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Hi everybody,

 

Shooting a 2 1/2 minute shot in slow motion (30 fps or slower) but it's a shot of someone lip syncing an entire song. I'd like to do it on 16 or Super 8 but I'm not sure what the most budget-conscious way of proceeding would be. There's definitely no way of achieving this without crystal sync, right? So any advice on the cheapest camera system that can do slow motion (at 30fps or slower) and keep sync?

 

Thanks so much for the help!

 

- Ez

Edited by Ezra Giovanetto

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I'm afraid a 50ft Super 8 cart at 30fps is already only 2 minutes long. :(

You also need to think about how long it's going to take for slating etc.

 

For 16mm you could use 400ft mags which would give you a little under 9 minutes at 30fps

You could shoot 70fps with the right camera and get 3mins 48 secs on a 400ft roll

 

Freya

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If you were prepared to go the other way and have everything moving really fast except for the singer it would be way, way easier and you could maybe even get away with slating head and tails on a super 8 camera for sync.

 

The singer would have to sing really slowly and make slow motion movements which might look sort of normal when speeded up again.

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Wait, hang on, are you saying that the finished video will be 2.5 minutes long? (makes sense for a song) That might be more doable if you can find a super 8 camera that does 30fps. Which might be hard. The Beaulieu cameras can do 36 and you might be able to find a setting that is about 30 tho as they frame rate is a continuous control.

Edited by Freya Black

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Yes. The shot would be around 2:30 in 24fps. I wasn't sure if a lot of the crystal sync motors out there for the super 8 cameras and cheaper 16 cameras could still sync at higher frame rates.

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Yes. The shot would be around 2:30 in 24fps. I wasn't sure if a lot of the crystal sync motors out there for the super 8 cameras and cheaper 16 cameras could still sync at higher frame rates.

 

In Super 8 the cameras are only ever xtal sync at 24 or 25fps with the possible exception of the Logmar (not sure?)

 

Although almost all Super 8 cameras are not crystal sync, a lot of them hold their speed quite well and some people have discovered that by slating head and tails and doing a time stretch, once they have worked out the actual speed of their camera it is fairly consistent and they can just slate heads and the stretch value remains the same. I think this is because of the tiny Super 8 mechanisms not really allowing a lot of scope for deviation but I can't be sure of course. Whether any of that holds up at higher speeds like 36fps is hard to know without trying.

 

In 16mm / Super 16 it comes down to the motors available for the camera and you are right that again a lot of the budget end cameras only have crystal sync for 24 and 25fps. I would imagine that something like an Arri 416 OTH would be crystal at all speeds tho.

 

Freya

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30fps isn't a very strong slomo effect. It's about a 25% slowdown. Are you likely to want to slow it down more?

 

If it is one shot the lip sync may look off by the end, but like Freya or someone else said, maybe you can fiddle that in post.

 

For the 16mm cameras.

Eclair ACL commonly have the later motor with 50 and 75fps for slomo, crystal controlled.

SR II had a Variable Speed Unit, a box that gave quite accurate speeds. Can't remember if it was crystal. This box is often with kit, not rare.

SRIII has 30fps as standard option and all var speds are crystal I think.

Aaton LTRs are only crystal at 24/25. XTR prod can do var speed crystal controlled.

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30fps isn't a very strong slomo effect.

 

I recently shot 33fps on 16mm and even that was hard to see. Also, how much of a close-up will the shot be? Depending on how wide the frame is, you may have a hell of a time synching the picture to the music.

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For the 16mm cameras.

Eclair ACL commonly have the later motor with 50 and 75fps for slomo, crystal controlled.

 

The latter ACL motor is also only crystal at 24/25. It does have the advantage of the extra speeds which the original motor didn't have but they are not crystal sync. It was a similar situation with the NPR motors too. Unless you are thinking of the Tobin TCS motor. That was crystal. I think the only one for the ACL that was crystal at all speeds.

 

Actually Tobin did a few motors that were crystal at all speeds so you could probably even use a bolex that is compatible with the Tobin crystal motor.

 

I think that in the past the attitude was a bit like "why would you want crystal sync outside of 24fps?", in fact I think I remember someone even asking me that long ago. There are lots of answers to that question of course.

 

Freya

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Actually Tobin did a few motors that were crystal at all speeds so you could probably even use a bolex that is compatible with the Tobin crystal motor.

 

Yup. I have one of those for my Arri-S.

  • Upvote 1

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I looked up the Arri SR series because I don't know that much about them (a bit high end for me in the UK!) and discovered that even the SR2 is not crystal outside of 24/25 as standard. This seems to be something that arrived with the SR3.

 

This is a bit of a shock for me as it means that Bill's Arri-S in some way out-specs the SR2!

It was always great the way old film cameras could be upgraded. New motor, new film stock, New lenses...

 

Freya

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The latter ACL motor is also only crystal at 24/25. ....

 

 

The first heavy duty motor was only crystal at 24/25 as you say. Then came the motor with crystal at all speeds (8, 12, 24, 25

50, 75 fps). Watching eBay carefully a couple of years ago to buy, that later motor (all crystal) seemed the most common of the factory multispeed motors.

 

Do you know if the SR variable speed unit (VSU) is crystal controlled? If not, what are the speed tolerances I wonder?

 

For me, I would just prefer to concieve of a project that didn't need crystal control for the camera while they sang (lip synced) like chipmunks to the playback.

Edited by Gregg MacPherson

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