Cinematographic footage

The footage concerns the measures traditionally used in the middle of the film to measure the length of a movie according to the length of the film used in the case of a film made in photochemical .

Classification of films

The concept of footage was first used to classify films according to their physical length. The emergence of digital cinema and new broadcast media, such as hard disk and other files, makes this classification ambiguous. This evolution has thus reinforced a use that consists in classifying films according to their duration (in minutes).

In France, Article 6 of Decree No 99-130 of 24 February 1999 legally defines the limits:

“(1) Long-term cinematographic works are those whose projection time in cinemas is greater than one hour. Cinematographic works fixed on a 70 mm film medium with at least eight perforations per image are assimilated, when they have a duration of projection greater than eight minutes, to cinematographic works of long duration;
2 ° Short-term cinematographic works are those whose projection time in theaters is less than or equal to one hour.

This decree is still applied both at the level of the CNC in the Code of the cinema and animated image , with articles D.210-1 and D.210-2, than at the level of the CSA .

There has also been a long-standing notion of medium-length footage , frequently used to designate films exceeding 30 minutes in 35 mm , ie at least three coils, but shorter in duration than 60 minutes . In France, this footage remains legally included in “short-term” footage .

During a shoot

Photochemical turning

During a photo shoot, the virgin films being packaged in reels of standard lengths, the cameras have these lengths as maximum loading of the different magazines or loaders. The most common packages are 61 m ( 200 feet , 5 min in 16 mm and 2 min in 35 mm ), 122 m ( 400 feet , 10 min 40 s in 16 mm and 4 min in 35 mm ) and 305 m ( 1 000 feet , 26 min 40 s in 16 mm and 11 min in 35mm ). During the shooting, all the film is not impressed by useful images and the rate of shooting is not necessarily 24 frames per second for each shot ( slowed down , accelerated …), it is usual to talk about it in meters or feet .

Digital shooting

For a shoot with a camera using a tape, the footage equals the duration of the tape. The cassette having a cost much lower than the 35 mm film , there is a debauchery of turned shots. The mass memories gradually replacing tapes with the arrival of digital cameras for cinema ( 4K ).

Question History

“When the flexible film reel has run completely behind the lens, the shooting is over … The length of film loaded into the camera determines the duration of the show, which is 45 to 50 seconds » 1 . The films of the beginnings of the cinema (1891-1899) are all films whose duration varies from 20 seconds to 1 minute and a half , except the first cartoons of Émile Reynaud which last from 1 minute and a half to 5 minutes . It is therefore anachronistic to talk about short films when we talk about them, since the notion of short films is opposed to that of feature films., and that during those heroic years, there were no feature films. An exception that proves the rule, the film The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight was, in 1897, the first feature film of the cinema, which lasted nearly 100 minutes , thanks to a very simple device, the loop of Latham , which allowed to load a camera and then a projection device , with some 300 meters of film without that it does not break, a patented device, which is why it was the only example of against-time 2 .

Related article: Veriscope .

Otherwise, there were only films of any length, about the same in the first 10 years of cinema, one to five minutes. It is Thomas Edison who, first, used the English word film to describe the impressed films 3 . Louis Lumière called them his animated photographic views , and Georges Méliès his paintings . The word film was gradually imposed.

On the other hand, the notion of coil , in reference to the 300 meters that the exhibitors were not slow to use, when they could override Woodville Latham’s rights on the famous loop, was internationally an objective measure. The films of one, two or three reels (in English: one reel films , etc.) characterized what we now call short films, the feature film starting from only four reels. We note the approach that later led legislators to look at meaningful definitions.

Notes and references

  1. ↑ Marie-France Briselance and Jean-Claude Morin , film grammar , Paris, New World ,, 588  p. ( ISBN  978-2-84736-458-3 ) , p.  35
  2. ↑ ( in ) Charles Musser , History of the American Cinema, Volume 1, The Emergence of Cinema, The American Screen to 1907 ,, 613  p. ( ISBN  0-684-18413-3 ) , p.  194-200
  3. ↑ ( in ) William Kennedy Laurie Dickson and Antonia Dickson ( pref.  Thomas Edison), History of the Kinetograph, Kinetoscope and Kineto-Phonograph , New York, The Museum of Modern Art ,, 55  p. ( ISBN  0-87070-038-3 ) , p.  53

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