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Question for David Mullen


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#1 Ronney Ross

Ronney Ross
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Posted 24 November 2005 - 01:52 AM

I read a comment that you wrote saying something to the effect that you spent 10 years trying to make S8/ look like 16mm and 3 years trying to make 16mm look like 35mm.

The question is a kinda how to. because I was thinking today of ways people shooting film (35mm) do this to get the best results( sharpest pic) unless a soft effect is desire.

Did you do things like pull focus on your sets? What other things did you do?

- Ronney Ross

P.S. I always what to talk and give you your props b/c the average person who "made it" gets to good to help out a person travelling the same road. And your advice on here is very valuable. Like the old saying give a man a fish and you feed for a day. Teach to fish he can feed his family. Teach to grow a fish farm and he can feed his community. (Also goes to all you other guys that do the same.)
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#2 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
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Posted 24 November 2005 - 02:06 AM

Generally the 1st AC pulls focus on a shoot -- it's hard to operate and do your own focus-pulling at the same time.

Perceived sharpness and clarity that are the hallmarks of shooting on larger film formats are the results of many variables that you have to try and control from preparation, shooting, all the way through post and final presentation.

Generally it means shooting on the slowest-speed (finest-grained) film stock that is practical, yet also shooting at the optimal f-stop for the lens. If it is color negative film and this is for print, it also means exposing the negative well enough to allow printing at higher printer lights, to improve contrast, saturation, and black levels. It means using the sharpest, more contrasty lenses possible (which tend to be primes over zooms.)

Higher contrast does a lot to create the impression of greater sharpness, hence why contrasty lenses, contrasty lighting, etc. - anything that adds some "snap" to the image -- will help hide the fact that you are shooting on a smaller film format. Also, edge lighting, backlighting, raking light, anything that brings out the outline and texture of the object tends to give the impression of greater sharpness. Hard lighting tends to make an image look sharper too.

Now, of course it isn't always correct aesthetically do shoot a high-contrast image in hard light. There may also be reasons to shoot on fast film with the lens wide-open. Or use soft light or diffusion filters.

But as long as you know the tricks of increasing the impression of sharpness, you can counteract one thing that lowers sharpness with another trick that increases it. Like diffusion filters combined with strong backlighting, which may counteract some of the softening, as opposed to diffusion filters used on shot with just soft frontal light, which will end up looking too mushy.

Anyway, all these tricks work even with 35mm.
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#3 Ronney Ross

Ronney Ross
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Posted 24 November 2005 - 02:48 AM

Not to try and pick your brain to much but as far as lenses go if I am not mistaken primes on S8 would be an anaramic style of shooting and if S8 is 1:33.1 (before) using a prime lens then how does this affect Transfer to a video format like mini dv. Do lab need your lens to place on the projector. Not trying to ask a stupid question but books are outdated on subjects like this. (S8 in digital age)

Thx
Ronney Ross
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#4 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
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Posted 24 November 2005 - 11:19 AM

Super-8 lenses are spherical, not anamorphic. A telecine suite transferring Super-8 would need a Super-8 gate for the telecine, that's all. Unfortunately some places charge extra for Super-8 because they have to rent it elsewhere.

The aspect ratio for Super-8 is 1.33, just like 4x3 video.
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Wooden Camera

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Paralinx LLC

Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

Visual Products

Technodolly

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineLab

The Slider

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies