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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Barsheet example: The Pointer

This example of a barsheet is from Prod.2227 The Pointer - from when it was still known as M-27 in 1938. It was prepaired and kept by Jack Cutting, the assistant director of the film, following the timing by the director, Gerry Geronimi.

Like many films (including the short film I timed in the 80s), this film speeds up over time, to heighten the sense of urgency as we go along. It starts as [2-14], quickly becomes [2-12], stays like that for most of the time, but towards the climax becomes [2-10] and even [2-8], to return to [2-12] for the epilogue.

At the top of this sheet, the tempo changes from [2-14] to [2-12]. For a [2-12], the major divisions are seconds, the thinner lines are half seconds, so one line is four seconds. The four rows in each line are basically Effects, Dialogue, Action and Measure Numbers. The notes like P.200T3 are the then-current indication of the bit of sound: Punch 200, Take 3. Also note that measures 43B and 52A have three beats instead of two, so those measures are [3-12], just as the very first measure on the page is [3-14]. This normally indicates a change at some earlier point in time (see 156A two posts ago).

The directors of the time found out that scenes should only cut on the beat for effect, for if you cut on a beat, you cannot have an action hit on that beat. So they often cut e.g. 6 frames before the beat, thus leaving time to hit an accent right on the beat.

Another interesting thing to remember is, that the musicians had loops with clicks on them, that they could put into their moviolas, and which were increments of quarter beats. (14, 14¼, 14½ etc.)
I remember that I made a beat-metronome back in the early 90's in Basic on an old pre-windows pc. The calculation is really simple: 1440 (= 60 x 24) divided by Beat equals Metronome bpm, and 1440 divided by bpm equals Beat. (On the right is a little converter.)

See also the elaborate musical barsheet in Christopher Finch's The Art of Walt Disney (1973) for yet another example!
By Jack Cutting...< Click on it!
NEWS FLASH: our "Ugly Duckling & Me" will now have it's World Premiere at the Toronto Film Festival September 10th, where it was invited!

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anthony C. says...

Hey Hans, hope this comment isn't buried...but you need to help me out with one thing.

I don't understand the relevance of the 2- in the 2-12...does this mean 2 beats of 12 (24 frames)? Or 2 beats equals 12? That's where my confusion comes in. Wouldn't it make more sense just to say 2x (after the indicating the tempo is 120 BPM)?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 8:42:00 AM PST  

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