July 4, 2015 at 9:23AM


Different frame rates - one documentary

What's up fellows,

I'll be shooting a surf movie and the cameras I'll use will be a GH4 and a 60D and the eventual GoPro shots. We're planning on doing lots of action shots as well as lifestyle and portrait/interviews.

There's something bugging me though, and I can't seem to find a definitive answer anywhere, as it seems like it's director's stylistic choice rather than anything else.

With that said, I've always liked the look of 24fps, but I don't think it's going to be wisest choice to shoot all the action in this frame rate, considering we'd have the option of shooting FHD 1080p with the GH4 as well as its 96fps slow mo option.

As you can see, a whole lot of different frame rates to choose from. I have access to Compressor, so there's always the option of conforming/converting everything to a single frame rate before editing.

- Which frame rates would you go for?
- Is working with different frame rates that big of a problem?
- Any examples of action (surfing) shot on 24fps?

Thanks a lot and let's shoot!


I would shoot with 30fps, 60fps, and 96fps slow-motion, because 60fps can be conformed to a 30fps editing timeline as normal footage or as 2x slow-motion on this timeline. 96fps can always be conformed to lower frame-rates, as it's always going to be slow-motion footage. ( skip 24fps completely )

July 4, 2015 at 7:30PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

This seem to be most practical solution, but by giving up 24fps and shooting the entire thing in 30fps, wouldn't I miss the film look/mood?

I love me the cinema look and think it would match really well with everything other than the action itself in this doc.

To make things even more complex, I just remembered we'll also be shooting a few inserts on DV for texture. But I don't even want to think about it now. lol!

July 4, 2015 at 8:06PM

JP Torres
Director of Photography

You kind of answered your own question - it's a stylistic choice (mostly).

You don't really need the 24 fps, 30 fps can look just as 'filmic' with the right lighting
and movements, especially in a documentary. when in doubt - go with 60fps if you **might** want to slow the shots down later. If you know beforehand you want it slowed down take it up a notch and shoot 96fps.

planning your shots beforehand is key :)

July 5, 2015 at 3:45PM


Thank you Filmdudezero!

Think I'll be going with 30 FPS and the eventual 60/96 FPS for slow-mo.

Another thing I'm taking into consideration is the fact the TV channel I plan on selling my film to only displays in 1080p 29.97 FPS, I'm not sure if editing the whole thing in 24 to deliver it in 29.97 would be practical at all!

Just to make some things clear:

- if unavoidable, would you shoot in 24 then edit in 30, or the other way around? Is it better to add or to remove frames in that case?
- how does 60 FPS footage slowed down to a 24 FPS timeline compare to 60 FPS slowed down to a 30 (29.97) FPS timeline? Not much difference, I imagine?

30 it is, I think....... haha

Thanks for the help folks!

July 5, 2015 at 5:05PM

JP Torres
Director of Photography

I'm not an expert on this subject by any means, but I'm inclined to say it's always better to start with more visual information (30 fps) and try to cut your way down from there, if you have to choose.

Normally, going from 30 fps to 24 fps will result in stuttering motion or fuzzy-looking frame-blending issues, though. It is possible to algorithmically re-interpolate video from one frame rate to another more precisely for best results, with a plugin like Kronos (by The Foundry).

I don't love the look of 30 fps video, but if that's the broadcast format you're expecting, then it makes sense to shoot in it. Plenty of cinematic-looking projects have been shot in that format. As others have mentioned, the 24 fps framerate is only one of many factors that work together to make something feel "like a real movie."

July 6, 2015 at 1:53AM, Edited July 6, 1:54AM

Philip Heinrich
Director, Producer

This is a hard one, but I'ma give me best to try and give up 24fps for this one.

Thanks folks!

July 6, 2015 at 5:14PM

JP Torres
Director of Photography

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