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Stephen Perera

Dream 'job', massive budget - would you shoot digital or film?

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Tyler, I’m curious to know how the gloves contribute to loading film? What was your professor’s logic behind that?

G

 

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4 hours ago, Gregory Irwin said:

What was your professor’s logic behind that?

 

To feel the "spirit" of filmstock without feeling the perf and get some white cotton fuzzles in the mag right away?

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The gloves thing......loading film with gloves? surely a terrible idea to lose tactile feel when loading???? not to mention getting 'particles' in the way of the gate from the gloves???? but what do I know...i stand to be corrected.....

....one thing I DO know is film is much less delicate than people think.....Ive had some classic episodes in the dark (photography film) when that damn 120 format film just doesn't want to load properly onto the spool and Ive had to pull it back out and physically 'cajole' the damn thing again and again even after decades of experience.....and then it processes nice and clean and undamaged thankfully.......

also, recently I had 16mm fly off the spool inside the mag as I started rolling on a 400ft roll.....i tell you hearing the thing going all over the place inside that mag was not nice but I retained my cool, loaded another mag on the camera, carried on shooting and then took that mag into a changing tent, pulled back the film in the take up side back to the feeder side and wound the thing back by hand on the original spool and then reloaded it as if new film and the results were fine....no marks or damage...thankfully

(did anyone stay awake reading these anecdotes?) haha

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the point is not to touch the area where you are actually recording the image you want to use. there is NO image recorded in the tails which you are handling when loading a film mag. there is thus no point to protect them. 

If you are REALLY cheap and perfectionist you can try to protect the tail end of the film when taking the exposed negative out of the magazine so that you can also use the half a second portion on the roll end. but you are generally not touching the emulsion side anyway (almost all cameras except my Cameflex wind the takeup side emulsion in so the "picture side" is facing inwards and is protected. No one cares if there is fingerprints on the backing of the film, they won't  show in developed neg and even if they would, you could just wipe them off.

SO, as others said. The whole point of using white cotton gloves when loading a mag is to get lint and fibers inside the mag so that you will get more gate hair and dust on the film for artistic effect. with most mags it is also considerably harder to load them with gloves on.

Sometimes I do use powder-free nitrile gloves if loading in extremely hot conditions... that is to avoid the sweat going onto the film if there is a risk of getting the emulsion "wet" which will add friction in the gate and possibly generate emulsion buildup that way. It is not to avoid fingerprints or anything, you don't need to worry about them because, as said, you are not touching your actual recorded images when handling movie film... the usable shots are in the middle of the roll, not in the couple of feet of tails on both ends

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18 hours ago, Gregory Irwin said:

Tyler, I’m curious to know how the gloves contribute to loading film? What was your professor’s logic behind that?

Damn man, I wish I knew their logic and I never asked because I was 16 at the time and I was in a room of 20+ year old's and a 50 year old professor, so I just learned. 

I have a few guesses. Maybe they wanted to prevent sweat from getting on the film in the changing bag? I sweat pretty profusely when changing in the So Cal summers, maybe it was just a barrier to prevent that from hitting the film? It could also be in relationship to critical tails. Where I don't use gloves when loading, I have used them when UNLOADING if I have critical tails. You'd be shocked how much it reduces the dirt and honestly, if I had my way, I'd have rubber gauntlet gloves that are built into the arm tubes, so no dirt can get in. I'm a HUGE stickler for clean heads (which is easy) and tails. Because I shoot doc mostly, I always run out during something critical and need that last frame to be perfect. 

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I often wondered where the thread was where all this white cotton glove nonsense started...I think this is it, but there were one or two other nodes on the forum that triggered the same thing...

....https://cinematography.com/index.php?/topic/68407-shooting-on-film-keeping-track-of-how-much-film-is-shot/&tab=comments#comment-435459

Scroll down about 5 or 6 pages...

For the record, the emphatic advice was that we should be loading mags and threading cameras with our white cotton gloves on. Don't remember it being about sweat.  All I see are inept attempts to manipulate opinion on the forum and to rewrite a less embarassing version of history..

The other thing, perhaps connected with this historic nonsense, is the idea that one does not need to check the gate between mag changes with clip on magazines. And, that one can check the gate by pulling the mag.

There is no way that someone aligned with these two ideas should be teaching others. It's quite a despicable thing. The students should run in the opposite direction.

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I love how you're digging up old threads, grasping at straws in some sophomoric attempt to throw me under the bus. It's pretty pathetic. 

Next thing I know, you'll be calling me names and threatening me like a 5th grader. 

I just wanted you to know, I don't respond to threats. Besides karma always gets bullies in the long run, so I'll just let it run it's course. 

 

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If money was of no option and I could get a proper crew, I'd def shoot on film anamorphic with panavision cameras and lenses. 

Edited by Mike Krumlauf
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Panavision, 35mm, and anamorphic seems to be emerging as a winning combination. A few have mentioned 65mm spherical too.

Reminds me of Kenneth Clark, in his famous tv series Civilization. "What is it?," he asks the viewer at one point, trying to pin down the mystery of why something has such meaning and quality. He doesn't know the answer, but he asks anyway.

It's the same here. What is it about film that leaves an impression on us? Why can't we forget film?

Or is that another thread?

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11 minutes ago, Jon O'Brien said:

Panavision, 35mm, and anamorphic seems to be emerging as a winning combination. A few have mentioned 65mm spherical too.

Reminds me of Kenneth Clark, in his famous tv series Civilization. "What is it?," he asks the viewer at one point, trying to pin down the mystery of why something has such meaning and quality. He doesn't know the answer, but he asks anyway.

It's the same here. What is it about film that leaves an impression on us? Why can't we forget film?

Or is that another thread?

I think there is a specific quality to film on a psychological level that just does not compare to digital. I cant put it into words. Its just a completely different tone and atmosphere.

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It's the stills world, not filmmaking I know, but I was speaking with a photographer the other day who sells some pictures to a fairly well-known company. She doesn't make much from it, but she says they do pay. Now, I won't mention any names, as it's anecdotal information and may not be correct ... but anyway, she said this company is turning their back on digital photographs, and is now asking for negatives from photographers (just for your interest it was not National Geographic). She said the company now no longer likes the look of digital photographs for their product. Well, it's one of those "I heard an old man on the bus say ....." Except in this case it wasn't an old man, and it wasn't on a bus. So, there it is. I was surprised by it. Just the other day I determined that I'm going to get my old film SLR off the shelf, dust it off, and buy some Kodak film for it. And then I met this photographer and she told me that.

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7 hours ago, Mike Krumlauf said:

I think there is a specific quality to film on a psychological level that just does not compare to digital. I cant put it into words. Its just a completely different tone and atmosphere.

...exactly.....I think to myself......what makes ME forgo more profit to shoot film?......it's because it keeps me connected with what I was, am and will be.....

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8 hours ago, Jon O'Brien said:

It's the stills world, not filmmaking I know, but I was speaking with a photographer the other day who sells some pictures to a fairly well-known company. She doesn't make much from it, but she says they do pay. Now, I won't mention any names, as it's anecdotal information and may not be correct ... but anyway, she said this company is turning their back on digital photographs, and is now asking for negatives from photographers (just for your interest it was not National Geographic). She said the company now no longer likes the look of digital photographs for their product. Well, it's one of those "I heard an old man on the bus say ....." Except in this case it wasn't an old man, and it wasn't on a bus. So, there it is. I was surprised by it. Just the other day I determined that I'm going to get my old film SLR off the shelf, dust it off, and buy some Kodak film for it. And then I met this photographer and she told me that.

I still shoot film... for stills 🙂

I recently had a show of photographs, about 40% film. Almost nobody could see a difference 🙂🙂 🙂 

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1 hour ago, Gregory Irwin said:

No one is interested in 65mm, anamorphic?

G

9 pages ago before this thread got sidetracked, I said:

I like playing around with formats too much to pick one, but it would be a dream to shoot a feature in 65mm color negative and to shoot a b&w feature (though I'd be happy to use an Alexa for that, not a big fan of Double-X unless it fit the mood -- but if I wanted to do a deep-focus b&w movie where everything was shot at f/16, I'd rather use a faster digital camera).

If more than one project, I love shooting in 35mm anamorphic, it's a great format.

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6 hours ago, Bruce Greene said:

I still shoot film... for stills 🙂

I recently had a show of photographs, about 40% film. Almost nobody could see a difference 🙂🙂 🙂 

Yes, that's what you'd expect of show attendees. Ask someone with training in art, like yourself of course, who contends with the difference between digital and film regularly and I think you might get some insightful comments. In many cases the difference is starkly obvious to someone who has trained their eyes. Film people are saying that, sure, the audience doesn't know most of the time .... but is nevertheless affected by things that they don't consciously notice. In my opinion film is, on the whole, a nicer look, yet quite a few people adore digital images and are sold on the whole thing. But I suspect we're living in a time of reduced perception of what is artistic, yet there's at the same time a huge hunger for art, especially amongst younger people. Interesting times. The baby-boomer generation were pretty much entirely sold on digital imagery. Sure, so are a lot of young people today. But there's a quiet revolution happening out there, right now, as we write.

Edited by Jon O'Brien

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21 hours ago, Jon O'Brien said:

Yes, that's what you'd expect of show attendees. Ask someone with training in art, like yourself of course, who contends with the difference between digital and film regularly and I think you might get some insightful comments. In many cases the difference is starkly obvious to someone who has trained their eyes. Film people are saying that, sure, the audience doesn't know most of the time .... but is nevertheless affected by things that they don't consciously notice. In my opinion film is, on the whole, a nicer look, yet quite a few people adore digital images and are sold on the whole thing. But I suspect we're living in a time of reduced perception of what is artistic, yet there's at the same time a huge hunger for art, especially amongst younger people. Interesting times. The baby-boomer generation were pretty much entirely sold on digital imagery. Sure, so are a lot of young people today. But there's a quiet revolution happening out there, right now, as we write.

To me, the 35mm photographs are quite obviously shot on film.  But the 6x9 negative stuff can be pretty hard to tell from digital as it's so fine grained. For me, the difference is mostly what I'm able to capture on color negative film vs. digital capture.  But, in the final print, it's not so obvious anymore... at least without a digital capture of the same scene to compare it to...

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For movies shown on the big screen in a cinema, my own view of things is that, if in my dream (since this topic is about dreams) I could make some feature films 🙂 - which, who knows, could happen - I think with digital projection now being commonplace that the look I would go for is one where the movie is "quite obviously shot on film." So, my preference would be 35 mm, where there's more chance of seeing some grain. Super 16 on the big screen usually looks just a bit too noisy to me - though I must admit, in First Man the S16 shots looked perfect for that movie.

With 65mm, this to me doesn't make much sense these days if, other than the shooting, it's all going to be finished and exhibited digitally. If done that way it will be difficult to tell from digital, and at great expense too. 2 perf 35mm seems a good option for what I'd like to do, as the grain becomes just barely noticeable on the big screen, and the cost is reduced by about half. Ideally though, speaking of dreams, I would establish a cinema somewhere with film projectors in it, in a large city like Melbourne or Sydney. You've gotta have dreams. As the lady said in the movie, how else you gonna have a dream come true?

Edited by Jon O'Brien

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Speaking of cinema projectors ...

Anyone remember my little story of how, last year, the aging projectionist led me along a dusty track in the hills, to a small garden shed in which resided two enormous Victoria 8 35/70mm cinema projectors, complete with all the gear, lamps, lenses and generators, all in top condition, and lovingly cared-for?

I held back on buying them as he wanted to only sell one, and I wanted both. Well, I contacted him a few days ago, again saying I will buy them both if he still has them. He said, alas, a fire swept through the 'bush' property - and the shed, his personal belongings, and both projectors were destroyed. The other thing he said is that he'd gladly have given both to me! If only he'd told me that the first time I met him. They're gone now.

Sort of speaks of the peril that film projection finds itself in today ... at risk of extinction if big efforts aren't made to keep it alive. If the general public can be 'educated' as to how good real film can look I think interest might rise sufficiently to support one dedicated cinema in a large city.

As often mentioned, you'd have to have access to great prints.

Edited by Jon O'Brien

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Posted (edited)
On 12/10/2019 at 12:26 PM, Gregory Irwin said:

No one is interested in 65mm, anamorphic?

G

Not my first choice, as I would want to shoot the effects in camera, or on film, and anamorphic kind of changes that game, but I'm all for 65mm.

Edited by Tim Smyth

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