Frame Rates: 24P vs 48P : The Winner Is…

For storytelling and polished-cinematic productions, everything but 24fps is awful.

What’ is 24fps (frames per second)?

When you’re watching a movie, you’re watching 24 images flash up on the screen per second. When you watch live TV shows, they’re often 30FPS or 60FPS (60i if you want to be technical).

Lately, there are trends to ‘break’ this legacy since modern projectors and digital cameras can record 60, 120 or higher very easily. Also, 3D and 4K technologies are being pushed to up the ante to keep audiences coming into theatres more.

Faster film speeds are awful. The Hobbit is being shot in both 3D (which most people have a love-it or hate-it relationship with) and testing the waters with 48FPS – twice the speed of normal movies. It’s a fail. Article: “The Hobbit … Didn’t Look So Good” At a recent screening, Jim Vejvoda watched a 10minute special screening of the new film and attributes the 48FPS as being at fault.

What? How could something as simple as there being twice as many frames of footage to view cause that big of a problem? “I was actually let down by the Hobbit footage, as were a number of the other journalists that I spoke with afterward.” Jim wrote. That bad.

In another article through a different publication, Devin Farci was even more blunt; ““The 48fps footage I saw looked terrible. It looked completely non-cinematic. The sets looked like sets”. There we go. The real stuff looked like real stuff. Instead of being an awesome middle-earth sword, it looked like a fake plastic gimmicky sword prop.

That’s a fail. I hope the producers come to their senses before release, and display the final film in 24P.. which has been working very nicely for 80+ years, thanks.

Footage that is too ‘real’ conveys the fakeness of movie-making. Takes us out of the story. I’ve been shooting 24P with my higher end productions for 5 years, and have no plans to stop. 24P is the ticket, man.

Why Colour Grading for Video is Important

Best laid plans often go awry. What is Color Correction or ‘Grading’? Wikipedia: “Color grading or colour painting, is the process of altering and enhancing the color of a motion picture, video image, or still image either electronically, photo-chemically or digitally.”

Before and after example tells all; below is a frame from a video I was the shooter and colour timer on from a few years back.

colour_correction_example

The before and after comparison is quite drastic. The first image is flat, and exposed well all over which is good for the footage and retaining as much information for post production. However, this look is exactly that – flat and without contrast – which would look poor on television if left untreated.

This lower image looks great – colour corrected in native 1920×1080 on a calibrated CRT HDTV powered through a Decklink HD Extreme professional card. All the right tools for the job.

Now the image looks sharp and the colours are strong. A signature trait of mine is I often shoot as flat as I can so that I can pull as much detail out of the image as possible. Overall, the production takes more time because it requires post-production, but gives me a lot latitude over the image, making it look it’s absolute best!