Film


Many LED luminaires do not use high frequency drivers to eliminate flicker in the same way high frequency fluorescent lamp ballasts eliminate flicker. Shooting video in environments with  a lot of LED luminaires can produce video with distracting flicker. Viewers do not want to be distracted, and will switch off  if they see annoying flickering.

LED Lighting Video Recording Tips?

To eliminate flicker, for 120V 60Hz locations, the best shutter speeds to use are at multiples of 120, while at 220/230V 50Hz power locations, best shutter speeds are in multiples of 100. This Telegraph video seems to have been shot at 25 fps, which may be why a lot of annoying flicker can be seen. For flicker free video in 50Hz electrical environments, shooting at 50 or 100 fps should give best flicker free results, for 60Hz, 60 to 120 fps should give best results

For 50Hz 1/100, 1/50, 1/33, 1/25. 50 & 100 fps should = best results
For 60Hz 1/120, 1/60, 1/40, 1/30. 60 & 120 fps should = best results

This video should most likely have been recorded at 100 fps or 50 fps. In post-production there is no fix for this strobing effect. The only solution is to test other camera settings & re-shoot.

A best approach when Designing Architectural Lighting is to specify LED luminaires with high frequency, flicker free dimming drivers.

See full video & Telegraph article here: http://bit.ly/1cvuZxH

Many candelabra lamps look nothing like the candle flames they replace.

What a shame.

Good lighting provides the ‘lean forward moment’ found in film. The visual impression should be one of invitation, enjoyment and appealing appearance of space.

Too often candelabra lamps are nothing like the flames they replace.

Older style Incandescent candelabra lamps needed larger exterior glass envelopes to prevent the lamp glass from melting due to filament heat. Unfortunately many seem not to have understood the reason for this lamp construction solution and kept this larger, not to scale lamp size. It seems often fluorescent and LED sources are placed inside plastic large format candelabra lamp format envelopes…resulting in nothing but unsightly hideous glare bombs.

Good Lighting invites the viewer to enjoy the created space. Chandeliers essentially are  best only as decorative lighting. Attractive artistic shapes is what they can offer.

A dark, light story:

Ritz-Carlton Central Hong Kong.  Opened 1993. Demolished 2008.

A story told was the Interior Designer decided to be the Lighting Designer and essentially only used Chandeliers to light the hotel. The main lobby was dark & dreary and the room occupancy always low. A five-star hotel should never have had dark brooding lobbies and public circulation spaces. Overly bright chandeliers became glare bombs.  The best part of the hotel was the Health Club which had lighting designed by Tony Corbett. You could see the difference.

Lighting Design is all about what you want to see and how you want to see it. It has been said there are only three kinds of lighting. Bad Lighting which is obvious. Indifferent Lighting which while it may be technically correct, is uninspired, and Good Lighting invites the viewer to want to walk into a space to enjoy the created environment.  The viewer feels the instantaneous sensation of the film ‘lean forward moment’ and is compelled to enjoy the created space.

In 1975 Ingmar Bergman filmed the Magic Flute in the Drottningholm Palace’s 17th century Theatre.

Many years ago I traveled to see this Theatre and the chandelier candle replacement lamps. The candelabra lamps wobble independently mimicking the appearance of flames. Magic. You were instantly transported back in time, the created environment of the theater felt much the same as it would have had all chandeliers been lit with candles, but without the smokey smell smog.

This video compilation shows this unique lamp and heritage space. Seeing moving incandescent flame size lamps, was a magical experience.

Drottningholm Court Theatre Chandeliers

Unfortunately I have yet to see any decent LED chandelier candle replacement lamps which mimic the friendly flicker of flames…

Conversations on film making often seem to start with hardware.

Film making is not about hardware, there are no magic bullets, it is all about the story.

What do you want to say, and how do you want to say it?

For film the next question is what do you want to see & how do you want to see it?

Robert Primes at [3 min] discusses how words are poor descriptors of visual information.

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The time investment to craft a well told story or marketing program is not well understood. In a 4 month re-write of product catalogues & manuals, the product never changed, but 18 months later, sales doubled because the story changed.

Consider a Play.
Well written Scripts take time, and Actors must rehearse. When the Director is satisfied, the first curtain goes up.

We end up back to the idea that it all starts with the story.
What do you want to say, and how do you say it?
What will viewers see, and how will they see it?

With limited viewer attention time you must have effective efficient delivery of stories and video can deliver. Jack Welch is quoted as saying, “You can’t manage what you do not measure.” It is easy to measure video viewers. However now there may be new tools to measure the effectiveness of the well told story.

Dr. Paul Zak used an emotional film to measure how our brains respond to effective storytelling.  As part of this research brain neural activity was measured of viewers. He discovered even a simple narrative, if it follows elements of the dramatic arc of exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and dénouement, described by playwright Gustav Freytag, can evoke powerful empathic responses associated with neurochemicals cortisol and oxytocin.

Brain responses to storytelling can translate into actions. In Dr. Zak’s research his subjects increased donations to charity and gifts to others in the research group.  He found stories that did not follow the dramatic arc, no matter how happy or pleasant they may be, produced little if any chemical or emotional response, and lacked a similar response to action. His research contains clues on measuring the well-made story.

This was the test story.

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What makes a well-made story for you?

Try these links:

http://futureofstorytelling.org/

Paul Zak: Trust, morality — and oxytocin

http://www.moralmolecule.com/

For discussions on script writing listen to the Script Notes podcast: http://johnaugust.com/podcast

The Digital Convergence Podcast Episode 94: The Producer Show included these topics

Why is story telling important to business?
What is your goal in story telling?
How do you develop an effective story?
What is the structure of a good story?
How do you know if a story is too long, short, or just right?

To listen to the podcast click here: Episode 94: The Producer Show If you have not seen, the funniest movie on producing is The Producers by Mel Brooks with Zero Mostel & Gene Widler. The Producers – 1968 (Trailer)

Jonathan Gottschall in his book The Story Telling Animal  suggests humans are “wired” for storytelling and offers a theory that we use storytelling to help navigate complex social problems in life.

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Nancy Duarte: The Secret Structure of Great Talks?
On the structure of Steve Job‘s presentations to Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream speech”, Nancy compares common construction of successful stories.

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Pictures Better Than Words?

Teachers know the problem is not content but delivery. Using text only email, introduces a reader time consumption problem. Best text is distilled like poetry with pictures & video for effective delivery. Understanding the Picture Superiority Effect helps deliver.

“When it comes to memory, researchers have known for more than 100 years that pictures and text follow very different rules. Put simply, the more visual the input becomes, the more likely it is to be recognized—and recalled. The phenomenon is so pervasive, it has been given its own name: the pictorial superiority effect, or PSE.”   John Medina

The Evolution of Communication?

Picture Superiority Effect Evolution

A brief history of writing from the British Museum (click for video)

A Research Paper on the Picture Superiority Effect.

“Conceptual and perceptual factors in the picture superiority”
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY 2006, p.1-35, Georg Stenberg, Kristianstad University, Kristianstad, Sweden

Light & Colour – Conversations:
For insights on conventional light sources vs. LED sources and their colour rendering performance for Film & DSLR video see these tests.

I. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Science & Technology Council Solid State Lighting Project

“The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Science and Technology Council has identified a need for an unbiased investigation of solid state lighting (SSL) technologies, which includes LED emitters, for motion picture production. Issues with SSL have been identified regarding its ability to supplement and integrate with existing lighting technologies such as tungsten, fluorescent, HMI, and Xenon that are currently used in the production of motion pictures. The primary purpose of this investigation is to provide the industry with data needed to properly evaluate the impact of using SSL, as well as to provide a framework for the evaluation of future light emitting technologies as they are developed. The Council’s current efforts are focused on providing the motion picture industry with accurate and previously unpublished radiometric and photometric measurements (e.g., spectral power distribution, radiant flux, luminous flux, etc.) typical of various LED light sources currently in use.”

Seven Symposium Videos:

  1. Jonathan Erland Speaks on the Science of Color
  2. Perception of Color
  3. Reproduction of Color
  4. Council Studies
  5. Measurements
  6. Emulsion and Color
  7. Summary

Six Lighting Test Shoots:

  1. Makeup Case
  2. Costume Case: Part 1
  3. Costume Case: Part 2
  4. Props Case: Part 1
  5. Props Case: Part 2
  6. Props Case: Part 3

IIa. Zacuto 2010 Shoot Out – Film Vs DSLR 2010 (episodes 1,2,3)

Zacuto Films presents, “The Great Camera Shootout 2010: a three part web series where gunslinging HD DSLRs face-off against legendary 35mm Film.” The webisodic series showcases the top performing hybrid HD-DSLR cameras: Canon: 5D MKII, 7D, 1D, 550D/T2i Rebel, Nikon D3s, Panasonic GH1 and compares the image quality of these cameras against the gold standard of 35mm film. In addition, the Canon 5D MKII test includes the new 24p firmware. “This was an enormous undertaking,” says Steve Weiss, Web Series Director, “and great care was to make this an apples-to-apples test with scientific accuracy behind it.”

Each webisode of the series features various controlled camera assessment tests which include: resolution, latitude, sensitivity, speed & ultra high speed, noise, color & green screen. The battery of tests were administered under strict controls and conducted by Robert Primes ASC, Gary Adcock, Philip Bloom, Jens Bogehegn and colorist Ryan Emerson.

See the reactions to this test following 2K screenings, where “HD DSLR is compared to 35mm Film”. The test results were projected in a 2K theatrical environment at three screening locations: Stag Theater at Skywalker Ranch, LucasFilms Ltd., AFI (American Film Institute) Theater in Hollywood and the FilmWorkers Astro Color Timing Theater in Chicago. Hear commentary from the screenings by top ASC, Hollywood, Indie Film and Event & Convergence Photographers.

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IIb. Zacuto 2011 Shoot Out – Film Cameras Vs High end Digital Film Cameras (episodes 1,2,3)

The 2011 shoot out includes new cameras & tests of Single Chip Camera Evaluation (SCCE) which is a large scale technical camera comparison administered by Robert Primes, ASC. Side by side comparisons of the newest cameras manufactured by Sony, Canon, Panasonic, Phantom, Weisscam, Nikon, Arri, RED as well as the gold standard of 35mm film are included.

Film Stock: 2-Perf & 3-Perf 35mm Motion Picture Film Demo

More on Colour Editing & Management in Post Production
From Shane Hurlbut:  7 Tips for HD Color Correction and DSLR Color Correction

A Short History of Compositing for Film & Video

Oscar Winner Petro Vlahos Inventor of the Ultimatte discusses his invention and how he used UV and Low Pressure Sodium lighting methods, which evolved into to the Blue & Green Screen chroma key compositing methods we use today.



A video demo from NAB 09