Film Production over the years has changed significantly. Our Film Production has gone digital, so you could easily call it video production now with a twist. Shooting in Raw mode allows for greater latitude when processing footage. Today the digital processing systems are allowing digital video to now look like film.
With the advent of newer chips constantly coming out in newer cameras and the ability to shoot at different frame rates, the ability to shoot film like video seems to have arrived. There are many ways to achieve the Digital Film goal and some are more costly than others. Some offer higher resolution than others. Here is a few simple tips to begin achieving that great film look:
Film itself likes to be run through the theater projectors at 24 frames per second. There is just something pleasing to the eye about that speed. Film also likes to make use of depth of field where certain areas of the film are out of focus and others are crisp. This is the area of using good lenses. Then there is the magic of how light falls on the subjects being filmed and that is where a little understanding of how to place lighting or how to use natural light to get that Golden Hour moment of magic.
One goal in creating a “touch more of the magic” is to shoot at higher speeds on the film and then slow it back down to 24 frames per second. It is very important to take note that when shooting at higher frame rates, you will be able to slow the footage down and not create adverse results in the process.
Here is an example of creating the film look and gaining a bit of slow motion… First, shoot the footage at say 60 frames per second in progressive mode, then when editing the footage, slow the 60 FPS down by 40% and you will have your target 24 frames per second.
Film naturally has image blur during movement when shot at 24 frames per second and your new digital system may become too sharp to offer a natural blur whereas the result may be footage that seems jumpy. This is where you introduce motion blur to the right amount in order to accomplish the natural look and feel of film. The secret of keeping the motion blur is call the 180 degree rule… Never shoot with a shutter speed more than double the frame rate you are shooting at. If you remember this, your footage will remain smooth and jitter free.
It is also important to realize that most digital footage especially when shot in raw mode may come to the editor with a washed out look and this is the time where you can color correct the entire program or parts to bring out that snappy film color look without damaging the end goal of natural looking media. There are some times when the film effect is desired such as grain and scratched on film and this can be introduced but should be done with caution.
The last of the many steps is deciding what the final use of the film will be and render it out in the codec best for the end goal.