We are two guys who recently discovered the joy of filmmaking. Having a background in the computer-games industry we, among other people, have noticed that the framerate of movies are very low compared to the 50+ f/sec in today's firstperson games. The difference in quality is evident in most trucking and panning shots.
In contrast, sound systems are updated to new and superb standards but the film is still the same 24 f/sec. This to us seems like a waste of money (especially in large productions). As an example we would like to mention The Lord of the Rings. The money and work spent on finding locations, building sets, rebuilding sets, making props, actor salarys, computer effects, etc. etc...seems to be wasted if you capture it in low quality (low framerate). We understand that a lot of things must be changed to achieve this, but the frame rate problem seems to be the single biggest quality flaw within the movie industry today. And if we are going to convert to digital projectors at the theatres anyways, why not change the standard at the same time.
So, our question is (finally): Have there been any talks about new standards or are we the only ones thinking this one sucks?(how old is this standard anyway)

Hi fellas,
Like most things that you think about, you find someone else is thinking about it too! First of all the frame rate started at 16fps and 18fps way back in the silent era and then went to 24fps when "talkies" started. I'm sure a history of cinema book would fill in the details if you are interested. You are quite right in pointing out that 48fps would increase the quality of the projected image considerably: there are some people out there right now trying to make this happen.  Unfortunately ranged against them is the "digi" brigade who don't think it's worth wasting money on improving film projection because it is all going electronic anyway.  The subject is a complex one where politics and economics are fighting against a muddled film community from George "Digi" Lucas to Martin "Film" Scorcese.

Personally I love film and would love to be able to shoot at 48fps: unfortunately the worlds cinemas would have to be modified first.  No-one wants to pay for this, and this is also the problem with converting them to electronic which would be ten times more expensive than going to 48fps.

I am an aspiring director who is still trying to understand all the technical aspects of the film industry. I've noticed that films like "Leaving Las Vegas" and "The Squid and the Whale", which were shot on 16mm film, seemed to have a faster frame-rate than regular films shot in 35mm. I liked the effect and was wondering why is it faster and what would be the advantages of using 16mm over 35mm film?

Not sure where you are getting your information but you might want to consider finding somewhere else to look! The frame rate for 16mm and 35mm is exactly the same: 24fps for Cinema and 25fps for PAL TV and 30fps for NTSC TV.

If you are noticing something you like about 16mm, it would be that it is more grainy than 35mm and also the lenses have more depth for a given angle of view. This is because the area of the image is a lot smaller, so the "feel" of the image is different for these and other reasons. 16mm is only "faster" than 35mm because all the gear is lighter and smaller as well as cheaper. Remember also that Super 16mm is now the "standard" for 16:9 aspect ratio (the new widescreen TV's) so most shooting on 16mm is now actually Super 16, not "regular" 16mm.

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