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A Message from Mars (1913 Britain's 1st sci fi feature)

 
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Steve Joyce
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Joined: 14 Dec 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 6:24 am    Post subject: A Message from Mars (1913 Britain's 1st sci fi feature) Reply with quote

Any All Sci-fi-ers live in the U.K.?

If so, I'm envious because you get to see what they only touch on here:
http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-30411297
and I don't!

You see, BFI Player is the only facility to watch the movie online but they block access in the United States:
http://player.bfi.org.uk/film/watch-a-message-from-mars-1913/

You'll find a couple of seconds of footage here and there on the internet but that's it. The only thing that I can add to that (fwiw) is this l'il slide show that I pieced together:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvTRxO1dxSM

Steve

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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What an amazing bit of news (and a great post to deliver it).

How in the world did BFI adjust the speed of the old silent movie so the characters don't zip around like the Keystone Kops? I've always hated that about silent movies, but there are fans of silent films that insist it's supposed to be that way!

Weird.

Anyway, a stellar post, Steven! Very Happy

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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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scotpens
Space Sector Commander


Joined: 19 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud Brewster wrote:
How in the world did BFI adjust the speed of the old silent movie so the characters don't zip around like the Keystone Kops? I've always hated that about silent movies, but there are fans of silent films that insist it's supposed to be that way!

In the silent days there was no standard frame rate. Cameras were hand-cranked and movies were shot at anywhere between 16 and 20 frames per second. When optical soundtracks became the standard for sound-on-film, the frame rate was standardized at 24 f.p.s. for sound fidelity. Older silent films that were re-released with sound, or anthologized in documentaries with sound and narration, got speeded up in the process.

When film is transferred to video, however, there are ways of adjusting for the difference in frame rates. Don't ask me for the technical details — that's what Google is for!
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scotpens wrote:
When film is transferred to video, however, there are ways of adjusting for the difference in frame rates. Don't ask me for the technical details -- that's what Google is for!

Well, I'd look it up and read all about it, but . . . I suspect it would just leave me scratching my head. Wink

But I love the way technology is reaching back into the past and pumping new life into old movies. I watched 20 Million Miles to Earth recently with the commentary on, and Ray Harryhausen raved about the colorization — I swear — at least six times.

He also kept saying he didn't understand how the computer kept the colors in the right places while the objects moved around on the screen.

So, my confusion about technical innovations is in good company.
Very Happy
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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)


Last edited by Bud Brewster on Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:19 pm; edited 2 times in total
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scotpens
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud Brewster wrote:
He [Harryhausen] also kept saying he didn't understand how the computer kept the colors in the right places while the objects moved around on the screen.

Basically it's the same way the magic wand tool works in Photoshop. Of course, if you've never used Photoshop, you wouldn't know what the heck I'm talking about.
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orzel-w
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never had that good a result with the magic wand tool, even on color photos. I'd sure like to know what settings they use.
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Maurice
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Generally, when you go from a lower frame rate to a higher one you duplicate every nth frame. So, if you had a film at 16 fps (frames per second) and wanted it at 24, the largest common number each is divisible by is 8, as in 8x2=16 and 8x3=24. So, for every 2 frames of the original you need 3 frames for the conversion, so you duplicate every 2nd frame like this

1
2
2 <—dupe
3
4
4 <—dupe
5
6
6 <—dupe
7
8
8 <—dupe
9
10
10 <—dupe
11
12
12 <—dupe
13
14
14 <—dupe
15
16
16 <—dupe

Sometimes this is hidden by blending the dupe frame with the next frame, so instead of 1 2 2 3 4 4 you get

1
2
2+3
3
4
4+5
5
6
6+7
7
8
8+9
9
10
10+11
11
12
12+13
13
14
14+15
15
16
16+17
etc.

You can see this when 24fps media (movies) were transferred to NTSC video at ~30fps (interlaced): every 4th frame gets duplicated to keep everything at the right speed.

On video it gets weird, especially with PAL in Europe, at 25fps where NTSC video converted to that format often runs a bit fast and everyone sounds a little higher pitched.

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Steve Joyce
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that explanation, Maurice.

Meanwhile, the whole film has popped up:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_N3B8zWcFNU

I won't say its the best example of silent s.f (far from it, imho) but it is historical as the 1st British S.F. Feature.

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Maurice
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of frame rates, here's a Filmmaker IQ segment on the history of them and how frame rates are converted for video.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2024 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

______________________________________________

Wow, this stuff is way over my head!

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