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Uli Meyer

Arricam speed problem

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Last month I shot a short film on 35mm, using an Arricam LT and an Arriflex 235. We were shooting at 24 fps. We ran out of time and didn't get everything we wanted so went back this week to do some pick-ups and re-shoots, using the same cameras (which I own). This time though, while the 235 footage is perfect, everything we shot with the Arricam, looks sped up, as if it was shot at 20fps. Sound is out of sync and the whole thin is a bit of disaster. The Arricam was not used between the two shoots and I don't understand what could have happened. Is there a way to test the camera speed before I take it to an Arri technician?

Thank you!

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That's strange! No camera warning messages during the shoot? The speed setting hadn't been accidentally changed, control panel read 24? Not using an external speed box?

 

The simplest way to check speed is to use a strobe timing gun, but that tends to be a technicians tool. Otherwise I suppose you'd need to shoot a timed length of footage and then measure how much film has passed through. Check against the footage counter.

 

I can't quite imagine how an Arricam could run slow without the camera detecting it.

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That's strange! No camera warning messages during the shoot? The speed setting hadn't been accidentally changed, control panel read 24? Not using an external speed box?

 

The simplest way to check speed is to use a strobe timing gun, but that tends to be a technicians tool. Otherwise I suppose you'd need to shoot a timed length of footage and then measure how much film has passed through. Check against the footage counter.

 

I can't quite imagine how an Arricam could run slow without the camera detecting it.

Hi Dom, thank you for the reply. There were no camera warnings, the speed was set to 24fps, the control panel read 24 and no external speed box involved. My camera operator said the same thing as you have. My hope is that something went wrong at the scanning stage but why would the 235 footage be fine while the Arricam footage is fast? The lab is closed for a long Bank holiday weekend and I won't be able to get an answer until Tuesday. Very annoying!

 

I googled strobe timing gun but it takes me to all kinds of automotive sites.

 

Your comment gives me hope though. I'll check the negative on a telecine and hopefully it'll be at the correct speed.

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did you get the shots back as DPX or as prores? if DPX, bring it into after effects or a similar program and re-interperate the footage at the intended frame rate and see what happens. Its possible the metadata went potato. If not, the next step is to see if something went weird in the telecine/scan. You can also always shoot a new short end and send to a different transfer house (though thats obviously annoying).

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Thank you for your comment, this is probably what did happen. The entire footage was rescanned last week and everything came back running at the correct speed. What a relief!

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