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What is the shooting ratio in Hollywood films?

Posted by vizwiz 
What is the shooting ratio in Hollywood films?
August 13, 2007 04:41PM
I am in post on a mini-feature (42 mins sans titles). With some 240 mins of total footage on my drive, that?s something like 1:6 ratio (6 minutes of footage for every minute of screentime).

Now, I practically edit in camera. Every scene is meticulously broken down and storyboarded shot by shot as it will flow edited in final cut, and only those shots are shot, with almost zero coverage. Of course it?s never as you plan, so there is some coverage and some shots not used and others picked up, but more or less, bulk of the 200 unused minutes are alternate versions of what?s on screen, or simply bad takes.

And so I wonder how it?s done on a big Hollywood film with $200M budget. I?d assume there?d be quite a bit of coverage, if for not other reason than because you can do multicam.

Any insider info on what the ratio is on these megamovies, e.g. something Walter Murch would cut?
How about smaller, but still Hollywood (ie done the old, proper way films?) ($30-60M)
And inde low-budget films?
How about your projects?

Thanks
Re: What is the shooting ratio in Hollywood films?
August 13, 2007 05:15PM
<<<almost zero coverage.>>>

You're an editor's nightmare.

"I can't make the music and beds match and there's no extra footage anywhere. So that's the end of the movie."

"The comedic timing is six seconds, not four. Where the heck are we going to get 48 more frames from?"

The shows I was on shot everything two or more times with slightly different variations and for coverage. If everything doesn't go well, many more. Producing a multi-million dollar movie won't wait while someone goes out and films more scenes because they didn't get enough the first time. Reshoots are frowned on, frowning in some cases enough to draw blood.

Koz
Re: What is the shooting ratio in Hollywood films?
August 13, 2007 05:30PM
The tapes cost $5. You spent the time and money setting up the shot...why not shoot a little extra? Do another take...record a few seconds more.

As an editor I want choice. We want MORE options, not less. I agree with Koz...you are an editor's nightmare.

SO MUCH decision making happens in the editing room that limiting yourself in this way is shooting yourself in the foot.

Again, DV tapes cost $5....


www.shanerosseditor.com

Listen to THE EDIT BAY Podcast on iTunes
[itunes.apple.com]
Re: What is the shooting ratio in Hollywood films?
August 13, 2007 06:00PM
I worked on a Major Comedy and was asked to the Cast and Crew screening. I went. The cut must have been thrown together because we were all desperate to talk about Something Else when we were coming out of the theater.

"Nice shirt you have there."

I saw the DVD and a release version of the same show and it was drop down dead, spill your coffee funny. We had all seen the script. The writing had perfect patter and swing all of which were missing from the C&C screening. It was the movie equivalent of reaching for the pedals when you're a passenger in a car.

From the people who saw the theatrical release, we know that they got to see an equally funny, but different (third) cut.

I would not be shocked to learn that the foreign markets got yet another (fourth) cut.

I think the exercise here is to not cut your own movie. The "Director's Cut" of a movie is, on average, three times longer than the regular release and the only person enjoying every frame of that is the director--with very rare exceptions. I understand "Dances With Wolves--Director's Cut" comes on 392 reels and plays continuously for three days.

Koz
Re: What is the shooting ratio in Hollywood films?
August 13, 2007 08:10PM
What Shane said.

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: What is the shooting ratio in Hollywood films?
August 13, 2007 09:31PM
i don't know if there's any real standard of Ratios on Hollywood films.

some directors shoot heaps, some less.
Michael Mann apparently has 7 cameras going, so his ratios would be pretty huge, i;d say.
Woody Allen would shoot a couple of takes of a master and leave it at that. (of course he;s not "Hollywood"winking smiley

a Hollywood film i worked on a while back had an 80:1 ratio.
i thought that was pretty big,
but i didn't have anything to compare it to other than the Australian features i've worked on: 16:1


nick
Re: What is the shooting ratio in Hollywood films?
August 13, 2007 09:34PM
Jackie Chan holds an unofficial record for most number of takes on a shot, 2900 takes. This doesn't include other shots for coverage, unused footage, bad takes etc. So his shooting ratio on that film, Dragon Lord, might be something like 500:1.

Shooting ratio isn't all that important. The issue is budget and whether you get enough to make the film work. If you get 4:1 ratio but end up stuck in editing because you didn't shoot enough, you'll pay a hell of a lot more putting the crew back together, re-renting equipment, buying insurance etc. in order to do a reshoot to make the film work.


www.derekmok.com
Re: What is the shooting ratio in Hollywood films?
August 15, 2007 02:52PM
Finally some answers I was looking for. Somehow my post made it sound like I was looking for opinions on coverage, when I merely hoped for a few numbers that only somebody involved in a big-budget production would know. While I agree 100% that more is more, on the project I mentioned I am obviously the editor, so there isn't any disconnect between what is shot and what is expected when the footage is assembled.
As a side note, tapes do cost $5, but an extra P2 card and external drive will run you $2,000, and so when you shoot with HVX200, they daylight is wasting and your unpaid cast and crew could be home with their families, every second of your 10-minute P2 card does count.
Thank you all for posting.

I'm trying to remember the names. I think it was Wayne and Ford. Wayne compared the legendary John Ford's directing style to that of other directors he's worked with. In a nutshell, he said that most directors: A. don't know what they want and B. are scared they won't get it in camera. As a result, they use it (camera) as a machine gun and shoot everything they can think of from every angle (or, according to posts above, "editor's dream"winking smiley. John Ford, according to Wayne, knew exactly what shots he needed and therefore used camera "like a sniper" (or, according to posts above, "director's nightmare"winking smiley.
NLE/Digicams and coverage can in many ways be likened to how word processors changed screenwriting. Where with a typewriter a person would have to plan and formulate their thoughts before committing them on paper, in the world of spell-check and select-click rewrites, sloppy disgorging of anything that comes to mind rules the day (according to -- again, I am trying to remember the name -- Shane Black).
It?s how we do things in Amerikka. No plans and insta-grat. Want fries with that?winking smiley
Re: What is the shooting ratio in Hollywood films?
August 16, 2007 06:35AM
Here's David Mullen, ASC (shot "The Astronaut Farmer" among others) on the topic:

[www.cinematography.com]
Re: What is the shooting ratio in Hollywood films?
August 16, 2007 12:13PM
could you use the link button to put the url in? it's the earth with a piece of chain. it may take a couple of tries to get it right so it shows. thank you
Re: What is the shooting ratio in Hollywood films?
August 16, 2007 01:47PM
Movies can range anywhere from a 10:1 shooting ration (lean) to 1000:1. When I was assisting on a Disney feature, a movie down the hall from us shot 100,000:1. Most of it was backplates but still over 1,000,000 feet of film.
Re: What is the shooting ratio in Hollywood films?
August 16, 2007 04:56PM
How do you make the link appear as an entirely unrelated word? For instance, typing "click here" and have the word "here" be the actual link? I've seen this done but never looked into doing it myself. Thanks
Re: What is the shooting ratio in Hollywood films?
August 16, 2007 05:14PM
Highlight the word "here" with your mouse. Click on the earth with link button. In the box that comes up put in the URL. Click OK. Thats it.

To learn how to use the tool bar click on the question mark icon

Michael Horton
-------------------
Re: What is the shooting ratio in Hollywood films?
August 17, 2007 01:37PM
Thanks, Mike.
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