Jump to content


Photo

Just starting out


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 kcfilmmaker

kcfilmmaker

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
  • Director

Posted 28 December 2005 - 12:19 PM

Hi everyone, my name is Chris Renshaw, and I think that it is time for me to start making a short on 16mm film. I have made a few shorts on mini DV, but was not happy with the results that I got. Even though I have won a few small short film fest in my area, I don't think that I will ever be able to compte in the larger film festivals unless I make the jump over to film.
I am however very nervous because I know that there are way more things that I will need to keep track of, and that can go wrong on film than can with mini DV. I have a backgorund in still photos, will operating the 16mm camera be similer enough that I get the hang of it, or will it take a little while to figure out what I am doing?
  • 0

#2 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 28 December 2005 - 12:37 PM

Well, obviously you can't just pick up a 16mm camera and shoot with it if you have no experience, but on the other hand, it's not rocket science -- you need to learn how to load the thing, expose a scene properly, etc. My first 16mm project was shot MOS (silent) with an Arri-S; I spent a few hours at a rental house playing with the thing, learning how to load it, etc.

One little thing that some beginners don't know is that with almost all reflex movie cameras, you have to keep your eye pressed against the eyepiece cup while shooting so that light doesn't leak through the eyepiece and onto the film.

Shooting some tests will do a lot to build up your confidence that you can handle a 16mm camera.
  • 0

#3 Erdwolf_TVL

Erdwolf_TVL
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 104 posts
  • Other
  • London

Posted 28 December 2005 - 02:19 PM

Hi everyone, my name is Chris Renshaw, and I think that it is time for me to start making a short on 16mm film. I have made a few shorts on mini DV, but was not happy with the results that I got. Even though I have won a few small short film fest in my area, I don't think that I will ever be able to compte in the larger film festivals unless I make the jump over to film.
I am however very nervous because I know that there are way more things that I will need to keep track of, and that can go wrong on film than can with mini DV. I have a backgorund in still photos, will operating the 16mm camera be similer enough that I get the hang of it, or will it take a little while to figure out what I am doing?


You could always start with Super8 to ease you into the idea of working with film... It's a lot cheaper and Super8 cameras tend to be more camcorder-like in terms of features.

Some things I found most daunting in playing around with film...

You have to have a fair idea of what you are going to shoot before you start. Entry-level cameras only accomodate a few minutes' worth of film and you pay for every second the trigger is pulled.

Hand-held shots are not as forgiving with film as they are on mini-DV. Unless you have a really steady hand, you will have to use a tripod or some sort of camera support.

You pay a premium if you want your piece to have sound.
  • 0

#4 Will Montgomery

Will Montgomery
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2030 posts
  • Producer
  • Dallas, TX

Posted 28 December 2005 - 03:07 PM

It sounds like your projects will be shot on film but edited on a computer... probably after you've done a miniDV transfer.

If you are not familiar with film, here are a few things to think about:

1) There are inexpensive 16mm cameras available, the least expensive being "non-reflex" models meaning that you see through the actual lens but through a viewfinder lens. You focus be measuring or appoximating distance and setting the lens from that. These can produce great images but if you're used to miniDV, you may want to take a small step up to a "reflex" model so you can focus through the lens. Inexpensive "reflex" models include the Canon Scoopic & Krasnokorsk-3.

2) Film is expensive... from $18 for 3.5 minutes of b&w (100ft.) to $38 for 3.5 minutes of Kodachrome color (100ft.). This means you need to plan your shots out much more because film is money. Those prices are for the film only, processing runs about $14-$20 per 100ft roll. Then of course, there's the transfer. There are plenty of Telecine options out there but a decent machine & colorist run about $150-$300 an hour (that's not running time, its machine time, each minute film takes 2 to 4 minutes to transfer probably). If you need HD, you can double that range. Say 3.5 minutes to SD miniDV will cost you about $60 or so from start to finish including everything.

3) Just so #2 doesn't discourage you, film looks awesome... if you're used to miniDV footage, you're jaw will drop after you get back some well exposed modern negative film transfered to miniDV. It really does look great.

4) Super 8 isn't really that much cheaper, the film cost can be almost half, but processing and a good transfer are not much less and the quality difference would probably be worth the film cost difference. Super 8 does have some ease of use advantages in loading.
  • 0

#5 Mike Lary

Mike Lary
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 472 posts
  • Other

Posted 28 December 2005 - 06:56 PM

I have a backgorund in still photos, will operating the 16mm camera be similer enough that I get the hang of it, or will it take a little while to figure out what I am doing?

Some of the same rules apply, but your mistakes cost a lot more.

Use a good light meter. Unlike in still photography, motion photography might incorporate panning during exposure or light balance could change because of moving objects within the frame, so you need to be conscious of any light changes that will occur while the camera is running/moving, take readings, and make the appropriate adjustments.

Use a tripod for the most stable images.

Test your camera for light leaks and mechanical problems the cheapest way possible before shooting a project (shoot and process a test roll of black and white reversal).

Pick up a book or a manual specific to the camera you're using. (some can be downloaded, such as the Arri manuals) You need to know your camera well, otherwise you could make simple mistakes that ruin a roll of film (such as not racking over the lens on a non-reflex camera, using the wrong shutter setting on a variable shutter model, or loading the film improperly). On some cameras you can look through the viewfinder and see your subject clearly, but the film will be black - all because one setting was wrong.

Good luck!
  • 0


rebotnix Technologies

Abel Cine

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

The Slider

Ritter Battery

Visual Products

Glidecam

Wooden Camera

CineTape

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

Tai Audio

Aerial Filmworks

Opal

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

CineLab

The Slider

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

Technodolly

Opal

Abel Cine

CineLab

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

Glidecam

Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

Wooden Camera

Visual Products