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Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film

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Author Topic: Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film  (Read 562 times)
Jennifer O'Dell
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Posts: 4546

« on: March 11, 2007, 03:19:48 pm »

Filming speed

One fact complicates discussion of the Patterson film: Patterson says he normally filmed at 24 frames per second, but in his haste to capture the Bigfoot on film, he did not note the camera’s setting. His Cine-Kodak K-100 camera had markings on its continuously variable dial of 16, 24, 32, 48, and 64 frames per second, and was capable of filming at any frame speed within this range. The speed of the film is important because as Napier writes, "if the movie was filmed at 24 fps then the creature's walk cannot be distinguished from a normal human walk. If it was filmed at 16 or 18 fps, there are a number of important respects in which it is quite unlike man's gait" (Napier, 94 (2nd printing)). Unfortunately, the film is so shaky that it is difficult to be certain which speed is correct.

Krantz argues, based on an analysis by Igor Bourtsev, that since Patterson’s height is known, a reasonable calculation can be made of his pace. This running pace can be synchronized with the regular bounces in the initial jumpy portions of the film that were caused by each fast step Patterson took to approach the creature. Based on this analysis, Krantz argues that a speed of 24 frames per second can be quickly dismissed, and "We may safely rule out 16 frames per second and accept the speed of 18".

Dahinden stated that "the footage of the horses prior to the Bigfoot film looks jerky and unnatural when projected at 24 fps" (Perez, 21). And Dahinden experimented at the film site by having people walk rapidly over the creature's path and reported: "None of us ... could walk that distance in 40 seconds [952 frames / 24 fps = 39.6], ... so I eliminated 24 fps" (Perez, 21).

Others (including primatologist John Napier, who published before Dahinden and Krantz--see Bayanov, 70) have expressed a different opinion, contending it was "likely that Patterson would have used 24 fps" because it "is best suited to TV transmission," while conceding that "this is entirely speculative" (Napier, 94 (2nd printing)). More recently, skeptic David Daegling has asserted that even at 16 fps the creature's odd walk could be replicated: "Supposed peculiarities of subject speed, stride length, and posture are all reproducible by a human being employing this type of locomotion [a "compliant gait"]" (Daegling, 127).

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