How movies are shot - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 15 Old 12-14-2017, 01:15 AM - Thread Starter
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How movies are shot

Is there any way to tell how a movie was shot...film or digital before you buy it on Blu ray or do you have to do some research to find out...doesn't seem to be anything on the Packaging.
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post #2 of 15 Old 12-14-2017, 04:22 AM
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Research. Try IMDB. For the new Star Wars:

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post #3 of 15 Old 12-14-2017, 05:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by william273 View Post
Is there any way to tell how a movie was shot...film or digital before you buy it on Blu ray or do you have to do some research to find out...doesn't seem to be anything on the Packaging.
As Pooper mentioned, IMDB usually has very good information. The "technical specs" link on each movie's IMDB page will list all the cameras used, but some list the specific cameras used for specific parts of the movie (night shots, underwater shots, bodycams, etc.).

Generally speaking, most movies before 2000 are shot on film and finished on film (effects work is inserted optically). Around 2000-2010, it became much more typical to shoot a movie on film, but then finish it digitally (effects, color grading, etc.). After 2010, I would say most movies are shot digitally and finished digitally. I don't really have hard numbers to back any of this up - like actual percentages over time -, but I think it's a good approximation of cinematography to date. As with all generalizations, there are exceptions.

A more important question is, "Why do you ask?"
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post #4 of 15 Old 12-14-2017, 05:33 AM
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In addition to knowing how the film was shot, you may be interested in reading about the picture quality and audio quality of the Blu-ray or UHD transfer. You can find reviews on sites like Blu-ray.com and others that let you know if the disc meets the picture quality you are looking for. The way the movie was filmed is not always indicative of how the finished product looks.
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post #5 of 15 Old 12-14-2017, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Jawaburger View Post
In addition to knowing how the film was shot, you may be interested in reading about the picture quality and audio quality of the Blu-ray or UHD transfer. You can find reviews on sites like Blu-ray.com and others that let you know if the disc meets the picture quality you are looking for. The way the movie was filmed is not always indicative of how the finished product looks.
You may also want to check out a resource much closer to home here at AVS... @Ralph Potts does great reviews and probably gets you all the analysis you need on the video and audio quality in an easy to digest format...

Sorry, just had to plug "the local guy" since he works so hard here...

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post #6 of 15 Old 12-14-2017, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by jcr159 View Post
You may also want to check out a resource much closer to home here at AVS... @Ralph Potts otts does great reviews and probably gets you all the analysis you need on the video and audio quality in an easy to digest format...

Sorry, just had to plug "the local guy" since he works so hard here...
Oh my gosh! I apologize for this grievous oversight! Yes, you can also find very informative reviews of Blu-ray and UHD disc right here on our very own forum.
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post #7 of 15 Old 12-14-2017, 06:10 AM
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Besides the equipment used for movie production listed on IMDB's tech spec page, such as cameras with 2k--6k raw file capabilities, check the digital intermediate (DI) level available for movie distribution. Typically, while a movie may be shot at 2-6k (raw file max resolution), only a 2k DI is available for Blu-ray (1080p) or upscaled so-called 4k UHD. Generally, the higher the original raw file resolutiion, the better the fidelity of down-converted 2k DIs and 1080p Blu-rays. --- John
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post #8 of 15 Old 12-14-2017, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok...would like to say thanks very much to all...before this goes off course which I kind of figured it might but please remember I'm in a learning curve as far as how movies are shot...film and digital so I'm ignorant on a lot of things. I check out all the forums and websights about movies and video quality and recently found out about all the cameras...ouch...thought it was just one or the other...film or digital and seems like many can do both or both seem to be used which adds to the confusion.


As for why am I asking...well...was sort of trying to avoid that because I didn't want to start a fire....I know the topic of film and digital can be "touchy" one and go off course but it kind of seems like digital gets a sharper and cleaner picture and yea I know a little about grain which comes with film. I was kind of looking to see if film can give as sharp a picture as Oblivion which I think was shot digitally. I'm going to watch Fury again and check it out....think it was shot on film and also Snowpiercer. I'm looking for some good metal shots like Mad Max Fury Road which I think was also shot digitally. Film seems softer but rich in color. That's about it in a nutshell guys and thanks.
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post #9 of 15 Old 12-14-2017, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by william273 View Post
Ok...would like to say thanks very much to all...before this goes off course which I kind of figured it might but please remember I'm in a learning curve as far as how movies are shot...film and digital so I'm ignorant on a lot of things. I check out all the forums and websights about movies and video quality and recently found out about all the cameras...ouch...thought it was just one or the other...film or digital and seems like many can do both or both seem to be used which adds to the confusion.


As for why am I asking...well...was sort of trying to avoid that because I didn't want to start a fire....I know the topic of film and digital can be "touchy" one and go off course but it kind of seems like digital gets a sharper and cleaner picture and yea I know a little about grain which comes with film. I was kind of looking to see if film can give as sharp a picture as Oblivion which I think was shot digitally. I'm going to watch Fury again and check it out....think it was shot on film and also Snowpiercer. I'm looking for some good metal shots like Mad Max Fury Road which I think was also shot digitally. Film seems softer but rich in color. That's about it in a nutshell guys and thanks.
I'm sure fire bombs are incoming to a degree, but as with most things, the real answer is... "it depends"
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post #10 of 15 Old 12-14-2017, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by william273 View Post
As for why am I asking...well...was sort of trying to avoid that because I didn't want to start a fire....I know the topic of film and digital can be "touchy" one and go off course but it kind of seems like digital gets a sharper and cleaner picture and yea I know a little about grain which comes with film. I was kind of looking to see if film can give as sharp a picture as Oblivion which I think was shot digitally. I'm going to watch Fury again and check it out....think it was shot on film and also Snowpiercer. I'm looking for some good metal shots like Mad Max Fury Road which I think was also shot digitally. Film seems softer but rich in color. That's about it in a nutshell guys and thanks.
Filmmakers can get almost any kind of look they want. The current camera used does not change that (more or less).
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post #11 of 15 Old 12-14-2017, 10:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Just watched Snowpiercer and saw some scenes that looked like what I was hoping for. Some good close-ups of faces and hard metal that showed a lot of detail. Most or a lot of what I've seen shot on film looked like Kingdom of Heaven...very soft almost dvd quality and always made me wonder...where's the HD, all the detail and what's up with this and Blu ray...was expecting more but maybe that's how they want it to look...soft. There's nothing wrong with it but was expecting more...a sharper more detailed look so it made me wonder if maybe film couldn't get it but I was wrong. Everything's good now. Looks like the AVS Forum Fire Dept. didn't have to show up after all.Thanks!
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post #12 of 15 Old 12-15-2017, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by william273 View Post
Just watched Snowpiercer and saw some scenes that looked like what I was hoping for. Some good close-ups of faces and hard metal that showed a lot of detail. Most or a lot of what I've seen shot on film looked like Kingdom of Heaven...very soft almost dvd quality and always made me wonder...where's the HD, all the detail and what's up with this and Blu ray...was expecting more but maybe that's how they want it to look...soft. There's nothing wrong with it but was expecting more...a sharper more detailed look so it made me wonder if maybe film couldn't get it but I was wrong. Everything's good now. Looks like the AVS Forum Fire Dept. didn't have to show up after all.Thanks!
Use AVSforum's own Blu-ray PQ Tiers. It ranks each Blu-ray's video against every other disc.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/150-bl...ly-2017-a.html

Snowpiercer falls in Tier 2.0, which is a decent ranking. The Blu-rays above it in Tiers 0 and 1 have been judged as better looking. You can go through the list to see which discs make a real impact on videophiles.
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post #13 of 15 Old 12-15-2017, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Phantom...have seen it before but never used it. I'll be using it a lot now. Thanks again!
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post #14 of 15 Old 12-15-2017, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PooperScooper View Post
Research. Try IMDB. For the new Star Wars:

Camera ARRI ALEXA XT
ARRI ALEXA XT Plus, Panavision C-, E-, G-Series, ATZ and AWZ2 Lenses
ARRI Rental ALEXA 65
IMAX MSM 9802, Hasselblad and Mamiya Lenses
Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2, Panavision C-, E-, G-Series, ATZ and AWZ2 Lenses
Didn't they originally announce that film would be used for all of the new trilogy movies for consistency with the original trilogy, but digital could be used for the in-between spinoffs like Rogue One? Guess film became too much of a hassle these days.
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post #15 of 15 Old 12-16-2017, 06:20 PM
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Didn't they originally announce that film would be used for all of the new trilogy movies for consistency with the original trilogy, but digital could be used for the in-between spinoffs like Rogue One?
That was J.J. Abrams' rationale for shooting The Force Awakens on film (Abrams is also a celluloid fetishist, like Christopher Nolan), but I don't believe it was ever claimed that any other Star Wars movies would be shot that way.

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