"Rocky Balboa" -- filming the fight scenes

In the fight in the ring at the end of “Rocky Balboa”, I got the distinct feeling that many of the scenes were filmed with a different sort of camera than the rest of the movie. I’m wondering if I’m correct, and exactly what was different about it.

I can easily understand that the fast movements of the fighters would demand a camera capable of faster exposure times, for example, but what I saw was that the images seemed to be sharper and crisper in some way. If anyone else noticed this sort of stuff, I’d like to learn more about it so that I can talk more intelligently to a better job of uinderstanding what I saw. Thanks.

I haven’t seen the movie, but perhaps the scene you’re talking about is filmed in the same fashion that the D-day scenes in Saving Private Ryan were. The camera uses a very fast shutter speed to minimize motion blurring, giving almost a stop-motion effect. The technique’s been copied a lot recently for action scenes, including Battlestar Galactica.

I’ve noticed the effect you are talking about in other films. But very fast shutter speed wouldn’t make sense as motion pictures are shot and projected at 24 frames per second. I think that would mean each individual frame can only always have a 48th of a second exposure. Half of the 24th of the second for the actual exposure and half for the next frame to be moved into the gate.

Something else must be going on to acheive the effect described.

If I’m not mistaken, this doesn’t matter. You can film a scene at say, 96 FPS, and with a fast shutter speed and wider aperature. Then you only use every fourth frame for the final film. What you get is the same fast movement without all of the blur. However, at that speed, you’d certainly need more light on the scene or faster film.

I’ll have to look it up.

A motion picture camera’s rotary disc shutter is an angle of a circle. The normal shutter angle is 180 degrees. Decreasing the shutter angle decreases motion blur, increasing the angle increases motion blur. The shutter in the beach battle scenes in Saving Private Ryan was set at 45 degrees.

I’m a professional cameraman, perhaps I can shed a bit of accurate light here.

The hand-held cameras used inside of the ring during the in-between, before and after fight shots as well as being used just outside of the ring during the fight sequences were high definition video cameras. The rest of the film was shot with 35mm cameras supplied by Clairmont Camera in Los Angeles. ( No, it was most definitely not shot in Panavision )

It is unarguable that some of the hottest films of the year were not shot in film, but rather in High Definition. ( “Superman Returns”, etc. ).

The reason they jump out at you is because when cut right up against film footage, they have ( amongst other things ) different contrast ratios, knee, resolution and so on. Even though those shots were captured well and edited into the footage with no generational loss, the shots do jump out at the eye.

I saw the film last night, but will talk about that in the thread about the film.

What Walloon said about the shutter is essentially accurate. Film cameras either use a 180* half-circle shutter or a “butterfly” shutter that runs 90* segments separated by 90* of air. The 180 degree spinning shutter looks a lot like this, while it is not a traditional camera it may well be the largest spinning mirrored shutter every built ! OTOH, this close-up of an Arriflex 16mm film camera port ( scroll down to the image just above " Show a Friend " ) shows the “butterfly” shutter configuration I mentioned. Four 90* areas. Two are empty, two have mirrors. The ring spins in conjunction with the film passing through the gate.

In Saving Private Ryan, a variety of techniques were used to achieve the results we all saw- notably altering the shutter, shifting the film speed slightly, removing the registration pin from the gate of the cameras and stripping the prime lenses of their multi-coating. The multi-coating developed after WWII ( actually, into the 1960’s ) allowed for a more clear color rendering, better contrast and a more robust control over those pesky flares. Since the footage looked quite different before the advent of multi-coated lenses, stripping them was another item in the ( ahem ) arsenal.

Panavision stripped the lenses before shooting started. Production then paid to have the front elements re-coated after filming wrapped. Panavision equipment cannot be purchased anywhere on the planet, it is rented or leased long-term. So, in the rental agreement was the deal to strip them, and then re-coat them. Considering the amount of explosives used, I wouldn’t be surprised if the odd front element were nicked here and there, despite the no-doubt conscientious use of optical flats in front to protec them. -shrug- The cost of doing business.
Cartooniverse, Founding member of the Steadicam Operators’ Association, IATSE 600, IBEW 1212 and NABET 16.

In the cite that Walloon provided, Wikipedia once again proved why they are far from a reliable source.

The article gives a pretty good description of some shutters- and incredibly shows a VIDEOTAPE CAMERA OPERATOR standing next to the lead paragraph. He’s identified as a “news cameraman”.

God help us. Electronic video cameras ( and, lest we piss off any videophiles, I will clarify ) made after the early invention of the device, have NEVER used a spinning mirror shutter. Why would they? There is no film moving through a gate. The camera uses an entirely different technology.

And yet there’s Wikipedia, using a video camera to illustrate motion picture technology.

:smack: :dubious:


Um, where’s that? As far as I can tell, the provided link never had a camera operator photo. There is a link to the camera operator article in the first paragraph which does have such a photo. The choice of a news camera operator photo there is a bit odd since the article is mostly about film (guess they couldn’t find a film camera operator photo), but it’s hardly insinuating video cameras use shutters.

I just went and looked you are right. It is the link within the link. ( Kinda like Estée Lauder :smiley: ).

And, for a page about what a camera operator does in general, using a news cameraman is as valid as using any other type of professional camera operator.

I sit corrected.


Thank you, Cartooniverse!

No sweat !

Grammar counts around here. I did not mean to imply that I was a founding member of all of those unions and guild. Just the first one- the S.O.A. I’d be…uh…fairly on in my years if I was a founding member of some of those other unions. :smiley: