When it comes to making a film look cinematic, one of the easiest elements to add is frame rate. 24 fps has become synonymous with the "film look," due in part to the recognizable (and very comfortable to watch) motion blur it produces, but tradition in film, which this frame rate is definitely a major part of, also has a way of avoiding the mighty winds of change. However, this frame rate isn't the only one out there, and we're not just even talking about the broadcast standard of 30 fps. In this video from Aputure, Ted Sim shows us a handful of filmmaking scenarios in which you might want to use other frame rates.
- Old fashioned films: If you're wanting to replicate the look of an ol' timey picture show, you can start by setting your frame rate at 16 fps.
- Classic animations: Okay, chances are you're not drawing every single frame of your animated project by hand, but if you are, you're looking at 12 fps.
- Action sequences: Lower frame rates, like 21 or 22, work great for action scenes, because playing it back at 24 fps speeds up the motion slightly and makes those punches and kicks look super fast.
- The video look: As I mentioned before, the broadcast standard is 30 fps, so that means a lot of stuff you watch on TV, like news, sitcoms, and reality TV shows are shot at this frame rate.
- Commercials/B-roll: We're talking slo-mo! If you're shooting commercial projects or just capturing some "epic b-roll," as Sim puts it, you might want to try out higher frame rates (if your camera lets you) to capture some great slow motion shots. Technically 60 fps is "slo-mo," but in my opinion, the effect only becomes really worth it at 120 fps.
- Ultra HD films: This is a pretty polarizing stylistic choice, but shooting at 48 fps, like Peter Jackson did in The Hobbit, can produce an interesting (some would call it unpleasant) aesthetic that looks more realistic (some would call it video-y), especially when you're shooting your project in 4K or higher.
- Sports: According to Sim, the standard for broadcast sports is 300 fps, mainly because sports require so many slow motion replays.
- Science: Did you know there is such a thing as 5 trillion fps? Well, there's a camera out there that can totally capture it and it does so in the name of science! But if you're ever wanting to include a shot of the movement of "light in flight" in your next project, give the researchers over at Lund University in Sweden a jingle and ask to borrow their FRAME camera. (Don't really do this.)
Other than to capture slow motion, what are some other situations in which you'd want to use a frame rate other than 24 fps? Let us know in the comments below.