What's your opinion on film grain? - High-Def Digest Forums
View Poll Results: So, Film Grain in HD?
Every disc should strive to be flawless demo material at all cost 37 18.50%
Every disc should strive to reproduce the best-case theatrical experience at all cost 85 42.50%
It depends on the situation, filmmaker, and title. 78 39.00%
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Old 10-10-2007, 06:26 PM
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Default What's your opinion on film grain?

Often the visibility of grain is cited as a detriment to a source print. I have mixed feelings about this.

In some cases, a grainy image does indicate carelessness on the part of the telecineist or archivist in the sense that they did not try to assemble the best print materials possible--that they used a print struck with some generational loss. But in other cases, graininess is inherent to the original negative or inherent to the director's original intention.

I feel that a home theater enthusiast's fixation on graininess = bad ultimately leads to poor decisions in many studios' home video departments.

Take Evil Dead II, for example: Raimi and company obviously shot the film on a very modest budget and felt that high quality film stock was not as high a budget priority as makeup and effects. The result is that the film looks grainy. Anchor Bay, in an attempt to remove grain and increase the perceived 'quality' of its transfer, ran it through a filtering process which ruined skin specularity and contrast and made the actors look as if they had latex skin.

I'd take a grainy, high definition Evil Dead II any day over PlastiCampbell.

I realize some computer-assisted filtering job will produce spectacular, high quality, and most importantly film-like results. But not every video restoration has Lowry Digital at their disposal to achieve good quality results.

So what do you think? Should the home video technicians focus on providing the clearest, technically flawless video image possible? Or should they concentrate on reproducing the theatrical experience--informed by the intent of the filmmaker?
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Old 10-10-2007, 09:23 PM
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I really dont like film grain, but some movies have them on purpose (300), otherwise the one thing I hate about HD is grain and video noise, when there is just too much grain, it just pisses you off.
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Old 10-10-2007, 10:20 PM
kak kak is offline
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I saw 300 while it was still in theaters and I personally think it looks like garbage in HD. I honestly thought that there was something wrong with my PS3/HDMI/TV when I watched it. I know grain is a lot harder to see on a screen as big as a house, but it is absolutely distracting to the eye when its replicated on a high definition 40" or above. 300 is a movie I will most likely never watch again as I thought it was an average war movie and only really bought it for demo material.

On the other hand, I don't mind grain.. but don't let it ruin a films presentation. I guess one mans trash is another's garbage (as plenty of people will come in here to state that 300 looked fantastic).
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Old 10-11-2007, 01:35 AM
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I don't mind a bit of film grain in movies like Saving Private Ryan if it is done intentionally by the director. If used too much and not for any real purpose then I hate it.
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:08 AM
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Most of the time I prefer a clear picture, but if the film is intended to be grainy such as Minority Report, I usually think it's good to keep it.
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:53 AM
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If it's grain that is put in place because of the director trying to create a certain type of atmosphere in the film you're watching then I'm all for it. If it's grain because of a lazy studio then I'm against it.
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Old 10-11-2007, 03:26 AM
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If the grain was intended to be in the movie then let it stay there. I am all for the directors intent. I am not bothered by grain.
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Old 10-11-2007, 04:01 AM
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I'll accept it for what it is. Director's intent.

If it is not the purpose, it should not be an excuse for the studios.
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Old 10-11-2007, 04:48 PM
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Director's intent with the caveat that if it appeared that way in the original motion picture, it should appear that way in any reproduction (unless it's something special like a remaster cut or something that was just cleaning up the movie).
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Old 10-11-2007, 05:59 PM
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I really hate grain, but if it's the way the director intended the film to be, then so be it.
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