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Old 12-14-2018, 12:17 PM   #1
gdgross
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Silent Film era speeds/frame rates/etc

Hi all -

Thinking about doing a music video for my band that looks like a silent film era style. The film effects and grain are easy enough to do anywhere, but I'm wondering how much i would need to speed the film to get that look.

We are planning on slowing down the song and performing it at a slower speed, then speeding up the video to get that awkward faster than life look.

Question is, how much would we need to slow down/speed up, and what frame rates/etc should we be shooting at? We do want it synchronized to the music...

Thanks!
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Old 12-14-2018, 03:25 PM   #2
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This may be of interest:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frame_rate

Why not just do a few experiments? I'm not a visuals guy, so I don't know if you can adjust frame rates by specific percentages. However, most DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) can speed up or slow down the audio by percentage rates. So I guess that you'll have to pull out your calculator and determine what each percentage equals drop in fps.

Although it's the opposite of what you want to do, the audio and frame rate for the "Wrapped Around Your Finger" video by The Police was increased for shooting, so back at normal audio/frame rates Sting & Co. got that "floating" "low gravity" look.

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Old 12-14-2018, 04:17 PM   #3
gdgross
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Originally Posted by Alcove Audio View Post
This may be of interest:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frame_rate

Why not just do a few experiments? I'm not a visuals guy, so I don't know if you can adjust frame rates by specific percentages. However, most DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) can speed up or slow down the audio by percentage rates. So I guess that you'll have to pull out your calculator and determine what each percentage equals drop in fps.

Although it's the opposite of what you want to do, the audio and frame rate for the "Wrapped Around Your Finger" video by The Police was increased for shooting, so back at normal audio/frame rates Sting & Co. got that "floating" "low gravity" look.
Hah, love that song and the police, but have never seen the video for it. I did something like that with another video myself, but only just slowing down an 30fps footage to play back at 24, so it was a little more subtle than the wrapped around your finger vid.

BTW, getting the audio right is the easy part for me; i'm pretty good in that area. I just figure out what ratio and slow down the master track by that ratio (or the inverse). No problem there.

My question more relates to the visual. How much would I want to speed up the film to get a convincing fast motion/silent film look, and how do i get there? Since posting this ive thought about it a bit and have an idea.

Seems like from a little googling that a lot of the silent era stuff was shot anywhere from 12-20fps, and not reliably as they were mostly hand cranked back then. The theaters often played them back faster to get more films in I suppose, so there's the speed up. I figure going from 15fps to 24fps might work?

I can shoot at 30fps to a slowed down audio track. Then I can decimate (sub-sample? not sure of the correct term) that 30fps footage to 15sps, by removing every other frame, and lengthening each frame to twice it's original duration. Then speed the whole thing up to play back at 24fps, and viola!

I'm also thinking that I should shoot with a 100% shutter angle at 30fps, so that when I subsamble, i end up with the usual 50% shutter angle? Or maybe I should think about something else, maybe 100% will have too much motion blur?

Last edited by gdgross; 12-14-2018 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 12-14-2018, 05:15 PM   #4
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Since posting this ive thought about it a bit and have an idea.
Excellent. I'm going to suggest you show an example of what you're trying to achieve.

No point in asking for a map of where you're going, if you cannot sufficiently describe the destination.

I also like the simplest solution. I'll take a stab at suggesting if you're trying to duplicate old 12fps, why not shoot in 12fps and see if you get the result you're trying for?

Manipulating post takes a lot of testing and trying lots of things and seeing if it looks like what you want.
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Old 12-14-2018, 05:44 PM   #5
gdgross
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Excellent. I'm going to suggest you show an example of what you're trying to achieve.

No point in asking for a map of where you're going, if you cannot sufficiently describe the destination.

I also like the simplest solution. I'll take a stab at suggesting if you're trying to duplicate old 12fps, why not shoot in 12fps and see if you get the result you're trying for?

Manipulating post takes a lot of testing and trying lots of things and seeing if it looks like what you want.

This charlie chaplain film isn't far off. I might prefer *slightly* faster/awkward motion, but it's about as close as i can find in ten minutes of searching youtube. :-D

Unfortunately my DLSR only shoots in 24, 30 or 60fps; no option to shoot directly in 12 or 15 or whatever. I guess I should plan on doing a couple of test shoots first...

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Old 12-15-2018, 01:42 PM   #6
Rayandmigdalia
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Remember that you can shoot the video normally, and speed it up in editing. By doing it in editing rather than in the camera, you can experiment with various speeds without ruining your original footage. "Silent" speed in movie projectors was traditionally 18 frames per second, and "sound" speed was 24 fps...a difference of 25%.

Last edited by Rayandmigdalia; 12-15-2018 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 12-15-2018, 01:57 PM   #7
gdgross
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Remember that you can shoot the video normally, and speed it up in editing. By doing it in editing rather than in the camera, you can experiment with various speeds without ruining your original footage. "Silent" speed in movie projectors was traditionally 18 frames per second, and "sound" speed was 24 fps...a difference of 25%.
yeah that was my idea. Shooting in 30fps with normal action, then speeding up by 1.6x to get the fast motion in silent films. I wasn't plan on doing anything unusual with the camera other than picking an appropriate frame rate and shutter angle. I think the right on is going to be 30fps and 100% shutter angle. That way if i delete every other frame i'll end up with 15fps and an effective 50% shutter angle. Then, play that back at 24fps, and viola! 1.6x faster motion!

Thanks
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Old 12-15-2018, 03:15 PM   #8
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Unfortunately my DLSR only shoots in 24, 30 or 60fps
That's unfortunate.

The footage you showed looked like it was speed ramped to be a little faster than reality anyway.

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That way if i delete every other frame i'll end up with 15fps and an effective 50% shutter angle. Then, play that back at 24fps, and viola! 1.6x faster motion!
Good luck with your test shoot.

Quote:
Remember that you can shoot the video normally, and speed it up in editing.
You can ruin the illusion of motion if you do it wrong. The eye is a fickle instrument. While it might not be able to tell what exactly is wrong, it can easily pull the viewer out of the suspension of disbelief. If you keep camera movement to a minimum and don't have fast movement in the scene, it probably won't matter.
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Old 12-15-2018, 06:24 PM   #9
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You're biggest issue is keeping the visuals in sync with the audio - and that's the whole point of a music video.

I assume that the band will be lip/finger syncing to the audio track. You have to insure that your ratios are precise BEFORE you start shooting. This can easily become a major problem if you don't pre-produce the frigging hell out of it.
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Old 12-15-2018, 08:38 PM   #10
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You're biggest issue is keeping the visuals in sync with the audio - and that's the whole point of a music video.

I assume that the band will be lip/finger syncing to the audio track. You have to insure that your ratios are precise BEFORE you start shooting. This can easily become a major problem if you don't pre-produce the frigging hell out of it.
Thx for the warning! Iíve done something similar before, though, but recording faster and slowing down the footage, in that case from 30 to 24. Worked great, but this will be an entire ~3 minute song done in one take so the ratio has to be precise. I think itís exactly 1.6 though (from 15fps up to 24)
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Old 12-16-2018, 03:53 PM   #11
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hmm, now I understand what you're trying to accomplish.
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Old 12-16-2018, 08:07 PM   #12
gdgross
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hmm, now I understand what you're trying to accomplish.
Did a test recording w .625 ratio slowed down version of the song, sped up the video that was recorded to this version and after cutting to 15 FPS and playing that back at 24, the sped up video synced tested with the slowest down audio synced up perfectly to the original track.

So I think I’m good to go!

FWIW, a shutter angle of 50% at 30fps (1/60sec) seemed to look best after all the manipulation.


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