COMMON ASPECT RATIOS Aspect ratio is the width divided by the height of the frame The standard television format4:3 Also several movies were shot on this format 3:2 Commonly used in still photography The new format for television16:9 especially for high definition TV A widescreen format used in some films1.85:1 The widescreen format used in movies2.35:1 Some shot in cinemascope and some on 70 mm film
CINEMASCOPE The image is optically squeezed while filming using a different lens known as anamorphic lens While projecting, the squeezed image is unsqueezed again using the anamorphic lens to give a widescreen image.
SUPER 35 FORMATSuper-35 has a 3-perforation frame instead of the standard 4 perforation therebysaving 25% on raw stock. If it is decided to shoot on super-35, the entire film hasto be shot with super-35 camera only. Standard 35 cameras are available in plentybut not super 35. The print from this negative is made to 4-frame pull down fortheatrical projection.
FILM FOOTAGE DURATIONThe average feature film is about 15000 ft long (165 minutes).However, the raw footage that is shot can be as much as 2 lakh to5 lakh feet of film (1:20 and odd). A 400 ft can of raw film costsabout Rs 13000.The entire raw footage has to be processed and processing chargesare again charged on per foot basis. For editing purposes, the entirefilm has to be transferred to digital media through a telecine and againthe costs are proportional to the length of the film.The editor has to go through the entire footage before deciding which oneto use. This again adds to the cost of using the edit suite where the hiring ison per hour basis.
35 MM FILMThe 35-mm format is the most commonly used film format as raw stock. It runs at 90 ft/minute, 24 frames/second.The 35-mm film is used to shoot different formats like the standard (4:3)the widescreen (1.85:1), cinemascope (2.35:1), etc. In all these cases, thereis one frame for every 4 perforations.
THE 70-MM FILMUnlike the 35mm film which is 35 mm wide, the 70-mm film is 70mm wideand is 5 perforations tall. The 70-mm film is a release print whereas that usedin the camera is only 65 mm wide. As sound is not recorded on the cameranegative, the additional 5 mm is saved and converted to 70mm (65mm pictureand 5mm soundtrack). Most theatres do not have the facility to project 70mmprints and therefore 35mm prints squeezed to anamorphic format are simultaneouslyreleased for such theatres. Due to the prohibitive costs, no film in India was madein 70mm. A couple of films (eg Sholay) were shot on 35mm and a few prints wereblown up to 70mm for theatres equipped with 70 mm projectors.Some of the famous movies made in 70 mm are Lawrence of Arabia,Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, etc.The most common format used now is the 35mm anamorphic (CinemaScope)
THE 16 MM FORMATSome very low budget films were also shot on 16 mm negative. This saves the costof film by about 50% and the prints are blown up to 35mm for theatrical release.However, the quality of 16mm negative which is blown up is debatable. Arri 16mm Camera
FILM ISOISO refers to the sensitivity of the film (International StandardsOrganization). A 200 ISO film is said to be less sensitive to light than a500 ISO film.While shooting indoors, the amount of light required will be much less fora 500 ISO film than a 100 ISO film. A 500 ISO film will need one-fifth of lightthat is required for a 100 ISO film. This means, lesser lights used andconsequently lesser power used thereby saving in generator costs.However, 500 ISO film is not preferred while shooting in daylight as a slowerfilm speed is sufficient.
THE TRIPODTripods come in various sizes and they are meant to carry a maximumload. Tripods for handycams are extremely light and are meant only forcameras weighing not more than 2 kg whereas some film cameras canweigh as much as 30 kg.
LIGHTSLights used in filming can be understoodfrom the amount of power they consume.There are lights varying from as little as50 watts to as much as 26,000 watts.If the filming is happening in a small room,perhaps lights which consume very littlepower would suffice. If on the other handthe shoot were to be in a stadium with athousand extra artistes, the light requirementwill run into thousands of watts. To powerthese lights, you will need generators whichcan be typically like a 10, 20, 25, 50 kilowattand so on. The shoot has to be plannedso as to understand the requirements for lightsand a generator proportional to the requirement. In some reality shows for TVwhich are conducted in studios, the power used could be as much as 100 to 200 kW.The higher wattage generators will obviously guzzle more diesel.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS GENERALLY USED Aspect ratio: The ratio of the height to width of a frame. Blimp: Rigid soundproof camera housing to prevent mechanical noise from being leaked out while shooting sync sound. Boom mic: An extendable arm with mic on one end which is extendable and is operated by an operator to position the mic. Chroma key: A method of separating a subject against a background for purpose of compositing. Cinemascope: A widescreen system using anamorphic lens to squeeze the image while shooting and also to unsqueeze while projecting. Clapper board: Two short boards hinged together in matching design. When sharply closed, they make a audible and visible clue for editing sound and picture . It also contains the scene and shot numbers for editorial reference. Crab dolly: A camera-mounting device with wheels that can be steered in any direction usually fitted with an adjustable-height column. Crane: A large camera-mounting vehicle with rotating and high-rising arm. DI: Digital intermediate, a method of shooting on film, converting the image into Digital data for various postproduction purposes and recording the final digital master back to film.
GLOSSARYDissolve: An optical effect representing a transition through superimposeddisappearance of one scene and appearance of another scene.Edge numbers: Also called key numbers of negative numbers. Numbers andlettering exposed every half foot on the edge of the raw stock and consequentlyreprinted on the printing stock. These numbers make it possible to synchronizethe original footage and the work print at the confirming stage.EDL: Edit decision list. A list of every cut made for a movie when editedon video; the list is by timecode and by key code/edge numbers.Establishing shot: A shot usually close to the beginning of a scene definingthe place, time and other important elements of the action.Exposure: A process of subjecting a photographic film to any light (it could bein a camera or even while printing in a lab.Exposure meter: Also known as light meter used for measuring the intensity of lightused by cameraman.Fade-in, fade-out: An optical effect consisting of the picture’s gradual appearanceor disappearance into blackness.Film recorder: A device used to transfer digital images on to photographicfilm.Film scanner: A device for converting film images into digital format.FCP: Final cut Pro. A nonlinear computer-based film/video editing system. AVIDis another competitor.
GLOSSARYFollow focus: A technique of continuously adjusting the camera lensso as to keep the subject in sharp focus whenever the camera-to-subjectdistance changes.Frame: One individual picture on a strip of film.Gate: The aperture and pressure-plate unit in cameras and projectors.Gear head: A type of tripod head in which the pan and tilt movements are operated by crank handles through a gear system.Halogen: A family of chemical elements referred to as halogen lamps inthe context of film making.HDTV : A video system that has more lines of resolution than the currentStandard definition TV which has 525 or 625 lines. HD has either 720 or1080 lines of vertical resolution per frame.High-key: A lighting style in which a majority of the scene is composed of highlights.A low-key refers to scenes where a small portion of the frame is lit and the restis dark like in the case of a night scene.HMI: A metal halide discharge lamp constituting, in effect, a mercury arcenclosed in a glass envelope. Gives off color temperature matching with the daylight.Intermittent movement: The stop-and-go movement of the film transport mechanismin projector or camera making it possible for each frame to be stationary duringthe moment of exposure or projection.
GLOSSARYInternegative: Also known as dupe negative which is used for making releaseprints.Key light: The main source used to light the subject. Its direction and amountrelative to fill light establishes the mood of the illumination.Married print: Positive projection print which carries both the sound and picturetogether.Mixing: Creatively combining the sound signals coming from several mikes,or tapes and recording them on to a single track.NTSC: National television systems committee. A TV broadcasting standard inthe US and several other countries for standard definition video.PAL: Phase alternating line. A TV broadcasting standard followed in UK, much ofEurope and India.Perforation: Accurately spaced holes along one or both edges of the film, used to position and move the film through various mechanisms such as cameras,printers, and projectors. Also called sprocket holes.Pressure plate: A part of the film gate that keeps the film flat against the aperturewhile exposure.Raw stock: A film that has not yet been exposed and/or processed.
GLOSSARYRelease print: Married print made for theatrical release often made from adupe negative in order to allow a large number of prints to be made.Rushes: Also known as dailies. The first print from the original negative.Safe action area: The area within a frame that will be seen on TV broadcast.Titles will have to be composed so that they are within this margin.Shot: A homogenous element of film structure between two cuts. In simpler wordsa shot is one where the camera starts rolling and ends by cutting.Shutter: A mechanical device used for covering the gate in a camera or projectorWhile the film is being pulled down.Sound track: An optical or magnetic band carrying the sound record along thepicture frames on film. Also any magnetic or optical sound film at thestage of editing and mixing.Stock footage: Film-library footage of famous or typical places and situationsand the like which can be used more than once in different film production.Eg: Thunder and lightning, sunrise, sunset, etc.Story board: A series of drawings as visual representations of the shooting script.Take: A scene or a part of a scene recorded on film and or sound. Each shot maybe repeated until a satisfactory take is obtained.Telecine: A device which converts the images from the celluloid film onto anelectronic video signal.
GLOSSARYTime code: The unique number which identifies each frame distinctly fromthe others.T-stop: The iris setting in movie cameras calibrated as T-stops instead ofF-stops which are used in still photography. T-stops are more accurate thanF-stops.Zoom lens: Also known as variable focal length lens allowing the subjectmagnification during the shot.