film quality vs. video quality

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by mor847, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. mor847

    mor847 Guest

    I know what high definition video looks like, and I know what film
    quality looks like. There is a distinct difference.

    I am trying to understand why a local TV program claims to be
    photographed with Sony High Definition equipment, but the quality of
    the video looks as though it was shot on film.

    By the same token, the program Globe Trekker shoots most of the program
    on video, but insists on including footage in each program that looks
    like 8mm movie film shot by a rank amateur.

    Are these effects produced in the camera, or is it part of the editing
    process on the computer?

    I will be the first to admit that I don't have the talent to produce
    quality documentaries (though I'd like to try) I'm just interested in
    learning how these particular tricks are achieved.

    Thank you very much for your help.

    mor847, Sep 24, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  2. mor847

    Mike Kujbida Guest

    See responses inline.

    One of the the biggest reasons is that it's properly lit by people who know
    what they're doing and take the time to "do it right" instead of "it's good

    I've never seen the show but, if the footage is as bad as you say, then it
    was probably shot by amateurs with consumer-grade camcorders.

    Could easily be both.

    A WHOLE lot of practice :)

    Mike Kujbida, Sep 24, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  3. mor847

    mor847 Guest

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I think I should have phrased my initial question differently...
    What is wrong with shooting video and showing it as video? Why, change
    the texture of the scene and make it look as though it were
    photographed with a 35mm film camera?

    To me, film is nice for movies to tell a nice story complete with
    special effects. I realize film stock is expensive and once its run
    thorugh the camera any mistakes are costly.

    However, to me, video is immediate. No outrageous trick photography,
    no expensive special effects, and no time consuming set ups.

    Video is sharp, crystal clear, "live" looking. That's how I want to
    see travelogues.

    When it first appeared it was interesting to see a newly shot piece of
    tape turned into a late fifties/early sixties piece of film that's been
    around too long. Sprockets broken, the occasional film splice, the
    lines running vertically thorough the picture...

    But, that's boring.

    As you can tell I prefer video that's video. I just do not understand
    what the fascination with making it look like its been done on film

    Anyway, thanks again for the help. I hope you can help me understand
    this (try?), maybe I'm looking at it all wrong. ;-)

    Take care.

    mor847, Sep 24, 2005
  4. mor847

    Specs Guest

    I know for a fact that the "Film" sequences in Globe Trekker/Lonely Planet
    are filmed on a super 8 camera. Its not a faux film effect.

    These sequences are usually cut together with music to form short montages
    that punctuate the programme. There's your answer, visual puctuation by way
    of differing aesthetic.

    Specs, Sep 24, 2005
  5. mor847

    Ivan% Guest

    As you can tell I prefer video that's video.
    It's all in the script. You can shoot it on
    IMAX and budget at $150 M , but if the script's
    rubbish and you've got nothing to say...

    On the other hand.

    If you've got a brilliant story with compelling
    believable characters, or a gripping documentary
    subject brilliantly handled - you could shoot it
    on VHS and people would overlook that.
    Ivan%, Sep 24, 2005
  6. mor847

    AnthonyR Guest

    Hi Mike,
    I have never seen the program you mention, but personally have seen other
    programs were they make it look like you are watching old film,
    and i understand why, they need to add the effect but if it's over done, it
    gets boring fast! I agree.
    Just like any fancy effect, overuse it and people will get bored with it,
    the first time, it's exciting but the twelve time, it's boring.

    Also tv shows, that used that cinema verita (or whatever it's called) shaky
    fast zoom, unprofessional quality effect, like NYPD Blue did,
    I happen to love that show so I don't think they overdo it, but if that
    effect is iverdone also, you end up with nothing but an amateur production.

    These effects need to be added only when appropriate to convey the
    sublimital message and that's it. The director needs to decide on this I
    Like when a movie is done in B&W to give it an affect, Sometimes it just is
    boring to people to remove the color of life. I can see doing a scene or two
    in B&W
    but not an entire movie, it too becomes overdone and boring.
    AnthonyR, Sep 24, 2005
  7. mor847

    mor847 Guest

    Thanks for the help. I think I understand it better.

    mor847, Sep 25, 2005
  8. mor847

    PTravel Guest

    Globetrekker actually does shoot with an 8mm camera (it looks like an old
    consumer Super8). As to why, your guess is as good as mine. I think it's a
    creative affectation that gets in the way of the show.
    PTravel, Sep 26, 2005
  9. mor847

    Specs Guest

    The trouble is that if things aren't spelt out for some even the most
    obvious visual grammar can pass unhindered over their heads.

    It is blatantly obvious why the programme makers of Globetrekker use the
    super8 footage.
    Specs, Sep 26, 2005
  10. Having been on the pointy end of this business for damn near thirty years I
    can tell you that that only thing blatantly obvious is the S-8mm sequences
    are nothing more than just one form of the countless artistic "hooks"
    designed to separate one show, or series from rest.
    It works. But it's nothing more than a tool. Fortunately, with this show,
    there are a few good craftsmen that know how to use all three format "tools"
    that this particular show is shot on.

    Go.............. here

    Bill F.
    Bill Farnsworth, Sep 27, 2005
  11. mor847

    Specs Guest

    What's blatantly obvious from your answer is that you either haven't seen
    the programme or you have not understood how the film sequences are being
    used in the programme. Its not simply to separate one show from another
    there is more to it than that. I suggest you take another look at the

    If you've spent 30 years in the business and you still don't understand the
    use of different visual aesthetics and their affect on the audience then
    shame on you.
    Specs, Sep 27, 2005
  12. Thank you very much for the input.

    Bill F.
    Bill Farnsworth, Sep 27, 2005
  13. mor847

    Specs Guest

    Specs, Sep 27, 2005
  14. mor847

    ptravel Guest

    What part of, "it's a creative affectation that gets in the way of the
    show" went over your head?
    Indeed, and it's unpleasant, pretentious and interferes with the theme
    and content.

    Another thing that is blatantly obvious is why some people like to post
    to usenet.
    ptravel, Sep 27, 2005
  15. mor847

    Specs Guest

    Clearly your lack of media literacy limits your response.

    Yep, there are people who post to the use net who create themselves whole
    new identities who think that if they can put up a website and then
    pontificate about their chosen subject.

    My advice to that sort of person would be when using a tripod have the
    decency to make sure its level when shooting and learn how to edit
    especially if you intend to advise others!
    Specs, Sep 27, 2005
  16. mor847

    Bill Van Dyk Guest

    And how do you separate a genuine artist from the hoards of slavish
    followers who all think that by copying the end result of an original
    artistic process that they too look like artists?

    I am reminded of the poet who dresses all in black, because he doesn't
    for one moment have enough faith in his own poetry to believe that the
    audience won't immediately detect the charlatan that he is. And the
    professional athlete who surrounds himself with bodyguards. And the
    preacher who claims Satan is attacking his ministry with those scabrous
    claims of infidelity and extravagance...

    Anyway, I really believe that some current stylistics tricks are just
    "affectations", and not genuinely called for by the substance of the
    scene. There were several scenes in "Constant Gardener" for example, in
    which the handheld, shakey camera was gratuitous and pointless. On the
    other hand, Lars Von Trier, love him or hate him, takes genuine risks
    and creates genuinely interesting films. Gus Van Zant likewise.
    Richard Linklater.

    Most of the other directors lift techniques and strategies from the
    genuine innovators.

    I will admit that it can be very, very difficult to separate the poseurs
    from the real thing, though. It's the difference between "The Pianist"
    and "Schindler's List" or "Cool Hand Luke" and "Shawshank Redemption",
    or "Blade Runner" and "I, Robot". The one is jazz, the other is pop.
    Bill Van Dyk, Sep 27, 2005

  17. How the heck did this strand get so out of kilter? Just for the record,
    Bill Farnsworth is a straight up sort of guy with enough solid
    professional gravitas to be regarded with respect, regardless of the
    differing aesthetics upon which one might base artistic judgements.
    Personally I'm no fan of these pretentious techniques either. Seems
    every media studies college leaver wants to make a pop video inter cut
    with 8mm in the hope of proving to their peers that they are artists!
    The really irritating college leaver technique that has no redeeming
    features at all is the one where some other 'artist' is being
    interviewed about the meaning of their new book/song/film etc sat at a
    table with the interviewer in shot, whilst being shot by one tripod
    mounted conventionally (correctly) set up camera and inter cut with
    some deliberately badly hand held camera in monochrome! Now what's that
    all about? Utter bollocks as far as I'm concerned.
    Moving Vision, Sep 27, 2005
  18. mor847

    PTravel Guest

    A minimal time on google will tell you who I am. "New identity"? Yeah,
    right, "specs."

    You don't have to like my video. It makes no difference to me. You should,
    however, learn a little bit about courtesy. Otherwise you just come off as
    a smarmy, arrogant troll.

    You wouldn't want that, would you?
    PTravel, Sep 27, 2005

  19. Hey, that's an excellent post Mr Van Dyk
    Moving Vision, Sep 27, 2005
  20. mor847

    Specs Guest

    That's all very well and true but, that's not how the "film" footage is
    being used in Globetrekker. The film sequences . All hard facts are given
    in "video" while the "film" sequences are being used as thinking space while
    the crew "travels" the next location which punctuates the programme.

    Using an alternative visual aesthetic is no different to using audio clues
    to illicit different responses from the audience. I have produced
    documentaries in the past that use an on screen presenter to deliver hard
    facts while employing a very well known English actor with a wonderful
    resonant voice to provide the back story and quotations. The audience knows
    what sort of information to accept from the two voices. Similarly visual
    clues can be used as you well know.

    So, I am in favour of mixed media usage providing there is motivation for it
    or it is to get a response from the audience but not in a contrived way like
    the B&W shakey-cam which, as you rightly point out, has no merit.

    But for people to say the film sequences are used just for style is just
    plain wrong.
    Specs, Sep 27, 2005
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.