Over the years digital video has attempted to mimic to look and feel of film. Camera companies and software companies alike have tried to re-create the aesthetic of film by using an assortment of techniques. Everything from the addition of grain to switching over from 30fps to 24fps. It wasn’t long ago when it was very difficult to find an affordable video camera that could shoot 24p. But times have changed… and very quickly. In the not so distant past, you could switch your camera to “cinema mode” which would add grain and an effect to make the camera appear as if it was shooting at 24fps. However, often all that resulted was a high contrast image that lacked dynamic range that was grainer than before. In some cases these effects simply made bad footage even worse. The fact remains that video and film are entirely different mediums and they should be treated as such. Video will never be film. However, as technology is quickly progressing, we are entering into a time when companies are taking some of the visual elements within film and making them available to people working with video.
Visual elements such as dirt, grain or scratches give a nostalgic nod to the filmmakers who came before us and they give filmmakers working in video an opportunity to experiment with some of films’ aesthetic elements.
Now companies such as Cinegrain are offering filmmakers high quality film artifacts to add to their video productions. What makes Cinegrain unique is that they offer a large assortment of high resolution clips (1080, 2K and 4K) shot in different formats ranging from 8mm, 16mm and 35mm. They also shoot real film grain, which ensures that their effects don’t look digitized or fake.
This allows filmmakers working with video cameras ranging from basic DSLRs to Red Cams, the opportunity add a visual element from film without being overly obnoxious about it. The effects from Cinegrain are scalable depending on what look you’re going for. They can be used subtly so that they register on more of a subconscious level more than anything else.
You can have a look for yourself here. The grain applied in the following video is called “light dirt and scratches”. We posted this video last week (along with an interview found here). This film was shot using the Canon 60D.
To learn more about Cinegrain click here.