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Nice opening for the new season of classic dramas. Good color and fidelity, especially compared to some earlier PBS Masterpiece Theater deliveries (discussed here). From a Wikipedia summary and other writeups, reads like it was filmed last year, presumably 35mm since the BBC isn't doing 16mm now (from earlier posts), but also involved 720p from a Panasonic Varicam, (maybe interiors?) Hope the upcoming period dramas match or exceed the PQ. -- John
 

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I caught a bit of this on WNET last night (same PBS as you) and it looked pretty good.


We'll see how BBC HD has done with the Story of India (I think they're the ones that made that program), which finally airs tonight on PBS HD at 9pm. It aired first in 2007.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason /forum/post/15465147


Nice opening for the new season of classic dramas. Good color and fidelity, especially compared to some earlier PBS Masterpiece Theater deliveries (discussed here). From a Wikipedia summary and other writeups, reads like it was filmed last year, presumably 35mm since the BBC isn't doing 16mm now (from earlier posts), but also involved 720p from a Panasonic Varicam, (maybe interiors?) Hope the upcoming period dramas match or exceed the PQ. -- John

The BBC very seldom uses 35mm - the recent Christmas showing of the new BBC "The 39 Steps" was a major exception to this as it WAS shot 35mm.


I suspect Tess was shot entirely electronically. If shot a while back it may have used the 720p Varicams, though I believe there are now 1080p capable models from Panasonic. (The BBC had an exception in their commissioning documents allowing 720p Varicams to be used for under/overcranking but now the 1080p models are available this may have been revoked)


Pretty much all BBC drama is shot either on Super 16 film - and NOT shown in HD by the BBC (the recent Sense and Sensibility adaption for example) and Spooks, Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes etc. - or is shot on HD video/d-cinema cameras (Sony HDCam and D-Cinema models, Genesis, Arri, Red, Viper etc.) - such as Cranford, Little Dorrit, Wallander etc. BBC budgets seldom stretch to 35mm. (The 39 Steps must have had a decent wedge of co-pro funding!)


This isn't to say that some BBC commissioned drama shot on Super 16 isn't posted in HD - just that the BBC won't fund the HD post (other sources may allow for it to still take place) and won't broadcast it in HD on BBC HD.


There are Blu-ray releases of Life from Mars out now - shot Super 16, edited in HD, but not shown on BBC HD (and the BBC didn't provide extra HD funding). Having watched the Blu-ray releases of series 1, I can see why. They do look a lot better than the DVDs, but they are VERY grainy (which is suitable for the 70s era) and would not compress at all well. (They are 1080/24p - so I'm assuming they have been slowed down from 25p, though there is a good 25 to 24 frame rate conversion on the ForA converter now I believe)
 

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Originally Posted by sneals2000 /forum/post/15467555


The BBC very seldom uses 35mm - the recent Christmas showing of the new BBC "The 39 Steps" was a major exception to this as it WAS shot 35mm.


I suspect Tess was shot entirely electronically. If shot a while back it may have used the 720p Varicams, though I believe there are now 1080p capable models from Panasonic. (The BBC had an exception in their commissioning documents allowing 720p Varicams to be used for under/overcranking but now the 1080p models are available this may have been revoked)


Pretty much all BBC drama is shot either on Super 16 film - and NOT shown in HD by the BBC (the recent Sense and Sensibility adaption for example) and Spooks, Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes etc. - or is shot on HD video/d-cinema cameras (Sony HDCam and D-Cinema models, Genesis, Arri, Red, Viper etc.) - such as Cranford, Little Dorrit, Wallander etc. BBC budgets seldom stretch to 35mm. (The 39 Steps must have had a decent wedge of co-pro funding!)


This isn't to say that some BBC commissioned drama shot on Super 16 isn't posted in HD - just that the BBC won't fund the HD post (other sources may allow for it to still take place) and won't broadcast it in HD on BBC HD.


There are Blu-ray releases of Life from Mars out now - shot Super 16, edited in HD, but not shown on BBC HD (and the BBC didn't provide extra HD funding). Having watched the Blu-ray releases of series 1, I can see why. They do look a lot better than the DVDs, but they are VERY grainy (which is suitable for the 70s era) and would not compress at all well. (They are 1080/24p - so I'm assuming they have been slowed down from 25p, though there is a good 25 to 24 frame rate conversion on the ForA converter now I believe)

Interesting. The Wiki writeup mentions 1080p and 720p production, so maybe, as you say, filming wasn't involved. Some production writeups do mention filming, but they may have just meant overall production. "Filming" does get intermixed, not too accurately, with video recording--even by pros at the cinematography forums. -- John
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason /forum/post/15475568


Interesting. The Wiki writeup mentions 1080p and 720p production, so maybe, as you say, filming wasn't involved. Some production writeups do mention filming, but they may have just meant overall production. "Filming" does get intermixed, not too accurately, with video recording--even by pros at the cinematography forums. -- John

I questioned this - but apparently the dictionary term "filming" now is accepted to mean "recording" and apparently no longer explicitly requires the use of a celluloid, nitrate etc. chemically processed system, and can include video acquisition, data acquisition etc.


I prefer the word "shot" when a generic is required, and would still use film when "film" was used. However using "taped" for shows shot electronically is now no longer that valid, as some shows are now "disced" or "flashed" or "drived" and don't hit tape at all.


(At least one UK soap only hits tape for delivery - it is acquired to hard drive, edited in the non-linear domain and only hits tape for delivery - and that will go once tapeless standards are agreed in the UK. There is an aim for an industry-wide delivery system so that broadcasters and producers only have one standard and one bit of kit to buy etc. Tape is still used as a backup and archive medium though - so studio recordings will be to hard drive AND tape, and archived copies of the show will be kept on something like an LTO data tape, as well as a broadcast DigiBeta (SD) or HDCam SR (HD) tape.)


If a production is explicitly stated as being shot 1080p or 720p it is a fair bet to assume HD video/D-cinema cameras were used rather than film (as I doubt they'd state the resolution that the telecine/datacine was run at?)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 /forum/post/15467555


The BBC very seldom uses 35mm - the recent Christmas showing of the new BBC "The 39 Steps" was a major exception to this as it WAS shot 35mm.

Tess was 35mm (see the press release ) as was the new version of the Survivors.


Steven
 

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^^^Thanks for the information, Steve. Recall scanning that release earlier but missed that brief all-35mm-production mention. Ought to make a superb Blu-ray package one of these days...maybe even a 4k-media release later on :). -- John
 
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