Stu Maschwitz on shooting 24P

by planetmitch4 Comments

Someone forwarded this on twitter (sorry don't recall who), and it is a must see video if you're learning how to make movies.

Redrock Micro

From the MacVideo site: “In this, Part 2 of the MacVideo interview with Stu Maschwitz, he tells why shooting and replay at 24 frames per second is so important to the filmmaker..

Stu Maschwitz is a highly regarded director, writer and visual effects artist based in San Francisco.”

Jump over to watch on MacVideo

(Photo credit: snap from the video)



  1. Interesting video.
    Stu touches on research i did 20 years ago while at Purdue, regarding the subjective influence of the temporal changes of image playback, why the same exact scene seems more dramatic, etc, on film.
    (seperate from dof, contrast, etc., which is the “art” and a fairly definable part of the beauty)
    i hypothesis was that at 24, and even at 30 a bit, the brain is forced to create the “‘tweens”, that is , this removal of information stu talks about is valid. but my step further is that the brain is actively recreating the “betweens”, which causes every individual during my tests to say the lowered temporal playback rate was more dramatic to them.
    even if dof, and contrast, and color manipulation was as identical as possible for the video and well as film.
    the single biggest determiner was not the art, but simply the rate of image playback.
    the viewer is creating the interpolation, the parts we aren’t showing, causing the brain to be very active in the bond with a sequence.
    i suspect current research (as it relates to my tv commercial production) on mirror neurons, interacts with this. hypoth: the more the brain must interpolate, the more the mirror neurons light up.
    (show someone tennis footage, the brain tends to light up the same areas as tho the viewer is playing, as showin by modern electronic imaging.)
    i believe temporal rate, THEN the art aspects, are quite a bit of the film magic we seek. grain artifacts, and why they can be pleasant, probably relate again to the SUBJECTIVE brain analysis, of our involvement with the image sequence.
    sounds silly, but that’s what i thought.

  2. Interesting theory. I have a question though. If 24fps is more dramatic because the brain is forced to create the “tweens”, would it then be fair to say that 10fps or even 5fps would be even more dramatic? Is there a point where this effect ceases to produce a dramatic effect? If our persistence of vision is 16fps, why wouldn’t all cinematographers then shoot at 16fps? And what about slow motion? That is shot at a much higher frame rate but is often considered more dramatic than standard motion.

    I would love to read more about this theory.


  3. Pingback: Sony HVR-Z5U / HDR-FX1000 3-CMOS Pro HDV Camcorder

  4. the higgins effect! put the brain tween processing to work!

    i didn’t investigate a lower cutoff of frame rate and the threshold of suspension of continuous thread motion…but an interesting experiment anyone can do for fun is…
    (you need a vhs player tho, dvd works but not as well)
    put in a tape of any old movie, like an old black and white thriller, full of depth of field joy and grain and all. hitchcock, or old bette davis movie baby jane.
    now…simply put it into fast forward.
    even with all that cinematic art and beauty, instantly you see the effect of JUST temporal playback change. it looks like badly lit video, to just about anyone’s subjective interpretation. seriously, many of the best movies suddenly seem to be lit with big old totalites…and the movement artifacts become glaring.
    not just because of the fast motion. but put it back to normal frame rate playmode, and wow.
    for the past several years i have purposely de-interlaced to 30fps for the video based tv commercials, which gave a nudge toward film rate without obvious stutter. that one temporal move helped kill the 60i video look, even without the benefit of shallow dof.
    that’s what led me down the road to later find great minds and wrap it up in a brain created “tweens” process. seems consistent. sorta pepsi verses coke tests, except it’s very stable, which frame rate is rated more dramatic, when stripped of most other variables.
    now, for the past year, i have shot spots at 30p fps AND shallow dof with the 5d2, very cool move toward the subjective effect of “drama” in the brain.
    looking forward to the new firmware to experiment with 24p. and the whoo hoo manual audio control!

Leave a Comment