Cinematography Mailing List - CML

Hair Shoot


Hi, I was wondering if anyone at CML could help me with this one.

I have a project coming up in which I’ll be shooting women’s hair and I was wondering what frame rate would be the best to get the smooth and silky rhythm you find in almost all hair commercials. I was thinking 60fps would be fine but I’m open to any suggestions.


Tito Reynoso
DP Mexico City.

Here in Thailand where we find enormous amounts of long glossy black and straight hair on most women, the shampoo market is a major source of income and commercial production.

We use mostly 150 fps on the Arri 435 for the slow motion shots. A week ago I saw some footage of the Sony F35 (striped CCD sensor on S-35mm format, 16:9) on 4:4:4 HDCamSR on 50 fps and while it did have the detail and all the shades of black (amazing what you can do in the DaVinci and projected realtime through a 4K Sony projector) it does not have the rich and smooth flow of a 150 fps shot. Also we have found that in order to make a nice shot, hair and body really have to move fast, only then you will have that smoothness.

When you lower the speed of the action due to the maximum shooting speed of your camera system, the shots do not look as nice.

>Occasionally we have some foreign DP's/directors using Photosonics and trying to shoot similar moves on 350 to 750 fps, but in general, these shots are too slow and need to be sped up.

Shooting on HD highspeed-video is possible, but the fine details in the hairs often make for changing colours in the hairs, due to the Bayer artifacting/rendering of most chips. This is visible on the glossy/highlight side of each hair(strand). Specially with black hair we find that 35mm film gives the best and cleanest detail.

Rob van Gelder,
Steadicam, Head of Maintenance,
Lighthouse Film Service, Bangkok, Thailand

Rob van Gelder wrote:

>>DaVinci and projected realtime through a 4K Sony projector) it does not have the rich and smooth flow of >>a 150 fps shot.

I shot hair specifically for a promo where the creative director thought 60fps was enough. We topped out at 130 fps when we ran out of light- sorry production arranged the studio. I could have gone to 200fps and I think the answer is somewhere in between 130 & 200.

Racer's credo, " more is better, if it’s a hole make it bigger, if it’s a part make it smaller, if you can shoot more frames , do it."

Mark Smith

It's about time someone pointed this out. Thank you.

It looks like NTSC composite video artifacting with 3.58 subcarrier dancing around. It's so obvious to me but people seem so enthralled with the high speed aspect that normally no one ever says anything...

Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC
Hollywood, California

Thanks to everyone for the advice, very useful. I eventually went as fast as I could 150fps, did mention the Photosonics to the producer, I won’t post his reply.

I do agree that if possible I would have gone 200fps or even 300fps.
Once again thanks for your time.


Tito Reynoso
DP Mexico City


Copyright © CML. All rights reserved.