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Many directors still prefer to shoot on film.


Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
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31 minutes ago, Uli Meyer said:

I read somewhere that Logmar in Denmark were contemplating to make a new Super 16 camera at some point but decided to make a brand-new 65mm camera instead. (image is from the American Cinematographer website)

 

logmar_magellan_65mm_camera_header.jpg

Apparently they also made a limited run of super  8 cameras.  Some nice looking footage

 

Edited by Leanne Summers
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4 minutes ago, Leanne Summers said:

Apparently they also made a limited run of super  8 cameras.  Some nice looking footage

On their website it says that they sold the Super 8 technology to a film manufacturer, the proceeds of which allowed them to develop the 65mm camera. Kodak was going to bring this new Super 8 camera onto the market but no sign of it yet.

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On 2/1/2020 at 8:23 AM, Uli Meyer said:

I meet a lot of young people who are very keen to shoot on film, there is definitely a new wave of film enthusiasm. I have the suspicion that a lot of directors would like to shoot on film in theory but won't necessarily put up a fight. It all depends on the project.

My personal projects are all shot on film and I am hoping to do many more. I admit to being a bit of a gear head. I was lucky to buy these three Arri cameras for a song not that long ago.

arri_uli.jpg

Same here Uli.....I only shoot film on my work as I don't do this full time so when somebody comes looking for me for a proje t I say I shoot film not digital.....beautiful Arri cameras Uli

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23 hours ago, Manu Delpech said:

many directors will say that producers sometimes don't even want to hear about it and won't make an effort. 16mm and 2 perf is super cost effective especially. 

There's probably a lot of truth to that. A producer will instantly see roughly a $200,000 expense for film, as opposed to the comparative cheapness of digital. They'll also know that every single roll over the budgeted amount is going to cost about $1500 by the time it's processed and telecine'd, and that will make them nervous, as today's directors are used to shooting digitally, and often don't have the discipline to refrain from shooting rehearsals and multiple takes. So, I can understand why some, or even most producers would be disinclined to agree to shoot film unless it was with an experienced director.

I don't understand the argument for 16mm or 2 perf. Both of them are lesser formats, and 2 perf locks you into a 2.39:1 aspect ratio unless you want to crop it even further. They're fine if you want a slightly lo-fi look, but to choose them because you can't afford 3 or 4 perf 35mm, but you're so desperate to shoot film that you'll take any compromise makes no sense to me. It's the tail wagging the dog.

Again, do they want to make a good movie, or do they just want to tell people they shot on film?

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7 hours ago, Uli Meyer said:

On their website it says that they sold the Super 8 technology to a film manufacturer, the proceeds of which allowed them to develop the 65mm camera. Kodak was going to bring this new Super 8 camera onto the market but no sign of it yet.

I remember seeing about that camera Kodak was supposed to bring out, I didn't realize this was it. It's a shame they haven't got it out, looks like it takes some nice images.

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I don't know at times I feel "film" is given excessive reverence, sure some nice looking movies have been shot on celluloid, but it's not as if it has the monopoly on aesthetically pleasing images. 

The choice to shoot on film has a specific  impact on budget, workflow and look - but its not any more magical than that. Everyday on a film set 1000's of creative decisions are made, that have a bigger impact on the outcome of the finished film, then the choice to shoot on neg vs digital. Colour correction choices have a bigger impact in the look of a finished film then the baseline differences  between film and digital.

In some cases the decision to shoot on film comprises the final result. We've all seem "Film" Films where too much of the budget ran through the camera or the shooting ratio was too low forcing "mistakes" to be left in. 

Sure as a director I entertain the idea of shooting on film, I like the aesthetic. But my responsibility is to get the best performances, covered in the best way and end up with rushes that can cut together properly. Shooting film on a low ratio or spending too much budget on the camera department - potentially jeopardises my ability to tell the story in the best way with the resources available.  (and before you say plan better, rehearse better nail it on take one.... I guess you've never been on a drama set, low budget reality doesn't work like that).

Directors that are "blah blah blah film" usually have their priorities wrong.

But if you have the resources to do film without compromising and can afford a decent ratio with a talented experienced cast and crew...sure why not

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Every one of us who love Kodak film is scared it's going to be killed off and thus the reverence...we exalt it's qualities to keep it in the available options....it really is a simple as that.....how dour a world with only digital cameras......thus we become evangelists for film....even nobodies like me going on and on and on about film every chance I get hahahha......I think people like Mr Roger Deakins should start thinking about the big picture for us artists (ehem) that like to paint with film.....I'm sure if he starts shooting film again loads will follow...it's as simple as that.....Messi wears new Adidas boots with some technology and he will get millions to use the same boots.......human nature.....Mr Deakins.....get with it man....just using Arri digital is not doing us any favours......

Edited by Stephen Perera
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23 hours ago, Uli Meyer said:

I read somewhere that Logmar in Denmark were contemplating to make a new Super 16 camera at some point but decided to make a brand-new 65mm camera instead. (image is from the American Cinematographer website)

 

logmar_magellan_65mm_camera_header.jpg

Yea, I know all about their cameras and developments. Sadly, they focused on the wrong market and I don't think what they'd make would be impactful enough as they aren't really prepared to make something super competitive to the other products on the market. 

I will say this, Pierre at Aaton was pretty open to the idea of licensing their tech for future cameras. 

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15 hours ago, Leanne Summers said:

I remember seeing about that camera Kodak was supposed to bring out, I didn't realize this was it. It's a shame they haven't got it out, looks like it takes some nice images.

I know the whole story and it's really sad what happened. Bunch of legal stuff happened and it delayed everything. 

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8 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I know the whole story and it's really sad what happened. Bunch of legal stuff happened and it delayed everything. 

It's a shame when stuff like that ruins things. Do you know if it will be released at some point? Kodak still shows it on their site.

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On 2/3/2020 at 12:19 AM, Stuart Brereton said:

... I don't understand the argument for 16mm or 2 perf. Both of them are lesser formats, and 2 perf locks you into a 2.39:1 aspect ratio unless you want to crop it even further. They're fine if you want a slightly lo-fi look, but to choose them because you can't afford 3 or 4 perf 35mm, but you're so desperate to shoot film that you'll take any compromise makes no sense to me. It's the tail wagging the dog.

Again, do they want to make a good movie, or do they just want to tell people they shot on film?

Ouch! That seems a harsh judgement to make on people who by necessity or free choice have chosen to stake their film activities on 16mm and/or 2 perf. I'm not a pro, though I'm really interested in filmmaking, and in my past I was heavily into Super 8 and a bit of 16mm filmmaking. I saw an opportunity to buy a couple of Arri 35mm cameras and got a pro in Victoria, Bruce McNaughton, to modify the cameras, that he'd already modified to 2 perf, to Nikon mount - thus instantly rendering the lens possibilities as affordable. I also have a Bolex Super 16 camera.

I think the main attraction of 16mm and 2 perf, especially if you have dreams of seeing your films one day projected on the big screen (even if only at a small film festival), is that they both show grain and you can see that the films were actually shot on celluloid. The downside, especially with 2 perf, is that the vintage anamorphic lens effects that I really like the look of aren't available. Then again, I hope to experiment with stills lenses and see if I can come up with photography that captures some nice and painterly images that although different to what one can see with anamorphic nevertheless has some charm of its own. But that's a disadvantage of 2 perf - that it's all spherical lenses and you can miss out on the sometimes great look you can get with anamorphic.

With 4 perf anamorphic 35mm films that I see at the cinema I find, with digital projection, that the projection technique itself adds a huge ingredient into the visual mix. The digital look, which I find generally glassy, plastic and metallic in a way I can describe no other way, and find film photography and projection at the opposite extreme of 'warm and painterly', has an effect on the exhibition of films shot on celluloid. So, to get around that digital contribution to the look of the movie, you can shoot on either 16mm or 2 perf 35mm, and therefore see more clearly that the movie was shot on celluloid. That, in the end, is an artistic choice. Ideally though, in my dreams, I'd shoot Panavision 4 perf anamorphic, and have the film printed and projected on film projectors. My goal is to achieve a film look. Because I think it looks great!

The other thing is that with digital projection the definition is so good and clear that 2 perf can easily be cropped to other aspect ratios and still look fantastic. I've been thinking of shooting on 2 perf but cropping to 2.20:1 as I really like that aspect ratio.

Edited by Jon O'Brien
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8 hours ago, Jon O'Brien said:

Ouch! That seems a harsh judgement to make on people who by necessity or free choice have chosen to stake their film activities on 16mm and/or 2 perf.

Jon, I'm not criticizing people who shoot those formats per se. They have their own aesthetic, and are no more or less valid a choice than any other format. My comments are directed at those filmmakers who are desperate to shoot film above all other considerations.

As an example, let's say there is a filmmaker who insists that he shoot 4 perf anamorphic, but for budget reasons can only afford to shoot super 16 cropped to 2.39:1. Are we seriously going to pretend that those two formats look like each other? They share an aspect ratio, but that's about it. One is probably the highest resolution and detail you're going to get out of 35mm, and the other is sub 2k and comparatively soft. It's a huge difference. Straight away there's been a massive compromise in the quality of the images. Why would you do that, when you could shoot digitally? Now, you could say that digital is a compromise as well, and in a sense that's true, but I'd argue that it's a much less noticeable compromise visually, and it's almost certainly cheaper. I can't see a rational reason for choosing film no matter what, when there are plenty of other options. To me it's just another version of photographer's Gear Acquisition Syndrome, that belief that having the very latest gear will somehow make them a better photographer.

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I'm the shoot film no matter what camp hahaha but then again I'm a designer and photographer by profession with 'video' commissions not a cinematographer so whoever comes for me knows what they're gonna get....film...but yes of course what you all say makes sense, even IF you support Arsenal

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I agree with Stuart.

No amount of film stock (big or small), the highest quality of lenses, or even premium camera sensors can overcome lack luster lighting, production design, acting, and storytelling.

If shooting on film means a art department's budget gets slashed, then gimme that 5D. (extreme example, but you get the idea)

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