On House Season 7 and 8, Cebu, 24p, DSLR video, 3CCD vs CMOS, and Production Trends

I used to hate House season 7 even when I only got to watch the first episode. It's bad enough that they previously made Cameron blonde and then in this season House becomes so out of character. I kept on saying that. Really, I'm starting to realize that maybe I was just afraid that it was all about to end and I'd rather not be disappointed. It turns out that it's possibly one of their best seasons ever next to season 3 (my personal favorite).

I hated it that he was all in love, caring, and vulnerable. It was so unbecoming of a brilliant man like him. Plus, I wasn't really fond of him and Cuddy being together (but turns out to have great chemistry and I really got hooked to their relationship and how it evolved and how it affected the plot).

And so since last night, after eating in Chic-boy with a bunch of friends, I started watching House and didn't stop. I would only stop for sleep or shower. When I eat, I bring the laptop with me. And just a few hours ago, I finished with season 7 and started with 8. Season 8 is so depressing (I've only started though so like 7 I have to give it a chance).

Anyway, a while ago I tweeted that I had a blog post in my head and it wasn't really planned to be all about House so maybe I should write more about season 7 and 8 some other time. I hate endings. And it's so obvious (though speculative) that they're leading this season to an end already. So yeah, let's move on to what I initially planned to write about (watching House is a big part of what gave me the idea to write this and you'll see why).

You see, I'm going to Cebu on Saturday. And since both my film SLR and DSLR aren't working right now, I'm forced to bring only my point-and-shoot and my camcorder. And since I'm sort of forced to go on the typical tourist trail, tarsiers and all, I really need to get someone to translate "I have a hangover, please shoot me in the head" into the Cebuano dialect for me. I'm annoyed that Google Translate doesn't have Cebuano. But hey, it's my first time in my life to go to Cebu and I always hear a lot of great things from friends (lechon, being just one of the many, of course).

So the first thing that I'm already contemplating as early as now is whether I should go for 24p or 30p. Obviously, I've been so conditioned to think of 24p as having the "film look" and, in fact, would be one of the main reasons I chose my camcorder because it offered to record native 24p, on-tape, not 60i (interlaced), no need for "pulldown" whatever that means. Here's a different perspective on the issue, a video I was able to watch like a year ago or something, like the same time I got my camcorder:

Good video on 24p and the "film look"

There's just that awkward and imperfect choppiness in 24 fps that makes it more appealing than its more perfect and more fluid 30p counterpart. It's more artsy, especially to those who can notice the difference. And I get it, I understand why people, including me, love this "film look". But as the video says, it boils down to personal preference.

My problem is, I've been watching a lot of videos on YouTube lately and noticed that 24p is really a trend most especially nowadays that video is a basic feature DSLRs. With all the conversions and file formats and rendering settings, there's a bigger room for error in 24p and many videos online are just so choppy that it makes me so dizzy. And not to mention that shutter speed is an entirely different concept when capturing video and capturing a photo.

Plus the CMOS sensor, although I've somehow concluded in my CMOS vs 3CCD article, especially in lower end models adds that "rolling shutter" effects that make it all jittery, jello-like in fast movements, and have inconsistencies with capturing fast motion. Anyway, since you're probably so bored now with whatever it is I am yapping about and since I'm most likely going to use 24p anyways, we can now go back to House.

Harsh transitions in House season 7

The one on the right is obviously very open aperture (I'm assuming 1.8 or 1.4?) CMOS sensor whereas my speculation on the left one is that it's 3CCD. And you can see the difference with the color and feel most especially since they chose to use very open aperture (super bokeh) on close-up shots. And this happened many times throughout the season. And it's not just limited to House. I've seen this in White Collar and other shows as well.

For those who don't notice it, they're so lucky. But for me, it takes away the illusion of the TV show. It makes me feel that there's a camera there and it is very distracting. As much as I loved season 7, this is the first time I've seen them so addicted to super open aperture and switches from different sensors (again, speculative, because they could have just switched lenses and ended up with the same look).

Mixing 3CCD and CMOS is a production trend nowadays, I am assuming. I hypothetically got invited to be a production assistant in a shoot like a week or two ago (where I hypothetically signed an NDA so I can't really post photos or talk about them), and noticed that they were doing the same thing. And this isn't the first time I encountered this practice. I accompanied my friend to a TVC shoot where he was a model and they were doing the exact same thing. It's just so blatant, I guess, but only for picky eyes like me. The reason it's becoming a trend is because most people don't really notice and that sucks for me.

I don't really know what I'm talking about anymore and I'm just waiting for my download and continue on the depressing descent of House. Hopefully season 8 picks up just as 7 did for me. Most of the things you read (or didn't read) are all speculative anyways. I'm not a professional nor am I trained to have the knowhow or whatever in this field. I'm just speaking based on experience and personal preference (just as the guy mentioned in the 24p video thing above). Maybe I'll post the Cebu video thing here or in any of my other blogs if ever. So be sure to come back for more. Thanks for dropping by. I have a bunch of reading materials to finish up on while I wait for this slow and crawling internet to give me my TV shows.

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