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greg quinn

shoot feature project on 16mm B&W vs video/simulated 16mm?

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I'm in the planning stages for shooting a suspense-genre feature film - probably around the 80 minute mark.

 

I'd like to shoot the thing on 16mm B&W Kodak Double-X, but my back of a napkin calculations are that it will close to double the acquisition cost.

 

Are we at a point where we can close-enough simulate a 16mm film look, especially texture/grain in video in post?

 

Another question: I plan to telecine the negative and post in video - folks do that, right?

 

Thanks

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If you choose to go with video to LOOK like 16mm, multiple people here have told me the Blackmagic Pocket is the most cost effective option for that general look. If you're looking for additional grain, Davinci Resolve has some nice plug-ins that could solidify what you're going for.

 

Another option to explore is the Bolex D16, however I fear it could be overpriced for what it's promising.

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Have you received quotes from labs and kodak or Orwo? For approximately 32000 feet of film what were your numbers? You could probably get a very good deal from Orwo. BW S16 to ProRes4444 is quite affordable.

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If you have a budget, why not shoot a test with 16mm B&W footage and digital footage with grain added to it. I understand money can be an issue, but if you can shoot on film, why not do it? Most camera rental houses should cut you a deal with rentals because at this point 16mm/super 16mm cameras are big paper weights. Also some post houses should also cut you a deal if you have a feature you plan on scanning. Hope this helps!

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We would be happy to make you a quote for developing B&W and scanning on the Scan Station or Spirit.

 

We can bundle the two together for a good package price.

 

PM me if interested.

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I'm in the planning stages for shooting a suspense-genre feature film - probably around the 80 minute mark.

 

I'd like to shoot the thing on 16mm B&W Kodak Double-X, but my back of a napkin calculations are that it will close to double the acquisition cost.

 

Are we at a point where we can close-enough simulate a 16mm film look, especially texture/grain in video in post?

 

Another question: I plan to telecine the negative and post in video - folks do that, right?

 

Thanks

 

Yes, video post is the norm.

If you choose to go with video to LOOK like 16mm, multiple people here have told me the Blackmagic Pocket is the most cost effective option for that general look. If you're looking for additional grain, Davinci Resolve has some nice plug-ins that could solidify what you're going for.

 

Another option to explore is the Bolex D16, however I fear it could be overpriced for what it's promising.

I really would not use the Digital Bolex for a feature. It is has been discontinued. The Blackmagic Pocket cam is a stretch as well. Clearly using this camera would be very cheap up front, but with lots of un-certainty. I have experienced lots of unwanted fixed pattern noise in low light situations that could not be graded out. It varies from camera to camera, that is why I would NOT use it.

Edited by Chris Burke

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I'm in the planning stages for shooting a suspense-genre feature film - probably around the 80 minute mark.

 

I'd like to shoot the thing on 16mm B&W Kodak Double-X, but my back of a napkin calculations are that it will close to double the acquisition cost.

 

Are we at a point where we can close-enough simulate a 16mm film look, especially texture/grain in video in post?

Not even remotely. Tabular-grain film is extremely diffucult to match texture-wise, old-style B&W like 7222 - plain impossible.

Kodak might give you a big discount if you're shooting a B&W feature, and there's ORWO, Foma and Slavich which are cheaper to begin with. Camera rental and offline-quality telecine cost close to nothing. You'll be able to negotiate processing costs as well.

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Thanks for all the responses - I haven't been able to get back to the thread till now.

 

One reason for planning 16mm is to future-proof the project. I was at a MeetUp indie producer meeting in LA a few months ago, and unless I'm missing something, acquisition even for low budget projects seems to be ideally 4k. I'm not sure 16mm will scan that high, otherwise something as simple as the Blackmagic Pocket mentioned by Macks might conceivably work, notwithstanding artifacting.

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Not even remotely. Tabular-grain film is extremely diffucult to match texture-wise, old-style B&W like 7222 - plain impossible.

Kodak might give you a big discount if you're shooting a B&W feature, and there's ORWO, Foma and Slavich which are cheaper to begin with. Camera rental and offline-quality telecine cost close to nothing. You'll be able to negotiate processing costs as well.

Appreciate this. Do you have the name of someone at Kodak to contact?

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Only at Kodak Moscow. So if you decide to film in Russia, you welcome! :)

There's a number of Kodak distributors in US - makes sense to contact them all, I think, as they can all have different deals/discounts. Foma and ORWO you can contact directly I suppose.

Slavich, by the way, seems to have quit coating film. Tasma in Kazan still does but they don't offer motion picture gauges.

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Only at Kodak Moscow. So if you decide to film in Russia, you welcome! :)

There's a number of Kodak distributors in US - makes sense to contact them all, I think, as they can all have different deals/discounts. Foma and ORWO you can contact directly I suppose.

Slavich, by the way, seems to have quit coating film. Tasma in Kazan still does but they don't offer motion picture gauges.

 

thanks Michael!

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When someone is planning to shoot a feature it’s become normal for people to say ‘if you have the budget try shooting on Super 16’. I have heard this many times, this assumes that if you are planning a feature film using Super 16 is going to cost more. This assumption is slightly misleading as making a feature is going to be expensive no matter what format is used. Super 16 can be expensive, it just depends on how you shoot, it doesn’t always cost more, but the workflow is more complicated and slower as there's processing and scanning to consider.

 

Pav

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I'd call the film workflow easier as it's standartized and getting a natural (subjectively pleasing) image takes less work - from cinematographer, G&E, art, post.. From a producer's POV it might look different, maybe.

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Probably the panasonic gh4, now the gh5. since the end result would be black and white, with rather deep focus and some noise/grain, you could use a solid 1/2 in or 1/3 inch camera like a sony ex3 or ex1R....panasonic hpx370

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That might be one of the only camera test videos I've seen where the content itself is actually interesting.

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Lovely piece. But I don't understand why digital camera manufacturers can't improve highlight roll-off and colorimetry at this budget level, when they can do 4K, higher bit rates, higher frame rates, and better codecs. Sad!! ;)

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I don't understand why digital camera manufacturers can't improve highlight roll-off and colorimetry at this budget level

You're acting like their target market even knows what those things are... Or was that the joke?

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You're acting like their target market even knows what those things are... Or was that the joke?

But I'm part of the target market! I'd totally buy one if it had these things. I can't be the only one here either. It would make a great little camera for rigging, gimbal, or drones.

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Manufacturers do what is easiest and sells the most units, which means more pixels. Better dynamic range, color, highlight roll-off, greater bit depth and less compression... that's harder to do.

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Yes, of course you're right David. Looks like the GH5 has 10bit 422 recording at high bit-rates, which I suppose is just a matter of putting more powerful processors inside.

 

I guess I'm mostly curious why it's so difficult to improve highlight rolloff and color science. Is it a limitation of the silicon? The expense of proprietary color dyes on the sensor? More complex analog-digital gain circuitry on the chip? More expensive development time? Arri was able to do it seven years ago, so you would think that some of those gains would have trickled down by now.

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