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Why I've Given Up on Grain


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13 hours ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

Digital workflow is simply so much better. I have a set of LED lights that are battery powered. Never in my life would I have imagined that we would reach a point where you can power a video light with batteries. And you can get 4k+ cameras that can be rigged up lighter than a Super 8 camera back in the day. The whole supporting structure can be done cheaper, safer, lighter, and more fun with digital. Film is a terrible workflow now that we know better. I don't miss shooting on it. I only miss the image (when things went correctly and I didn't have a hair in the gate or some registration problem.)

I mean, you can pay for a look in production or in post, either way you're paying for it. Lighting properly, lensing properly and using the right equipment to achieve the "cinematic" look in camera, saves you a lot of time in post. Searching for a look when you're sitting in the editing room, is a waste of time and money. People who shoot film know this, that's one of the reasons we shoot film. 

If you're talking about using a Blackmagic Pocket 4k camera and trying to say you can be "portable" then yea I get it. I have pocket cameras for my YouTube series, it's a necessity these days to have something digital. However, anything that I shoot for myself or for my clients that isn't talking heads, we shoot on film because again, film does not look like digital and visa versa. 

The image is all that matters, how you get to that image, is all up to your ability to raise money. Being pissed off you can't shoot film is your problem. In 2015 I said I wanted to shoot film. So without a full time job, I got into crazy credit card debt, bought a film camera and now I have a dozen cameras, my own 4k film scanner and have a heavily discounted workflow. Now I'm one of the guys people go to if they wanna shoot low budget productions on film, to get that "image" you also desire. I made it happen with no job and it worked out. I think it's harder today for sure, but it's not impossible. You don't NEED to own a camera, you just need to befriend someone with one and get a discounted rate. You need to make friends at the labs as well. It's not difficult and the hustle is actually fun. 

When you have a digital camera, you are one in a million people shooting digitally. When you have film cameras, you are one in a few hundred. The best way to be successful in any industry is to "specialize" in something and film just happens to be that niche. It's worked for me since 2015 and it's worked for many of my friends as well. Many of us make a living off our cameras, not because we need to, but because we are the specialists and we can guarantee deliver a perfect image. Hairs? Thing of the past. Gate weave? Not even an issue with a proper working camera. Things always go well on our shoots and we deliver a product that looks nothing like digital, without any manipulation in post. 

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37 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Sounds like you haven't shot with modern film. My XTR Prod weighs nearly the same as the decked out Alexa Mini package. I use the same tripod package, lenses, lighting, crane arm, Steadicam and dolly. There is zero difference in my world. I even have wireless for the analog video tap. The camera makes around 20db of sound, most digital cameras fans aren't much quieter. You will never hear it in a mic unless the actor is inches from the lens and even then, only if you're in a dead quiet soundstage, which is generally not a place low-budget filmmakers can afford. My Aaton 35III 3 perf 35mm camera is 4lb heavier and nearly the same physical size as the XTR prod, makes 30db of sound, but with a leather jacket or a small blimp, can be knocked down to 28db which is fine for sync sound. XTR Prod on a $700 Chinese garbage Steadicam. 

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I love tungsten and HMI light, I can't stand most LED's. There are wavelengths missing from MOST led's. The only ones that are any good are the Arri Skypanels and they're excellent, but aren't very bright. If ya really need to light a big room, they're kind of useless. So I generally shoot with tungsten, HMI's and incandescent sources still, even with digital. It helps bring out the nice warm skin tones of faces. The cost to rent a generator, distro, few M18's and a few Jokers, is actually no different than a few Skypanel and you get A LOT more light. I use a lot of bounced and heavily diffused sources, so you can't just show up with a few skypanels and get away with it sadly. I generally show up with a few 650's, 1k's, 2k, M18, Joker 800's, with a bunch of bounce board, flags and frames for larger silks. You aren't going to suddenly change your lighting for a digital show.

Here is an example of a single HMI source, used to shoot an entire scene, inside the car, outside the car, behind the car, one source. All on 35mm, no problems at all. Same grip and electric I would use on a digital show. 

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This entire post shows how out of touch you are with the majority of indies in the scene.

I will just continue to use my "garbage" gear and "useless" LED lights. And here I thought Apurture lights were a nice idea. I am grateful to you, Tyler, for setting me straight.

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10 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Being pissed off you can't shoot film is your problem.

I am not "all pissed off" that I cant shoot film. I am completely fine with it. You seem to be the one that is ticked off that some of us want to emulate aspects of film in our work.  

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Do what you want to do. Shoot digital or film. If you're a digital filmer add grain or don't add it. Do what you can to make money from what you do -- film or digital. It's possible. I've chosen film. I was going to get into digital as well but decided it's too much extra gear and distraction. I'd stick with one main thing. Do other jobs as well to make ends meet if you have to. Film is here to stay. It's not going away.

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I do find it surprising sometimes how digital filmmakers go on about the cost of film. Man, digital people sure have some very expensive gear! And need to keep upgrading it. That is, if they're serious. It seems to me that film can be cheaper to get into. The client is often the one paying for the film. It depends on what you are going to be doing and on the specific situation. I think the claim that digital filmmaking is fairer for poorer people comes across a bit strained at times. Starting out, I'd say not much difference. After that, when you get a bit more serious, I'm still not sure there'd be much difference in the costs, all up. You end up doing what you want to do, basically, because that's the nature of creative arts. That's your guide. Sure, film is expensive. But ultimately so is serious digital filmmaking. Unless you use a phone ... which many people do. But can you make money from that? Not really, as it's what anyone can do.

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14 minutes ago, Jon O'Brien said:

I do find it surprising sometimes how digital filmmakers go on about the cost of film. Man, digital people sure have some very expensive gear! And need to keep upgrading it. That is, if they're serious. It seems to me that film can be cheaper to get into. The client is often the one paying for the film. It depends on what you are going to be doing and on the specific situation. I think the claim that digital filmmaking is fairer for poorer people comes across a bit strained at times. Starting out, I'd say not much difference. After that, when you get a bit more serious, I'm still not sure there'd be much difference in the costs, all up. You end up doing what you want to do, basically, because that's the nature of creative arts. That's your guide. Sure, film is expensive. But ultimately so is serious digital filmmaking. Unless you use a phone ... which many people do. But can you make money from that? Not really, as it's what anyone can do.

I keep hearing this argument but it just doesn't shake out at a certain level of the indie world.

Look at a camera like the pocket 6k or even the Sony a7siii. What level of film shooting can you do that is going to work around that price point? And some of you may scoff and laugh at the images but there have been A/B tests between footage from cameras like this and cameras like the Red Komodo where people cannot tell the difference. Maybe YOU can tell the difference but the majority of people can't and wont care anyway.

When I last looked into shooting 16mm film, it was near $200/ 400 ft for raw stock from Kodak. Add processing and that was another $150 (it might be more now; not sure.) We are already at $350 for 11 minutes of footage and we still cannot edit the footage digitally yet (if that is your goal which is reasonable in 2021). That is a bit over $30/minute. This doesn't count shipping, a camera body, lenses, support structure, anything else. You say "clients pay for film" but you have no clients when you are learning. And it doesn't feel right (at least to me) to learn everything on someone else's dime. I don't want to charge until I know what I am doing...at least somewhat.

When learning, which way can learn faster and cheaper? 16mm film or BMPCC 6K or Sony a7siii? I would love for someone who says "film isn't any more expensive" to post an actual (realistic) budget of how film (even 16mm) can compete financially with even the Ursa 12k cost and workflow? Would love to see it because maybe I am missing something.

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Those are all good points. But I've heard the same things from digital cinematographers for years, too, and I'm not convinced. What I've found is that, really, digital people often like the look of film but they've made a decision to work entirely with digital because mainly of convenience. In other words, they've decided this is how they want to work. Having decided that, they then justify their decision with non-filmic arguments to bolser their choice. Which I guess is fine. We all do it to some extent. A typical one is to say that digital is more democratic, and it's a feel-good claim. I see feel-good arguments as being a bit dubious. As I see it, we make a choice mainly of what we want to do. Film is possible. But, yes, it has its most annoying foibles and problems and sometimes I get fed up with film's problems. But to me the problems are worth it and I've decided to put up with them. I do think that truth is a very important commodity in this world however, and people shouldn't beat around the bush as we say here in Australia (perhaps elsewhere too). We do what we do because it's what we've chosen to do. Fine. Leave it at that. There's been years of people putting the boot into film for all manner of excuses. Film nearly died and people who really care about the survival of Kodak, and film processors and film camera repairers etc remember that ... and the great efforts that were made to finish off film for good and to stick the boot into it when it was down. So people like me turn up and spend some effort pointing out the great value of real film.

When at the end of the day it's all silly. Because people just do what they want to do. All the rest is talk.

Make a choice. Fine. But really digital is fine and is here to stay and film is fine and is here to stay.

Learning on the job? It's a fine and very old tradition. It's fine because you charge according to what you provide. If you can't provide interesting, well-exposed  and focused and nice footage then don't charge for it. Chuck that reel or reels in the bin. Try again. If you can provide nice footage worth looking at, nicely focused and exposed and all the rest, and someone wants it, then you've earned your money. The worker deserves his wage. The rest is just getting better and better at what you do, and you can charge more as you get better.

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18 minutes ago, Jon O'Brien said:

Having decided that, they then justify their decision with non-filmic arguments to bolser their choice.

The arrogance of film purists. If I was ever like this, I apologize and recant my rude past.

No one needs to justify anything to you or anyone else. To suggest otherwise is the pinnacle of hubris. I see why this place is a dying forum.

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Nothing wrong with feeling good about something that's good and true. I meant I'm unconvinced by arguments that are designed only for a superficial justification that sweeps aspects under the carpet only so we can feel good about our choice. Rather rife in the current world. Just a general comment on my part. Not aimed at anyone in particular.

Sorry you didn't like what I wrote. Me, arrogant? Good heavens.

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18 minutes ago, Jon O'Brien said:

Digital people really do seem annoyed, and brittle. Tyler is right. I've noticed it too.

I am not a "digital person", I am a real human being. I guess you need to stop and look at things from other people's perspectives instead of your own. It took me years to do this (which is why I stayed away for a long time because I used to be a jackass on this boards and am grateful that Tyler never banned me; Admin Tyler, not Purcell).

People get into cinematography for a wide variety of reasons. For me, this isn't my livelihood; I do it as a side thing and mostly shoot my own projects (although I have done some low-no budget stuff for others). I am a Lecturer of Computer Science at Uni. by trade so most of my efforts to feed my family come from that perspective. I enjoy working on projects and I try to take a balanced approach to them. I could go on and on about how the film vs digital is humorous when many projects have subpar sound which is still the other half of the experience. Also talent, location, script, etc all are, in my opinion, far more important than if one shoots film or not. I have seen a few ultra low budget projects buy into the film hype and spend the lion's share of the budget to shoot it only to sacrifice the integrity of the entire project...for what? To get bragging rights for using film? If you watch YouTube and talk to Gen Z'ers growing up, most of them think film looks "degraded" or "flawed" and don't understand the love affair with it. Perhaps, we were all brainwashed from looking at it so long? Not much different than people in music production that are still obsessed with the Neve 1073 when much cheaper preamps will yield far lower noise and accurate sound reproduction.

I shoot because it gives me down time to think about something other than primary work, students, and computational algorithms all of the time. I enjoy the socialness of a film set. I also love to edit and mess around in Davinci Resolve since I respect a solid software program (knowing how much work goes into making one.) Reducing the entirety of filmmaking down to whether one shoots digital or film seems like such a small argument anyway. I cannot believe this is still a thing in 2021 (I had to check my calendar and make sure this wasnt 2007 again and we were arguing about the Red One camera but this time I ended up on the other side.)

 

Edit: Still waiting on that film budget to establish that film is affordable.

Edited by Matthew W. Phillips
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Do what you do, Matthew. Of course you don't need to justify anything to me. I don't want you to or need you to. I didn't ask you to or suggest that you should. I wasn't even really talking about you. I was making a general comment. I have every right to, and actually I find the average digital specialist more arrogant than people who are really into film. I don't know why things are like that.

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3 minutes ago, Jon O'Brien said:

Do what you do, Matthew. Of course you don't need to justify anything to me. I don't want you to or need you to. I didn't ask you to or suggest that you should. I wasn't even really talking about you. I was making a general comment. I have every right to, and actually I find the average digital specialist more arrogant than people who are really into film. I don't know why things are like that.

I recall a lot of that around the DVXUser/RedUser era. Truth be told, there was a lot of misunderstandings on both sides of the heated debates. Their perspective was a defensive one from feeling that some on the film side came off as "elitists" or like old men yelling at the clouds. The film side was trying to defend something that they loved and saw the inevitable decline of the global supremacy of film and fought hard. Film will always be with us but there is no denying that it will never be what it once was. I absolutely love the look of well shot film but I do not want the workflow anymore. I don't even believe that digital is the first decline of image quality we have seen. I think even film stock has declined in beauty since the technicolor films back in the "Golden Age". I will jump on any technology that one day gives us the ability to make films like "The Sound of Music", "The Ten Commandments" (Heston/Brenner version), etc.

As a computer nerd, I look forward to the day of a digital cinema camera that has an open source interface that allows me to poke into raw sensor data and write my own codec and/or image processing. Not sure if anyone is even thinking about such a thing but I would save my pennies for such a platform.

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5 hours ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

This entire post shows how out of touch you are with the majority of indies in the scene.

I mean I've worked on a few mildly successful indy films and produced quite a bit of my own content that has been well received. Tho I will admit, I have not tried to produce any of my feature scripts because frankly, none of them could be made for less than $400k and I'm unwilling to sacrifice quality for budget. I'd rather continue making educational, short's, documentaries, music videos and adverts, then throw everything at a feature for the sake of doing it. 

One of the recent Indies I worked on, we shot entirely on S16mm with my equipment. I think the "film" aspect cost him around $10k when it was all said and done. Kodak helped him out quite a bit and he used all of his connections to get inexpensive processing and scans. The film has won best feature at the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Filmfestivaland and we were nominated for best cinematography at the Atlanta international film festival, not bad for a film that was made with a crew of 5, on weekends for 2 months, with little pay. It was a passion project, but because it's well made, because it had three excellent actors and because it was shot on film, the movie has done well. It just got distribution as well, something that's just not heard of these days for something that's so "art house". 

So to call me "out of touch" is kinda funny. 

5 hours ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

I will just continue to use my "garbage" gear and "useless" LED lights. And here I thought Apurture lights were a nice idea. I am grateful to you, Tyler, for setting me straight.

Last time I checked, you were the one who came on the forum asking for assistance on how to make digital skin tones look like a 16mm sample. Maybe the problem is your lighting techniques? I think in that thread I tried to explain how to get it right, showing some samples from film of course, but with an Alexa it would look very similar. The cheaper the camera, the harder it will be to get those nice skin tones, but I will admit the Blackmagic Pocket 6k does have a pretty decent imager and color science. The 4k sadly has some color science issues, I really didn't care for it when I've shot with it. For some reason the 6k imager's color science is a bit more natural, it looks pretty good. Frankly, if I were shooting digital these days and wanted a cheap camera, the URSA 12k imager is outstanding, all of the industry tech people I know are utterly impressed with that imager. It has some wonky issues, like it only shoots raw, but thats the camera I'd own. It has excellent dynamic range, no bayer color pattern, so you can get full 12 bit 444 images off the imager in 8k mode (which uses the full 12k imager) and the camera body itself is pretty bulletproof. I really hope that stick that imager in a smaller camera someday, because I think the only thing holding people back from buying it, is the large camera body, something you complained about when it came to film cameras. 

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26 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

So to call me "out of touch" is kinda funny. 

Last time I checked, you were the one who came on the forum asking for assistance on how to make digital skin tones look like a 16mm sample. 

I said "This entire post shows how out of touch you are with the majority of indies in the scene." I still stand by this. You reply with a single instance of someone who you worked with who won distribution as though that is the "majority". Look at some of the people on YouTube who appeal to low/no budget indies. Some of them have hundreds of thousands of followers and they are buying and using the gear you consider to be "garbage." Your one anecdotal story does not discount the massive trend.

And you need to re-read that other thread. I never said anything about making digital skin tones look like a 16mm example. I was referring to help grading film scans. I even said that I am decent with grading digital footage but not so good at grading my old film footage.

I have been thinking about pulling the trigger on the Ursa 12k. I have the cash but want to be extra sure this is what I want because I cannot justify a fire sale and repurchase to the better half if it isn't what I had hoped. I have been downloading the samples the Blackmagic gives and playing around with those to get a feel for the post workflow. I already own Resolve Studio (which pisses me off because I paid retail and could have gotten it for free had I waited for the camera purchase) but such is life.

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34 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I think the "film" aspect cost him around $10k when it was all said and done. Kodak helped him out quite a bit and he used all of his connections to get inexpensive processing and scans.

...and there it is. "We are not all so fortunate in our friends as you." - King Theoden LOTR: The Two Towers

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2 hours ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

People get into cinematography for a wide variety of reasons. For me, this isn't my livelihood; I do it as a side thing and mostly shoot my own projects (although I have done some low-no budget stuff for others).

But it doesn't sound like you are a cinematographer, it sounds more like you're a "filmmaker" who creates product mostly for yourself right?

2 hours ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

Also talent, location, script, etc all are, in my opinion, far more important than if one shoots film or not. I have seen a few ultra low budget projects buy into the film hype and spend the lion's share of the budget to shoot it only to sacrifice the integrity of the entire project...for what? To get bragging rights for using film?

Well I agree, I mean if you have no money, why would you spend money on film? Heck why would you shoot a feature? First rule of shooting a feature is to not shoot a feature unless you have 1) Guaranteed distribution 2) A script re-written by a pro that has legs 3) A great cast 4) A great crew. 5) Lots of other people's money. These things are NOT easy and its why most indy features will never be seen by anyone. As I put it, you have a better chance getting your short film seen on YouTube than you do getting your indy feature seen. If the idea is to get eyes on your content, then you should focus on the easiest way to do that. Hone your craft until you can check off all 5 of those important things without batting an eye. 

2 hours ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

If you watch YouTube and talk to Gen Z'ers growing up, most of them think film looks "degraded" or "flawed" and don't understand the love affair with it.

Most of the people I talk to about film are in their 20's, some are even younger. The operator on my last film just turned 20 and all she does is shoot on 35mm stills. She loves film and doesn't want to ever shoot digitally. She wants to be my DP for my next short and she's super talented. With woman like her moving up the food chain, I think she will keep film alive for another generation. Most of the people I know who don't like film are older people, many of them forced to work on it for various reasons in their career and adopted digital early on. I was indifferent, but realized film gave me an edge that digital does not. 

2 hours ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

Perhaps, we were all brainwashed from looking at it so long? Not much different than people in music production that are still obsessed with the Neve 1073 when much cheaper preamps will yield far lower noise and accurate sound reproduction.

I mean I listen to very high quality vinyl remasters made from the original tapes. The reason why vinyl has made such a comeback is because it's not digital. It's not even about the sound quality as records can't produce the dynamic range or frequency response of 24bit 192khz digital. It's about the experience that you can't get anywhere else. You can't listen to the actual master tape on digital, it goes through a conversion process and even though that conversion process is very good these days, it's not the same as an all-analog recording and playback. A good record mastered from an excellent source is an experience, not just "listening to music". Where I agree, most records are shit, the good ones are eye opening. That's why people spend $10k on turntables and $5k on phono preamps and the companies who make those mid-tier components, are sold out constantly, there is just too much demand and too many people trying to pull the most out of a silly $1.25 (pressing cost) vinyl record. This is part of the reason why film projection still exists. When you watch a print on film, that very moment, that very day, that print will never look the same the day after. You can't watch a film print at home very easily either, so it's not like you're going to go home and see exactly what saw in the theater. For better or worse, a film print is a "different" experience to what the rest of the world sees and that's what our life is all about. 

So yes... I mean can you use a focusrite preamp and be ok? Sure! But it's not a Neve 1073. You can also watch a movie at home on a 4k UHD BluRay, but it will look the same in the theater with digital projection. So why go to the theater at all? 

2 hours ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

I shoot because it gives me down time to think about something other than primary work, students, and computational algorithms all of the time. I enjoy the socialness of a film set. I also love to edit and mess around in Davinci Resolve since I respect a solid software program (knowing how much work goes into making one.) Reducing the entirety of filmmaking down to whether one shoots digital or film seems like such a small argument anyway. I cannot believe this is still a thing in 2021 (I had to check my calendar and make sure this wasnt 2007 again and we were arguing about the Red One camera but this time I ended up on the other side.)

Believe it or not, but I also have a full time job. I'm an engineer in the broadcast industry and I work for one of the top systems integrators in the nation. I can't make as much money as a freelance filmmaker, but I can take time off to shoot stuff, including commercial stuff for other clients. So it works out and the great thing is, the job gives me enough money to actually shoot nearly everything I make on film. It's not that difficult. 

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9 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Well I agree, I mean if you have no money, why would you spend money on film? Heck why would you shoot a feature? First rule of shooting a feature is to not shoot a feature unless you have 1) Guaranteed distribution 2) A script re-written by a pro that has legs 3) A great cast 4) A great crew. 5) Lots of other people's money.

Because I choose to? Didn't know I needed you or anyone else's permission to do what I wish with my time and money. Interesting that you don't see how you come off to others. I re-read my old posts and cringe because I did this but I had some people have a "come to Jesus" speech with me about it and I started seeing my approach with others and it wasn't pretty.

TL;DR: Stop speaking down to others like you are some global authority. You aren't and people can do what they wish whether it makes sense to you or not. 

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13 minutes ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

I said "This entire post shows how out of touch you are with the majority of indies in the scene." I still stand by this. You reply with a single instance of someone who you worked with who won distribution as though that is the "majority". Look at some of the people on YouTube who appeal to low/no budget indies. Some of them have hundreds of thousands of followers and they are buying and using the gear you consider to be "garbage." Your one anecdotal story does not discount the massive trend.

You can look at my IMDB, you can see the other projects I've worked on. My "single" example was icing on the cake, not the cake itself. My history in this industry is well documented, just check out the other films I've worked on and you'll see, I have plenty of experience working on low budget Indies. That was my point. 

Most (not all) of the people on YouTube discussing filmmaking are only there because they've failed at being a professional filmmaker. Real filmmakers are busy making content, they don't have any time to build a set, buy a fancy digital camera, sit down and write a script, shoot/edit and then deal with all the marketing that goes behind a successful channel. If they've got hundreds of thousands of subscribers (or more), they're making a living on YouTube through sponsors, patreon, only fans and YouTube/google advertisements, they aren't out making movies. They're making two or three videos a week, meaning they don't have ANY other time to be working 12's, 6 days a week like the rest of us filmmakers. 

So I guess you can listen to those people, nothing wrong with it. But in most cases (not all) you're just listening to people who are teaching you how to make what they make, which is YouTube videos. 

13 minutes ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

And you need to re-read that other thread. I never said anything about making digital skin tones look like a 16mm example. I was referring to help grading film scans. I even said that I am decent with grading digital footage but not so good at grading my old film footage.

Sorry, forgot. I did answer the question right tho. 

13 minutes ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

I have been thinking about pulling the trigger on the Ursa 12k. I have the cash but want to be extra sure this is what I want because I cannot justify a fire sale and repurchase to the better half if it isn't what I had hoped. I have been downloading the samples the Blackmagic gives and playing around with those to get a feel for the post workflow. I already own Resolve Studio (which pisses me off because I paid retail and could have gotten it for free had I waited for the camera purchase) but such is life.

There will be a new camera next year, BMD has been working on a secret project. They need to make a Full Frame 12k UMP, that would be impressive. But I think it will be an update to the pocket 6k sadly. I think it will be an 8k imager for the 6k. Nothing that is really necessary as the 6k file sizes and frame size, are already fine for most people, including myself. But hey, them's the breaks. They don't want to make what other people make, so they're trying hard to re-invent the wheel every product they make and it's unfortunate. 

I do love Resolve, been using it since version 11, went to it full time in 2018. Just finished my 1st feature editing/finishing entirely from 8k sources. 

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4 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

You can look at my IMDB, you can see the other projects I've worked on. My "single" example was icing on the cake, not the cake itself. My history in this industry is well documented, just check out the other films I've worked on and you'll see, I have plenty of experience working on low budget Indies. That was my point. 

Most (not all) of the people on YouTube discussing filmmaking are only there because they've failed at being a professional filmmaker. Real filmmakers are busy making content, they don't have any time to build a set, buy a fancy digital camera, sit down and write a script, shoot/edit and then deal with all the marketing that goes behind a successful channel. If they've got hundreds of thousands of subscribers (or more), they're making a living on YouTube through sponsors, patreon, only fans and YouTube/google advertisements, they aren't out making movies. They're making two or three videos a week, meaning they don't have ANY other time to be working 12's, 6 days a week like the rest of us filmmakers. 

So I guess you can listen to those people, nothing wrong with it. But in most cases (not all) you're just listening to people who are teaching you how to make what they make, which is YouTube videos. 

Wow, just wow. I think I will stop here before I say something that I know I will regret later. Good luck with your filmmaking career, Tyler, I truly wish you the best.

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12 minutes ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

TL;DR: Stop speaking down to others like you are some global authority. You aren't and people can do what they wish whether it makes sense to you or not. 

Then why are you on here asking why people shoot on film?

People on this group come on here for information/advice. 

If you don't want advice based on experiences different from your own, then that's fine. But you don't have to get bent out of shape about people giving it. 

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This is a strange discussion...

What if... What if you like the way film looks, but also like the workflow of digital, the low cost of digital and like to have your cameras rolling a lot?

You can take one step towards a film look from digital, but you cannot do the other way around. You cannot magically make your film appear in your NLE the same evening.

I think everyone should do as they like. If you have the money and possibilities to shoot film, that's great. But some of us either has to shoot digital or like the possibilities and workflow of digital – but still aren't happy with a clean digital look. Don't they have the "right" to do anything they like with their footage? 

This is artistry, choose the brushes you like, it's the end result that counts.

Edited by Jan Sandvik
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I don't want to read all the above comments but just wanted to comment about the "crappy led lights" issue.

Most Led lights have very bad looking spectrum when set at low colour temperatures. For most the visual limit for me is somewhere around 3900 to 4000k and warmer than that they tend to start to look like absolute garbage. 

It is a spectrum issue of the phosphors and nothing to do with the shooting format. For example on a recent multi million shoot I was working on they used Astera Titan tubes heavily and you see it with them too. Skypanels are not that bad but they make it too.

So it is almost always that tungsten coloured LED always looks like crap but if the same fixture is used for cold light then it is almost always good looking.

It is not film vs digital, it happens on all shooting formats and that is why I still carry a large tungsten package on my own shoots even when having lots of LED lights too and some hmi as well. It is just, you can't make good looking tungsten light with LEDs with todays technology and I do see the difference and I do care.

Most people seem to have too tight schedule on their shoots and thus they cannot afford to care about things like this. Thus they have to claim to themselves that "led tungsten light is perfectly great looking" even when it is not and even if the end result looks like crap over and over again

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1 hour ago, aapo lettinen said:

Most people seem to have too tight schedule on their shoots and thus they cannot afford to care about things like this. Thus they have to claim to themselves that "led tungsten light is perfectly great looking" even when it is not and even if the end result looks like crap over and over again

Oh does this apply to film emulation plugins too? People "don't have enough time and budget" for shooting real film and thus they have to claim to themselves over and over again that it is exactly the same to shoot the project with the Pocket6k and throw some  nice hipster plugin over it in post and claim it is exactly the same in every way than shooting on real 35mm? go figure.  

Cultural appropriation for sure, the digital guys just want to mess up their images with fake grain to make the makeup and production design errors and bad vfx less obvious 😄 

by the way, personally I like to shoot both film and digital but I am not a huge fan of "film emulation plugins" and rather want the different cameras and formats have their own distinctive look which they can do best. An exception is when one needs to hide mediocre vfx on low budget projects and adding some noise or grain over the final image helps hiding tiny compositing errors perfectly

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