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16mm processes


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#1 dbledwn11

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 03:44 PM

I've been wondering if there are any particular methods that people have used during the processing stages to make a 16mm image look more impressive/better than it would usually be - i suppose in a way I'm talking about creating a more overt style or 'look' to the film that could possibly cover up certain insufficiencies due to low budget etc.

obviously if picking a particular type of stock due to its greater versatility or whatever needs to be factored in then please let me know.

I don't mean to imply some kind of filmic alchemy i.e. turning coal into gold, but i would of thought there are little tricks that can help,
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#2 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 03:53 PM

I've been wondering if there are any particular methods that people have used during the processing stages to make a 16mm image look more impressive/better than it would usually be - i suppose in a way I'm talking about creating a more overt style or 'look' to the film that could possibly cover up certain insufficiencies due to low budget etc.

obviously if picking a particular type of stock due to its greater versatility or whatever needs to be factored in then please let me know.

I don't mean to imply some kind of filmic alchemy i.e. turning coal into gold, but i would of thought there are little tricks that can help,


When using smaller formats, pay attention to details like proper exposure, good focus, the optical quality of lenses and filters, camera registration/steadiness, etc.

As far as processing "magic", you might consider the combination of pull processing and/or some overexposure to help reduce graininess. Also, be sure your lab has a good reputation for small format quality, and pays attention to processing cleanliness and proper film handling that are so important for smaller formats.
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#3 Chance Shirley

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 03:56 PM

I've seen several films shot on Super 16 that look great blown up to 35mm, at least on the small to medium sized screens in the theaters I frequent. A MIGHTY WIND and THE DEVIL'S REJECTS both come to mind.

As for the techniques behind these good looking flicks... I'm not sure. I have heard the recommendation that you overexpose S16 footage at least a third of a stop, to help cut down on apparent grain. I'm sure some more experienced S16 shooters can offer more detailed tips.
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#4 Andy Sparaco SOC

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 04:56 PM

"The Station Agent" beautifully done. Also an absorbing story, the characters are great. The mark of a well done film -the technology disappears.

1/3 stop is a typical. Gives a you a little extra shadow details also gives you a buffer if the processing line is a little cold. I assume everyone knows not to process film on Monday. Over exposure can be as bad as underexposure. Anything over 1 stop will dramatically increase grain

Edited by asparaco, 21 November 2005 - 05:12 PM.

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#5 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 04:52 PM

I assume everyone knows not to process film on Monday


:lol: I can tell you it's true ! The only lab problems I've ever encoutered on a neg process have always happened on mondays !

A trick about Super 16 is to have well contrasted subjects. The enlargment that occures with blowing up doesn't only enhance the grain and reduce definition, it also affects contrast.

A good thing to do is a keylight test so that you know exactly where you can go from the toe to the shoulder and have a well "filled-up" neg. Avoid mid-tones.
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Aerial Filmworks

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