Cinematography Mailing List - CML

24p Concert Film


To all the list gurus :

I am being offered a project to direct as well as Dp which is a music doc consisting of documentary footage integrated with a concert performance. The concert would be shot multi-camera style during a performance at a medium sized venue. Of course there are budget limitations that would not allow a 35mm shoot.

My question is does anyone have experience doing this type of show on 24p. I would like the project to have a film feel rather than a typical video feel like Austin City Limits. What technical considerations are there that I should be aware of? Anything to be aware of when converting back to 30fps, etc? Convert before editing or after? This is all new to me.

Joe Murray
Woodside, Ca.
DGA /local 600


A "film feel" would be nice on film. Multiple Aaton XTR-Prod super-16 cameras running 800' magazines and Aaton time code. Been there. It's very simple (well, relatively speaking. Especially compared to multi-cam video) and with some of the new stocks, beautiful. 22 minute loads. No slating. Cut a deal for Spirit transfers with Aaton code and the editing bookkeeping is vastly simplified.

Dan Donovan at Panavision Hollywood could give you some budget info. They've put this type of show together before.

Rod Williams
Motion Picture First Camera Assistant
Petaluma, California

If you want the look of film, but don't have the budget for it then the question might be "why not shoot it in 24P?" I'll say right off the bat that I've never DoP'd a live concert like you're considering. But here's my 2 cents anyway.

While there has been a lot of pro & con about the MTV music awards show which was shot with 24P cameras, I thought the show had a unique look and the live music performances had the look of the music "Videos" it was honouring. As for technical considerations, only the motion strobing of shooting at 24 FPS make HD 24P different from shooting the show with NTSC video cameras. All of the technical advantages of multi-camera video would apply. Your video footage would just have the great look of 24P. With multiple 24P cameras the one thing you could do that you can't accomplish with film is feed each camera to a truck and do a line cut while the concert is in progress. Or you could just TC sync the cameras set them up in their positions, let them shoot the concert and save the editing for later. (Of course, multiple Aaton's and an Origin C could do the same thing.)

"Anything to be aware of when converting back to 30fps, etc? Convert before editing or after?"

Not sure what you mean "30fps". Are you downconverting the footage and then delivering on NTSC, 60i? What's the ultimate final format of the documentary? DVD/VHS, theatre presentation (projection), broadcast TV? What's the format of the existing doc footage? Most probably you'll want to shoot at 23.98FPS not true 24FPS. There are many qualified post people here (I'm not even close) who can help with post issues and paths. If you downconvert the footage to NTSC then it's treated just like "normal" video from there out. Just as it would be if you shot film and transferred it to DigiBeta. The two production paths merge then and editing becomes the same. Finish may be different, depending again on final distribution form.

Good luck and let us know what happens.

Randy Miller, DP in LA


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