Why Shooting in 30fps Might Make Sense for Certain Projects

It has been beaten into people that if you are shooting for the cinema look, you need to be shooting at 24 fps (or its close cousin 23.976). Still, every camera has an assortment of different frame rates available. The second most commonly used frame rate is likely 30p, or 29.97 fps. There are tons of reasons why shooting at 30p might actually make more sense than using the default that is 24.

If you are looking to understand if 30p might be the right choice for your next project, you should check out this piece from filmmaker Ryan Kao. Seriously, if the only thing you know is that “film is 24 fps” then you should learn a little about this.

One common reason to use alternate frame rates besides 24 is to get slow motion. Shooting in 60 or even 120 fps allows you to get super smooth slow motion in a 24p project. The effect is nice, if a bit overused.

Ryan actually thinks that 30p should be a more commonly used setting to get this type of B roll since you still slow it down a tad to hit the 24p timeline. It slows down things just enough to get a different feel and it simultaneously will smooth out movement both in the frame and from handholding of the camera.

This is something a lot of budget filmmakers should consider as sometimes getting 4K 60p is not an option without going up to a pricier camera system. While 60p and greater is a more traditional slow-motion look, practically any camera that shoots 4K at 24p will also shoot at 30p and that is something that might be just enough for many projects.

It’s certainly a nice effect for handheld shots since it smooths out movement just that little bit.

You will have to make sure you consider the workflow when you bring it into post. As we basically expect most people are sticking with a 24p timeline, you will have to manage your 30p footage. If you just drop it on the timeline you’ll likely get some choppiness. All you have to do is apply a speed change and knock it down to 80%. You’ll quickly find out if you forget.

What are your thoughts on going with 30p for 24p project?

[source: Ryan Kao]

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