon A Time In Mexico which he shot in high def at 24P.
This is taken from the August edition of Millimeter magazine:
"I used the Sony cameras and I didn't change the stop and ended
up with 60 frames turned into slow motion. We didn't boost lighting or go with a different stop or anything. We just had to do some work in post. We shot at 60i, captured each field to Targa files, tehn output one Targa file to one frame which slowed the image down and gave us the equivalent of overcranking. And besides, by now, these cameras are starting to come with variable frame rates and they'll only get better."