FOCUSING ON DIGITAL AND FILMLOOK, PART 2



Fall '97

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have a news item for the FILMLOOK Newsletter, please call us at (818) 845-9200 or E-Mail us at lookinfo@filmlook.com and we'll get it in our next issue.

It is true that the type of camera head used for either digital or analog formats sometimes makes a more important difference in image quality than the format itself. As an example, there are some very sophisticated camcorder packages that are fully featured and use the DVCPRO and DVCAM format. In fact, Sony's DXC-D30 camera can be interchanged with the PVW-D30 Betacam SP deck or the DSR-130 DVCAM deck. However, if you are renting or purchasing a dockable camera head that is already worth $20 - $50K, you start subscribing to a false economy if you are recording to a professional or "prosumer" deck instead of a true broadcast format. The cost differential becomes insignificant at this point.

Technical specifications and numbers can be misleading. For example, if you look at the performance specs for 3/4" and standard VHS then the two formats should be almost identical. Yet, on screen the picture quality doesn't even come close even if the recordings were made from the same source. Additionally, compare the specifications for Beta oxide side by side with 3/4" SP (especially a couple generations down). How about Beta SP compared with the higher resolution of SVHS? It is not just the color encoding/recording scheme that makes the Beta look better than the color under formats - the above comparisons will still favor the Beta if both were monochrome. There is a lot to video image performance (cameras or VCRs) besides bandwidth/lines of resolution. Besides signal to noise ratios of analog systems, the subject of compression artifacts or mosquitoing in digital systems should be considered along with the effect of encoding errors accumulating through multigenerations of 4:1:1 cloning (something that is virtually non existent in broadcast digital formats). Record a high quality source (test generator or three chip broadcast camera with charts) into both a Beta SP deck and into a DV format deck simultaneously and compare playbacks on a broadcast monitor and scopes. Look for color reproduction, compression artifacts, etc. We are sure they'll compare closely, but the DV will not emerge as superior.

Betacam SP, which is over 15 years old, has been proven a very robust tape format. Betacam SP has logged millions of hours with camera operators, edit houses and broadcast facilities throughout the world. Barring differences in television standards, any Betacam or Betacam SP tape recorded in one deck will be able to play back on any other Betacam SP tape machine. Few post houses are set up to run directly off DV formats. Although CBS and most recently NBC committed to using DVCPRO as an acquisition format for its news and sports divisions, it has yet to prove itself as a durable, viable format for either production or as a dependable primary source deck for on-air broadcasting. DV is quite delicate due to the moderate compression algorithm involved and the physical characteristics of its 6mm metal tape. We are merely encouraging careful and thorough investigation on the part of video producers to find the best camera and format for their productions.

We do not wish to discourage any serious video producer from using DV camcorders, nor would we refuse a project that was recorded originally on DV (although we cannot directly handle DV). It matters little if you are using an analog or digital video format-- good video (three-chip camera, good lighting, careful exposure, skillful adjustments and a broadcast format tape) is good for the reputation of shooting in video as well as for FILMLOOK. Producers should be aware that "state of the art" or "digital" alone will not always be better if the camcorder has compromises.


COSBY'S NEW (FILM)LOOK

BURBANK--This fall the CBS comedy "Cosby" gets a new look as it launches into its second season. The hit Carsey-Werner series will now be entirely processed in FILMLOOK.

"Cosby" utilized FILMLOOK in its first season for exterior scenes and segments that required a different look from the rest of the studio-produced show, which is normally shot in multicamera video.




WHAT'S AN OMBA MOKOMBA ?

BURBANK--The Disney Channel's new animal kingdom series "Omba Mokomba" is the first weekly program on the cable outlet to be shot in video and processed in Filmlook.

The series is based at a fictional African television station where viewers call in with animal related questions. "Omba Mokomba" mixes host wraps in Filmlook and film documentary footage. The show airs sundays on the Disney Channel.



FILMLOOK ROOMS WITH MTV

NEW YORK--MTV Networks is producing the sitcom "Apt. 2F," an irreverent comedy shot in multicamera video and processed in FILMLOOK. The sitcom stars twin brothers Jason and Randy Sklar who share an apartment in New York City and lead two very different lives. "Apt. 2F" can be seen Thursday evenings on MTV.



FILMLOOK AT THE PENTAGON

WASHINGTON D.C.-- FILMLOOK has been used to process a Pentagon orientation video highlighting Bolling Air Force Base in "11th Wing--A World Class Legacy," which was recorded entirely in digital betacam and processed in FILMLOOK.Cemetery. Some of the video of WWII vintage aircraft was processed in higher grain and sepia tone to simulate archival film.


HBO IN LEAGUE WITH FILMLOOK

NEW YORK--In-depth commentary and interviews with legendary baseball greats Pete Rose and Reggie Jackson highlight the controversial documentary "Where Have You Gone Joe DiMaggio." The interview segments were shot in video and processed in FILMLOOK under supervision by Joe Levine, producer for HBO Sports. "DiMaggio" airs October 20, 1997 on HBO.


DIRECTORY

HOME

EMMY CONGRATULATIONS

FILMLOOK congratulates producer Blane Baggett, KCET and the production company of "The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century" for receiving Best Informational Series Emmy at the 49th Emmy Awards. Also, we congratulate our friend and longtime FILMLOOK advocate Alan Walker for receiving the Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction (Electronic) for the pilot episode of "Cosby." We celebrate the recognition of your work!




PRESENT TIME WITH FILMLOOK

FULLERTON, CA--John Schmidt Productions has finished the first episode for "Present Time," a historical series for television and video that was shot in digital betacam and processed entirely in FILMLOOK.

The series follows the misadventures of a teenager with a laptop computer that is capable of unpredictably bringing biblical figures into the present. The digital betacam production features extraordinary computer graphic effects, which were also processed through FILMLOOK.



CHEATIN' ON FILMLOOK

STAMFORD, CT--Lifetime this summer aired a special on infidelity featuring Swoosie Kurtz of "Sisters" and interviews shot in video and processed in FILMLOOK.

"Your Cheatin' Heart" was produced by New Screen Concepts and the transfer was supervised by director Chuck Bangert, who has used FILMLOOK previously on a Siegfried & Roy special for ABC.




THE FUTURE ON FILMLOOK

LOS ANGELES--fleisherfilm has produced a special on emerging technologies and new directions in warfare in "FutureWar," a special for the Discovery Channel shot in video and processed in FILMLOOK.

The special focuses on fascinating, cutting-edge weapons of modern warfare as well as the controversial implications of electronic terrorism waged on the internet and on banking and media conglomerates worldwide. Produced by Carol Fleisher, who also produced the CableAce award-winning documentary "The Revolutionary War," "FutureWar" will be airing this fall on Discovery.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


© 1997 FILMLOOK, Inc. All Rights Reserved. FILMLOOK is a registered trademark of FILMLOOK Inc.