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Jay Young

Complete photochemical process - 16mm project

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Unless of course, one's vision happens to be conceived in terms of an "obscure" lens/format, the use of an "odd-ball" 16mm projector, and screening in B&W.

 

I did visit an Adult 'arcade' in the mid 80's that had porn on coin operated 8mm loops despite most everywhere else having converted to some form of video distribution... I of course visited this venue purely for academic purposes, especially to investigate what exactly was included in a 'topless shoe shine'.

 

So, I'm sure that some artistic type could travel around, and find venues that still had 16mm projectors. Probably mostly old church social halls, which in my youth was the only venue we could see 'movies' as actual movie houses were considered caverns of demonic possession. The first time I saw "Sound of Music"(1965) was via a 16mm rental print for such a venue. ("A Man for All Seasons"(1966) was the last such 16mm presentation I saw....).

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...Try and defeat that last bit of logic :)

I thought that was the sweet truth, well done.

Then I thought, oh, it's true of any version of the film....

Let's not start......

 

A roundup of available facilities and prices would be interesting.

It's sad to see someone like Jay being discouraged before there are any hard facts laid on the table.

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A roundup of available facilities and prices would be interesting.

It's sad to see someone like Jay being discouraged before there are any hard facts laid on the table.

 

Actually I've created a table to compare facilities and listed/published "professional" prices (no student deals or bulk).

Maybe when I finally get all the numbers, I'll post it here.

So far there are only two or three places that I can find. Alpha Cine seems to have gone dark, at least on the web.

Cinelab, CineFilm, ColorLab (1/4" to Mag transfer!), Video Film Solution (Cheap??), ofer process/telecine solutions and are active; they are mostly the same cost.

Cinelicious will do scan only, but are hilariously expensive. FotoKem, Technicolor (I wish), Delux, all seem to be active but are likely out of the independant market.

 

Sorry if I seemed rather harsh in my previous post.

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So, I'm sure that some artistic type could travel around, and find venues that still had 16mm projectors. Probably mostly old church social halls, which in my youth was the only venue we could see 'movies' as actual movie houses were considered caverns of demonic possession. The first time I saw "Sound of Music"(1965) was via a 16mm rental print for such a venue. ("A Man for All Seasons"(1966) was the last such 16mm presentation I saw....).

 

We screen 16mm films in a large gallery space set up in the basement of an apartment block, and get a reasonable audience - enough to pay rent on the films and so on. Run a bar.

 

And next door to such we have our 16mm wet lab, a darkroom with a 16mm contact printer, amongst many other things. We have a decent collection of 16mm projectors. People just throw them at us.

 

I'm currently building a 16mm optical printer for special effects work. Have built digital control systems for a number of rebuilt 16mm and 35mm optical printers.

 

I hauled a specially modified 16mm projector from one end of Australia to the other, for a particular film festival, and met all sorts of people in the process. We ended up spending many days around bonfires, late into the night, talking shop in terms film history and projected projects.

 

Artistic types?

 

Yes indeed. Who else makes films if not artistic types?

 

C

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....16mm wet lab....16mm contact printer...16mm optical printer for special effects...digital control systems for a number of rebuilt 16mm and 35mm optical printers...

 

 

Melbourne is sounding like a nice place to be. What film processing are you running?

 

Edit: Had to guess on how to edit some code showing with the quote. Looked different to normal.

Edited by Gregg MacPherson

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Cinelab is great, that's where I'd go.

 

I'd buy a mag stock recorder and transfer the stuff yourself because you need to transfer stuff all the time.

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Cinelab? Do you mean in Massachusetts or in Russia?

I really like Rob Houllahan's contibutions to the forum, and Cinelab's prices and care of the students and indies.

 

I looked at the artists collective called Artists Film Workshop in Melbourne that Carl is with and I was a bit shocked by their prices. AU45cents/ft for 16mm process. Are their small customers subsidising the bigger projects, bigger jobs getting a volume discount. I cancelled my flight!

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I looked at the artists collective called Artists Film Workshop in Melbourne that Carl is with and I was a bit shocked by their prices. AU45cents/ft for 16mm process. Are their small customers subsidising the bigger projects, bigger jobs getting a volume discount. I cancelled my flight!

 

The main purpose of the workshop isn't to provide any services at all - it's to provide lab space in which filmmakers can come in themselves and do their own processing and printing. Which doesn't cost them anything other than their own time, film stock and chemistry. It's only recently a couple of the members have started offering processing services.

 

C

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The main purpose of the workshop ..(is).. to provide lab space in which filmmakers can ... do their own processing and printing. Which doesn't cost them anything other than their own time, film stock and chemistry.

 

Thanks, I was really relieved to hear that. Why allow the misperception?

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Cinelab? Do you mean in Massachusetts or in Russia?

I really like Rob Houllahan's contibutions to the forum, and Cinelab's prices and care of the students and indies.

 

 

 

Yes, the one in Massachusetts.

 

 

Cinelab is great, that's where I'd go.

 

I'd buy a mag stock recorder and transfer the stuff yourself because you need to transfer stuff all the time.

I'll see if I can't find one. I've got enough audio gear and parts here to surely get some kind of workflow happening.

 

I also enjoy Robert's replies and insight.

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Thanks, I was really relieved to hear that. Why allow the misperception?

 

The workshop as a whole is described here:

 

http://www.artistfilmworkshop.org/about/

 

The new website isn't as complete as it might be and in light of this discussion perhaps it needs a bit more information.

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper

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I'll see if I can't find one.

I got one for sale if your good with electronics. :)

 

I also enjoy Robert's replies and insight.

Me too! Robert is the man! I'm from Boston so I've been dealing with Cinelab for years.

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The workshop as a whole is described here:

http://www.artistfilmworkshop.org/about/

 

Well, I think what you chaps are doing over there is great. Does anyone have plans to set up a 16mm mix studio? The initial era when the machinery was a giveaway may have past, but some who salvaged it might donate it now.

 

 

I got one for sale if your good with electronics. :)

I'm not a candidate for buying, but I wondered what machine you had andv what era of electronics it has.

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Well, I think what you chaps are doing over there is great. Does anyone have plans to set up a 16mm mix studio? The initial era when the machinery was a giveaway may have past, but some who salvaged it might donate it now.

 

Thanks Gregg. The workshop is a very grass roots kind of workshop. Its about getting to the bottom of film making, more than getting to the top :)

 

There are some musicians in the group that make their own sound tracks, but separately from the workshop, by whatever means they have at their disposal (typically by digital means). And they've printed that to the optical sound track. There's also experimental sound done where one might hand draw the sound track, or use various printing techniques to print patterns on the film in the sound track area to produce a particular sound.

 

For sync sound I've tested a timecode interface for one of the 16mm projectors. And that was used for a specific project (a half hour work made for a Yoko Ono exhibition). Basically a frame counter attached to one of the shafts. Software I wrote would track the position of the film in the projector and adjust the rate of the soundtrack playback to maintain sync. This allowed prepared soundtracks to run in sync with the projector. An alternative was to slave the projector to the sound track but haven't done anything along those lines other than test rate control on the projector motor (which worked just fine).

 

In terms of easier distribution (where you don't need to haul a specific projector around), printing timecode to the optical sound track becomes a nice solution there. Easy for festival techs to hook up.

 

Getting analog sound to work, be it in terms of workflow and/or how a work is screened is a good idea but one which hasn't been pursued in great detail.

 

C

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....The workshop is a very grass roots kind of workshop. Its about getting to the bottom of film making, more than getting to the top :)

I get that. My own curiosity probably would have me perched on a branch closer to Marker than exploring the roots with Lye. So, a trip sideways rather than towards the top?

 

Re sound lock, disolving myths about what exhibition is etc....

I talked to a guy on the forum who was making 16mm, or was it S16 films about surfing and exhibiting on film, with a separate sound track of some kind. I think he was exploring ideas about how to approximately lock the sound. Even noting the existence of such helps subvert the expected, the normal means by which we see films....

 

I salvaged a Fostex 1/4" studio machine with a sync lock module a while ago....(hmmmm, Homer Simpson style, like the nth hamburger he may not actually arrive at)

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I get that. My own curiosity probably would have me perched on a branch closer to Marker than exploring the roots with Lye. So, a trip sideways rather than towards the top?

 

Re sound lock, disolving myths about what exhibition is etc....

I talked to a guy on the forum who was making 16mm, or was it S16 films about surfing and exhibiting on film, with a separate sound track of some kind. I think he was exploring ideas about how to approximately lock the sound. Even noting the existence of such helps subvert the expected, the normal means by which we see films....

 

I salvaged a Fostex 1/4" studio machine with a sync lock module a while ago....(hmmmm, Homer Simpson style, like the nth hamburger he may not actually arrive at)

 

My main job (income stream) over the last few years has been writing software for roadshow work where literally millions are spent on custom site specific installations, using the latest brainwaves in digital technology, where you just build whatever is required for that particular show.

 

The film side of my activity (which is more interesting to me) is a different exercise, where one is going "low tech" (kinda), but still towards a particular show or venue (such as those that film festivals employ). It's a sort of hybrid domain: mechanical/analog/digital - and not really costing that much at all - just playing around with whatever "junk" can be found cheaply and making it work again, be it in the way it was originally designed, or in some other mad way - basically in whatever way seems cool to do.

 

Many in the group target an art gallery context. I'm more interested in a traditional cinema setup. I get into the idea of relaxing into a comfortable seat and becoming immersed in a film's particular journey or experience, undistracted by anything else. I don't agree with criticism of such setups that argue it is some sort of conspiracy in audience seduction. I treat the darkened room and the quiet required as a way of properly engaging in a work. A bit like reading a book in a library. The "please be quiet" signs are not there to ensure your seduction by some book, but to give your brain some space to digest what you're reading.

 

Of course, many films are just purely seductive. But that's just a function of such films exploiting the context. Its got nothing to do with the context itself.

 

C

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Referring back to the initial post

 

I would like to do my next project on film, start to finish.

 

Please see if my understanding so far is correct:

 

1. shoot principal on film

2. send to lab for processing

3. get one-line/timed print (this is the workprint) <-- Audio is recorded to 16mm mag stock at this point from origial source?

4. edit workprints to make a complete project

5. create internegative??

6. create answer print? I don't really understand this A/B roll thing

7. conform negative to final answer print using edgecodes

8. release print struck from conformed negative?

9. I can always have a conformed (or original for that matter) negative scanned if I want to go digital.

 

Puzzling as it might appear, a healthy approach, I think, would be if you did it in 35mm. Why?

  1. Vast palette of film stocks to choose from. With simpler cameras you can use photo films, too.
  2. Little difference in processing
  3. Dailies can be inspected in cinemas, b-i-g.
  4. Editing can be done on the kitchen table with a pair of rewinds, loupe, and scissors. Machine editors are more comfortable, of course.
  5. Master positive, internegative available with only little quality loss
  6. A-B or multiple roll assembly not necessary. Only for CinemaScope
  7. Edge codes and key codes, certainly
  8. Here’s the knack: variety of black-and-white print stocks. If you do b. and w., you can even tint and tone prints.

 

Funny, eh? Make a shorter 35mm film than you would in 16mm and profit from the generous format. Silenced cameras can be had for cheap today, so why compress yourself to 16? Sound quality is good from 35 stripes or full coat. Polyester base film can be welded. Think of your original camera negative, welded, thus very strong in printing. An ultrasonic welder, well adjusted, does that job to perfection. I have Metric splicers, indispensable.

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I don't know about your area, but I would prefer to shoot on 16mm because the camera prices are affordable.

Yes, I could rent a 35mm setup, but then after a while I could have outright purchased a decent arri 35 setup.

Renting 16mm is no cheaper, and people put idiotic prices on all sorts of "rare" cinema gear.

 

I wish I had a Mitchell 35 or 16mm camera. However, I have never seen one for less than $7000.

If I was going to spend $7000 on a camera, I would purchase on of the modern Arri packages.

Of course, I don't want to get into discussing and arguing over the price of gear, we could do that for ages.

The price of "rare one of a kind" lenses alone make me laugh.

I know these things are expensive when new, but they are not new. A 50 year old piece of not well taken

care of gear should not fetch "collector status pristien" money. But people are stupid.

 

If I had a huge budge and kind producer friend to bankroll my projects, I'd be willing to entertain the idea of

rental gear. But since I don't I have to think of things like future projects, and long term investments.

So I've a few CP-16r's and I'm looking to purchase a few Canon Scoopics because they can accept

the same film magazines. Mitchell mags are fairly affordable these days.

 

Would I rather have a pin registered camera? Yes.

Is anyone buying CP-16's ? no. But I'd rather use what I have then sell it and not be able to get somethng better.

But, the CP produces a finely registered frame, and so do the scoopics for that matter.

 

I can't say I would be able to do the same in 35mm.

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One thing to note - and I’m sure you have considered this, but in a photochemical workflow good registration is absolutely necessary. Be sure to do tests on your different camera bodies, especially if you’ll be blowing up to 35mm.

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I'm not a candidate for buying, but I wondered what machine you had andv what era of electronics it has.

It's a really old portable unit, but anyone who wants it can have it. Darn thing weighs a metric ton though, maybe too heavy for shipping honestly. It's tubes, direct drive motors, no belts.

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Renting 16mm is no cheaper, and people put idiotic prices on all sorts of "rare" cinema gear.

The pricing on old junk is absolutely astounding. I remember a few years ago, people would give it away, now it has some magical value? I don't think people are melting down old cameras, they're out there.

 

Also… 35mm is VERY expensive. People don't realize stock cost on 35mm is more then double 16mm.

 

If I was going to spend $7000 on a camera, I would purchase on of the modern Arri packages.

SRII with some cheap glass, that should run you well under $7k.

 

I have to think of things like future projects, and long term investments.

So I've a few CP-16r's and I'm looking to purchase a few Canon Scoopics because they can accept

the same film magazines.

I'd sell what you have and get an SRII. I just think they're a superior camera (having shot both). I don't like the scoopic at all, rather have a bolex due to the lens selection alone.

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We screen 16mm films in a large gallery space set up in the basement of an apartment block, and get a reasonable audience - enough to pay rent on the films and so on. Run a bar.

 

And next door to such we have our 16mm wet lab, a darkroom with a 16mm contact printer, amongst many other things. We have a decent collection of 16mm projectors. People just throw them at us.

 

I'm currently building a 16mm optical printer for special effects work. Have built digital control systems for a number of rebuilt 16mm and 35mm optical printers.

 

I hauled a specially modified 16mm projector from one end of Australia to the other, for a particular film festival, and met all sorts of people in the process. We ended up spending many days around bonfires, late into the night, talking shop in terms film history and projected projects.

 

Artistic types?

 

Yes indeed. Who else makes films if not artistic types?

 

C

 

Anybody doing this in the South East US? Gorgeous!

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Anybody doing this in the South East US? Gorgeous!

 

I actually had this idea a few weeks ago. I likely need to get a more substantial projector, but the one I have works fine. I think the more artsy crowd would deninitely come out and see a film, especially if there was a local brewery product attached. Getting locals to make experimental films would probably also be a relitivly easy prospect.

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especially if there was a local brewery product attached. Getting locals to make experimental films would probably also be a relitivly easy prospect.

All simpler with good beer. I am trying to establish a football [soccer] club with some players to compete in 7V7 tourneys. As soon as I can get that on cruise control im investigating this.

 

edit: I've started collecting 16mm prints. I say started... I have 2. Thats a process in an of itself. My projectors worm gear needs replacing. The part was readily avail and cheap. Putting it in.... well thats the fun part.

Edited by steve waschka

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