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Giles Rais

2001: A Space Odyssey slow motion frame rate...

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Hello,

 

I'm trying to find out the frame rate used during the slow motion shots of Moonwatcher striking the skull with the bone in the "Dawn of Man" sequence from 2001. It looks like it might be 120 fps, but I can't find a quote anywhere (checked the SK archives, the new Taschen book on 2001, and several biographies and studies). Does anybody know for sure, or perhaps has a more educated guess based on the cameras used during production? Thank you.

 

 

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Don't know... Just looking around online, a couple of sites mention 72 fps as the max frame rate for some 65mm high-speed cameras.

 

That's what I was afraid of, because the shots look faster than 72 fps to my eye:

 

https://youtu.be/ypEaGQb6dJk?t=420

 

Thank you so much for your comment, Mr Mullen!

Edited by Giles Rais

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I'm thinking 120 as well, because Photosonics built a pin-registered 70mm. camera in 1954 which ran at 80, so it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that the newer 65mm. cameras ran faster, or that Kubrick asked Panavision to gee it up a bit.

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Could be step printed maybe? Perhaps 144fps?

 

Freya

Don't think so; wouldn't step printing add stuttering? Footage is completely smooth.

Edited by Giles Rais

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I'm thinking 120 as well, because Photosonics built a pin-registered 70mm. camera in 1954 which ran at 80, so it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that the newer 65mm. cameras ran faster, or that Kubrick asked Panavision to gee it up a bit.

Right, he would be no stranger to modifying a camera to fit his purposes (Barry Lyndon). I just find it strange that I can find no information about this very important shot on all the plethora of work written about this film.

Edited by Giles Rais

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On closer reading of the Photosonics site, they claim the fastest pin-registered 70mm. instrumentation camera at 125fps. That's about the same mass of moving film as the fastest 35mm. at 360, so maybe that's about the mechanical limit.

Have you had a look in Agel's book? I seem to remember something about high-speed for the effects, but some of that was composited from 35.

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It's not step printed. It doesn't stutter.

 

It wouldn't stutter if it was a straightforward doubling up of the frames especially at high speed but it might still be noticeable, so I'm inclined to agree with you that it probably wasn't step printed but who knows I'm just suggesting possibilities. :)

 

Freya

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I looked through all of my books on 2001 and Kubrick, there's no mention of the frame rate used for that shot that I could find.

Yes, neither did I. Another mystery from this magnificent film. Thank you so much for looking!

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On closer reading of the Photosonics site, they claim the fastest pin-registered 70mm. instrumentation camera at 125fps. That's about the same mass of moving film as the fastest 35mm. at 360, so maybe that's about the mechanical limit.

Have you had a look in Agel's book? I seem to remember something about high-speed for the effects, but some of that was composited from 35.

I *gasp* don't have this book...I just ordered it. Thanks for the suggestion and for the info from Photosonics.

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One could work out an estimate of the frame rate based on physics. The first shot showing the skeleton being smashed sees a bone flipping up into the air following a path which takes it to it's highest point (at rest) before it curves back down to earth where there is a distinct collision with the ground. Based on an estimate of the bone's size, one can estimate the distance travelled between it's highest point and the ground, and given the duration of that descent (in frames), one can use the known force of gravity (9.8 m/s2 ) to compute a ball park shooting frame rate.

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper
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One could work out an estimate of the frame rate based on physics. The first shot showing the skeleton being smashed sees a bone flipping up into the air following a path which takes it to it's highest point (at rest) before it curves back down to earth where there is a distinct collision with the ground. Based on an estimate of the bone's size, one can estimate the distance travelled between it's highest point and the ground, and given the duration of that descent (in frames), one can use the known force of gravity (9.8 m/s2 ) to compute a ball park shooting frame rate.

 

C

Or, one could simply play the footage back faster than normal until the motion feels correct, and work out how much faster than normal it was shot at that way. I needed something more official for my purposes, but thank you for your idea.

Edited by Giles Rais

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Or, one could simply play the footage back faster than normal until the motion feels correct, and work out how much faster than normal it was shot at that way. I needed something more official for my purposes, but thank you for your idea.

 

Yes, that's a really good idea. A simple emperical method. Good one.

 

I treat "official" sources with a grain of salt. Unless one is in a hurry of course. If the "official" rate says X and the evidence says Y, I'd much prefer Y over X.

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper
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