Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 440. Wednesday, 21 July 1993.
Date: Tuesday, 20 Jul 93 09:12:22 -0400
Subject: Reply to Film and Videotape
Tad Davis questioned the differences in film and video tape -- what follows,
Tad, is a quite technical answer of potential interest to the Conference.
Tape, until very recently, was characterized by bright flat lighting, fewer
colour gradations and was shot the multiple camera technique (several
cameras simultaneously). Film has been much more sensitive to lower levels
of light and has thousands more colour shades and is shot by the master
shot/reverse shot technique (single camera, reshot from many angles, etc).
With the new tape technology, the two are converging.
Re radio: Each acoustic space has its own sound ambiance which your ear
detects and which a mike recording "wild sound" picks up. Sound mixes for
movies may involve 16 or more separate sound tracks all overlayed. Radio
plays are seldom that elaborate, although superb radio plays like those of
Pinter, Beckett and Cooper use music sound effects and silence itself in
ways impossible to an experience overlaid with theatricals, filmed or taped
Note that with the new technology, most TV post production, and archiving
is done with digital tape and the master for broadcast is on tape, even if
the original was filmed, but this is quite a recent development.
P.S. Does anyone remember when Peter Brook compared the clumsiness of film
imaging to the overlays and disolves of a line of Shakesperian dialogue.
I can't find the article in my files anywhere.
Mary Jane Miller
Dept. of Film Studies, Dramatic and Visual Arts
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
Phone (416) 688 5550, ext 3584, FAX (416) 682 9020, e-mail