Film School Friday – Why is 24 frames per second cinematic?

24 Frames Per Second Episode Summary

In this weeks episode of Film School Friday, Corey and Bill are talking about the history of 24 frames per second and why it’s considered “cinematic”.

24 Frames Per Second Episode Notes

In this weeks episode of Film School Friday, Corey and Bill are talking about the history of 24 frames per second and why it’s considered “cinematic”.

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24 Frames Per Second Transcript

Corey Allen  0:06  

Welcome to film school Friday. I’m Corey. I’m Bill. And together we host the infocus podcast film school Friday is our special weekly episode, where I get to quiz bill to see how much knowledge he’s returned from film school, and how good he is at passing that knowledge on to others. This week, we’re talking frame rates. And not only why your frame rate is important, but maybe even more importantly, why is 24 frames a second considered? errs in the world’s cinema cinematic?

Bill Cornelius  0:38  

Yeah. So 24 is is the industry standard for motion pictures, feature films. You know, there, there’s some variation in there when it comes to TV when it comes to region of the world. There’s slight variations like 30, and 23, and things like that. But 24 is considered industry standard cinema, movie framerate. And that comes from back in the day, when the talkies or sound movies first started appearing, they were matching a soundtrack to the film, and 24 was sort of the frame rate compromise that the industry arrived on, because it’s because the audio match sounded right to human ears, because, you know, a lot of silent movies were shot at like 15 frames a second.

And that’s why they have that really fast, frantic look to them. You match audio with that it’s gonna sound like fast chipmunk types, like in 24 was like the perfect place for the human ear to pick up the audio properly, and to also read the visuals properly. And it’s just it’s stayed that way. Like I said, there’s been variance over time TV region, but by and large 24 hours is acceptable.

Corey Allen  2:01  

Yeah. So. So you wouldn’t shoot up? Like a feature? film it? I don’t know. 60 frames a second? No.

Bill Cornelius  2:09  

Now I would Peter Jackson. Yeah, well, here’s the thing, Frame Rate Variance like that, when you get up into the 30 and 60 range and higher. A lot of times that’s, that’s great for slow motion that’s recommended for slow motion. In fact, you can’t do slow motion properly at 24. That’s just that’s not it doesn’t work that way. But a lot of people will shoot at normal speed at 30 and 60. And that’s what what gives it that what you call a soap opera look, because they do still shoot soap operas at I think 30 frames a second. And it looks, it looks cheap. To me, it looks cheap. It looks it looks less than cinematic. And that’s still the big standard for those types of productions. You mentioned Peter Jackson. I know what was it 60 that he shot the habit?

Corey Allen  3:01  

I don’t remember if it was 48 or 60.

Bill Cornelius  3:03  

I know that it was it was higher, higher. Yeah. Because he wanted to, I guess, quote, unquote, make it feel more realistic, right? Which No, no, the thing that ended up happening is that most movie theaters don’t project at that frame rate. So they still project at 24 despite the fact that he shot at a higher frame rate, most mainstream movie theaters were still projecting at 24. So it still looked like 24 like cinema, which I was happy about that. That was a win in my corner when it comes to the cinematic look.

Okay, so because 24 is such a cinematic standard, it’s got a it’s got a specific look. And a lot of people I know a lot of regular people that don’t work with cameras don’t necessarily see that look, they might they’re probably reading it subconsciously but they’re not they’re not full on seeing it like you or I would. And what what came about kind of in the early O’s was the advent of 24 p, which was simulated 24 frames a second using video 24 frames before that came from shooting on film. It’s literally 24 frames passing through the gate of the camera per second.

Video was always higher 30 to 60 you couldn’t do it the same way so 24 p i don’t know all of the science behind it but it came along to do us a simulation of that basically in video. And that was huge. It’s really big. We’ve talked about it before on the show. It’s like the Panasonic dv x 100 was like the first one of the first cameras that really 24 p was the selling point for that camera and we were all like this is going to look like cinema This is going to be so great. And and it did it.

It Definitely up to the game when it comes to the way video looks. Where films were starting films shot on video looked more like film and less like traditional video. And so that’s that technology has improved exponentially very quickly over the last few decades. And so now it’s not it’s it’s not even a thought nobody really talks about 24 p anymore. It’s just a built in right part of the system now.

Corey Allen  5:29  

Now all your cameras have like the actual frame rate that you can vary speed or or whatever. So yeah,

Bill Cornelius  5:34  

the Tech has just changed. So much. Yeah,

Corey Allen  5:38  

that’s great. By no means am I frame rate or shutter speed expert, but I feel a little smarter. Now this week. Thanks to that. Good.

Bill Cornelius  5:48  

So thanks. That’s what I’m here for.

Corey Allen  5:50  

And I learned what talkies are

Bill Cornelius  5:51  

talkies. Yeah. That’s what they called him back in the day.

Corey Allen  5:56  

The takeaway this week talkies, talkies? Yes.

Bill Cornelius  5:59  

You’ve learned nothing else retain that.

Corey Allen  6:03  

Great, awesome bill. As always. Thank you. You’re so smart.

Bill Cornelius  6:07  

Thank you.

Corey Allen  6:08  

You’re welcome. All right. And for our audience, check us out on Instagram at infocus pod or online at infocus podcast Comm. If you liked what you heard today, go ahead and subscribe. Then if you’re on Apple podcast, please leave us a rating and a review. It would help us out a ton. And until next time,

Bill Cornelius  6:29  

feed that crew feed your crew.

Corey Allen  6:32  

We’ll see you later.