During our time at home the last 5 months, I've come to realise that I was missing something in my day to day work. And that was film (as in the look) and the work ethic involved in shooting that particular medium. Actual celluloid. I've been scanning my old negs and slides for months at night and told my self that if I get another film I will push for film no matter what.
Chance be it that the next film would be a small period piece set in the 1880's albeit with an ultra low budget (for the ambitions) of $1.5m.
And we want a painterly rugged canvas to display the film on.
I was pushing the producers hard to make it work on 2 perf 35mm and got quotes from here and there and shot tests etc, but ended on s16mm. This was our plan b anyway and 35mm was just too expensive for us. We are doing a 2K scan once progress with log dpx files and dailies graded for editorial. The 1.85 format actually suits me better as it's not as claustrophobic as 2.39 and definitely the size of cameras and lenses lend themselves better to these small old 1800's farm locations and having to run around with kids.
And as we are working with kids so we factor in 16:1 shooting ratio which for our 25 day shoot equals to 6 rolls of 16mm a day. Give or take.
Now the tricky part. Several people on the film had to sacrifice their economic gain to make it work. This is an utmost privilige to be able to do this (in these economic different times) but personally I see it as a thing worth doing for this particular film. I'm lucky that I once in a while get sponsored by big brands when promoting their stuff (I shoot commercials).
There are savings on DIT and some camera package etc, but we still need to ship stock to London and leave space for unforeseen things. Like more film stock.
We just had a pre shoot day last week and we are over the moon about the look of 16mm. I can't believe it's been almost 10 years since I shot a feature on celluloid. I was nervous for days waiting for the results from the lab. One thing is to shoot some film for your own project alone, but having a full crew with sfx and vfx and having convinced everybody that film is the right way it certainly brought up tensions in my body that I've not experienced since digital has taken over. This will quiet down once we get going full speed. Kodak take my money. Literally.