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jglass
04-14-2011, 03:02 PM
PE, I do want to mention that I also went to and enjoyed Avatar, but it was over-hyped and should have been a 45 minute film for kids. I completely understand about letting go at the end of the day, but Avatar was taken far too seriously and is far too respected as an imaginative advance in artistic film-making.

I also understand it was a world-wide hit. Unfortunately, the juvenilization of mass media has not stopped at our borders. For me, what it touched in people was our immature desire to be soothed by a fake-sincere story about saving natives.

No disrespect to anyone who liked the movie. Let's see it for what it is.

holmburgers
04-14-2011, 03:04 PM
All I will say about Avatar is that I couldn't help but thinking that I was watching our generation's "Wizard of Oz", which I really think it was.

I think it was pretty clear that this wasn't going to be a deep movie. The general message of it was that big corporations and national interests are evil and disregard more important human concerns, like culture. I'm fond of that message frankly, and it's exactly analogous to the colonization of the Americas and "white man's" absolute disregard and dismissal of the existing cultures; cultures that we could have learned a lot from.

So, if some 6 year old kid can take that message away from Avatar, even subconsciously, that's awesome. I'm not that offended or surprised by its lack of 'artistic merit'.

That being said, it's not on my top 25 list of movies, but I enjoyed seeing it in the theatre for the first time.

Aristophanes
04-14-2011, 03:11 PM
There is nothing wrong with an archetypal story retold over and over again so long as the audience engages and appreciates each time with all the subtle, profound, or sublime changes of the message or the medium.


Sent from my iPhone 4 using Tapatalk

bblhed
04-14-2011, 03:16 PM
Avatar is The Wizard of OZ? You meant to say Pocahontas or Othello or something like that?

holmburgers
04-14-2011, 03:20 PM
Avatar is The Wizard of OZ? You meant to say Pocahontas or Othello or something like that?

I'm referring to the revolutionary aspect of the Wizard of Oz's use of color, and Avatar's 3D. Sure 3D has been around for a long time (longer than color), but the modern variant is a revolution and exposed a whole new generation to something phenomenally novel.

jglass
04-14-2011, 03:20 PM
There is nothing wrong with an archetypal story retold over and over again so long as the audience engages and appreciates each time with all the subtle, profound, or sublime changes of the message or the medium.


I don't feel like Avatar was an archetypal story, in the sense of a story told to demonstrate a deep-seated truth about us all. The true archetypal story is more like: natives doin okay, white man come, white man kill, natives gone. For me, Avatar is a lie told by liars in a dishonest way to make money.

My main point, though, is that digital photography marketing now involves a similar lie -- about quality, convenience and inexpensiveness over film -- told to make money, by hooking people on the lies and on the treadmill of upgrade. I would not care if it didn't threaten the medim I love, film. I also would not care about Avatar's success if I thought that didn't mean it will supplant other, more honest, and more valuable tales told by non-liars (even if for money).

I fully respect others' appreciation of such films, but I do disagree about its merits as story, as art, as craft.

Worker 11811
04-14-2011, 03:52 PM
...The general message of [Avatar] was that big corporations and national interests are evil and disregard more important human concerns, like culture...

...as told by a big, multinational corporation with evil interests which disregard important human concerns like culture.


There might be some irony there, somewhere, but I can't quite put my finger on it. :blink:

holmburgers
04-14-2011, 04:00 PM
Well, you know, the producers and directors/writers rarely see eye to eye. Whatever... let's talk about something else.. ;)

Photo Engineer
04-14-2011, 04:20 PM
The archetype of this story is really the Tarzan series if you go back to basics.

And, as I said earlier, if you see the extended cut fully, you see that the wimpy business man rejected his military assistant's plans and was imprisoned for his "change". His final words in that movie to the commander were "you are SO fired!".

BTW, there are about 30 books in the Tarzan series and about 30 books in the OZ series. Tarzan continues to be brought back in films, but OZ has not. Wonder why? Is it the generic Avatar type story line? Hmmmm.

PE

Worker 11811
04-14-2011, 04:31 PM
My comment is pointed toward Hollywood than any person, you included.

All of Hollywood is one, big B.S. fantasy land. Nothing is real, not even the fake stuff.
James Cameron or anybody else talking about how great 3-D movies or 48fps. movies or anything else is nothing more than hype, hyperbole and bull$#it.
You can count the number of good movies that come out in a given year on one hand and you can count the number of really GREAT movies that come out in a decade on one hand. The rest is claptrap and bull crap.

There was a saying, several years ago: "I could eat a can of Kodak and PUKE a better movie!"

95% of everything that Hollywood pumps out is hype and hyperbole designed to sell the same warmed-over porridge again and again in a slightly reorganized and repackaged format. 3-D movies, 48fps. movies or even 1,048fps movies aren't going to make the stories better. All Cameron does is wow people with smoke and mirrors. He doesn't make great movies. It's just that he's plugged into the Hollywood P.R. machine and he gets all the hype. Nothing more.

Saying James Cameron is a great director/producer is like saying Jessica Simpson is a great actress.

At least Pia Zadora had the guts to admit that she f***ed her way to the top!

holmburgers
04-14-2011, 04:36 PM
Saying James Cameron is a great director/producer is like saying Jessica Simpson is a great actress.

I would never go that far!

Now, not that I disagree, but to quote a truly great movie, "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man. "

:laugh:

lxdude
04-14-2011, 05:45 PM
My comment is pointed toward Hollywood than any person, you included.

All of Hollywood is one, big B.S. fantasy land. Nothing is real, not even the fake stuff.
----
You can count the number of good movies that come out in a given year on one hand and you can count the number of really GREAT movies that come out in a decade on one hand. The rest is claptrap and bull crap.

-----

95% of everything that Hollywood pumps out is hype and hyperbole designed to sell the same warmed-over porridge again and again in a slightly reorganized and repackaged format.

That's how it's been virtually from the beginning. The studios churned out movies like clockwork, most hastily made and forgettable. In among all that was some quality work. It's always been a business. There's a place for deep, meaningful, thought-provoking, a place for escapist, a place for silly, a place for bang-bang shoot 'em up, a place for spectacle.

True, just as with television, we get fed pabulum, and I often wish expectations were higher, but there are still the things that are worthwhile, and the rest can be ignored.

Hyping technology is an attempt to get butts in seats. When I was a kid, we drove in to Hollywood to see How the West Was Won at the then brand-new Cinerama Dome theater. It was spectacular, but like most things, when the novelty wore off, it wasn't worth the cost to make most movies in Cinerama, the cost and technological hassles were too much to make the theaters common, and we certainly weren't going to drive the 75 miles to go a special theater to watch them anyway!

Photo Engineer
04-14-2011, 06:03 PM
Randy;

You are so right.

Athiril
04-14-2011, 06:08 PM
Yes, and further, there is nothing new in Peter Jackson's "new" finding. Indeed, it is called "video" or "television", and it was invented much before Jackson was born.

In USA, it ran at 60 FPS and later at 59.94 FPS and in Europe it runs at 50 FPS. OMG, more than 48 FPS.

Also, "video productions" have been made since the advent of usable VTRs. This dates back to 60's or 70's. This has also always been a prominent low-budget choice to make movies - "films" shot on video.

HD video has been around for decades, too. And, for about 5 years, every consumer has been able to buy a digital low-cost HD video camera capable to shoot at 50 or 59.94 FPS.

This "new look" is not new to anyone. We all have seen it for all our lives, probably tenfolds more than films, you just need to turn on that TV. It indeed is very smooth because of high frame rate. Every once in a while there has been trends to remove inbetween frames or "deinterlace" the video to try to mimic film look with low cost of video. Needless to say, this is mostly pathetic and will not look better. Video is video, it's a different world than film and it's good as it is.

So, Peter Jackson is making just another video production. Oh, but that doesn't sound cool does it!? The emperor needs to have new clothes.

As for the original question, isn't that a no-brainer? Film can be easily shot and projected at practically any speed, and you can be sure it has been done. It's just a question of cost etc. how wide-spread it can be. Shooting at up to 4000 FPS is quite normal for slow-motion, and even many of the "normal" (non-high speed) cameras go typically up to around 70-100 FPS. Projection, OTOH, at more than about 50-100 FPS is possible but not necessary because we could not see the difference.

That's the sync rate, not the fps of the footage. It's still 29.97 or 25 fps.

Athiril
04-14-2011, 06:11 PM
For those who have not seen the full version of Avatar, with about 1/2 hour of added scenes, you will find that when you do view it, the full story changes radically. For example, Grace (Sigourney Weaver), knows that Jake is working as a spy. And, the wimpy company manager tries to prevent the final massacre, but is locked in his office by the military commander. It also leaves out the part about the massacre of children in the school. So, editing can make, break or change a story.

As for Avatar and Titanic, if they were such bores, howcome they were such blockbusters? Hmmmm? Sometimes I want to be wowed, sometimes I want to be surprised, and sometimes I want to suspend belief. The falling glowing creatures on Avatar were an amazing bit of imagination, and they were part of the story at the same time. For the first time, we saw a real ecology on an alien planet in depth, albeit from someone's imagination. I saw it in IMax 3D and the entire audience seemed to be transfixed.

Maybe they were so bored, they were asleep, but the conversation as we filed out did not make it seem so.

As for the high speed projection, the "Back to the Future" ride and others use over 60 fps according to Trumbull and it does not need 3D to give a sharpness and depth of its own to these images.

PE

Still boring as hell, and still feels like a Fern Gully rip off. Avatar was one of the most boring movies I've seen.

TRON was a lot better, not a great movie, but not boring, even saw it at IMAX, Avatar at a regular cinema looked about 1000x better than TRON at IMAX, the 3D was really poor in TRON, Avatar looked god damn amazing, which is why it was so successful, if it wasn't in 3D I would have left half way through. Plus people grab onto and obsess over alternate reality type stuff where they can believe they're really blue on the inside.


"I saw it in IMax 3D and the entire audience seemed to be transfixed."

But how did you feel about it?

Athiril
04-14-2011, 06:19 PM
Saying James Cameron is a great director/producer is like saying Jessica Simpson is a great actress.



Terminator, Terminator 2, Aliens.

Photo Engineer
04-14-2011, 07:10 PM
Athiril;

How did I feel? Well, after a hard day of real life, when I saw Avatar, I felt just like I did when I was about 8 and saw the screen go to color as Dorothy stepped into OZ. I was enjoying myself with something new. That is the best way to explain it. And now, watching the world situation and all of the wars and disasters, who can gainsay this?

PE

hrst
04-15-2011, 03:19 AM
That's the sync rate, not the fps of the footage. It's still 29.97 or 25 fps.

No, it is the "field rate" to use the correct term. I abbreviated "fields per second" as "FPS" :p.

This concept of interlacing is one of the most misunderstood subjects among video/film technology, but it is very easy and simple once you get it.

It is easiest to say that video is shot at 59.94 or 50 frames per second, and forget the interlacing when talking about smoothness of the motion or frame rates.

Interlacing is a primitive "compression" scheme which compromises resolution or clarity, not frame rate. There are 50/60 individual frames shot every second, it is just that they are half of the full resolution but shot every other at a different "location" so that the resolution integrates to "full" resolution in our eyes. But, a new picture is taken 50/60 times per second and that is exactly why it looks so much smoother than 24 FPS material. We can also take any of these 50 or 60 video frames and look at it. It is a complete reproduction of any taken moment. It is just half of the resolution compared to what the moving image looks like.

Unfortunately, the terminology to call individual temporal samples as "fields" and two of them as a "frame" is so misleading that 99% of people who know a bit about interlacing do misunderstand the whole concept. There are technical reasons for the terminology but from the end-result point of view it is misleading.

In fact, as film material also gains more clarity and resolution when it runs because the grains at different locations integrate in our eyes, it is somewhat similar to "interlaced" video material. If the video material was like film strip, there would be 50 or 60 frames in a second.

frobozz
04-21-2011, 12:18 PM
Douglass Trumbull ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Trumbull ) shot the effects for many Los Vegas and Florida theme rides at a frame rate higher than 60 fps IIRC. It was done both in digital and analog. He is also a marvelous speaker and was a keynote speaker on this subject here at a meeting in 2006.

PE

Yep, years ago I went to see a demo of his "Showscan" system at a Pizza Time Theater where it was set up - pretty impressive, it looked remarkably lifelike! It was just a tech demo, not a narrative movie or theme ride movie.

Duncan