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    Dawson's Creek shot on video in later seasons?
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    My girlfriend has been watching Dawson's Creek on Netflix and I've caught a little bit as she has. The early seasons are 16mm as stated on IMDB, but today she was watching an episode from I think season 4 and it looked like video to me. Still 4:3 aspect. I can't find anything online about the show switching to video cameras or what type if they did. Does anyone know anything about this?


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    That would be around 2000/2001. Very early to do something like that for anyone but George Lucas, but it's possible (even though this was a major production that I'm not sure would experiment at the time, but OTOH cutting costs is always an option).

    If the show really started on 16mm film, what you could be seeing is the massive resolution jump to 35mm, but IDK.


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    It’s probably when Dawson turned 40 in real life while still playing a high schooler and they need to layer in the beauty filters .


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    Nah, it's the dreaded smoothing effect that makes everything look like video.


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    Could it be a different transfer? I've been rewatching star trek voyager and it's all interlaced and I'm like FML


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    #6
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    What in the image is suggesting to you that it was shot on something other than 16mm? I took a look at a season 5 episode and it looked just like what I would have expected.

    I would say with as much certainty as I can without having specific knowledge that the show would not have switched to a digital format at that time. In the early 2000's there wasn't a lot of love for the early 24p cameras as there were still significant latitude issues (remember this predates log acquisition) and while there was testing being done, the shows that started on film stayed on film. It wasn't until the mid to later 2000's that Genesis and RED started to swing the tide.

    I had a bit of a love/hate thing with 16mm episodic in that era when I was working primarily as an operator. The viewing optics weren't quite as good as 35mm so one had to work a little harder, but the lighter weight was a plus when shooting handheld or Steadicam (although the 10 minute vs 4 minute loads sometimes mitigated that!). I was just thinking the other day about the Panavision Elaine, which was the only modern studio 16mm camera (the Arri SR's and the Aatons were designed primarily for doc style shooting). The Elaine was like a downsized version of the 35mm Panaflex design which made it kind of cute, but it ended up weighing about the same. I remember doing a long walk and talk on a beach for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and feeling the burn in a "35mm" kind of way. I don't have any pix of it but I do have this clip from dailies on a series called "Action" from '99. Looking at that setup now it is hard to believe it's 16mm inside there! I don't think Panavision kept any of those cameras around. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xM1D-6m8kho
    Charles Papert
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    I though "Action" was a great show. That and "John Laroquette" are two best programs on Don Reo's resume.

    As far as the switch to HD digital goes - I remember getting an external HD tuner to watch Patriots - Panthers. That was in February, 2004 and most shows were in SD 4:3 then. IIRC, the "Gilmore Girls" went HD at the beginning of the 2005-06 TV season or a year and a half later. The 2006 WC was in HD only on ABC OTA. ESPN and Univision were still in SD.


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    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLD View Post
    I though "Action" was a great show. That and "John Laroquette" are two best programs on Don Reo's resume.

    As far as the switch to HD digital goes - I remember getting an external HD tuner to watch Patriots - Panthers. That was in February, 2004 and most shows were in SD 4:3 then. IIRC, the "Gilmore Girls" went HD at the beginning of the 2005-06 TV season or a year and a half later. The 2006 WC was in HD only on ABC OTA. ESPN and Univision were still in SD.
    ESPN launched their HD channel in 2003. I remember, because that's when we started shooting Sports Century on the F900's. I also remember going to Bristol for the mandatory meeting/seminar/whatever-you-want-to-call-it, that those of us that shot on the series had to attend, before we could work on the new HD shows(HD was treated as a very big deal, back then) and looking at some of the interviews and b-roll that had already been shot for some of the episodes and thinking just how beautiful the images were. They spent boat loads of money on that show. At the time, it was one of their crown jewels, especially in the early days of HD. And the damn shame of it all, those episodes aired in 16:9 HD ONCE. Then each subsequent airing of an episode ran in 4:3 SD. Broke my heart...


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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    I remember doing a long walk and talk on a beach for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and feeling the burn in a "35mm" kind of way. I don't have any pix of it but I do have this clip from dailies on a series called "Action" from '99. Looking at that setup now it is hard to believe it's 16mm inside there! I don't think Panavision kept any of those cameras around. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xM1D-6m8kho
    Kept think you were still rolling and they were going to call "tails tails!!" as you walk away, haha.


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    16mm has sometimes reminded me of video, especially if lit or transferred in a slapdash way. I think it's because the depth of field is like 2/3"


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