| thesheaf.com | 31 January, 2013 |
48 frames per second: the future of film or distracting gimmick?
Your brain on podcasts: top podcasts to refine your mind
The screen-rate may have doubled, but hobbits are still short.
MICHAEL MACLEOD Film has evolved over the past hundred years to give us the great movies, but Peter Jackson’s new technique of filming in higher speeds isn’t ready to revolutionize the industry just yet. The first movies were shot in black and white without sound— these films amazed audiences with a spectacle that seemed almost magical. Filmmakers then began editing shots and using title cards to tell stories in the new medium. This was followed by orchestrated soundtracks and the introduction of colour. Editors would hand-paint each film cell for the first colored films. But techniques such as these concerned with sound and image, have mostly been perfected and standard filmmaking has nearly reached a technical zenith; most of the improvements left are those of cost and portability. Other unconventional attempts to improve our movie viewing experience have been unsuccessful — except for, arguably, 3D. Smell-o-vision was once a thing; audience members at the theatre were provided with a scratch card of scents that were meant to help
them experience more of what was happening onscreen. Hypnovista is another failed example. Hypnotists would attend showings to ensure the audience could empathize with the characters onscreen. Electronic buzzers have even been implanted in theatre seats to provide an extrasensory jolt. The most recent of these experiments is the shooting of The Hobbit in 48 frames per second, twice the rate cinematic film is usually shot at. By having more frames projected at a faster rate, movement should look smoother with a sharper overall image, without regular films motion blur. The human eye processes images at just over 60 fps and by increasing the fps, The Hobbit director Peter Jackson intends the film to appear more realistic to the viewer. While the increased frame rate provided a vibrant and clear picture in The Hobbit’s many landscapes and wide angle shots, the 48 fps shots were distracting when the focus of the camera was within six metres of the subject. Simple actions performed by the cast appeared strangely rushed and wooden. As the focus shifted at inopportune times, the
hypersaturated light gave shots a soap opera quality, and the many changes in brightness and scope throughout the film made it difficult to watch. This is not the first time directors have experimented with frame rate. Showscan was developed in the 70’s as a method of shooting film at 60 fps, but it has never been used in a feature-length motion picture due to production problems. It was relegated to short films and amusement park rides, predominantly motion simulators. Jackson is the first director to shoot a feature length movie in the 48 fps style and it is hard to say if any directors will be following in his footsteps. There are at least two more films in The Hobbit trilogy that will be shown in 48 fps, which will give Jackson ample opportunity to really work with the format. Filmmakers need more time to find out the pros and cons of increasing frame rate and to change their scene construction to maximize its benefits. We may even see frame rates speed up in the future, but for now, 48 fps is not ready to write its page on the book of film evolution.
Upcoming Events 3
Tonight It’s Poetry at Lydia’s Rippertrain at Bud’s on Broadway
Magna Carta, Narcissistic, Grimace and Filthy Senoritas at Lydia’s USSU Sex Week at the U of S
Open Stage at Lydia’s Michael Charles at Bud’s on Broadway
Marilyn Manson at TCU Place Whitehorse at Broadway Theatre Open Mic Night at the Fez Agokwe premieres at North Studio Theatre, U of S drama department
There is something refreshing about tuning into a podcast while walking around the city. As much as I love listening to music, I find that listening to something informative, argumentative or historical refreshes my mind, despite the many hours I spend in lectures each week. The right podcast can invigorate you and offer great information to spout at a party. But like most of the information offered via the Internet, you have to delve through the shit to get to the gold. I’ve compiled a list of my favourite podcasts and collections of podcasts that can all be found on iTunes. Each offers a large collection in their archives as well as a variety of topics you may not get from your university education. The fact that they’re free is just a bonus. How Stuff Works My favourite podcasts come from the people at How Stuff Works. I’ve been listening to Stuff You Missed In History Class and Stuff Mom Never Told You for a few years. These podcasts cover a range of topics from medieval torture devices to afterschool specials. Both podcasts are approximately 30 minutes long and are updated a couple times a week. How Stuff Works also hosts a bunch of other shows like Stuff You Should Know, Brain Stuff, Tech Stuff, Stuff to Blow Your Mind and many more. My only qualm with them is that since they’re an American organization, the topics and research are usually geared to Americans. Today In Canadian History Today In Canadian History is produced by community radio
Coffre-fort premieres at La Troupe du Jour Inc. Joel Fafard at the Bassment Couloir in Concert at the Third Avenue United Church The Gaff and Charlie Hustle at Tusq and Staccato Lounge
station CJSW in Calgary. They cover historical Canadian events that happened on the day that the show is broadcasted. Each 10 minute episode features an interview with a “Canadian professor, journalist, author or ‘everyday historian.’ ”
Ideas Ideas from the CBC covers a wide range of topics, from culture to science and technology. Obviously, being produced by CBC, the podcast is geared toward Canadian interests and relevant current events. TED Talks TED Talks also hits that “justabout-any topic” balance, but is more globally relevant than Ideas. I’m a big fan of TEDTalks on Netflix, so taking each episode with me on the bus has made those cold and lengthy rides slightly more enjoyable. NPR If you’re more musically-inclined and are reluctant to indulge in anything other than music, NPR may have the podcast for you. All Songs Considered focuses on emerging musical artists as well as more established artists. I like this podcast because it offers an introduction to more diverse artists than what is typical to Saskatoon radio stations. Interviews with celebrities are also a pretty cool feature. I’ve undoubtedly left out many notable productions, but I greatly encourage you to try the ones I suggested, especially if you’ve never listened to a podcast before. You never know what they may add to your academic career.
Karrnnell and Friends at the Bassment Continuum opens at Affinity Gallery Ultimate Power Duo and the Faps at Vangelis Lady Deathstryke, Soul Mates and Herd of Wasters at Amigos Adam K at the Odeon The No-No’s Improv Comedy at Pavillon Gustave Dubois Theatre
Jian Ghomeshi at Broadway Theatre Young Benjamins and Coldest Night of the Year at Vangelis Elizabeth Shepherd Trio at the Bassment Elixir Ensemble: The Russian Heart and Soul at Convocation Hall, U of S The Pistolwhips, Pandas in Japan and Grove at Amigos
for the week of January 31 - February 6
The Sheaf - January 30, 2013