A film definition

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Bounty Hunter, Dec 6, 2003.

  1. Because of the debate going on in here, I did a search for the word
    film.

    As a verb it stated:
    verb to make a film/movie of a story or a real event:
    Two young boys were filmed stealing CDs on the security video.

    The interesting part was the part to include "VIDEO"

    My reference was from here:
    http://www1.oup.co.uk/elt/oald/bin/oald2.pl
     
    Bounty Hunter, Dec 6, 2003
    #1
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  2. Yes, that's true. And, I videotaped several dogs with my Bell & Howell 16mm
    camera! Go ahead, tell me I am wrong!! If it works one way, it can and
    should work both ways.
     
    Larry Johnson, Dec 6, 2003
    #2
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  3. 3 a : an exceedingly thin layer : LAMINA b (1) : a thin flexible transparent
    sheet (as of plastic) used especially as a wrapping (2) : such a sheet of
    cellulose acetate or nitrocellulose coated with a radiation-sensitive
    emulsion for taking photographs
    4 : MOTION PICTURE
     
    Larry Johnson, Dec 6, 2003
    #3
  4. Bounty Hunter

    Tom Elliott Guest

    IMHO:
    Because of the new technology most people differentiate by stating it
    was a digital project or it was a film project and kids that I talk to
    make NO distinction between the two...a film is a film ... done on
    DV/Analogue or film. I think it will come to that. Now if one wants to
    be accurate... well then be accurate. The most important thing is THE
    STORY! Then the media really does not matter...IMHO.
    Yours,
    Tom
    Have fun making "films" and telling stories.
     
    Tom Elliott, Dec 6, 2003
    #4
  5. Only someone with no education in TV/video would say film with video
    tape. It's bad when film students are using video cameras say film. I have
    pointed out that they are not even film students. It just shows ignorance.

    BTW: I have both film and Radio-television degrees.
     
    Supreme Enchanter, Dec 6, 2003
    #5
  6. Bounty Hunter

    David McCall Guest

    Interesting. I've never heard anybody suggest that proposed the thought
    that we should refer to shooting 16mm film with your Eymo as videotaping.
    When we go to blockbuster (a video store) we rent videos. It seems that it
    is acceptable to call any film a video, once that has been converted to an
    electronic medium. I have even proposed that film becomes a video the
    moment it gets digitized (making many of the so-called films we see
    become just film transfers of videos).

    So, if you are shooting something in 16mm, but you ultimately intend to
    digitize it for editing and effects, then you could say that you are shooting
    a video with you Eymo, but referring to that activity as videotaping might
    be pushing it a little, don't you think?

    David
     
    David McCall, Dec 6, 2003
    #6
  7. Bounty Hunter

    Gary P Guest

    I know plenty of people with not only education but years of working
    experience who do so. And you can include many of the experienced
    cinematographers in American Cinematographer in the group that refers to
    digital film.
     
    Gary P, Dec 6, 2003
    #7
  8. Bounty Hunter

    Gary P Guest

    --

    Exactly. The point is that the lines are blurred anyway. At some point in
    the near future virtually EVERY project will be distributed digitally,
    irrespective of acquisition medium. What are these people going to call them
    then?
     
    Gary P, Dec 6, 2003
    #8
  9. From what I see being said is that the act of shooting an motion image using
    a camera which utilizes videotape is being called film, filming, or filmed.
    Whether a film is transferred to videtape and that is referred to as a
    video, as in the "renting a video" example then the term is right. One is
    renting a video of a film. It is not the film itself that is the video. The
    video is a copy of the original. When in the act of achieving the original
    the source is the object.

    I realize that the lines are blurred, and outside of the work done by people
    like Lucas very few if any motion pictures for theatrical release are
    achieved using very high end video cameras. Though the movie may be enhanced
    with digitally achieved and composited actions and characters does not
    negate the fact that when distributed to the many theaters across the world
    it arrives on true 35mm film. Not even close the the "rent a video" idea -
    the copy (video) is not equal to the original (film) in any form.

    Though the movie "Final Fantasy" was done completely on computers
    automatically make it a film. It was still a motion picture, but not a film.
    The substance used for the distribution of this computer generated motion
    picture was indeed "film". But, just like the images gained through the use
    of your camcorder the "Final Fantasy" images are merely video frames, the
    difference being the frame resolution proper.

    If it is created electronically it is "video". Yes, some electronically
    acquired images can be used in conjunction with "film" and vice versa. I
    still say you can use whatever term makes you happy. You can twist the facts
    like Johnny Cochran to make it all appear to make sense, but facts are
    facts - you are merely "photographing" an image whether you use conventional
    film or the latest digital technology.

    I find this whole thing greatly amusing. This is a subject that can only be
    discussed because it is about motion images. There is no doubt that one is
    taking pictures, or photographing a person or scene whether they are using a
    Nikon digital camera or an Olympus 35mm SLR. They both take pictures - one
    digital and one analog. But, there is a difference and the digital one does
    not always win, until the mega pixels approach the proper range.

    No matter which camera they use the photographer is content to "shoot"
    pictures, the director and camaraman still "shoot" the scenes, and everyone
    involved is there on the set "ready to shoot". And when it is all done "the
    shoot ended at about...." It just seems to me that using the term "filming"
    just makes people feel like their project is somehow more important. It's
    not just a video, it's a short film. It just sounds better to them, it makes
    them prouder of their work.
     
    Larry Johnson, Dec 6, 2003
    #9
  10. Bounty Hunter

    Gary P Guest

    The lines are blurred, and getting more so all the time.

    Call it what you like. In the end so will everyone else.

    And that's going to be the universally accepted usage.
    Ironically, in this case it does not get called "filming" on the basis of
    what's actually in the camera.
    Almost everything is the same EXCEPT for the medium of acquisition. As YOU
    point out, still photographic terms are NOT based on the medium of
    acquisition.

    I don't think the news crews that go out shooting/filming/videotaping every
    day here are using the term "filming" to convince themselves that their work
    is somehow Panavision. Nor are the many years experienced cinematographers
    who refer to "digital film". It's absurd to call "The Anniversary Party" a
    video due simply to the medium of acquisition. And it seems elitist bullshit
    to insist on it.

    Besides, as I said, you'll find the term "film" is much more popular than
    "movies" (which somehow to non-US ears sounds a bit slangy and even
    childish) in the UK and places influenced by UK English. In the end that's
    where English comes from. The rest is American. And linguistically the world
    will end up marching to the drum it chooses.

    Gary
     
    Gary P, Dec 7, 2003
    #10
  11. Bounty Hunter

    Randy Brown Guest

    This discussion reminds me of the ongoing debate among golfers who use
    metal-headed "wood" clubs.

    Is it a 3-wood, or a 3-metal?

    I've heard both terms used, and while most purists cringe at the sound of
    the term "3-metal" or "fairway metal," preferring instead the more
    traditional "3-wood" or "fairway wood" terminology, usage of the word
    "metal" in the name is probably more accurate when a player is using a
    titanium- or steel-headed club. But what about when it's one of those
    new-fangled graphite-headed or composite-headed clubs? Nobody's dreamed up
    a term for that yet.

    As for the distinction between "film" and "video," I would agree with those
    who've opined that "the story's the thing." The media you use to tell it is
    incidental. It becomes even more confusing when you consider that some
    don't even record on video "tape," they go straight to a hard drive. Are
    you videotaping at that point? Filming? "Disking?" What?

    Capturing or shooting, perhaps. I guess that would cover it all.

    And as for what I rent at Blockbuster, I call them "movies," not videos or
    films.

    Randy
     
    Randy Brown, Dec 7, 2003
    #11
  12. Bounty Hunter

    dliddlea Guest

    If more people who shoot on video learned and adopted the craft,
    techniques, methods and discipline, of film their productions would be
    better received by the audience.

    Expensive film stock requires direction, creative lighting, rehearsal and
    planning, not to mention post production where the final result is
    created.

    MiniDV and NLE may appear to 'cover up' but cannot replace, a lack of
    imagination and technical competance. Audiences are becoming more critical
    as they compare results with the best of cinema

    It is after all really just about telling and communicating a story.

    David L
     
    dliddlea, Dec 7, 2003
    #12
  13. Thank you Randy for the golf club story. These types of discussions have
    always amused me greatly. As I have said before, I really don't care what
    people choose to call the act of acquiring motion images, or what they call
    those images when rented or purchased at the local outlet. As with those on
    the golf course discussing the "3-wood" I cringe when I hear someone say
    they are using their video camera to "film" something. In the long run I
    would just hope that people actually know the difference whether the term is
    accepted or not.

    If you were to ask 9 out of 10 people what "DVD" stands for you would get
    the answer "digital video disc". Again, this has somehow become the accepted
    answer, when in fact it stands for "digital versatile disc" and says that on
    most major manufacturer's packaging. Will most ever know this fact? I doubt
    it. Does it really matter? To some, yes. And the "cringing' may never stop.

    When it comes to the area of "digital film" the distinction for calling it
    "film" is in the resolution of the image, which is 8K or 8MB per frame. The
    frame resolution derived from film is 4K to 8K. Even broadcast uncompressed
    video never reaches that high standard, and our little camcorders are way
    below that. So, I feel that something that merits the use of the word "film"
    should have the abiltiy to reflect the high standard of "film" accordingly.
    Not just be a motion image. Thus when we rent movies we are getting a
    videotape copy of what was on the film in the theater.
     
    Larry Johnson, Dec 7, 2003
    #13
  14. Bounty Hunter

    David McCall Guest

    You touch on an interesting point. While the is no dispute about the story
    being "the thing", it is not the "only thing" to some of us in the business.

    If your job is to write the story, or produce the video, then the story would
    be the most important "thing" to you. However, if you your job has mostly
    to do with providing and/or operating the equipment, then equipment and
    technique are the "main things" that matter to you. It is somebody else's
    problem to come up with the story and cause it to be acted out on the set.
    As a technician, it is your job to capture that story on a film in an efficient
    and creative manner (be it coated with a photographic emulsion, or
    magnetic oxides).

    If it was your job to provide a professional equipment package, and you show up
    with home depot lights and a single chip camcorder, you may learn that there
    is more to it than "just the story". Does that mean you can't tell a story with
    such equipment? Of course not.

    So while the story, and the telling of the story are the most important things
    to the value of the overall production, there are some of us whose job it is to
    make sure that an appropriate level of technical excellence is achieved for
    the production. To some of us, the story isn't all that important. There are
    other people paid to worry about that aspect of the production. Although we
    must consider the story to identify the requirements, and mood.

    David
     
    David McCall, Dec 7, 2003
    #14
  15. Bounty Hunter

    Gary P Guest

    I see this a little differently. For a long time audiences have been wowed
    by production value of stories that have been either not worth telling or
    told badly. Shit, but well cooked shit. The best of cinema isn't always the
    glitziest.

    MiniDV and NLE are sometimes allowing better stories to be told, and giving
    some audiences a chance to get a sharper glimpse of the emperor's new
    clothes of some bigger budget productions.
     
    Gary P, Dec 8, 2003
    #15
  16. Now we're about as far from the original subject as it can get. Content has
    never been the issue. The story has never been the issue. Whether someone
    has to toil to write the story is not the issue, and none of the other stuff
    you brought up, David. The "thing" is either videotape or film and whether
    the words "film, filming, or filmed" have any place when referring to
    shooting with a video camera.

    Throughout this whole thread people have been taking the word "film" out of
    context to the original discussion. In the original "film" is not a noun,
    but rather is used as a verb - to film, was filming, have filmed. From that
    many have taken the idea of what film is to the Nth degree. And though I did
    get caught up in a bit of it, the question was never what is a film on a
    purchased or rented videotape? Is it a "film" or a "video". Geez, some like
    to say they "filmed" a scene with their digital camcorder. So, if that is
    true then one can "videotape' with a professional motion picture camera.
    Nothing more, nothing less. No casting aspersions on someone's hard work to
    write a story, no gouging at the technical crew or ability.
     
    Larry Johnson, Dec 8, 2003
    #16
  17. Bounty Hunter

    dliddlea Guest

    Agree totally with this - the medium is far less important than the
    content.

    Traditional film/video/broadcasting is all about collaborative creativity,
    technical competence is required but an audience is engaged by their
    experience of what is being told, not the gear used to produce it.



    David L
     
    dliddlea, Dec 8, 2003
    #17
  18. If it's shot on tape it is not filmed. End of story. It is recoded, taped
    or whatever. tape is tape and film is film. That's all.
     
    Supreme Enchanter, Dec 8, 2003
    #18
  19. Bounty Hunter

    RGBaker Guest

    If it's shot on tape it is not filmed. End of story. It is recoded,
    taped
    What nonsense.

    A 'filmmaker' might work entirely with video recording ...
    A 'filmmaker' might 'film' with a video recorder ...
    A 'film' might be edited, delivered and viewed on a video screen ...

    A film is a concept expressed in a self-contained visual package that must
    be displayed with regards to a temporal narrative --- the fact that for
    years in some regions motion pictures distributed on celluloid with embedded
    silver halide crystals were called 'films' is interesting, even significant
    but hardly defining. There are many different ways to name & describe
    'films', and there is nothing in 'film' that eliminates that which was saved
    to a mylar film coated with magnetic particles. A check of the world's
    English speaking regions, and even the history of the craft in the US
    reveals that many different terms have been used, continue to be used and
    doubtless will be used in the future to describe that which we mean when we
    say 'film'.

    I'm reminded that my 'film' prof began his first year classes with a
    defintion chalked on the board:
    "Film is the scum that forms on a body of standing water."

    End of story -- I doubt it. But I'd rather hope that even the pedants, of
    which I count myself one, can see that even as a narrow definition the
    determination to restrict 'film' to a photographic medium is fraught. Will
    this mean that Lucas' next film, filmed with a specialized HD camera ...
    will stop him from being a filmmaker? That this film should be struck from
    my 'Film Guide'?

    GB
     
    RGBaker, Dec 8, 2003
    #19
  20. Bounty Hunter

    David McCall Guest

    The still people seem to have adopted the term "digital photography"
    to cover their new toys. That way they can still call themselves
    "photographers" without using photographic "film". In fact they don't
    even use a magnetic film, they just "RAM" it (but they cheat and
    call it photography anyway).

    The important thing about communication is that your audiance is
    able to understand what you are talking about. In our business they
    sometimes call the making of a video "digital filmaking".

    David
     
    David McCall, Dec 8, 2003
    #20
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