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Can Super 8 look as good as 35mm?


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#81 Tom Jensen

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 05:28 PM

It just isn't practical when you can shoot on digital. At 24fps you get 2.5 minutes of shooting. At 18fps you get 3 minutes. Has anybody here shot a feature on short ends? What were the headaches with that? Inventory, constantly loading and reloading the camera, keeping track of inventory. This is really distracting to an actor to reload in the middle of a scene. Someone mentioned the pressure plate, the resolution, no interchangeable lenses. Most cameras have auto iris. Even with a good camera you still have a lot of these problems. Instead of poo-pooing the idea of digital, you should embrace it and figure out how to make it look better. Super8 is simply an archaic format. The quality just isn't there and it's problematic. And then, what happens if it breaks on location? What's the fix?

Edited by Tom Jensen, 19 March 2011 - 05:29 PM.

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#82 Carl Looper

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 05:48 PM

It just isn't practical when you can shoot on digital. At 24fps you get 2.5 minutes of shooting. At 18fps you get 3 minutes. Has anybody here shot a feature on short ends? What were the headaches with that? Inventory, constantly loading and reloading the camera, keeping track of inventory. This is really distracting to an actor to reload in the middle of a scene. Someone mentioned the pressure plate, the resolution, no interchangeable lenses. Most cameras have auto iris. Even with a good camera you still have a lot of these problems. Instead of poo-pooing the idea of digital, you should embrace it and figure out how to make it look better. Super8 is simply an archaic format. The quality just isn't there and it's problematic. And then, what happens if it breaks on location? What's the fix?


The wheel is archaic technology.

When I find a smooth stone, by the side of the river, I skip it across the river. It doesn't matter to me that the stone age ended thousands of years ago or that there might be objects that can skip across the river better than the stone.

Art is not just in the image. Amongst many things it is also in the materials and the concepts. Consider the concept work done in the 70s, where stuff was buried under ground where nobody could see it. The art was in the concept, not in the image. Or painters whose work is expressed as much by the texture of the paint as the entire image.

Actors? Who says a film has to have actors in it anyway?

What happens when a digital camera breaks on location?

In any case who is poo-pooing digital?

Edited by Carl Looper, 19 March 2011 - 05:50 PM.

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#83 Carl Looper

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 06:13 PM

The wheel is archaic technology.

When I find a smooth stone, by the side of the river, I skip it across the river. It doesn't matter to me that the stone age ended thousands of years ago or that there might be objects that can skip across the river better than the stone.

Art is not just in the image. Amongst many things it is also in the materials and the concepts. Consider the concept work done in the 70s, where stuff was buried under ground where nobody could see it. The art was in the concept, not in the image. Or painters whose work is expressed as much by the texture of the paint as the entire image.

Actors? Who says a film has to have actors in it anyway?

What happens when a digital camera breaks on location?

In any case who is poo-pooing digital?


I should also add that I'm a great advocate of the digital domain - for thirty years now. The history of digital goes back thousands of years to the abacus, and before that, stones and bones arranged in the sand.

So instead of poo-pooing "archaic" technology, embrace it for what it is: a form of knowledge handed down to us. A gift.

Carl
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#84 Tom Jensen

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 08:41 PM

The wheel is archaic technology.


Yes it is, that's why we use alloy rims and steel belted, carbon re-enforced sidewall tires now and not rocks like on the Flintstones. Shoot whatever you want, Carl. If you want to shoot super8, have a ball.

Edited by Tom Jensen, 19 March 2011 - 08:44 PM.

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#85 Carl Looper

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 08:49 PM

Yes it is, that's why we use alloy rims and steel belted, carbon re-enforced sidewall tires now and not rocks like on the Flintstones. Shoot whatever you want, Carl. If you want to shoot super8, have a ball.


My apologies. I didn't realize alloy rims, steel belted, carbon re-enforced sidewall tires were not wheels.

Carl
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#86 Tom Jensen

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 11:23 PM

Well, I guess if Roger Deakins picked up a super 8 camera with all the bells and whistles and compared his footage with that of an untrained circus monkey shooting 35mm then yes, yes the super 8 footage will look as good, if not better than the 35mm. My question is why do it? There is no real advantage. I sum it up like this: If the big rental houses do it, then that is what the industry demands. The industry demands the best quality for the least amount of money. If there were an easier, better, cheaper, more efficient way, the rental houses would be doing it. Super 8 is all but dead and there are many reasons for that. You can argue this point until you're blue in the face but I don't think it is viable. Super 8 cameras aren't even pin registered and that doesn't help your cause.Even if you are going to the web I think there are better formats that are more economical. And Carl, most of the movies that I have seen do have actors. The ones that didn't weren't all that interesting.If a digital camera breaks down, they are easier to replace and more people fix them. As far as embracing super8 for "what it is: a form of knowledge handed down to us, a gift," I hope the sender of said gift kept the receipt so I can exchange it for something more practical. Something I could use.
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#87 Jamie Frazer Noakes

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 02:51 AM

It just isn't practical when you can shoot on digital. At 24fps you get 2.5 minutes of shooting. At 18fps you get 3 minutes. Has anybody here shot a feature on short ends? What were the headaches with that? Inventory, constantly loading and reloading the camera, keeping track of inventory. This is really distracting to an actor to reload in the middle of a scene. Someone mentioned the pressure plate, the resolution, no interchangeable lenses. Most cameras have auto iris. Even with a good camera you still have a lot of these problems. Instead of poo-pooing the idea of digital, you should embrace it and figure out how to make it look better. Super8 is simply an archaic format. The quality just isn't there and it's problematic. And then, what happens if it breaks on location? What's the fix?


I shoot super 8 because it has soul. Digital is souless. To hell with practicalities.
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#88 Carl Looper

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 04:29 AM

My question is why do it? There is no real advantage.


Hi Tom,

Reasons for working in film vary from one filmmaker to another.

In my case a film on which I'm working involves bringing some rolls of 8mm film, shot in the 1930s, to the big screen. Now I'm actually using digital cameras and custom digital signal processing algorithms to do that. The purpose is to restore a moment in time. It's a bit like CSI. A forensic activity. To recover something that was otherwise lost. Now it doesn't involve any actors so presumably you'll find it uninteresting. Fair enough.

Another film on which I'm working does involve actors and shooting Super8. The Super8 will undergo the same process being done for the 1930s film. The purpose of the process is to obtain a result that is much better looking than the way Super8 might otherwise look when projected on a big screen.

But it's a good question. Why shoot Super8?

The first reason is easy. I just really really like the results of what I'm getting out of Super8. The signal is just so mesmerising. Now I've worked in video, 16mm, 35mm, CGI and digital - so it's not as if I don't know what I'm looking at. I do. What's so crazy for me is that it's Super8. But there in emerges the other reason - that it is Super8. If I shot it on digital, instead of Super8, then it wouldn't be Super8. There wouldn't be that crazy amazement.

I guess it's an artistic-technical-historical thing.

Carl
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#89 Tom Jensen

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 11:33 AM

Carl,
What you are doing makes a little more sense than shooting an entire feature on Super 8 which is what I think some people on here might be considering. I'm not saying it doesn't have it's place in the artistic realm of film making. It's hard to replicate the look and quality of Super 8. It does serve it's purpose. Good luck on your projects.
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#90 Tom Jensen

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 11:39 AM

I shoot super 8 because it has soul. Digital is souless. To hell with practicalities.

I'd say that's true for about 90% of all films made regardless of the format.
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#91 Carl Looper

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 12:45 PM

Carl,
What you are doing makes a little more sense than shooting an entire feature on Super 8 which is what I think some people on here might be considering. I'm not saying it doesn't have it's place in the artistic realm of film making. It's hard to replicate the look and quality of Super 8. It does serve it's purpose. Good luck on your projects.


thanks Tom.

Carl
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#92 Roberto Pirodda

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 01:58 PM

It just isn't practical when you can shoot on digital. At 24fps you get 2.5 minutes of shooting. At 18fps you get 3 minutes. Has anybody here shot a feature on short ends? What were the headaches with that? Inventory, constantly loading and reloading the camera, keeping track of inventory. This is really distracting to an actor to reload in the middle of a scene. Someone mentioned the pressure plate, the resolution, no interchangeable lenses. Most cameras have auto iris. Even with a good camera you still have a lot of these problems. Instead of poo-pooing the idea of digital, you should embrace it and figure out how to make it look better. Super8 is simply an archaic format. The quality just isn't there and it's problematic. And then, what happens if it breaks on location? What's the fix?


Hi Tom
We aren't speaking about praticality here, but to push S8 film format to the best possible. Ofcourse i mean to shoot with a professional double super8 cam, with interchangeable lenses, ten minutes (at 25 FpS), rocksteady frames and so on
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#93 Carl Looper

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 05:08 PM

What you are doing makes a little more sense than shooting an entire feature on Super 8 which is what I think some people on here might be considering.


Hi Tom,

I don't want to raise the heat again since we're in a conciliatory spirit now, but I do need to address this particular point. I think it is quite legitimate to shoot a feature film on Super8. But, yes, one needs to know the obstacles involved. However the traditional way in which film makers have learned their craft is not to jump head first into a feature film, but to work on short films first. That still remains the case today. But if not then I recommend it to everyone. Now especially in film one learns very quickly the obstacles involved. One learns to overcome those obstacles. Or one learns it's too hard - in which case digital might be the answer. Or doing something other than film making. Now most of those working in and discussing Super8 well understand the nature of the medium. They already know the obstacles involved.

The question we should be asking of those working in film should not be the rhetorical why.

A far more productive question would be how.

Carl
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