View Full Version : grainyness of digital cinema
07-20-2002, 11:35 AM
Now I don't go to films much, and I may be suffering from selective memory or a poor cinema, but what struck me about Minority Report was (and i was sitting in about the 6th row) that I could see the grainyness of the picture. Is that because digitally captured or processed pictures have less resolution than a "proper" film?
07-20-2002, 01:40 PM
Well technically it would be "pixelness" since only proper film has grain :) .
I don't know how good it's gotten, I know my digital camera doesn't have resolution to match film.
Roger Ebert wrote a whole thing about how the last Star Wars movie was shot digitally and if you didn't see it one of the few places that showed it digitally, it looked like crap. Maybe that was the case here.
(Would this be the place to mention how pleased I was to see that in 2000-whatever it was, the wife still has an honest to god, real, film processing darkroom?!)
07-20-2002, 03:11 PM
So far as I know, the live action in Minority Report was shot on plain ol' film. The only major studio release to be shot entirely digitally so far is Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.
Some of the effects in Minority Report were done digitally, of course, but digital effects tend to produce a *less* grainy picture than traditional special effects. That's because digital effects involve fewer photographic steps, which results in less image degradation.
Lots of movie directors love the look of fim grain, mind you. A grainy picture may have been just what Spielberg wanted.
07-21-2002, 08:17 AM
I agree with Wumpus. Spielberg's Director of Photography du jour for the last few outings has been Janus Kaminski. This D.P. seems to have a fondness for crisp contrast, desaturated colors and more apparrent grain than normally exposed negative would show.
It's entirely a creative choice. Just as most of Minority Report is shot with what appears to be NO 85 Filter, the grain structure seen is introduced by likely underexposing slightly and pushing the negative in development. An 85 filter adjusts the daylight color temperature to match the film's sensitivity. Most but not all film stock is Tungsten Light balanced. You have to pull out some of the blue to make daylight balance for the film.
Most of the exteriors of that film look to my eye as though no 85 filter was used. It also looks as though some Ultra-Cons were used. I happen to enjoy the look for most of the film. Notice that the grain is most apparent in the exteriors, and a lot of the interior work is high contrast, but finer grain structure?
07-22-2002, 02:49 AM
Thanks Cartooniverse and Wumpus. I can understand someone wanting a grainy shot in film noir or similar, but it seems a little jarring in a film about the future - which in to my straightjacketed mind should be crystal clear, shiny, full of promise .... in any case a grainy shot always suffers from the problem that it noticeable and can distract from the film
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