Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicMovies · 1 decade ago

How does a film crew playback footage that's been shot on film?

I was watching a DVD extra for Rush Hour where the director was looking at a scene he just shot. How does he (or the crew) playback the footage through video when the camera's use film stock?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The actual answer to this question is that a "video tap" is attached to the camera.

    The way this works is that light goes through the lens like any other camera. Then, the image is split by the mirrored shutter. Half the time, the mirror moves out of the way so that the film can be exposed. The other time, the mirror blocks the film plane so that the light can be diverted into the eyepiece AND toward the video tap sensor which is NOT in the eyepiece.

    The video tap is usually mounted on the right side of the camera (opposite side of the viewfinder). The image from the video tap is often only black & white but sometimes more expensive color taps are used. There are two ways to get the image from the tap over to "Video Village" where the Director (and everyone else) watches video monitors. The first way is to plug in a BNC cable, which is just a term for the professional connector that is used in the professional film and TV industry (as opposed to the standard home RCA type connectors you are used to). Without the video tap, there would be no way to do many of the crane or "remote head" shots that modern filmmakers use.

    The second way to get an image from the tap to the monitors is to attach a video transmitter. Again, a BNC connector is used, but instead of it being a very long cable that is run to the monitors, a very short BNC connects the tap to the transmitter. There are various types/brands of transmitters, but one of the most popular brands is the MODULUS. It broadcasts on specific frequencies that the FCC allows so that the signal will not interfere with other frequencies that may be used nearby. This is how Steadicam shots can be viewed by the Director without connecting a hard line which could interfere with the Operator.

    When PLAYBACK is viewed at "Video Village," it is because there is a Video Playback technician who records and logs every shot. Tape is being replaced with digital harddrives so that instantaneous access can be realized. Directors and others will review takes to look for mistakes or to match continuity from other shots that may have been filmed weeks ago.

    Brian Dzyak


    IATSE Local 600, SOC

  • 1 decade ago

    The film camera's viewfinder contains a video camera which feeds a video recorder. The immediate, on-set playback is of the video feed, not the actual film image.

    Source(s): BTDT
  • 1 decade ago

    If they're looking at it immediately after shooting, they shot it digitally, which means there's not actually any film involved. That's the only way they get instantaneous viewing of their scenes.

    If it was shot directly onto film, it's not possible to view it immediately - they'd have to wait for the processing to be completed. Much of the time, the crew will watch their "dailies" together, so that they all understand what worked, and what needs to be redone.

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