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Tyler Purcell

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Everything posted by Tyler Purcell

  1. Yea, I mean this is better for sure. It's easy to put the scanner in that position if needed. Yea, I've scanned with one, they are very cool machines. They aren't really "archival" tho, maybe back when this video was made. I think the laser trigger can work, it's just the film needs to sit perfect for it to work. So the trigger should be up near the imager.
  2. I have no idea how anyone can use Linux. I have to support ubuntu and Cent OS systems, it's WAY worse than any Windows system I've ever used. Most programs don't exist and if they do, there are many caveats to get them running. There are so many distro's, not every app will work with the one's other apps work with. So it can be challenging. If you enjoy not working and playing with computers and have a real system you use for work that isn't linux, then that's fine. Quite a few industry shops use Linux because they pay people like me to fix them and let me tell ya, they need to be fixed on a regular basis. It's really no different than windows in that way. The only major difference in terms of maintenance is that YOU can't fix it when it breaks. You've gotta basically re-install the OS because everyone who runs linux uses BIOS based restore functions. Windows is also a totally garbage operating system, but at least people write software for it. So even if it is total trash, at least it does serve a purpose. I personally would never use one as my main computer, but if that's all ya got, that's all ya got. I'm a 100% Mac user myself. Have been for my entire life, even though my job entails supporting windows and linux systems. I tell ya, the entire methodology of how the system works, just makes sense in my brain. It's easy to get software to work well and there are no drivers or other ancillary libraries/plugins necessary to get MOST software to work. The other great thing about Mac OS is it's integrated cloud services. Once you kinda go in that direction, there is really no way you can move away from it. The security is also top notch, something both Linux and Windows struggle with.
  3. Well yea, if the machine is designed properly, the capstan won't effect the laser detector. Sadly the scanner is not designed properly and there is a long gap between the gate, laser detect and capstan. If the laser detect was built into the gate, there would be no problems. It's kind of our final design, if the roller fix we are making, doesn't work. We control lateral (horizontal) registration very easily. I really like how the Spirit's did it, that design in my view works the best. The FF has a very easily removed capstan, but sadly it's custom made so can't increase the size or change the materials without some work. I'd love to run a larger diameter capstan, I think it would also solve our problems, but I think they built it purposely with the size they did to help with motor torque.
  4. Most film scanners have an integrated reel that the film holds onto. The only thing preventing the film from unwinding is the angle of the scanner. Split reels are a horrible way of running a film scanner because they in of themselves, aren't very well made. So there are huge variances in the reels, which can actually show up on the finished scan due to the HDS not having a spring loaded tension arm, to help eliminate those issues. So if the scanner were at a slight angle, we could manufacture a similar integrated reel system and the stability would probably be better. But sitting vertically, it's just not a great solution for anything else but complete enclosed reels like split reels. Does it work with split reels? Yes! Of course it does. But it could be a lot better.
  5. PTR Rollers are standard industry components. Nearly every scanner uses them. They catch loose hairs and dirt, which shouldn't be present on any original camera negative. You can get PTR's in various shapes and sizes from a multitude of vendors. We do buy ours from FF directly, but it's not necessary. I mean the machine damages film with the stock gate. It was built for more robust polyester prints, but camera negative is very sensitive and the stock gate will scratch the shit out of it. So we machined the stock gate, giving it rounder edges and then polished the living crap out of it, which seemed to stop the scratching. However, the stability of the machine was also a serious issue. There is an inherent issue with using a PTR style roller as the capstan. It needs to be perfectly round, which is not easy to do. So what happens is, since the roller isn't PERFECTLY round, as the film is pulled along, it slightly shifts angle as it goes by the laser perf detector. This causes the image to shift slightly in the scan. This "wobble" effect, we have discovered is a real problem and is hard to solve using perf detect software because one frame it's in one place and the next frame it's in an entirely different place. So we're building an entirely different method of holding the film as it goes through the laser detect system. This SHOULD eliminate the problems. We also are using an older style gate, which is WAY better on horizontal stability. Our only real issue is vertical at this point and we know what's causing it. So scratches fixed, we haven't damaged a single roll of film since our first week with the machine and horizontal stability is MUCH better than out of the box with the older gate system that we've modified. Now it's just down to vertical and we're close!
  6. We just use split reels on the HDS+, no big deal for 16mm. Super 8 comes on reels from the lab, we have them prep them, so it has long leader already and everything spliced together. Yes, the scanner should be at a slight angle. We do plan on building it into a desk at that angle in the future, once we're happy with it. We finally have the design which should fix the stability. So once we get that solved, we should be pretty good.
  7. Well I haven't tried film-guard in the wet gate. Someone recommended it. Maybe we should try. The application is the problem tho. If you just use it to clean the film ahead of time, sure it will get rid of dirt, but it won't fill in the scratches. I've been very impressed with how good it fills in the scratches. It means the software fixes can work much better. The HDS+ is a captan-driver scanner as well. The HDS+ goes directly to DPX. We normally scan at 10 bit because nobody ever needs more than that. We have done 16 bit before, but it's a tiff format, so it's way larger files and the scan rate goes from 12fps to around 3fps at 4k. So that's really not workable and we haven't seen any difference in quality. We then throw it in Resolve and export the various versions the client requires. Most of the time we do a clean up pass unless the client doesn't want it.
  8. The more classic look of a well lit set, where you don't have much fall off, is kinda lost unfortunately. Everyone is just barely lighting these days, because it's "realistic" but nobody goes to the movie theater for realism. We go to be whisked away from our problems and modern movies, rarely do that unfortunately. I do not much care for the worlds modern studio filmmakers have chosen to make. Where only the actor is real, everything else is fixed in post.
  9. Super 16mm will run you 3 - 5k to start and that will be most likely a MOS camera, like a Bolex. A crystal sync S16 camera with PL mount (industry standard) and quiet reflex operation, is $8k + today. I just sold one for $19k. So yea $1500 bux ain't gonna get you much in the world of S16. Also, a good modern crystal sync modern standard 16mm camera, will also run you in the $3 - 5k range as well.
  10. I have one, no there are really no updates. They've been promising us automatic stabilization, but it hasn't happened. It's not a scan station, so it can't really be compared. The HDS+ is only $40k and it's a "build your own computer" style of system, using standard open source computer components, no maintenance contract needed, etc. We went with it over the lower-end Archivist from Laser Graphics, mainly because of the wet gate feature, which actually does a great job. We can knock off around 20% of the dirt and get scratches down to the level of near invisibility. So for archiving, it's a pretty neat scanner. It's also slow with the wet gate, we run it at 3fps most of the time. We are hoping the new software will be out soon, as many of the features are already in the Pictor scanner, their 8mm machine. The guys at FF have been very nice to us, extremely supportive in our efforts to make the scanner better. It's unfortunate they also made some horrible engineering decisions, which limits what the machine can do and my "faith" in it. But again, they've helped us solve many of them, so we're on the road to recovery for sure. The 5k camera I believe is to overscan so the perf can be seen, but I'm not sure when that software will be out to utilize it.
  11. God damn does it look like a Marvel movie but with face replacement.
  12. It should be "crisper" for sure, but that's a good thing, not a bad thing. Some scanning techs do turn on the sharpening quite a bit on the scanner. Our scanner doesn't have this problem, the sharpening is off, so we actually slightly sharpen in post to control it better. Here is an example (test footage)
  13. I personally always scan 16mm in 4k, there just isn't any reason not to. With a 2k file, if you want to manipulate, you're now decreasing your resolution. Also, for distribution 1080p web streaming files look like crap. The compression is horrible. So you always want to upload any finals for web streaming, you're now having to work in a 4k workflow from start to finish. So yea, 4k for the win. Yes you will want to do the edit first. Then do the clean up later. You can copy and paste the cropping to all the clips and then reframe each one individually if need be. I use Resolve for all this work, it's smoother has way better stabilization and is much easier to make consistent across the board. It also has cleanup tools specifically designed for film, which are nice when you need them.
  14. I personally wouldn't trust the built-in meter with the new Ektachrome. I've shot it with multiple S8 cameras and it always comes out wrong. When I manually expose it comes out perfect. So IDK man... I won't auto expose anymore.
  15. Tell me about it. I have stacks of unpicked up negative from clients, currently we are scanning our 2nd feature this year and they don't want the negative.
  16. I used DVO Phoenix demo on our Windows workstation. The automated dust tool did a great job. It just takes the edge off. Then with some sharpening, I was able to bring it back where it should be crispness wise. A lot of the issues my particular film has, won't be present in everyone else's film. For some reason the lab just didn't clean it well. They may have not run it through the cleaner. We have a wet gate so we ran the worst stuff through that and it fixed the majority of the added dirt issues. Then I used Resolve's "dirt" tool to manually select larger blotches that weren't caught on the wet gate. Over-all I'm happy with the clean up result, but the negative is permanently damaged, which does make me upset.
  17. Na, our guess is that they simply changed something in the makeup of the film, maybe due to cost or availability and it just didn't work.
  18. Hey guys, so I have some disappointing news to report. I shot my last short film, nearly entirely with a bad batch of Kodak 50D. The batch number in question is 091-15 of 50D stock ONLY. There are NO OTHER issues with other stocks at this moment. Not all rolls are bad, but it's seemingly more than one as most of our film was damaged. According to Kodak, the first sign there was an issue was on the Super 8 cartridges. They were jamming in the cameras and Kodak couldn't figure out why. Turns out, they changed something related to the anti-scratch coating, who knows what, but it made the film have much more friction in those cartridges and caused them to jam up. We don't know exactly when it happened, it may have been before the 091-15 batch, but that's the only batch they know is bad. I had a lot of issues with the 089-12 batch of Super 8 not long ago, but currently they don't think the issues went back that far. The symptoms are generally the same; the film looks scratched. The scratching I've seen is "micro" scratches. Possibly damaged during the manufacturing process. Depending on the density of the image, the scratches will show up as "rain" across the screen, vertically always, generally only seen against solid colors. It's nearly impossible to see through Vimeo or a compressed image, so it's very hard to analyze remotely. We also can't see it on the film with a magnifying glass. Many people have complained from all over the world, so it's absolutely not an isolated issue to our cameras or lab of course. Kodak are replacing film with the batch numbers 091, pretty much across the board. if you have any, please contact your local Kodak rep and explain the known issues. It doesn't matter if it's S8, 16 or 35, it seems to effect all formats of course because they come from the same facility. Also and very important, the issue comes and goes. We have some shots which are flat out perfect and some shots which needed digital cleanup. So even if you have exposed film from this batch, don't think you'll have similar issues and of course the narrow the gauge, the more it'll be seen. Here is a Pro Res file with the issue in motion. It must be downloaded to play properly and see it. The "compressed" online version you will never see it. : https://www.dropbox.com/s/jge850bbc05vuvq/Kodak 091-15 50D bad batch raw.mov?dl=0 First grab is a full-frame, notice the vertical scratching: This is a punch in shot of the station, so you can see the scratches in more detail This is a punch in shot of the sky, same thing, you can see the vertical scratches.
  19. I use to watch 5 new movies a month easily and not that long ago. I remember riding my motorcycle home from work and catching the 7:30 of whatever came out pretty much every Friday night and doing mid day shows on the weekends. I lived at Arclight Hollywood and Sherman Oaks. Then things started to change with digital. The magic of the experience was just lost somehow. I stopped caring as much because where the movies were still good into the digital age, I just felt waiting 3 months for the video release, was worth it. I think the problem is that most of the good stories, are being made into streaming services shows. The studios are spending so much time making that, they aren't really spending any time focused on movies. What they need to do is buy films again, they need to just be distributors and focus on internal production being for streaming. Then they can buy the stuff they put in the theaters, which would dramatically change the market. There is nearly no market for indy films right now, but if the studios were buying them and putting their money behind them, maybe we could see a wave of more creative and interesting movies hitting the theaters, not just the same ol' fodder. With Disney faulting financially, with Apple interested in buying some part of Disney, I wonder what that may change things a bit. But in the end, we just have so few studios willing to risk the cost of theatrical, they go "all in" and those films are junk because it's scary for them to be anything but a star shaped cookie cutter. Where I do love star shaped sugar cookies, especially when they're brown on the edges, I'd get bored soon enough. Now I'm watching 5 new movies in the theater a year, maybe even less since covid. I do enjoy Quentin's theater. I do enjoy the American Cinematheque. They really only play older films and sometimes the best ones are very random times I can't attend. So it can be tricky to navigate. The repertory theaters are the only ones appearing to make money because they have such a low overhead. The big cineplexes are dying on the vine, surviving on popcorn and soda. They're basically food repositories rather than places of entertainment and it's sad. Seeing my favorite theaters close during covid, was also bad. As I like to say, whatever doesn't work in Hollywood, certainly won't work anywhere else and I see cineplexes dying fast.
  20. To me, that's the real trick. Can it be a real "show" ya know? More than just a normal movie.
  21. I mean 15/70 is dead, burred and probably never coming back outside of Christopher Nolan movies, so... IDK. I would pay for it, but does anyone else know or care? I've learned the hard way that 70mm prints can run well in big cities like NY or LA, but anywhere else, nobody really cares. They just wanna see the movie. I think the younger generations just don't care. I know so many of them through my younger boyfriend and, they really don't go to the movies. It's not even on their radar. They'd rather just mess around on VR chat or if they leave the house, they'll go do something like mini-golf. I ask them about new movies and they have no idea if it's not on a streaming platform. That's the future and frankly, as much as I love the cinema, $60 bux for 2 people and 2 hrs worth of entertainment makes little to no sense. Especially if the majority of the theatrical experience can be reproduced at home. They did it to themselves, UHD BluRay's and 4k streaming with modern HDR TV's, what's the point? Audience? Eh. I like seeing it without the audience because frankly, I hate being tainted on movies. A good audience can really drive a film home and make you like stuff that's just shit on 2nd viewing. At least at home in the quiet of my own place, I can really think about a movie better and absorb it on my own time/schedule.
  22. I do think large screens are the future, along with a premium experience. However, I just don't see that with IMAX. Due to the majority of IMAX theaters being in complexes (one special theater per complex), it's very hard to recoup the added cost of the theater. Why would someone pay $30 bux to still deal with a cineplex experience, just with a bigger screen? Also, IMAX's quality is totally gone. I went to a few newer IMAX theaters and they're just normal theaters with 1.85:1 screens. No big horn speakers on the back wall, no heavily angled seating, no 1.44:1 traditional screen, no special sound proofing, nothing special. Even at IMAX's premiere Chinese theater in Hollywood, the experience is good, but it's not worth the $30 bux. For theatrical to survive, the experience needs to be something unique, like a fancy restaurant or visiting a museum. Maybe limited runs will help? But will the studio's make any money?
  23. I mean the film industry, specially theatrical, is dying right in front of our faces. Theatrical is dead. It will turn into a premium experience for the rich, as a way to pre-release content. Streaming services are costing studio's so much money, they haven't been able to turn a profit yet from it. Most of the movies on streaming platforms are dropping in quality as the budgets and quantities per year are slashed. Honestly, I don't see where there is an outlet for any crazy future of cinematography. People will always experiment with the latest and greatest tech, but reality is without a venue to show off new technology, why would anyone bother with the added expense of testing? Traditional filmmaking is cheaper and it's that's where we're headed, not to this utopia world where everything is shot with drones and using an AI engine to create shots. Even the whole LED wall fad has its issues, many people who've built facilities, are losing their shirts financially. If anything, Kodak is hiring people like mad and there is seemingly still a shift towards more traditional filmmaking than less traditional. That gap I feel will increase over time, where the traditionalists will hold on and be successful, whilst the new tech people, will always struggle to get viewers. If a movie shot on 35mm looks perceivably the same as something shot on the newest hottest gear, than why will any of the new tech make any real difference in Cinematography?
  24. There is a beam splitter which combines the framing of the two cameras. Similar to the way a teleprompter or 3D rig would work.
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