Jump to content
Mario A. Peraza

How long will film last for?

Recommended Posts

Plus, there's a factor that people sometimes forget in the race to higher tech. There's prestige in a 35mm feature production. There just is. That will never go away.

Well, that's what I keep saying. In the grand scheme of things, the multi-million dollar shows are a small piece of the puzzle. It's the little shows where the simplest things make a difference. If you present a film at a festival on 35mm, it's a big deal. People take you seriously and watch it because they know you went to the effort to make your product the proper way. Whatever that means.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, that's what I keep saying. In the grand scheme of things, the multi-million dollar shows are a small piece of the puzzle. It's the little shows where the simplest things make a difference. If you present a film at a festival on 35mm, it's a big deal. People take you seriously and watch it because they know you went to the effort to make your product the proper way. Whatever that means.

 

 

Surely the content is much more important that it being "made the proper way".. :) Jon .. really .. how is there more prestige to shoot in film..it just means you couldn't afford an Alexa ..had an old film camera for free.. and some short ends in the fridge .. I think that is a sentiment only held by those who bow to the film god :) .. can you actually get a film screened/projected at a film festival these days .. I think they all have to be digital .. no..?

  • Downvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep you are right Robin, content is by far the most important thing. The rest is just how do you like your meat pie. Sauce on top? It's all good. Digital has won the day, I'm just putting my good word in for film. It needs every bit of support it can get. Agree about your to-the-point comment about money. Of course - it's really about getting food on the table and keeping up with the bills that hound one until we leave this life. The passion bit is nice though, if you can get it so to speak. That's all I'm on about. Peace to all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like I say .. Im pretty neutral on it.. I don't think digital is "better" than film.. but the die hard idea that film is somehow intrinsically ,magically even ! better than digital just has to be flagged up.. film has many draw backs in comparison ..Its often championed by folks who are yet get a good grasp of digital camera,s and work flow..and so find it difficult to get good results from digital .. if your in the position where do don't have to take on the learning curve and can just shoot film for the rest of your days.. pay off your mortgage and run the Bentley .. great ! all power..I would do exactly the same.. but for a young DP to just rule out ever shooting digital .. that's really going to limit their career chances down to pretty much to zero .. presuming they or doting parents are not multi millionaires prepared to bank roll their productions :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

how is there more prestige to shoot in film..it just means you couldn't afford an Alexa

HA! Everyone in Hollywood owns a Red or Alexa. They're literally as common as iPhones in the up and coming cinematographers closet. The deal is you start an LLC, go to a bank and get a loan, spend 100k on equipment and then sub-rent it through a smaller rental house as a way to pay your loan back. Thus, you basically aren't doing any work and when you need your camera, you just pick it up from the rental house. I recently worked on a feature where the DP was paid $200/day for himself AND his personal Alexa XT. It was a $200k feature I know, but that's what we're talking about here. Had it been shot on film and presented on film, it probably would have gotten more interest from the festival circuit. However, it kinda didn't go anywhere, not because it was poop, but because it had no market. People never look at the market and make a product that's actually needed.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HA! Everyone in Hollywood owns a Red or Alexa. They're literally as common as iPhones in the up and coming cinematographers closet. The deal is you start an LLC, go to a bank and get a loan, spend 100k on equipment and then sub-rent it through a smaller rental house as a way to pay your loan back. Thus, you basically aren't doing any work and when you need your camera, you just pick it up from the rental house. I recently worked on a feature where the DP was paid $200/day for himself AND his personal Alexa XT. It was a $200k feature I know, but that's what we're talking about here. Had it been shot on film and presented on film, it probably would have gotten more interest from the festival circuit. However, it kinda didn't go anywhere, not because it was poop, but because it had no market. People never look at the market and make a product that's actually needed.

 

 

haha .. yes I was being tongue in cheek with that comment .. but really Ive never heard that before.. that to shoot in film is someway more prestigious .. I guess it would get attention, as some sort of talking point, if a fly on the wall doc was shot 65mm.. but that would be film or video.. as much as an all drone film might get as a gimmick ..

 

wow $200 a day for DP and gear .. nasty... but also doesn't that mean that to shoot on film it would cost alot more to actually get the image into any form you could see it.. another good thing about digital..acquisition cost is almost nothing.. presumably that film would never have even been made in the film days..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it's likely that Alaris would cease to be a Kodak customer, after all, who else can they turn to to make "Kodak" products, but there have been many strange decisions made over the years by those involved with Kodak...

Well, when Agfa went bust the brand was bought up and the film was then made in Japan. Most of the product range vanished.

Alaris licenses the Kodak name. I agree, it's vanishingly unlikely- who would even make it now that Fuji no longer make colour neg?- but as you say, Kodak's no stranger to strange decisions. My guess would be that if Alaris ditched EK, they'd be ditching film altogether.

Edited by Mark Dunn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently worked on a feature where the DP was paid $200/day for himself AND his personal Alexa XT.

 

That completely blows my mind. How does anyone expect to make a living in California? Same guy/equipment would be paid $1200 minimum in Dallas...possibly more. Too many small fishes in a big ocean. $200/day is fine for a guy starting out with a DSLR but for a professional with an Alexa? Ouch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems that film has settled into a niche that is sustainable at least for the next few years. Beyond that is impossible to predict. It's a bit more expensive to use than digital capture, but enough productions are finding a way to pay the "film tax" that manufacturing and laboratories are still in business.

 

Personally, I'm shooting a bit of film for still photography, but not for movie work. I hope it stays around, but I don't think even my big 6x9 negatives are "better quality" than my digital images, they are just a little different, which appeals to me. But I do print them all through a digital pipeline, and the difference is not always visible to most. But, it's fun. So get yourself a real movie camera, at a low price, and have some fun. It's an investment in living, not in money making.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

but really Ive never heard that before.. that to shoot in film is someway more prestigious ..

Ohh it's huge. Stuff shot on film and presented on film at the festivals are SOLD OUT SHOWS nearly always. It doesn't even matter the content, people will make sure they watch it. I've worked with dozens of filmmakers who have gone to festivals with digital and film and noticed a dramatic difference in viewership. Remember, the point is more eyes, more likelihood you'll get bought or funded for other projects.

 

Why do you think 'The Favorite', 'La La Land', 'Roma', 'First Man' and countless other large features, screened in 35mm at festivals, yet not released to the public on film?

 

if a fly on the wall doc was shot 65mm..

Trust me, if I could afford it, I would do it. :P

 

wow $200 a day for DP and gear .. nasty...

As of January 2019, the minimum day rate of advertised jobs is $250/day without equipment. But most people get away with DP and gear for that price. Remember, there is always someone cheaper then you. I've seen some demo reels of 20 somethings who have shot major things and when you ask them if they've been paid, they say "sometimes". Wait, "SOMETIMES"? You're trying to tell me you own a $30k + camera, $40k worth of lenses and you get paid "SOMETIMES" for your work? This is the problem... If you HAVE money going into this industry, you're more likely to get more jobs, hence build a demo reel and get better jobs. It's very frustrating to see these guys reels and they're 20x better then mine, yet I've been shooting for way longer, I just don't get the opportunities because I can't work for $250/day with equipment, I got bills to pay.

 

but also doesn't that mean that to shoot on film it would cost alot more to actually get the image into any form you could see it..

You'd think so, but honestly it's really not that bad. I got some guys renting my XTR for a feature right now and they're shooting around 30 rolls of Super 16 3.5:1 shooting ratio. Their entire "film" budget is $12k. That includes stock, processing and 2k transfer. That's really not a lot of money and sure one could argue that with digital you could "save" that money, but reality is, digital does have a lot of costs associated as well. All of a sudden you need to pay for a DIT and their rig, which is not cheap. In fact, the cheapest DIT I know is $350/day with equipment. That's $9800 bux right there and you MUST have this guy on a digital show, but he's unnecessary on a film show. The camera department still has a loader on a digital show, so that doesn't change at all. Then you MUST have a decent large monitor that's color accurate on set with digital. It's a MUST HAVE because one small issue and you're screwed. Have you ever personally rented a Flanders Scientific monitor and pay someone to program LUTs? We're talking around $250/day for a small monitor (they have an old CRT with the film camera that I gave them for free). 3 day week, 3 weeks total = $2250 just for the monitor. Then you've got hard drives. $279 for 8tb and you need 2 of them = $600 after tax. SO lets do the math; DIT = $9800 + Monitor = $2200 + $600 = $12,600 JUST TO SHOOT DIGITAL!

 

I charged these guys $3k for a bit over 3 weeks of shooting for my entire Super 16 package. That's $333 per week for camera, prime lenses, zoom lens, monitors, tripod and tuns of accessories. Good luck finding a decent digital cinema camera AND lenses for that price. They would have been relegated to shooting on a C300MKII with their own personal Canon lenses and for what? So their movie looks just like every other movie out there? Na... with Super 16 it doesn't look like ANY of the other movies out there.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's my take, as someone who learned cinematography on 16mm in the same year 4k raw became a thing:

 

Yes, film hit it's nadir this decade. But things are noticeably on the rise. I've had significantly more conversations with directors and clients where film is seriously considered as an option than any other point in my career.

 

Personally I own a Helium and an Arri 35mm camera. Does the RED go out way more often? Absolutely.

I make sub-rental income from it and go out as a package rate owner/op all the time.

 

However, when working with a client who has the budget for a full rate camera rental, I always make the case for film. Sometimes I even luck out and get it. The ~$1500/d camera, aks rental, DIT, hard drives, post workflow et al. can go a long way toward film stock and development. I've never had a director/client come back less than ecstatic about the decision.

 

Digital has come amazingly far since its inception. I don't believe either have an edge over the other. In the hands of a master they can both make jaw dropping images. In unskilled hands... well...

 

Kodak will never get back to it's heyday, and they need to accept that. I believe the demand is strong enough to keep their motion picture division afloat, and that demand is only growing.

 

 

An anecdote:

For a time my wife co-operated a very busy photography business. They started out digital but quickly switched over to a fully film based workflow.

With the multitude of weddings and portraits they were booked up with, it turned out to be far more economical to use film than to pay an assistant to edit all the digital files - or the time investment in doing it themselves! The end result was mostly the same (after all, aren't most photoshop plugins and youtube tutorials searching for the ever elusive "film look"?), but, once mastering the medium, the cost and time input went way down.

 

 

 

tl;dr:

For someone just starting their career: resist gear envy. Some of my proudest work was made in less than optimal conditions (I suspect that is true for most folks here). Get the equipment you can afford, and shoot with it every day. Experiment and learn from your results. Also, go buy a $20 film camera from craigslist and practice with that and a box of cheap Kodak Gold 200. Use that to learn to see and interpret light, which is where the real magic is. :D

Edited by Duncan OBryan
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of a sudden you need to pay for a DIT and their rig, which is not cheap. In fact, the cheapest DIT I know is $350/day with equipment. That's $9800 bux right there and you MUST have this guy on a digital show, but he's unnecessary on a film show. The camera department still has a loader on a digital show, so that doesn't change at all. Then you MUST have a decent large monitor that's color accurate on set with digital. It's a MUST HAVE because one small issue and you're screwed. Have you ever personally rented a Flanders Scientific monitor and pay someone to program LUTs?

Actually, I know many DITs who work for less than $350 a day. If all you asking them to do is Data Management, and transcodes for editorial, it is pretty easy to find capable crew for less than the huge rates that DITs sometime ask. On low budget shows, it's rare to have a loader. Usually, that job is handled by the second AC. As for monitors, I've been using the same Panasonic 17" that I have for years, with no problems whatsoever. If you know your camera system well, and know your monitor, it's not necessary to have 24" OLEDs on set. As for paying someone to create LUTs, it's perfectly possible to shoot using just the built in REC709 LUTs in any system. In fact, most cameras have more than one for you to choose from. Custom LUTs are a choice, not a necessity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't say anymore that film is better than digital. I used to think it though. But all I know is that I prefer the look of film. And I think it's more prestigious (for whatever prestige is worth ... but come to think of it that can equal big profits, if you want to talk dollars coming in). That doesn't mean the majority think or see the way things I do - I'm told here often that, hey Jon, no one in the audience cares. Well, all I can really do is go by what I know, and I know that I really do prefer to sit and look at film, even if scanned and projected digitally. Much prefer it. And I believe you can often see a difference even with scanned film. Actually a huge difference if shot on 2 perf or something similar. I really liked 'Green Book' recently but was sitting there thinking this would have been out of the world amazing if they'd shot it on film. But that's how I see it. For tv, documentaries and so on digital is the way to go, but for feature movies I want film!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

$279 for 8tb and you need 2 of them = $600 after tax. SO lets do the math; DIT = $9800 + Monitor = $2200 + $600 = $12,600 JUST TO SHOOT DIGITAL!

 

 

I think you've under estimated the cost of HDDs. IIRC insurance to cover re-shoots in event of catastrophic loss for digital requires 3 backups, and as someone who has lost hard drives before its basically cinematic suicide to not use at least x3 raid5 disc arrays all running WD Black or NAS drives. Anything less is begging for something weird to go wrong and data to go poof.

 

On an ArriRaw feature (probably the most appropriate digital comparison to shooting on film), its entirely possible to blow $20k on hard drives, raid enclosures, and the data management/LTO backup that comes at the end. Aaaand if you're being responsible you kinda need to buy a personal LTO drive on an indie flick, or risk not being able to recover the data 10 years from now.

 

So the costs are actually higher than you estimated if you're doing everything by the book, though I'd imagine a lot of smaller shows use the DIT and film loader interchangeably so as a line item that might not be a major cost difference. Though I will say for really low budget stuff on film Im the sort who just has a stupid number of mags for my cameras so if I have to download at the end of the day I can (yeah I know, not best practice).

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bingo !!!

 

Robert Houllahan
  • photo-thumb-15580.jpg?_r=1532146945
  • Sustaining Members
  • sustaining.png
  • 1668 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Providence R.I.

Posted Yesterday, 01:06 AM

Yeah no technology humans have invented has ever really disappeared and certainly there is quite a demand for film and as long as there is human civilization there will be film.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my experience, on film there is always a loader. With digital one only needs a data wrangler. So, it's a wash. Film is scanned, and also needs data back ups. So, no saving there.

 

I've never had a DIT on a feature film, and not sure I'd even want one. If they are not archiving the data, what would they do?

 

Yes. I'm trolling :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. I'm trolling :)

LOL!

 

No DIT on a feature? WHAT!?!? Sacrilege! HAHAHA

 

Ohh short story. I recently edited/colored a 1 day shoot music video shot with Alexa and they had TWO digital image technicians on set, one to handle the data and one to handle the back end/monitors and such. TWO of them! On a one day shoot!?!?! With Alexa? How do you **(obscenity removed)** up shooting on an Alexa? :shrug:

 

Still I do see the point of having one on a feature film. It's a set of eyes on your project to make sure things are coming out good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, I know many DITs who work for less than $350 a day.

Wait, with kit rental included? Umm... yea that's new to me.

 

If all you asking them to do is Data Management, and transcodes for editorial, it is pretty easy to find capable crew for less than the huge rates that DITs sometime ask.

Ohh DIT is very important. Data management, sync audio, make transcodes with LUTs and upload to editorial. They also can find some issues that you normally don't find until editorial, like timecode between camera and audio recorder being off, or excess noise in one of the cameras due to a technical issue. I've had DIT's find a lot of issues that are fixed by day 2.

 

On low budget shows, it's rare to have a loader. Usually, that job is handled by the second AC.

Yea, we usually do the same thing on film shows. The 2nd AC loads as well.

 

As for monitors, I've been using the same Panasonic 17" that I have for years, with no problems whatsoever.

Those panasonic's are great monitors. Second, you can't program luts into them. So if you wish to view different looks in anything else but Rec709, it's difficult. Not impossible, but more challenging than simply throwing the lut on the monitor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL!

 

No DIT on a feature? WHAT!?!? Sacrilege! HAHAHA

 

Ohh short story. I recently edited/colored a 1 day shoot music video shot with Alexa and they had TWO digital image technicians on set, one to handle the data and one to handle the back end/monitors and such. TWO of them! On a one day shoot!?!?! With Alexa? How do you **(obscenity removed)** up shooting on an Alexa? :shrug:

 

Still I do see the point of having one on a feature film. It's a set of eyes on your project to make sure things are coming out good.

We do have an assistant editor who makes the transcodes for editing, but they're off set and I've never met them :) I suppose one could combine all these guys into one and call them DIT! It's the "on set colorist" part of "DIT" that I don't need or really want.

 

As for "eyes" on set. I'm the "eyes". This is one reason I don't like to operate the camera. I want to see what all the cameras are doing, and to check the camera settings on the monitors for errors. And sometimes, I find an error and sometimes I miss it too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ohh DIT is very important. Data management, sync audio, make transcodes with LUTs and upload to editorial. They also can find some issues that you normally don't find until editorial, like timecode between camera and audio recorder being off, or excess noise in one of the cameras due to a technical issue. I've had DIT's find a lot of issues that are fixed by day 2.

 

Those are basic tasks for DIT, and don't require a lot of equipment. On some shows they don't even transcode for editorial, although that's less common now with shooting 4k. No need for a superstar DIT with thousands of dollars of equipment.

 

 

Those panasonic's are great monitors. Second, you can't program luts into them. So if you wish to view different looks in anything else but Rec709, it's difficult. Not impossible, but more challenging than simply throwing the lut on the monitor.

Loading LUTs into monitors is not a necessity. I've never used Custom LUTs in a monitor. If we need to tweak a LUT for a certain look, we do it in camera. Pretty simple really.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys great information all around. Makes me feel more confident in buying an analog film camera now :D I really am interested in old school things. I have a U-turn Orbit vinyl player, so having the what-was is so awesome. And since CSUN uses film for all of our projects it's going to help me build and refine skills regarding the raw process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys great information all around. Makes me feel more confident in buying an analog film camera now :D I really am interested in old school things. I have a U-turn Orbit vinyl player, so having the what-was is so awesome. And since CSUN uses film for all of our projects it's going to help me build and refine skills regarding the raw process.

 

Well if you have $3,000 I have an Eclair NPR that cost me $7500 that I'm selling. Oh well I'm listing it on here tomorrow. Schools have been closed in Seattle but are opening up tomorrow so I'll have time for myself. Gotta get that camera listed on Cine Marketplace asap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment



    G-Force Grips



    Visual Products



    Gamma Ray Digital Inc



    Metropolis Post



    Broadcast Solutions Inc



    CineLab



    Abel Cine



    Ritter Battery



    Paralinx LLC



    Wooden Camera



    Serious Gear



    FJS International



    Tai Audio



    Just Cinema Gear



    Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS



    Rig Wheels Passport



    Glidecam


×
×
  • Create New...