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Panavision and Kodachrome


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#1 Film Idaho

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 10:52 PM

I was wondering what Kodachrome 40 (Type A) - 7268 / 7270 would look like if shot with a Panavision Panaflex Elaine. Are there any films that have used Kodachrome as the main choice of film stock?

The look wanted: Retro contemporary flashy film.
Buget: $10,000 (USD) (Hope to this number can be achieved with the help of the Panavision New Film Maker Program.)

I think Kodachrome is be the coolest under used ever. Is Kodachrome Super 16 ready?

Peace,

Alex M.
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#2 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 12:16 AM

KOdachrome looks Nice when shot with anything.. It is fairly expensive/inconveinent to use because there is only one lab left in North america that can still process it. http://k14movies.com/ and the kodak lab in Switzerland.
Are you transfering to video? It is an indirect process to get film release prints from Kodachome, so if that is in your plans, shooting negative would be less hastle.
Other than that Kodachrome is a great film, and several of the regulars on the forums whould love to see it used more in the hope that more demaind will help keep it alive.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 12:28 AM

There's no particular difference between using it in a Panaflex Elaine versus any other Super-16 camera...

Is this just for telecine transfer? I believe that Kodachrome lacks keycode, which would make it hard to generate an EDL from an offline cut and then have someone conform the original. Plus then you'd have to deal with the fact that you have a positive original.

You may have to consider that the first transfer to video will become your "original" from that point on, so if you want to blow-up to 35mm for printing, you may need to spend the money on a transfer to HD.

You also may want to shoot a comparison test between K40 and 7201 (50D) or 7212 (100T) and see which you prefer working with in the telecine transfer scenario. Or compare it to 7285 (Ektachrome 100D), which also has a punchy, saturated slide film look. You can get it processed at an E6 lab (maybe Spectra or Yale?)

As was mentioned, there is only one place in the U.S. to get Kodachrome developed, Dwayne's in Kansas.

You will also have a problem using K40 in the Elaine since Kodak only sells it in 100' daylight spools, not 400' rolls on cores.
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#4 Andy Sparaco SOC

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 12:52 AM

FYI all Dwaynes and K-14 are the same company
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#5 A.Oliver

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 05:52 AM

Have you ever seen films/shorts shot on 16mm kodachrome, if so and it looked great was the stock k40 or k25. There is a big difference, as documented in this forum, k40 has a narrow window of looking good in a daylight shoot. K25 was a stunning daylight stock that delivers amazing results, no current kodak reversal stock comes close to k25 sharpness and very accurate colour saturation. Over the past 2 years around 400 rolls of 16mm k40 have passed thru the camera, its a good film, but no where near the quality of k25. Overall i have been dissappointed with the results obtained with 16mm k40. If you've never seen images from k25, then k40 will look great. It is quite hard to spot the difference when k25 and k40 have been transferred to digi beta. Your biggest problem is no 400ft cores.
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#6 A.Oliver

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 10:50 AM

Hi, probably been a little unfair with my 40 comments, just projected some footage exposed in July this year on a clear summers day in London. Colours are great, reds leap off the screen at you. If you can shoot on a clear summers day k40 is superb. K40 from my experiance does not perform the best in hazy lite, also on distant subject in flat December sun lite. With not many nails left to go into the kodachrome coffin, i would shoot your project with k40, you may not get another chance.
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#7 Sam Wells

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 11:24 AM

There's nothing wrong with Kodachrome 40 if processed right.

Personally I think the differences between it and the daylight versions tend (tended) to dissapear once you're not looking at the originals.

Which is as much the problem as the solution now. With 7299 reversal print stock discontinued, how to preserve the unique qualities of Kodachrome in the printing / telecine chain.

David's suggestion..... "You also may want to shoot a comparison test between K40 and 7201 (50D) or 7212 (100T) and see which you prefer working with in the telecine transfer scenario."

...is a good one. (I like 7245 for a more "reversal/E6" look, have not shot 7201 yet so I don't know).

The question here is where are you going with it, telecine only, or atttempt to blow up the S16 Kodachrome ? (I won't talk you out of this, but it's a tricky path, contrast-wise)

-Sam
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#8 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 12:08 PM

Kodachrome is a projection film with many compromises for other uses (prints, blow up, telecine).

It has an unusual infrared transmission incompatible with any of the (no longer made) reversal Ektachrome print stocks. In the 70'ies this was giving reddish shadows when printed on the reversal print stocks.

When printing onto 5272 internegative stock the contrast is way too high because the internegative stock was really designed to work with 7252 Ektachrome Commercial (ECO-3 process) which replaced 7255 (ECO-2 process) wich replaced Kodachrome Commercial (low contrast special for reproduction). All these stocks are gone. Ektachrome Commercial was very nice stock for sunlit scenes with low contrast and 25 ASA speed (3200K). With the 85 filter you were down to 16ASA. Hardly useable for interior work.

Current Kodak 50ASA negative stocks (7245and 7201) will give much more comfortable shooting, can be intercut with any other negative up to 500ASA, and can be used for direct blow up with minimum hassle and perfect contrast and color reproduction.

Making an internegative from Kodachrome will require aggressive flashing and pull-processing to keep the contrast in check. Lack of Keykode will complicate conforming.

I would try 7201 direct blow-up to high contrast color positive such as Agfa CP30 or Kodak Vision.
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#9 Film Idaho

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 01:01 PM

Okay here?s the plan Stan; I want to shoot the Kodachrome with a nice Panaflex Elaine set up for Super 16mm. Then transfer it to video I want the best transfer I can fine (would that be the HD with Bono?) Since the Elaine would have AatonCode that would make sync sound much easier. I would edit on Avid make a video print and transfer back to film with Alpha Cine.

As for the film choice I like Kodachrome but Ektachrome 100D (7285) might be the more economic choice (For E-6 processing). But out of Kodachrome and Etrachrome which fairs better in transfer? And which would give the best skin tones?

I also might go with the Aaton XTR prod if the Panavision doesn?t happen.

Peace,

Alex M.
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#10 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 02:27 PM

On the "other" cinematography website there are some comparison images between different telecine systems you may want to look at before jumping to conclusions. Look for the topic 'TK direct to hard disk'.

I don't see why an XTR would not produce the same image quality as a Panavision Elaine. Panavision is a shareholder of Aaton. The Elaine is more a 'studio' type of camera. Kodachrome is only made with long pitch perforations, this may give steadyness problems on any professional camera.

You will find that even a 2K scan and filmout doesn't give you a better quality than a direct blow-up from S16 negative. I doubt if any scanners can handle the deep blacks of Kodachrome. if you want crushed blacks they can always be added later.

I still feel that a properly made direct blow-up from 7201 will be cheaper and sharper than any other S16 to 35 operation.
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#11 Film Idaho

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 02:55 PM

Wouldn't that cost more? S16mm to 35mm then transfer that to video. Edit the film then go back to 35mm? Or are you saying that I should edit on a table then go to 35mm? I guess working on a table would be an interesting option... :huh:

Peace,

Alex M.
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#12 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 04:22 PM

here is how it works:

-process the S16 negative,
-transfer to SD video with keykode for off-line editing,
-edit on off-line system (Final Cut, Premiere etc)
-generate EDL or cutting list
-have the negative cut
-add titles etc, direct in S16
-grading on film analyser
-make first trial print on S16
-screen S16 positive print and make grading corrections.
-have optical sound negative made
-direct blow up to 35mm positive on optical printer
-optical negative is printed onto the same raw stock on contact printer before processing

It is best to chose a lab that is familiar with S16 blow up work.
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#13 K Borowski

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 06:19 PM

I think that K40A would give you a great look. Depending on the amount of film you're shooting, you can probably get Kodak to cut you whatever lengths you'd want with an order of around 10,000 feet. I assume that you're going to be using that ammount easy if you have the resources to get an Elaine from Panavision. One thing about reversal is that your exposure has to be spot on. I've shot K25 and K40A in 8- and 16mm, as well as Kodachrome slides for fall color landscapes. The look cannot be beat. However you have at best a half stop of underexposure and maybe 1/4 stop of overexposure before things get really yucky. So be careful. As for print stock, you *might* be able to get Kodak to make some E-Dupe in 16mm (again you'll probably need at least 10,000 feet of the stuff for them to cut it for you) or you can try using internegative film. I don't think that going reversal original to internegative to blowup 35mm will be anymore difficult than negative to masterpositive to 35mm neg blowup to 35mm print. You will need a lot to light it indoors, and need to be very careful metering outdoors, but it's certainly doable. Look at the film Easy Rider. It was shot entirely on ECO (Ektachrome commercial) which was mentioned by a poster above, and they had 2/3 stop less light to work with. Also, I have spoken with D;Waynes in the past about their ability to do longer lengths of Kodachrome 16mm. They couldn't do 1000 or 1200 foot lengths as I wanted, but they said they could do up to 800 feet no problem, so you can get up to 20 minutes of continuoous filming if you can get Kodak to make it for you. In any case best of luck with your project.

Regards.

Karl Borowski
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#14 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 06:20 PM

>have the negative cut

Trouble is that he's thinking of shooting reversal. What would be the optical printer path from a S16 reversal original to a 35mm IN for making prints? How many places could do that in one step (S16 positive original to color-timed 35mm IN)? I guess that's how "Buffalo 66" did it but it can very limiting in terms of which labs you can go to.

Also, considering the high contrast of color reversal, a digital intermediate may be able to handle that better and produce a 35mm IN without an increase in contrast.

On the other hand, if he's going to do a D.I. anyway, it would be simpler to just shoot in color negative and time it digitally for a reversal look. Certainly it would be cheaper than shooting in reversal.

But generally in terms of a blow-up to 35mm, an optical printer method is cheaper than a digital one. However, since most people also need an HD master these days of their project, a D.I. would be covering some of those costs as well.

In terms of using an Elaine, I hope you're used to using a Panaflex where all the parts have been shrunk by 50%, because it's a rather clunky system compared to an Aaton if you're a small shoot on location, as opposed to working on soundstages (the only people who use the Elaine tend to be sitcom shoots on stages.)

Edited by David Mullen, 31 December 2005 - 06:21 PM.

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#15 Filip Plesha

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 06:49 PM

Firs of all happy new year to everyone (It's 2006 already here)

I don't like puting my nose where it doesn't belong, but since Kodachrome is something that both cinematographers and photographers can both relate to, I feel as if I have a right to have an opinion on this.

Well, Kodachrome is a vintage technology, and it has that vintage look.
The sicret of that look is not in any mix of color balance or tonal reproduction or something like that. The sicret is in the way old silver emulsions react to light. That vintage look is present even if you extract a single chanel from Kodachrome and print a BW image out of it, because it's not so much in the colors, as it is in the curve of every single chanel.
Kodachrome shares that vintage look with old Eastmancolor negative films as well as older Ektachrome reversal films.

I believe one could emulate Kodachrome by using an old negative emulsion and then correct the dynamics of the image (contrast, color reproduction) you get the Kodachrome color reproduction.

But using new negative emulsions of any kind, will give you that smooth and silky look that new films have, and even if you nail the color reproduction and contrast of Kodachrome it will still look new.

The Aviator has proved my point wery well. Such an expensive production with all the available DI tools and talent has not really made a new stock look vintage. Sure the color reproduction is close to Technicolor, but the film, it's basic BW tone reproduction of all chanels still looks modern because its smooth, because new silver and dye coupler technology is almost perfect compared to older emulsions.

My point is, if the man wants to shoot Kodachrome, let him, because the only way to make something look like Kodachrome is to shoot Kodachrome. I'm sure a talendted DI artist could make the avrage Joe Audience believe he is watching Kodachrome, but it won't fool anyone that has ever shot with Kodachrome, anymore than Aviator could fool anyone that really appretiates technicolor movies.

Oh, and I see no problem in using Kodachrome with DI. If it is transfered well, it would be just like outputing CG or HD to film. Both CG (AFAIK) and HD are recorded in viewing contrast (unlike negative scans) just like reversal film, and once it is in digital format, a scan from Kodachrome would be just as good as an HD video image regarding outputing to film.
And I only assume that a couple of hudred thousands of dollar worth HD telecine machine can transfer Kodachrome as well as a photo film scanner that is worth (only) $5000.

Just my two cents.

Edited by Filip Plesha, 31 December 2005 - 06:59 PM.

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#16 Film Idaho

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 08:02 PM

I understand what everyone is saying but there are a few things I want to make clear. First off the budget I am a teenager in high school so I plan to get the majority of the funding from various grants and discounts. I bet I could make a decent 6-7min short with sync sound for under $5,000.

With that being said yes I could get the look of reversal shooting negative after transfer but it would add more steps and more cost. So lets cut all that poop out and get it to a couple of easy steps. I rent or am granted a nice Panavision/Aaton. I shoot the film with Kodachrome in less than 2-3 days, transfer to HD, edit with Avid, and produce something cool looking. Lastly I would submit it to some film festivals and hopefully be the start of something good.

Peace,

Alex M.
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#17 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 08:28 PM

With that being said yes I could get the look of reversal shooting negative after transfer but it would add more steps and more cost.
Alex M.


Actually there would be no extra steps and the cost is about the same. Using a normal telecine, you can transfer negative or positive to video. Color-correcting the negative to be more contrasty and saturated can be done at the time of the original transfer to tape.

Cost of 100' 16mm color neg is about $46 and processing about $14
Cost of 100' 16mm Kodachrome is about $39 and processing about $25

And you still have to deal with the fact that Kodachrome only comes in 100' daylight spools (which is only about 3 minutes of film) and many modern sync-sound camera only use film on cores. I don't know if the Aaton can use 100' daylight spools, maybe, but I'm pretty sure the Elaine cannot.

Anyway, if you're a high school student, it's unlikely the Panavision is going to give you a camera, especially not an Elaine, which requires a real camera assistant to load and set-up. Generally their program is for college-level film school students, with rental insurance being covered by the school.

But, yes, you should be able to make a 6-minute 16mm short with a budget of $5,000.

Edited by David Mullen, 31 December 2005 - 08:34 PM.

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#18 Film Idaho

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 09:47 PM

I think the union system in Hollywood is way out of whack. I don?t need a professional film loader! I would rather take charge and have a small crew. Renting a XTR might also be more doable.

Now this is frustrating I want the look to be genuine I would really like something to compare. Kodachrome vs. Ektachrome vs.Vision2 50D. I personally think that Kodachrome and Ektachrome would give the best colors and that retro look.

Has anyone here shot all three stocks?

Peace,

Alex M.
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#19 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 10:14 PM

I think the union system in Hollywood is way out of whack. I don’t need a professional film loader! I would rather take charge and have a small crew. Renting a XTR might also be more doable.

Now this is frustrating I want the look to be genuine I would really like something to compare. Kodachrome vs. Ektachrome vs.Vision2 50D. I personally think that Kodachrome and Ektachrome would give the best colors and that retro look.

Has anyone here shot all three stocks?

Peace,

Alex M.


I'm amazed at the number of brash high schoolers you run into these days on the internet...

I didn't mean there was a union restriction on using the Elaine -- more like an experience necessity, unless you are competent in threading a Panaflex (I'm not!) I don't know if Panavision checks to make sure that the camera that goes out on these Student Filmmakers grants are actually handled by someone with any experience, but it speaks all more to the reason to require rental insurance if they are not...

No, there is no connection between the unions and the rental houses in terms of restrictions or requirements. But honestly, this is expensive stuff -- including an Aaton with some good lenses -- so it behooves you to either become trained or to hire someone with some experience.

In terms of the look, shooting a test yourself is always the best way. Now you could get a rough comparison between Kodachrome 40T and Ektachrome 100D by shooting them as 35mm stills, although you'd have to substitute K40T with K64D, since K40 is not available in still camera form.

I've only shot Kodachrome in Super-8 and in 35mm stills, not in 16mm, and I've shot Ektachrome 100D (5285) and 50D color negative (5245) but only in 35mm.

Sure, there's nothing more retro-looking than Kodachrome, that's for sure. But you should be aware that exposing color reversal correctly is extremely critical -- there's not much room for error.

How much 16mm shooting experience do you have already?

Edited by David Mullen, 31 December 2005 - 10:16 PM.

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#20 Film Idaho

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Posted 31 December 2005 - 11:20 PM

I'm amazed at the number of brash high schoolers you run into these days on the internet...


Brash
2 a : heedless of the consequences, b : done in haste without regard for consequences.
4 a : lacking restraint and discernment, b : aggressively self-assertive.

Now I don?t really think I was being any of those. And about the Panavision the grant is called the ?Panavision?s New Filmmaker Program? and yes they do require insurance.

My experience: I have shot some film with a nice Arriflex 16 BL the footage turned out great. I plan to shoot a black and white short in the end of January. I also have shot Kodachrome with my Sankyo Super 8mm camera.

Its funny when you tell people how old you are they totally lose all respect for you. And adults wonder why teenagers don?t like them. <_<

Peace,

Alex M.

Edited by Film Idaho, 31 December 2005 - 11:25 PM.

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