Despite all kinds of claims to the contrary, shooting in 24p with a 35mm lens adapter with prime lenses will not make your digital video images look like film.
The best way to get “film look” is to shoot on film. Of course, this is somethign that I (and many others) have been saying for a while now but last night I got quite a rude re-awakening on this.
Last night, “Returning“, a short film I produced and shot screened at the L.A. Shorts Festival. It was shot on a Panasonic DVX100 (provided by my friend Brian) with a Red Rock M2 35mm lens adapter and a set of Nikon prime lenses. Not exactly current state of the art equipment, I know, but it was what we could get.
At this particular festival, the allowed submission formats are 35mm film print and standard definition video on DigiBeta tape. “Returning” had the unfortunate honor of being the first film in its program to be projected in standard definition video after the first film was shot on 35mm and projected from a film print.
Yikes. The transition from film to standard definition video made my eyes hurt. But it was so much more than that. The depth and richness of color… the contrast… there’s so much more to the look of film than just the resolution, latitude and depth of field, and last night was quite a vivid reminder of that for me for sure.