[tig] Film grain paranoia

George tfg1
Tue Apr 20 14:35:40 BST 2004

Was watching (trying to that is) a show on PBS last evening, an episode
of American Experience that was shot on S16 film. What ruined an
otherwise well photographed and interesting program was the apparent
need by someone involved with the show to reduce or eliminate any hint
of film grain through the over use of noise reduction.

The result was pasty complexions and very strange freezing artifacts on
certain details similar to what I've noticed on Sony's BetaSX tape
system. How this can be considered a visual improvement over simply
allowing the film transfer to exist on it's own in beyond me.

I've always felt that moderate grain is what gave film its organic
quality and, for me at least, is part of the appeal to watching film on
television. Why do today's producers feel grain is a bad thing that must
be concealed from the viewer at all costs?

George Odell
TFG Transfer

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