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Brian Miklas

cinematic techniques when shooting at 30p for creative b-roll

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When we are shooting "creative b-roll" with prime lenses.

We shoot on Canon C300 (original model)

Sometimes the client wants 1080/29.97p as a more filmic look even though when it is broadcast it is 720/60p on the network. (1080/29.97p @ 50Mbps 4:2:2 MXF file)

We will sometimes use a tripod & prime lenses for this "creative b-roll" and try to use f/2-f/2.8 and go with a 1/48th second shutter speed for which gives us the ‘film look’ appearance of motion blur from motion artifacts similar to shooting 23.98fps with standard 180 degree shutter.

Sometimes we will lower the black gamma for more toe contrast and "crushed blacks". We choose our camera profile and bake it in with whites clipping at 100% IRE broadcast legal as The client doesn't want to do color correction/grading. Sometimes we reduce sharpness in the Custom Profile.

Sometimes we use Nikon stills vintage prime telephoto lenses like a 180mm and put some christmas lights in the background for huge globes of spherical highlights.

Sometimes we'll bring up the ISO to 4000 to get some of that noise moving around as a film grain simulation. Sometimes we'll also use some noise reduction to help it not look like video noise.


I was wondering do others do these things also?

Since we are shooting on the original C300 we cannot do slow motion at 1080/30p even a small amount like 36 frames using 23.98 at fps.

Other than starting to use a slider for slow Left-Right or slow forward-backward in/out camera moves while not adjusting the focus so the subject comes in and out of the focal plane would you share any other tricks/techniques that are mostly NOT done with lighting for a more filmic-look when you have to stick to the producer's in-camera format of 1080/30p using a Super-35mm sensor camera?
Edited by Brian Miklas

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If you can persuade the camera to do a more gentle highlight rolloff, that'll help, though you would then be tinkering quite significantly with the way the thing works, so go carefully.

 

It is very difficult to make 30 look like a real movie. I guess ideally you'd shoot 24p, then have it converted up to 60, as the 3:2 pulldown (or more accurately derivative thereof) will be visible and give it a movie look. I'm not sure that many, if any, cameras can actually shoot like that, though it would be reasonably easy for post to do it.

 

Looked at filtration? Hollywood Black Magic, grads and polarisers?

 

P

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It is very difficult to make 30 look like a real movie. I guess ideally you'd shoot 24p, then have it converted up to 60, as the 3:2 pulldown (or more accurately derivative thereof) will be visible and give it a movie look. I'm not sure that many, if any, cameras can actually shoot like that, though it would be reasonably easy for post to do it.

 

Occasionally the client needs 720/60p which looks even more like video with the higher frame rate.
I was considering using a Datavideo DAC-70 up/down/cross converter
shooting at 1080/23.98p
and using the DAC-70 to convert to 720/60p and recording the HDSDI output on the Sony PMW-RX50 SxS Card Recorder/Player . We have access to this equipment but haven't tested it to see how it looks as far as a high quality 3:2 pulldown of frames without major stutter from the conversion.
Yes I know this is a very convoluted way and unnecessarily complicated but for one-room tripod-only this is possible to get that ‘film look’ appearance of motion blur from motion artifacts similar to shooting 23.98fps with standard 180-degree shutter @ 1/48th second).
Alternatively we could also use it to convert to 1080/29.97p when the client wants the format as 1080/30p as my original post mentioned was the format preferred. Again we haven't tested this method yet to see how the 3:2 pulldown quality looks.
What do you think?
We haven't tried filtration yet to help achieve this.

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