Why do soap operas look "shiny" video wise?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kevin Farley, Jan 20, 2003.

  1. Kevin Farley

    Kevin Farley Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2000
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What is that sheen that soap opera has? They used it on Friends when Phoebe acted on Joey's soap. I've always wondered about that.
     
  2. Kris McLaughlin

    Kris McLaughlin Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2000
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I believe it's just the difference between film and video. Film has that softer, more subtle look, while video is very sharp and edgy.
    Since soaps are shown daily, it would be unreasonable time-wise to shoot them on film.

    Cheers,
     
  3. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 17, 1999
    Messages:
    2,358
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Lighting also has a lot to do with it. Soap operas don't have time to set up the perfect cinematic lighting for every single shot. They light up the whole room, point multiple cameras at the actors, and shoot whole scenes in one take.
     
  4. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 1999
    Messages:
    2,312
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm guessing a lot of it has to do with frame-rate and interlacing. The soap at video rates (60 fields/sec interlaced) versus film (24 frames/sec) give totally different looks.
    I've played around with this with a friend's MiniDV camera (Sony TRV-900). You can record at 30 frames, progressive, and the output is strikingly film-like, particularly in low light.

    I've yet to see any real 720p/60, though, to back up my theory. My HDTV won't accept 720p.
     
  5. dave_brogli

    dave_brogli Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2002
    Messages:
    1,021
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    thats just like the golden girls.... same look to it.
     
  6. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2002
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Great answers...that is it exactly.
    They have almost entirely phased out shooting
    sitcoms on videotape, but in the 70's, almost all of
    them were done that way.
    What I think is interesting are the friends that i poll
    who can't tell the difference.
    I always say, "the evening news looks different
    than a movie, because one is shot on video, the other on film'...and they still don't get it.
     

Share This Page