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charles pappas

35 neg to 16 workprint

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Can anyone hazard a guess as to whether the above referenced cost-saving measure has gone the way of the dodo, or might there still be some labs that would do the optical printed reduction as an unadvertised "special."

Edited by charles pappas

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Was it ever really a thing? Optical work always had a premium per foot, and the only saving afterwards would be a small amount on Steenbeck and pic-sync rental. Not relevant now, but if you went down to 16, the sound work would have to as well, and the fidelity of 16mm. mag was lower than 35.

I wonder if an optical reduction would even preserve the edge numbers.

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You could check out these people. They are very film oriented. http://www.videofilmsolutions.com/digital-intermediates--printing

 

thanks.

 

Was it ever really a thing? Optical work always had a premium per foot, and the only saving afterwards would be a small amount on Steenbeck and pic-sync rental. Not relevant now, but if you went down to 16, the sound work would have to as well, and the fidelity of 16mm. mag was lower than 35.

I wonder if an optical reduction would even preserve the edge numbers.

 

John Russo (Night of the Living Dead) in Making Movies says he always did this. For reference, he was paying about $121.00/400 feet of 35 neg, $0.09 per foot for processing, $0.25 per foot (of 16m) for the 16mm workprint with edge numbering and $0.87 for the answer print. I'm sure he wouldn't have been too concerned about the lesser fidelity of the 16mm mag film he used.

 

Agree this process must have been very unusual.

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Yea it was not a common practice. The main common practice was B&W prints struck from the original camera negative to save money. Reduction printing, where not very difficult, is a much slower process then a 1:1 dry gate print, which runs faster then real-time. Remember, back in the day, everything was reduction printed to 16mm anyway for television and education purposes. So there were labs who specialized in this work and likewise, you could probably get a good deal on it. Today, very few people go TO 16mm from another format. It's completely possible to do, but the cost would be exorbitant because those reduction printing machines are rarely used.

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I suppose it makes some sense on a microbudget. Maybe $15000 less at 9:1, that's 10% of his budget.

NOTLD was shot in b/w so no saving there. I did see some 60s b/w rushes from ECN on the Steenbeck last year, rather dense on skin tones as I don't think the print stock was panchromatic.

At film school we weren't even allowed to shoot in b/w- colour was part of the learning process.

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Not sure I’d want my 35mm negative camera rolls being threaded into an optical printer just to make lower-quality 16mm dailies, and then deal with 16mm mag and workprint edge numbering, etc. And then you’d have to find a 35mm neg cutter willing to read codes off of a 16mm print. It all seems pointless in the day of desktop editing systems.

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We still do quite a bit of optical reductions. There are several reasons: the first and most common one is to make 16mm prints from digital files, we cannot record directly to 16 but we make very good quality 16mm direct reductions or via IP/DN. The other reason is to have 16mm prints from either 35mm or S16 originals for loop projection in art installations, the projector is part of the installation in full view of the public.

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This workflow was somewhat common in the late 70 through mid 80 s on lower budget films, I m not so sure on how less expensive this work flow was, being all the film labs back then had reduction printers maybe it wasn't. Anther step the filmmakers had to go through is once the reduction print was made before cutting it for editing the work print and matching 35mm negative then had to have a new edge-code applied to the 35mm negative, the 16mm work print and the 16mm mag this was necessary so that the negative cutter can accurately cut the 35mm negative to the 16mm work print. We at Metro Post are currently building a new lab in New Jersey we will be offering to start S8.16mm b/w reversal processing Ektachrome S8/16mm reversal processing I m also installing all 3 of my SEKI optical printers there with those we can do 35 to 16 reduction 16 to 35mm blow up super 35mm to anamorphic 35mm and 1 to 1 printing all wet or dry gate.

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