Originally Posted by DSperber
It absolutely did NOT appear live, and in a very strange way.
Well, the audiophiles have had their say, but the video "look and feel" went largely unremarked so I thought I'd bring it up.
I exported it from my TiVo and what I ended up with confirms what replayrob said, ie the frame rate was 29.97 fps.
Some recitals for those visitors to AVS who are not already experts on all this stuff:
- 1080i usually gives the *feel* of 60 "fps" since at least some new information arrives 60 times a second, similar to using a high (progressive) frame rate. Let's call this fine temporal resolution.
- The fine temporal resolution of a high frame rate is a big part, but not the only part, of what makes "video" look like "video". Motion portrayal is fairly realistic. It's getting close to the limit of the human ability to determine the fluidity of motion.
- Content shot on film or intended to appear as if it was shot on film generally provides new information only 24 times a second, a comparatively low frame rate. Let's call this coarse temporal resolution.
- The coarse temporal resolution of a low frame rate is a big part, but not the only part, of what makes "film" look like "film". Things do not appear to move fluidly but rather appear to teleport from one discrete location to the next, every 1/24th of a second.
- People have come to associate high frame rate "video look" with either live unscripted happenings (ie the news, sports, maybe music concerts etc) or low budget and/or low artistic merit productions (ie soap operas, reality TV).
- People have come to associate low frame rate "film look" with cinema, high art, or generally more sophisticated storytelling.
(as an aside, this *may* be because a low frame rate helps people suspend disbelief and give themselves over to scripted visual storytelling more freely precisely because the eye almost never encounters stuttery, stroboscopic motion in real life, somehow helping the brain say "this jerky motion is obviously not reality, it must be some kind of story, just go with it" etc)
- If you want to make "video" look more important, more like "film", then one thing (among many) that you can do is reduce the frame rate. See: prime time TV drama or recent Super Bowl halftime shows.
(as an aside, the converse is also true: increasing frame rate can make film look like video, aka "Soap Opera Effect". See: 120 Hz televisions with some kind of enhanced motion portrayal feature activated, or just watch the HFR version of the Hobbit.)
So for Sound of Music Live, I'm thinking
They were telling a story, not the evening news.
Using the normal high frame rate of 1080i would make it feel less like you were immersed in the story and more like you were watching actors moving around a sound stage in real time (difficult to suspend disbelief).
Using a lower frame rate would be a simple, cheap and fairly effective way to go a long way toward "film look".
In addition to the general desire to make things look more "artistic", this particular story had been told, famously, in film before, and most viewers probably would be comparing it to their recollections of that version in every way, including the "look" of the motion.
Now, there's only so much frame rate can do. Sometimes video will just look like video. For instance, the blocking in the opening scene (in the abbey) led to several shots where you had three actors at different distances from the camera, maybe ten or twenty feet between those closest and farthest from the camera, yet all were in focus. You could never have done that on a sound stage with 70mm Todd A-O
That's just one example. But whether it's due to deep focus, or the way they lit the stage, or the dynamic range of the camera sensors, or the lack of grain or whatever, if you pause your DVR any just about any given frame, it still has a characteristic "video look". And that's *before* you add in motion artifacts.
And that finally brings us to exactly *how* much motion you record in each frame. More review for those new to this: Using 30 fps as an example, do you want the camera sensor aggregating *all* motion during the entire 1/30th second window of time allotted to each frame (which gives a very "smeary" look, as in old BBC serials shot on video) or do you want only a very brief frozen snapshot of, say, 1/1000th of a second worth of motion during each 1/30th second frame period (in which case the look is very sharp and "staccato", see: Saving Private Ryan). This parameter is known as "shutter". Usually you "leave the shutter open" for half the frame period, in this case 1/60th of a second. This is a good compromise since you want a *little* motion blur to give the eye some help in perceiving the direction of motion. With normal 1080i cameras, I expect you have a shutter of 1/100th or 1/120th of a second. On this production it looked like they were using a longer shutter of more like 1/60th, at least in some of the darker scenes.
Between the low frame rate and resulting long shutter, you get lots of motion blur in stills and discernible (barely, but discernible) judder while watching it unfold in real time, especially in darker scenes with fast camera movements such as the dancing interlude in "Sixteen going on Seventeen" . Or in the actual song "The Sound of Music" (Carrie Underwood's first number) which also uses the forest set- that's where I grabbed the attached screen shot, about 5 or 6 minutes into the whole show, as she's singing "pray" as in "like a lark who is learning to pray").
This is all pretty subtle. The difference between 60 fps and 30 fps is actually far less noticeable than the difference between 30 and 24. For instance if you compare the two discs in the 1999 DVD set of Oklahoma, where one is 24 fps and the other is 30 fps, you will see the one at 30 is distinctly different and almost looks like video in terms of motion portrayal. But if you look carefully you will see the judder (the regular, non-telecine judder). So it *is* possible to discern stuttery 30fps movement in the Sound of Music Live if you are looking for it.
Any experts out there who can comment? Do they ever get motion artifacts like this screen shot on the Tonight Show?