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Kate Romanelli

very modern 16mm look - Boss Bottled Infinite

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Hi there,

I worked on a shoot last summer in NYC where they filmed Chris Hemsworth for Boss Bottled Infinite, in an office building in Manhattan and on the beach in Long Island.

The drone shots are all digital but the shots of him on the beach and office shots are shot on 16mm with an Arri.

I was wondering how they managed to merge digital and film footage so smoothly and gave it such a modern, polished but not too digitally looking grade? Is it a matter of underexposing film and then pushing it one or two stops or something like that.

I follow the Kodak_Shootfilm account on Instagram and always notice that some 16mm footage looks really grainy and others looks very clean and polished. I wonder what makes the difference? 

Thank you kindly,

Kate

 

 

 

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A base look that is heavily modifying the original image, which is applied to everything, fast cutting (so you can't tell) and of course, we aren't watching the full 4k 10 bit 444 version on youtube, so it's just impossible to tell. 

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6 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

A base look that is heavily modifying the original image, which is applied to everything, fast cutting (so you can't tell) and of course, we aren't watching the full 4k 10 bit 444 version on youtube, so it's just impossible to tell. 

So basically it's just a grading thing? And has nothing to do with a pushed / pulled film or similar? 

Here is another Chris Hemsworth clip (of course also not in 4k and badly compressed), shot on 16mm and on a Bolex instead an Arriflex and it looks grainy and amateurish compared to how he looks in the Boss film.

Again, this is obviously two very different productions but I have noticed before that 16mm can either look grainy and almost like a Super 8 shot or also very clean and modern. And my main question is what makes the difference. 

 

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I suppose it comes down to the film stock itself, since some are simply grainier than other, as well as the cinematography itself which can dictate a certain feeling to the video itself, rather than color grading necessarily (though it does make a difference nonetheless if utilized properly).

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11 hours ago, Kate Romanelli said:

So basically it's just a grading thing? And has nothing to do with a pushed / pulled film or similar? 

Yep, just grading. I mean it helps to have pretty shots, but you asked why it looked so similar to the digital footage and that's because they used the same shooting, editing and grading techniques. On a youtube video, it's super hard to tell something is film when you're using modern post tools like facial cleanup and noise reduction. None of those shots of him are what it looks like out of camera. 

11 hours ago, Kate Romanelli said:

Here is another Chris Hemsworth clip (of course also not in 4k and badly compressed), shot on 16mm and on a Bolex instead an Arriflex and it looks grainy and amateurish compared to how he looks in the Boss film.

I mean that was the filmmakers intent in this case, that's what they were going after, a more gritty look. I don't think it's grainy at all, looks damn clean for B&W negative (7222)

11 hours ago, Kate Romanelli said:

Again, this is obviously two very different productions but I have noticed before that 16mm can either look grainy and almost like a Super 8 shot or also very clean and modern. And my main question is what makes the difference. 

 

I mean there are so many things that go into making a great image and it's the same on digital as well. I use the same techniques shooting both and so don't most cinematographers. Film has more dynamic range at it's base ISO than digital does, so you don't need to protect your highlights AS much. However, if you treat a digital camera like a film camera that has a fixed ISO, the shooting is identical between the two. 

So what makes some film stuff look bad? Mainly going outside of the normal processes to make film look good. The keys are:

- Good lensing 
- Lower ISO film stock and shoot at base ISO
- Brand new stock that is shot immediately after purchasing from Kodak
- Process right after shooting, preferably within 24hrs
- Decent prep and multi-stage clean
- High quality scan (4k preferably) 
- Learn how to grade well and grade it to match super nice
- Upload a high quality file to internet streaming sites like Youtube, so it compresses much better, much higher quality. 

  

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Try playing with Neat Video some time. you can clean up 16mm to look cleaner than 35 if you want. My personal favorite trick is to do a high quality degrain, sweeten up the picture with some sharpening, then do a mix with the source footage to get the grain back. it gives a great extra little kick to the image if you need it (especially if you had to compromise on your scan format)

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Checklist of detailed looking 16mm Film vs muddy looking 16mm Film!

- Filmstock : 7203 50iso is still ways cleaner and less grainy as 7219 500T. So only go for fast Stock if needed or wanted!

- Expsoure : Filmstock does like more light. It likes to get 1/2 - 1 Stop more as measured. You still can bring it down in the Di.

- Lenses : As sharper as better, also related to their sweet spot avoid older Lenses wide open, they will appear pretty soft compared to new ones like ultra16.

- Post (Scan/Blowup) : a good scan can be a huge difference to a simple telecine. Especially with new Scanners/wetgate & co.

- Screening/Compression : related to grain a bad compression will appear soft. h264 with 10mb/s can already be a problem when a lot of grain is used. Youtube isn´t the perfect screening platform for 16mm… prefer vimeo and higher compressions for web. On a good DCP in a Cinema you won´t see a huge difference to 35 screening or Alexa…

I´ve seen Theeb in Cinema 3 Years ago nd thought it was shoot on 35 anamorphic… but it´s 16mm with a Hawk 1.3x anamorph… https://vimeo.com/137044587

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, Philip Reinhold said:

I´ve seen Theeb in Cinema 3 Years ago nd thought it was shoot on 35 anamorphic… but it´s 16mm with a Hawk 1.3x anamorph… https://vimeo.com/137044587

Thanks so much for the contributions everyone - got some great input.

I have been using Switar lenses that came with my Bolex, most people said those lenses would do a great job. However, I have a Angenieux 15-150mm as well which I haven't used yet, would that make a better image quality than the Switar lenses? 

Is there a go to anamorphic lens for the Bolex that maybe gives a more cleaner, depth a field, cinematic feeling? 

Edited by Kate Romanelli

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