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John Adolfi

What i hate about people who shoot Super-8

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Take a look at this:

 

Shot in standard 16mm with a Bolex. What do you see? I see something I do not often see in Super-8, namely a steady shot. Use of a tripod. Could it be that when we hand hold the camera and since it's not as heavy and bold as a 16mm we get sloppy, jerky footage? Boy one huge improvement we could make is to simply use a tripod and flee from the temptation to zoom. What a more professional look it would and will have.

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Take a look at this:

 

Shot in standard 16mm with a Bolex. What do you see? I see something I do not often see in Super-8, namely a steady shot. Use of a tripod. Could it be that when we hand hold the camera and since it's not as heavy and bold as a 16mm we get sloppy, jerky footage? Boy one huge improvement we could make is to simply use a tripod and flee from the temptation to zoom. What a more professional look it would and will have.

 

just not zooming is the biggest improvement one can make. I like hand held shots when I am shooting wide.

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But don't you think if we added weight to the camera or better yet some sort of steady cam it would give a more professional look to the footage?

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But don't you think if we added weight to the camera or better yet some sort of steady cam it would give a more professional look to the footage?

 

If I am in a relatively stationary position, in wide angle mode and the action is near me, I like working without a tripod.

 

If the scene requires the camera be moving, than a heavier super-8 rig, or one with offset weights via some type of steadicam set-up could prove to be an upgrade.

 

The difficulty many of us encounter is trying to do to much all from one position, especially when one is filming unscripted scenes and there isn't time to stop, move closer, and get a second shot without there being excessive change from the first shot.

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If I am in a relatively stationary position, in wide angle mode and the action is near me, I like working without a tripod.

 

If the scene requires the camera be moving, than a heavier super-8 rig, or one with offset weights via some type of steadicam set-up could prove to be an upgrade.

I have always used a Tripod, and wouldn't countenance not using one -- especially given that I record Sound. I detest watching a movie with a moving camera. My footage is as steady as a Hollywood Movie. If you find a Tripod too cumbersome in certain circumstances, what you can do is fold up the Legs, and essentially make it a Uni-pod. You can easily lift it up from the Base with the Camera still running, and move to another position. The weight of the Tripod actually acts like a steadicam. I find that manually controlling the Zoom is easier than using that Electric button.

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Take a look at this:

 

Shot in standard 16mm with a Bolex. What do you see? I see something I do not often see in Super-8, namely a steady shot. Use of a tripod. Could it be that when we hand hold the camera and since it's not as heavy and bold as a 16mm we get sloppy, jerky footage? Boy one huge improvement we could make is to simply use a tripod and flee from the temptation to zoom. What a more professional look it would and will have.

Ever seen Andy Warhol's "Chelsea Girls"? You can be as sloppy and zoom-happy in 16mm as you can in Super8, believe me.

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The fourth shot is clearly taken with a hand held camera. In fact there's quite a few shots that are hand held in the example.

Edited by ryan_bennett

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Yes and they look good. My point is when a super 8 camera is handheld and the 4mm lens is NOT used or a weight is attached to the camera or steadicam or the film is NOT filming at 54 fps the footage looks lousy and so no wonder when its demonstrated it gives everyone the impression that that's all there is to super-8. Super-8 does not have to be 16mm but it can be shot professionally and look it.

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Guest mark_baldry

i've started using my prime lenses more so i can't be tempted to do any zooming. it also makes me think a lot more about composition.

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i've started using my prime lenses more so i can't be tempted to do any zooming. it also makes me think a lot more about composition.

 

 

Check out one of our customers projects http://www.graciediary.com/ all Super8 (with Process and Transfer by Cinelab) this film is really great a super intense high quality Super8 production....It's all how you use it....

 

 

-Rob-

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Take a look at this:

 

Shot in standard 16mm with a Bolex. What do you see? I see something I do not often see in Super-8, namely a steady shot. Use of a tripod. Could it be that when we hand hold the camera and since it's not as heavy and bold as a 16mm we get sloppy, jerky footage? Boy one huge improvement we could make is to simply use a tripod and flee from the temptation to zoom. What a more professional look it would and will have.

 

There are amateurs in every format, not just S8. For my film we borrowed a friend's expensive tripod and used an Elmo 1012-SXL for all interiors, but for most exteriors we handheld a lightweight Canon 814 AZ and had (IMHO) amazingly good results. For people who don't know what the hell they are doing then yes, it can be annoying/distracting to watch their amateur footage but you see that in DV-shot footage all the time at film fests.

Edited by Charles Doran

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My point is when a super 8 camera is handheld and the 4mm lens is NOT used or a weight is attached to the camera or steadicam or the film is NOT filming at 54 fps the footage looks lousy and so no wonder when its demonstrated it gives everyone the impression that that's all there is to super-8.

 

So then, "What I hate about when a super 8 camera is handheld and the 4mm lens is NOT used or a weight is attached to the camera or steadicam or the film is NOT filming at 54 fps is that the footage looks lousy", would've been a more accurate thread title...

 

Folks can film the inside of a jar full of mayonnaise for all I care, long as they keep the little gauge alive.

 

Mitch

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The concept I came up with years ago was never zoom while filming. Take away the zoom and the handheld filmmaker will see a lot sooner when their shot is not working or needs to be cut.

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The concept I came up with years ago was never zoom while filming. Take away the zoom and the handheld filmmaker will see a lot sooner when their shot is not working or needs to be cut.

 

I agree that too long has Super 8 been ridiculed b/c of amateurs who over use (or use period) the zoom and refuse to take steady footage. I do not, however, agree that Super 8 ever looked as bad as MiniDV CAN look. I think the worse S8 footage Ive ever seen still tends to look better than the worse miniDV or Hi8 footage Ive saw.

 

If more S8 shooters would use color neg films like Vision2 500T, they could have better results even without a lot of skill. The low light capabilities along with the exposure forgiving nature of negative film make for a great starting film for newbies. Hell, I still enjoy 500T b/c I can get night shots without having to create an artificial sun. The arguments against 500T in the past have been that with the faster film comes more grain, but I think the grain increase with 500T as opposed to 200T is rather insignificant. Honestly, Ive seen better examples done on 500T than 200T but its not empiracal since it couldve been an issue of DP skill rather than the film itself.

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The concept I came up with years ago was never zoom while filming. Take away the zoom and the handheld filmmaker will see a lot sooner when their shot is not working or needs to be cut.

 

Heck, even those little booklets that came with the film years ago warned against zoom-happy shooting. I tell ya, some (but luckily not most), of the home movie footage we get looks like they handed the camera to the monkey...they had a monkey, right? ~:?)

 

Mitch

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Honestly, Ive seen better examples done on 500T than 200T but its not empiracal since it couldve been an issue of DP skill rather than the film itself.

 

Don't forget that telecine stage...

 

Mitch

Edited by Mitch Perkins

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Don't forget that telecine stage...

 

Mitch

 

True enough as there is some second unit super-8 footage shot by an actor that will be used along with footage that I have shot as the primary DP, and they will match because of the quality transfer that Spectra film and video has done, but it does help if the image has been properly framed, focused, and exposed first.

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True enough as there is some second unit super-8 footage shot by an actor that will be used along with footage that I have shot as the primary DP, and they will match because of the quality transfer that Spectra film and video has done, but it does help if the image has been properly framed, focused, and exposed first.

 

It sure does!

 

We do the negs here, using the invert feature on the VX2000 and a turquoise-ish filter pack in front of the light source and behind the gate to deal with the orange mask. If the exposure is right, stuff looks great right out of the box with little CC needed, but if there is under-exposure, (a lot of white grain in the blacks), it is difficult to crush it out without introducing undesirable artifacts.

 

This is no doubt because of the MiniDV compression/limitations of the VX2000. I'm glad there are higher-end places like Spectra to deal with these issues, because the intro of negs to Super 8 is the greatest thing since sliced bread! Meanwhile we can do a nice clean (Iso wetgate), inexpensive workprint type xfer for folks.

 

Mitch

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I just realised how lucky I was just a few days ago, I both shot a cart of 200t AND ate a slice of bread! :-)

 

and I hear it was at the same time, while walking, (but no zooming).

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and I hear it was at the same time, while walking, (but no zooming).

 

Haha, ok, I'll have to admit I ate the slice of bread to be able to walk a bit steadier with this setup:

beaulieu4008zm2.jpg

 

But as it's a prime lens with an anamorphic adapter, at least there was no zooming. Looking forward to having it transfered.

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What prime lens do you have on there and could you give us another shot of it with the lens cap off showing us the anamorphic lens?

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