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Roger Richards

Doc with Ultra 16mm Scoopic footage

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Hi everyone,

 

I shot part of a cine essay with a Canon Scoopic 16M modified to Ultra 16mm by Bernie O'Doherty. The film was just released to mark the 15th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. The Scoopic footage is in the latter half of the film, after the archival material and B&W Super 8. Telecine by Cinelicious. Watch it in HD. Film stock is Kodak 7212 100T and Fuji 250D.

 

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Moving piece. The film footage had some wonderful moments.

 

The compression is hurting the 16mm too much to really see it properly.

I noticed that as well...maybe try Vimeo, it tends to handle HD a little better.

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Bravo, beautiful film. I wish I made it.

 

I also have questions about the Super 8? It almost (please forgive me) looks like digital made to look like super 8. I have always thought that youtube does a lousy job at compression, because, like Will has pointed out, Vimeo does it better. Therefore I think that it isn't the fault of the format or bandwidth issues. The other footage looks great. Love that Canon lens, it is what the camera is remembered for. But is the way the super 8 appears the way you intended us to see it? I ask because other footage I suspect is close to what you wanted, despite any compression issues. Bold choice, I am just curious what your intention was?

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Thanks very much for your comments, guys. I appreciate it.

 

The Super 8 is the B&W footage and it is a miracle it exists at all. A very respected, normally extremely reliable cinema lab had a meltdown on their line as my S8 footage was going through and ended up destroying several rolls of my film from this take. The guys at Cinelicious dug into the footage to save it, and it ended up usable only converted to B&W, but with extreme grain as it had sat in the developer for quite a bit.

 

The original footage from the Scoopic is really nice, especially the 7212. The compression here is really stepping on it. It really has a unique look combined with the Canon lens. Bernie O'Doherty had performed a LaserBrighten on the Scoopic screen, and added 1.66:1 guides for 16x9 extraction, and with Ultra 16 these guides allow framing for either 2.40:1 or a safe composition area for 1.78:1.

 

I have an Aaton XTR-Plus but decided to use the Scoopic for this film because of the size and mobility. It was really interesting as the TV guys there using their HD cams would look at what I was using and quite a few gave me a thumbs-up :-) Today is actually the first anniversary of when I was shooting this film.

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Hi Roger,

 

First, let me say what an excellent short film you've put together. I thought is was well thought out and conceived and I think it really delivers the dramatic gut-punch you were going for, or, in any case, that's how I was affected by it. So, well done!

 

Secondly, the Super 8 footage still looks interesting even though it's mangled. I think your decision to include it was a good one, since it seems to have an emotional truth to it that's in keeping with the subject matter.

 

Love the Scoopic stuff! I've really wanted to get my Scoopic M modified by Bernie, and one day will, but I can't justify the cost right now with the stuff that I've been doing, which is almost entirely digital, and when the occasional film project does come along, I'm already setup with Super 16, so there's no pressing need for Ultra 16. However, I think the Ultra 16 footage in your film demonstrates beyond doubt that it's a viable 16mm format. Okay, so it's not widely accepted or an industry standard, but if the tendency in acquisition formats went toward improvements in film technology instead of digital, I think Ultra 16 would definitely become an accepted 16mm standard and every post and rental house in the world would make provisions for it. Even though Ultra 16 doesn't have as much negative area as Super 16, the concept behind it seems more intuitive and natural; it's a much simpler and cheaper way to achieve wide-screen 16mm images, that's for sure. If I didn't already have Super 16 cameras, I'd figure out a way to move toward Ultra 16. I'll definitely get my Scoopic M modified eventually.

 

Thanks for posting the link; I enjoyed the film!

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Hi Scott,

 

Thanks for taking the time to watch, and for your nice comments. I appreciate your detailed feedback about the form I was using for the film and glad it worked. This is such a wrenching topic. I really wished to approach it a bit more visually than other projects have done. As I write to you today the burial of 775 more victims just took place in Srebrenica, the 15th anniversary. I was in Bosnia for almost the entire war, mainly focused on the siege of Sarajevo. My feature documentary in progress is called Sarajevo Roses and the Web page is http://sarajevoroses.com

 

You are so correct about Ultra 16mm. Thankfully, Paul Korver at Cinelicious has developed a decent workflow for those of us who wish to use it. You can even do it on their new Spirit machine, as the gate has been mofified for Ultra 16mm and Super 8mm. All of what you see was TK on their budget DiamondClear HD URSA machine. I have seen tests of the Scoopic Ultra 16mm on the Spirit and it is amazing!

 

I had dreamed of owning an Aaton A-Minima for compact shooting but the Scoopic Ultra 16mm is a cheaper and more convenient cam to shoot. There are more stocks available in 100-ft rolls than the special 200-ft A-Minima Kodak stock. That Canon lens holds up really well from about f4-f11. Sweet spot is f5.6. The 7212 footage is so sharp and clean!

 

Cheers,

Roger

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That Canon lens holds up really well from about f4-f11. Sweet spot is f5.6. The 7212 footage is so sharp and clean!

I've had colorists ask me what lens/camera I was using because they were impressed by how sharp it was. I had some carnival footage shot on Vision2 50D on a sunny day and was amazed at how sharp and vibrant the colors were. That was on a Scoopic MS.

 

I seem to run into some even, regular exposure pulsing on slow motion shots which I'm guessing must be from a steady light leak. I probably just need to tape up the body.

 

I would like to add that even as DSLR's are used more and more (with good reason) 16mm is still a very relevant tool for us. Especially on a film like yours Roger where a DSLR would give an entirely different look. The lower contrast and warmth of 16mm was perfect for this project.

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You are so correct about Ultra 16mm. Thankfully, Paul Korver at Cinelicious has developed a decent workflow for those of us who wish to use it. You can even do it on their new Spirit machine, as the gate has been mofified for Ultra 16mm and Super 8mm. All of what you see was TK on their budget DiamondClear HD URSA machine. I have seen tests of the Scoopic Ultra 16mm on the Spirit and it is amazing!

 

Hey Guys... just caught up with this. Not sure if you've seen this yet Roger.... It's the latest ad campaign from Ralph Lauren: http://vimeo.com/12429314

 

It was all shot Ultra 16mm with one of our Scoopics and was one of the first Ultra 16mm runs through the new gate mod for the Spirit.

 

-Paul

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That looks GREAT! What film stock did they use? I'm shooting some black and white soon with my Scoopic (not Ultra, unfortunately) and this has me excited. Great job...

 

 

Hey Guys... just caught up with this. Not sure if you've seen this yet Roger.... It's the latest ad campaign from Ralph Lauren: http://vimeo.com/12429314

 

It was all shot Ultra 16mm with one of our Scoopics and was one of the first Ultra 16mm runs through the new gate mod for the Spirit.

 

-Paul

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Outstanding, Paul! I am so glad you saw this thread. People should know that Ultra 16mm is no joke, and these Scoopics can provide a really unique look.

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People should know that Ultra 16mm is no joke, and these Scoopics can provide a really unique look.

 

Could you explain the "unique" look of a Scoopic? Does it really look different from the footage that comes from a S16 Bolex RX or similar cameras?

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Could you explain the "unique" look of a Scoopic? Does it really look different from the footage that comes from a S16 Bolex RX or similar cameras?

 

 

THe lens is the major component responsible for it's look. Canon has always made lenses that in my opinion produce beautiful contrast and color. In comparison to other similar cameras, it will look very much the same. The difference isn't that big, just pretty.

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Chris describes it nicely. The Canon lens on the Scoopic 16M/MS is sharp but the contrast is not biting or harsh, which makes it great for DI work as you can adjust the image more to your liking across a wider range of tones. By comparison, my Zeiss/Optex 12-120 Super 16mm lens has more initial snap and micro contrast. The Canon lenses have a softer footprint, and combined with modern 16mm stock, particularly 7212 100T (my favorite film) or 7201 50D, the look is different than others and very painterly. I like the look of older lenses, they have flaws but provide a relief from the oversaturated, contrasty and cartoon-like images we are bombarded with daily.

 

I love the digital cams for what they do, but film for me is like painting with light on a canvas using acrylic paint. Cannot be replicated.

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