For almost 20 years, filmmakers have been trying to make electronic image recording (non- film) actually LOOK like film. Sure, there were ways to add grain or splotchy imperfections or gamma shifts to create a so so aesthetic of what was film-ish… but it was the motion or frame rate of video capturing that killed the actual “look”…
Methods like shooting on European PAL (25fps) and then doing a 4% slow down to meet 24 frames per second or even taking 29.97 video and “blending” electronic fields together tricking it into being *24fps (which looked very “watery”). Companies like www.filmlook.com
made it their business to process your video looking material to a “FILMLOOK”.
Making video move like film. It was a dream “WANT” and it was happening, but not fast enough.
Then George Lucas waved his hand in the air saying these were not the professional video cameras he was looking for - and suddenly, the “WANT” started happening much quicker…
And guess what?
WE GOT IT!
The 2000’s brought us all kinds of new video cameras to capture electronic imagery at the same rate of film.
…and then, these 120hz televisions came along and f*cked all that effort up.
The simple way to explain it is like this. 24 frames a second is the running speed of motion picture film. It was determined years ago that 24 was the minimum amount of frames per second your mind could see and process AND still see it as a persistence of fluid motion. (Sound on film was a factor as well) So, (simplified) in a movie theater the projector is showing one frame, then the shutter closes, and then shows you the next frame and so on. But the illusion is fluid motion in our brains.
As time went on, film had to be transferred to videotape - home video VHS even - and a process to display 24 frames per second onto video which runs at 30 frames per second (which is really 60 fields / 2 fields = 1 frame) was developed. You can see the difference you just may not know why. Most daytime soaps were shot on videotape and movies were on film. 24fps has less frames and invites your brain to be a more active participant in the presenting of persistence of motion. 30fps/60hz requires less participation. It feels a little more like real life and less artful.
So without being all technical, these new 120hz television have different flavors of “smoothing” the frames so to speak. (Like I said, I’m trying not to be tech and explain the affects not the effect)
So its inventing/creating more “in-between frames” through this smoothing process and it kills the the whole 24 frames per second look that film had and makes it move more like - VIDEOTAPE! Wasn’t that what we were trying to get away from?
So, the drama and emotion of a film or film speed scene with this 120hz smoothing is diminished. Our brains are less active and less participating. Aesthetically, we’re looking at a new process for making FILM look much more like VIDEO now. It really changes the emotion of experience… and it does it so loudly…
It is an engineering solution to problem.. Guess what?
It kinda works for football but for films…
(*24fps on television actually runs at 23.976 fps AND there’s also the added 3:2 pulldown in there to make it 29.97 - but that’s a different post :-)
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