Which Of The Following Does Not Describe A Non-Narrative Film Film Look – How To Make Video Look Like Film

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Film Look – How To Make Video Look Like Film

What’s wrong with the Video?

Maybe you shoot video for a living – doing corporate work, TV documentaries or adverts. Maybe you’re a student filmmaker or an enthusiastic beginner. No matter what you do with video, chances are you want to make movies – even if just for yourself and friends and family. If you’re new to video production, the idea of ​​a ‘film-look’ – in other words, giving video the look of a film – may seem new to you. If you’re new to the idea of ​​a movie look, or you just know you want to make your video look like a movie, it can be a daunting task to try and figure out just what you need to do to make your video look filmed. on celluloid.

Looking for a ‘movie-like’ look!

The term ‘film-look’, or filmize (as wikipedia calls it) is a generic term applied to many processes, some physical, some chemical and now – many digital. Celluloid (film) is expensive, wasteful and time-consuming to develop – not to mention dangerous – destroying film footage is so easy! Tape is cheap and easy to use and the quality of video cameras has improved dramatically in recent years. With the advent of digital video, it has become possible for almost any camera to record acceptable quality video – analog cameras are generally not suitable for the look of film unless they are of high professional quality. . Now, with DV, HD and HDV it’s easier than ever to make a quality movie that looks and feels like a movie.

DV, High Definition and ‘film-look’

It’s important to realize that the higher quality camera you shoot with, the better your filmed piece will appear. Not only the quality of the camera is important but also the format it uses. DV, or Digital Video is the lowest quality format you should use. Ideally, shoot in HDV – a highly compressed High Definition version of DV or a professional HD variant.

So just what creates a ‘Film Look’ in video?

Been to the theater lately? Film looks very different from raw digital video. There are several reasons for this but the most basic and obvious concepts are the different nature of a film and video camera and more importantly that film stock is a chemical based medium whereas video is a digital / magnetic medium. The chemical nature of celluloid ensures that it records color in a similar way to our eyes, has a greater range of brightness and does not harshly clip shadows and highlights. Digital Video stores image data in a limited range and light is stored in a linear fashion – quite different from how the human eye sees. Motion is also different, with less motion blur in an image.

The Evil Legacy Of Analogue Video: Interlacing

One of the telltale signs of video is the sawtooth-like jagged edges that the interlacing process creates. In other words, interlacing refers to half-frame video display. Each frame is divided into odd and even lines and these are recorded and displayed out of time to increase the amount of motion recorded. This means that still pictures have a higher resolution and moving pictures have more motion (although less resolution).

Creating a true film look requires using a 24p or other progressive format camera or a deinterlacer to make interlaced video (or a single frame) progressive. This progressive frame will not feature motion artefacts caused by interlacing assuming it is deinterlaced properly.

Color Correction / Grading

Much of the look of the film comes from the grading/coloring. Video is given a more film-like appearance by using Gamma and Contrast adjustments. The most common way to give an image a more filmic approach is to use the curves tool to create a soft s like curve. The s curve mimics the way film responds to light – in a non-linear way – compared to straight line video.

Color correction is used to one down the overly bright and saturated look of the video. Color correction is also used to style the piece – this often helps the look of the film as film cinematography is often more complex than video lighting where illumination is exposure based.

Film stock flashing and color timing – done in the development lab after shooting – can be easily simulated in software and can contribute a great deal to what most viewers don’t perceive as the look of the film.

Tricks Of The Trade: Advanced Lab Processes

Filmmakers often use some type of lab processing to achieve a certain look. Movies like Saving Private Ryan and Munich use a process known as bleach bypass. This increases contrast and reduces saturation by leaving silver halide on the negative – this is usually washed off to reveal the newly developed image. In general, bleach bypass can be simulated in Adobe After Effects and similar packages by mixing a black and white version of the image with the original color image. However, if you want a real looking bleach bypass, you might be best considering a piece of film look software known as a plug-in for your post production system.

Other key indicators of film-based production are optical filters such as diffusers and neutral density filters. It changes the quality of light by softening, darkening and blooming specific parts of the image. Diffusers work by affecting specific sections of the tonal range, such as shadows and highlights. Neutral density filters reduce overexposed skies and result in the kind of sunset shots seen in many Bruckheimer and Simpson films of the 1980s and 1990s.

Depth Of Field – Shallow is Better

For those after a real look there are a few other issues to consider. The first is depth of field. Depth of field refers to how much is in focus in an image and how much is blurred. A camera can only focus on one point in an image (in terms of depth) and anything closer or further away from the lens will gradually fall out of focus. How quickly the image loses focus with distance is described by depth of field. A narrow depth of field has only a narrow focal depth and a deep focus lens keeps most of the image in focus.

Focus is directly related to the size of the device receiving the image, be it a digital CCD / CMOS sensor or a collection of halide grains on a piece of celluloid. To achieve a simlar depth of field on film (which is relatively shallow), a large sensor is required. While some cameras like the Panavision Genesis have a 35mm sized sensor – such video cameras are expensive. Cheaper professional and prosumer cameras have smaller sensors – creating a greater depth of field than a film camera.

To achieve a true movie like depth of field with some cameras you will need a lens adapter that allows a movie like depth of field to be created. A highly recommended 35mm lens adapter is the M2 from http://www.redrockmicro.com.

Film Grain – A non-Digital Artifact

The grain of the film is really very small. We probably only see it in the theater where the image is big. When shown on TV, the grain of the film tends to be lost and this has been a mistake by those looking for a film look. Such failed attempts include using some form of noise generation in their NLE or post suite to simulate film grain. Such noise not only looks unlike film grain but is also very large.

Grain simulation, other than an aged film look should be avoided at all costs.

Cinematography

capture as much tonal latitude as possible – compressing highlights and lowlights into a viewable range where detail is preserved. Then you expand the scope back to your movie look plugin but during the shooting, it is necessary to capture as much detail as possible.

Also consider lighting creatively – why light for video, perhaps mimicking the lighting style of your favorite movie. Whenever possible try and stay away from 3 point lighting, which is more suited to a quick set up than a creative image. This article cannot hope to cover the wide range of lighting techniques used by film cinematographers – you really need to read as much about it as possible so research is the key here.

Finally…

If you get creative with lighting, try creating a shallow depth of field and cleverly use a film look system like Halide: Film Look System ([http://www.ambervisual.com/halidedemo.asp]) you should have a good likeness of the film. Getting the perfect film look isn’t easy and it takes practice like any other filmmaking discipline but it can deliver amazing results and despite what some may say – those who respond better viewers in narratives with movie-like qualities- video is too strongly associated with news and reality TV.

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