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Mi Ki

Is there a reason why would you still choose to shoot on film over digital?

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fuji stopped couple of years ago, you can still get some of their stocks from clearance sales but mainstream productions generally want to use fresh stock so Kodak is the only option

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BTW, where are hollywood filmmakers getting film? I heard Fuji has stopped production of film and Kodak probably too?

I can't believe I am reading this! If you search the net you'll see that quite a few companies make film and Kodak is still making film.

 

Pav

Edited by Pav Deep

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the worst thing with digital imaging is that you are completely dependent on electricity. if you are recording with the camera or backing something up and you have a power failure you will almost always lose something. I never work without UPS for this reason and I'm starting to be a little tired to drag the darn thing with me everywhere :wacko:

 

There are couple of other companies making MP film but not color negative

Edited by aapo lettinen

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I'm not surprised at all.. It is usually the digital guys who fall into digital camera companies' trap - i.e. my all time least favorite Red - are led to believe that the film is dead blah blah.

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The "FILM IS DEAD!" guys don't usually know the format very well and/or haven't shot on it at all. Otherwise they would see better the big picture and would see the advantages and disadvantages of each format much more clearly, so they could understand why a format would be perfect for one production when for some other it isn't.

This is very typical with the fanboys, as well as the bashing of any other camera system and format because they want to justify their expensive purchase for themselves by claiming all the time it to be the best camera in existence :P

 

It's like trying to explain to Blackmagic guys why it isn't wise to shoot cinemadng all the time with the cameras (some productions really really need prores) because it is "the best format you can shoot with them, "OF COURSE WE ARE USING IT FOR ALL THE SHOW" :blink:

(yes, I truly hate cinemadng format. such a impractical and vulnerable format and unnecessarily difficult to back up, monitor, rename and verify <_< )

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I shot this small budget thing last month on 35, and the actress was like, " Oh, can you imagine how (cool) it would be to shoot a feature length project on 35?" I told her it's been done for nearly a century... haha. Scary times are approaching, certainly...

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I'm 2 for 2 now, and I would go back to film at the drop of a hat.

 

R,

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the worst thing with digital imaging is that you are completely dependent on electricity. if you are recording with the camera or backing something up and you have a power failure you will almost always lose something. I never work without UPS for this reason and I'm starting to be a little tired to drag the darn thing with me everywhere :wacko:

 

True, though once you get beyond a small splinter unit scenario, a lot of the same things hold true for film as well. You'll still need video village with multiple monitors from the tap, a put-put generator on the camera truck for charging batteries and for lights inside, etc. And you still need a battery for the camera and video tap. And you need to schlep mag cases everywhere.

 

One thing I have noticed on my current job is that the ease of digital shooting has made a lot of departments sloppy, from very experienced crew members to the newest trainees. I think particularly in camera department, there's a sense of discipline and rigor that the younger digital-only generation has sorely missed. Little things like keeping a clean and organized camera truck, to handling paperwork, to not rolling until the slate is focused and framed, to overusing the walkie talkies, to not listening to the DP and thinking ahead among other things.

 

As for the actual experience of shooting on film, I think I like the sensual aspect of it the most. The way everyone concentrates just a bit more when the film starts rolling through the gate. The way you stop to consider whether everything is exactly right before pushing the run button. The soft whirr of the motor and how you strain to hear the quiet click-click of the film rolling out before the take ends. The relief when you know we got the shot. The way everyone waits to hear 'clean gate' before moving on. It feels like you're physically building something precious and important. And mostly, sitting in a dark theater or projection room to see dailies for the first time and seeing your vision in the mind's eye from last week projected onto a huge flickering screen, richer and more beautiful than what you had hoped, all in silence except for the clackety-clack of the projector. It's lovely.

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And mostly, sitting in a dark theater or projection room to see dailies for the first time and seeing your vision in the mind's eye from last week projected onto a huge flickering screen, richer and more beautiful than what you had hoped, all in silence except for the clackety-clack of the projector. It's lovely.

 

This is what happened on my last short. It's an amazing experience and when it happens, you just want more. Like the greatest drug in the world.

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Satsuki brings up a very important point… 'flicker'

 

With film projection (24 frames per second) there is also a lot of black. That 'flicker' effect in my eyes is what makes going to the movies such a different experience then turning on your television. They could 'fix' that problem by adding a small shutter into digital projectors, but they don't because nobody cares. In fact, the staccato effect is something digital projection companies have clearly tried to fix.

 

I saw "Jaws" 40th anniversary release a few weeks ago. I was extremely disappointed because it lacked all of the depth seen in the film print both contrast and color. The film print pops out at you, it's a very crisp film in both detail and grain structure. The digital release was soft, smooth and almost like watching a different movie. Worst off, there was substantial frame blurring, an effect you see a lot with digital projection. It reduces the sharpness of the image and makes it seem even more like television. Heck, I know it would have looked better on my home theater. Mind you, this was Arclight cinema's and a sold-out showing, so the audience was great and of course, I love the film, so my technical complaints were put aside.

 

In terms of stills, I've been amazed how well original 35mm negative has held up over the years. I was doing some scanning last night and was shocked how good stuff I processed 20 years ago looked like it was shot yesterday. I love having a tangible/physical asset.

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Cars are getting better every year. Why would you still ride a horse.

 

Well, the reason I don't even think about film is the same reason I don't think about owning a horse. Both are expensive, and in the modern age, are limited to certain venues and situations.

 

When I lived in the country the family did have horses. I owned a horse at one time... but these days, I can't really justify owning one.

 

Same for film...

 

And I should also add, that I absolutely hate paying for a new car over $10K USD...

Edited by John E Clark

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It's trendy to say that film 'expensive', it's what students say to me all the time and none of them have looked at the costs, it's just something people say these days to legitimize their reasoning for abandoning film. I keep hearing people saying '... I would love to use film, but it's too expensive...' . Film is 'expensive' if we just look at how many minutes there are in a single 50ft, 100ft or 400ft reel, but that's not how costs are measured in film-making, film becomes slightly complicated if we look at processing and scanning, but still it's not too expensive as it always depends on how much you've shot.

 

Pav

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It's 'expensive' if you want to shoot 10+ takes of each setup, but it's certainly affordable if you're careful and keep your ratio reasonable. And with 35mm there's 2 or 3 perf options for further price and stock savings. I'll also add that Kodak is very nice to independent filmmakers and will readily offer discounts on stock, just call them with what you need.

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Yes that's true, it's all about how much you shoot, how much is processed and scanned. Recently I went on a trip and took my Super 16 camera with me, every shot looks great and worth keeping. On a narrative short I did re-take shots, mainly because of dialogue scenes and other reasons, but still I kept the number of takes very low, shooting carefully, saving on stock.

 

Pav

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Digital cameras are getting better every day. Why would you still shoot on film? I would like to read your opinions.

Because you can. Look to fine art still photography as an example. The more choices you have the better. Support film not as a superior or inferior choice. But as just having the choice. What fun would it be if you still couldn't do platinum prints. Look at the dye transfer printing process... beautiful and gone! Shoot film when you can or it will go away.

Edited by steve waschka

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Yes that's true, it's all about how much you shoot, how much is processed and scanned. Recently I went on a trip and took my Super 16 camera with me, every shot looks great and worth keeping. On a narrative short I did re-take shots, mainly because of dialogue scenes and other reasons, but still I kept the number of takes very low, shooting carefully, saving on stock.

 

Pav

 

In the case of digital, it is just the discipline of low take counts. More takes, just adds time to the editing process, and in some cases the number of 'discussions' in the editing process about which take is the best.

 

We 'read' on the one hand that Hitchcock was very sparing on his number of takes, as well as 'coverage' to the point that the editor pretty much had little choice on the assembly...

 

On the other hand... we 'read', that in Billy Wilder's "Some Like It Hot"(1959), the takes with Marylin Monroe took many takes... some upwards of 50 or so...

 

So, the object lesson, is come in with the number of shots, work with people to minimize takes, and one has pretty much a 'ready to assemble' film... On the other hand, work with the likes of Marylin... and expect set absenteeism... many takes... and perhaps even ADR of some male/female, depending, not necessarily the original talent, because of the botched dialog. (rumor has it that that was the case for one of the Marylin shots... then there's Orson Wells who seemed to do that when the actor didn't deliver what Wells wanted, despite the original quality of delivery... but that's a different story...).

Edited by John E Clark

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IMHO at this point, 35mm professional workflow aside, DIY can keep film (s16, u16, s8, 35mm) relevant ,but it's all about how cheap you can do it. processing at a lab + scans are still cost-prohibitive compared to buying a digital Camera which will generally slaughter it at resolution and image quality.

 

I'm still waiting for a cheap desktop scanning solution - of course one can be built, but some of us (me included) are too lazy to bother with the whole process.

The processing workflow seems like a workflow that can be done 'artistically' at home. Perhaps a design for a dark-tank can be made to maximize image quality.

 

Filmmaking has always been the hobby for the upper-middle class and beyond. Today's glut of cameras has democratized the 'artform' for anybody willing to press play. I think that's a great thing, but film should continue to have a life because it offers a different perspective for creators to work from. Price-competitiveness is essential though, for indies at least.

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I'm still waiting for a cheap desktop scanning solution - of course one can be built, but some of us (me included) are too lazy to bother with the whole process.

The processing workflow seems like a workflow that can be done 'artistically' at home. Perhaps a design for a dark-tank can be made to maximize image quality.

I am working on a film scanner system I made out of Konvas 1m camera, it is very good for testing the lenses and such and also for b/w art projects. here is a small sample from yesterday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paHQC762j3s

 

The scanner project: http://aapolettinen.blogspot.fi/2015/05/making-film-scanner-out-of-konvas-camera.html

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The Alexa is a very good camera, but I'm not sure what you mean by it 'beating film'. Are you talking about 70mm, 35mm, or 16mm?

 

There are several practical reasons why people choose to shoot film, here are some of mine;

 

1) Film gives you that authentic film look effortlessly

2) There's a certain way you work when shooting film, you are more decisive and more certain

3) High end digital systems are expensive to rent, whereas film cameras are very cheap, film can be expensive but it depends on your shooting ratio

4) Most of the time digital shoots take longer and therefore are most costly, especially in narrative film-making

5) With film you spend less time in the edit or with computers trying to 'fix' the images, digital images need a lot more work in post

 

Pav

Thank you Sir. That was so eloquent I couldn't have said it if I tried. You sum up the entire debate with these points. Full stop, nothing more.

I don't hate digital but I just don't want to believe its philosophy of "fast". Life is about being slow, taking your time and creating something. Film is like an art.

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Because you can. Look to fine art still photography as an example. The more choices you have the better. Support film not as a superior or inferior choice. But as just having the choice. What fun would it be if you still couldn't do platinum prints. Look at the dye transfer printing process... beautiful and gone! Shoot film when you can or it will go away.

 

Even though I do most of my stills with a Sony a7r now, I miss being able to shoot film on my 4x5, though it's mainly lately for logistical reasons (i.e. time -- it takes time to stop and set up a 4x5 camera, so if you're hiking with a non-photography oriented group or on a schedule because you're trying to reach your base camp before the storm rolls in, you don't have time to use the 4x5).

 

I reluctantly stopped using 35mm film for nature photography because the cost of a roll of film jumped quite a bit, and so did the cost of developing. I continued to, and still occasionally continue to, shoot 4x5 film since Ilford, Agfa, Kodak, and a lot of smaller companies whose names I can't think of right this minute are still making film stocks, but getting 4x5 chromes developed is getting harder these days. And the last pro lab in my city that could both develop and digitize 35mm film closed down a year or two ago.

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