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Stephen Perera

Movie 'Mid90s' shot on 16mm

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I just got a copy, gonna watch soon!

 

I did just see Old man with a gun and it looked great. I was really happy with the old school look they had going on and even though the super 16mm grain was heavy, it matched the look they were going after. Wish there was more meat to the film, but at least it was entertaining!

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I stand by what I said a long time ago.....16mm is THE look of film.....digital looks nowhere near what 16mm looks like

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I stand by what I said a long time ago.....16mm is THE look of film.....digital looks nowhere near what 16mm looks like

It's the "classic" look yep. Everyone fights to make 35mm look that way through push processing and such. But 16mm just looks that way!

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Posted (edited)

To each his own, but at the cinema for features I prefer the look of 35mm in dcp :) I find 16mm just a tad too grainy so far for the features I've seen but it's all personal preference of course. Also I sometimes find the 16mm look in dcp sort of very slightly 'dark' or underexposed in the dcps I've seen, compared to the digitally-shot previews etc before the main show, but I still can't figure out why that is. If someone could enlighten me on this I'd be grateful. Just projector brightness levels I guess, but still, should it be necessary to adjust brightness for film-shot movies?

 

In 2019 I have to get to some other cinemas to properly check out digital projection of movies shot on film. I can't judge this from just one cinema I frequent.

Edited by Jon O'Brien

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Surely its dependent on the "look" the film makers are after.. I mean no point to shoot Downton Abbey, Lala Land or Mary Poppins for a grainy "real film" look ..nes par..

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I saw a digital screening of Mid90s and going into I knew it was 1.33 but afterwards I heard a couple people mention they thought there was something wrong with the projector (haha) . The grain structure looked nice on the dcp and in some scenes there were very prevalent film scratches that I personally loved but I have never seen anything to that degree left in and not cleaned up in post. I did see a pre screening so I don't know if anyone else saw this. I'm referring to the scene where the kids are sitting on the couch in the skate shop talking for the first time.

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Yep, I bet 1.33 would look stunning. Cropped to 2.40:1 is quite grainy in my opinion, but sure, if that's the look the filmmakers want then that's what they want.

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I thought the debate was 16mm Vs 35mm film.. but yes Im all for a new year film vs digital debate.. let me see.. ok film is crap..my A7III looks better.. Arri is green .. Sony is yellow.. Canon is Magenta... 8k is best .. 4K sucks bro.. ..

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I've given up debating, even as a humble member of ye little olde audience and as an amateur in comparison to the pros here. People, just do what you want ... and what you can. But here is an article I derived some pleasure in reading, for those interested in musing upon 35mm film's tenacious ability to survive the cinema revolution that saw multi-hundred-thousand-dollar relics of the engineer's art (eg. 35/70 film projectors) end up in tiny little, dusty, privately-owned garden sheds like I saw the other day ... patiently awaiting for their day 'in the sun' once more. https://filmmakermagazine.com/105050-31-films-shot-on-35mm-released-in-2017/#.XC0_1VwzbIU

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Posted (edited)

haha yes, this is for me the 16mm v 35mm debate as a cinema goer, Im nowhere near anything other.....what Im saying is arri alexa footage gets thrown in with 35mm and 65mm in Christopher Robin for example and nobody other than people like David Mullen can tell the difference due to the grading etc but 16mm in my opinion is the most distinctive look out there that digital just can't match

 

Spec on Christopher Robin:
Arri Alexa SXT, Panavision C-, E- and G-Series Lenses

Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2, Panavision C-, E- and G-Series Lenses
Panavision Panaflex System 65 Studio, Panavision APO Panatar and Sphero 65 Lenses

Edited by Stephen Perera

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Posted (edited)

Re the film vs digital thing, the strong film advocates of the 2017/18 'debates' are less vocal here lately it seems. Too busy or something ... or gone over to all-digital. Has the debate been won? Are the film-only people like the statue of 'The dying Gaul', as in, utterly done in? No way, they live on, surging ahead on distant yonder hill ... (a bit like 'The Man from Snowy River', if you know that poem).

Edited by Jon O'Brien

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Posted (edited)

The film vs digital thing debate is perhaps less vocal here, I agree that 16mm has such a distinct look very different to digital. High end digital is excellent and the digital workflow is somewhat easier. I think most have accepted that film is film, its workflow, its look is far more superior and digital is different, as most still spend a lot of time and money for digital to look like film. Interestingly film has not gone away, far from it recently we have seen that some the biggest films being made on film. There has been a move to use larger formats such as 70mm, but 16mm is also being used more and more.

 

Pav

Edited by Pavan Deep
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Posted (edited)

 

 

I just saw this film yesterday on a plane.. Delta actually has fairly good and "large" for planes 16-9 screens.. and even on that it looked great.. and a really good film .. the only thing that was funny and you see a lot.. is feature film people trying to replicate documentary type interviews .. for some reason 4-3 although they were meant to be contemporary .. and with this massive head room framing with the mic in frame ???? .. just in case the audience didn't know this was the mockumentaey part.. like extras holding ENG camera in the oddest possible way.. always wondered why someone doesn't just show them.. would take 30 seconds..

 

PS the mockumetary interviews shot digitally actually look pretty good too... beside the framing that would get you sacked before you even hit Rec ..in real life..

Edited by Robin R Probyn

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I think the big problem is that 35mm looks so damn good, it's so hard to mimic the look of an older movie without some sort of trickery. Either pushing the stock pretty hard or digital manipulation. This is partially why so many people are shooting on film today, to get that more organic look.

 

I'm shooting more film today than I've ever shot in the past (including editing other's films), literally getting dailies weekly on both super 16 and 3 perf 35mm. I tells ya, the super 16 stuff looks more "filmic" then the 35mm stuff. My camera/lensing is darn good, the scans are good, it's really difficult to differentiate 35mm from an Arri Alexa for instance. I'm in the middle of doing an Alexa vs Film test, but I fret it won't be very good because the film sat around for a long time before we processed it... rookie mistake on the fault of the client sadly. :(

 

I'm still doing an internal debate about 2k vs 4k scans tho. I finally have a bunch of scanning machines, so we'll be doing a lot of tests in the near future. However, I've been cutting some beautiful music videos shot on 16mm and scanned at 4k, with a complete 4k workflow and frankly, I don't see much of a difference between that and the 2k scans from other projects. I haven't been able to test a wide gamut of stocks however, just 500T. So I will need to do some 50D and 250D shows to compare, but I think the 2k scans I just did for a different show look great. Even on my 27" 99% DCI-P3 17:9 4k monitor with a 12 bit 444 interface the difference is negligent. 7219 (16mm) always has a larger grain structure then 4k can really benefit from. Then you get guys who push the stock a stop to get even more grain and I'm like, are you mad? I will say that with the 3 perf 35mm stuff that a 4k scan does make a huge difference, even with 5219.

 

For the record, I do think that no matter what in this day in age, we should be scanning at the highest resolution our original media can resolve (2.5k on 16, 5k on 35mm and 8k on 65mm) and finishing in 4k, so our digital masters are basically future proof. I don't think the average consumer's home theater OR common theatrical imaging systems are going to require greater than 4k resolution ever, IMAX and speciality large screens of course are a different topic.

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Regarding 35mm, I think something that would be really interesting in terms of seeing movies projected on the big screen in the cinema as a DCP, is finding interesting lenses and optical techniques for making more anamorphic-looking bokeh and shallower dof with 2 perf. In other words using 2 perf but trying as much as possible to get a vintage 70s type look of a scope 35mm print seen at the local cinema. Pushing the grain out more too/cropping more in post to make grain more obvious, and that type of thing. With S16 I'd be trying to decrease grain as much as possible and try to make it look as much like 35mm as possible. Shoot 50D if necessary. Of course it's still going to be very grainy though, but a bit less so.

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There are some filters that will give the blue streaks of anamorphic, but I'm unaware of any other tricks to make the bokeh look oval without having a lens without an Iris and using oval iris slides.

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haha yes, this is for me the 16mm v 35mm debate as a cinema goer, Im nowhere near anything other.....what Im saying is arri alexa footage gets thrown in with 35mm and 65mm in Christopher Robin for example and nobody other than people like David Mullen can tell the difference due to the grading etc but 16mm in my opinion is the most distinctive look out there that digital just can't match

 

Spec on Christopher Robin:

Arri Alexa SXT, Panavision C-, E- and G-Series Lenses

Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2, Panavision C-, E- and G-Series Lenses

Panavision Panaflex System 65 Studio, Panavision APO Panatar and Sphero 65 Lenses

 

You could tell from the trailers alone that CR was a digital and film hybrid. I have it on BR and it's clear as day on a 90 inch + screen as well. Yes 16mm is the most OBVIOUS but 35mm is plenty obvious too unless you're sitting in the last few rows or something. 2 perf is super distinctive, even anamorphic can be plenty grainy. Some rare films these days look quite clean despite being shot on film but it's rare imo.

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well thats my point.....16m is more 'filmic' than 35mm in MY OPINION AS A fan of cinema

Yep it can be if done properly. It's hard to create shallow depth of field without adding elements to the foreground and or using longer lenses and leaving them wide open. This is the opposite problem with 35mm, where it naturally has more depth of field and ya gotta stop down to control it. I do a lot of shooting on 35mm at T1.5 - T2 and focus pulling by yourself, even with wide lenses, is like some sort of joke, especially hand held wing-it style. I just got some dailies back from a very complex shot and it took me 3 takes just to nail the focus. I'm greatful the actors nailed it the same take I did! If I hadn't been looking through the lens making compensations on focus for the entire shot, it wouldn't have come out. This is one of the issues with film in general, ya either have an AC and puller, measuring every shot and pulling to marks or you have one guy doing it all through the lens on their own.

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Even in a highly compressed Itunes 1080p rental (3.6 gb file), mid90s looks fantastic. Phenomenal debut imo, the ratio (picked because it cut very well with the skating footage at the end of the film) is the right choice as well.

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I also think excellent director debut by Jonah Hill, he obviously learned from Scorcese, Tarantino, Coens, etc so hardly surprising......loved the aspect ratio too.....the best for watching a film on an iPad Pro for example hahaha how ironic

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