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DV Taping 16mm footage on projector


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#1 Jay Cowley

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 05:05 PM

I would like to start shooting in 16mm format instead of Digital Video.


Could i buy a 16mm Movie Camera + projector, shoot my movie, and then playback the footage on a screen, and tape it using a MiniDV Camera or an HD Camera?

Would i be stupid to go buy a camera and projector to do this, would the quality be to bad?
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#2 Scott Lynch

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 06:52 PM

I've done this process before with a low budget music video I did. I shot with a Arri BL and K-3, using Kodak 7222 and 7285. Then I had the film processed at a local lab. I projected the raw negative and reversal stock through a Bell & Howell 16mm projector onto a silver screen and recorded the screen with an Canon XL1 on manual and a shutter speed of 1/75. Make sure you keep the exposure on your mini-dv camera on manual, you don't want the camera to try to auto-expose for you. You have to do a lot of tests to get the best exposure and your contrast ratio's are going to be a lot higher, but it gives a unique DIY telecine look.

In post, I inverted the negative and put a white mask around the color reversal so I would have consistant borders. I also "dirtied" up the footage with AE so the original was a little cleaner. If you are doing sync sound also be aware that you will probably have to play with the speed of the footage in post so that the audio will sync up, this is quite a time consuming process and can be a headache if your not prepared for it. Also, not all of the footage in the video is 16mm, I did add a little bit of preformace footage that I shot with an XL1, I tried to make it match as close as possible, but if you look closely you should be able to find it.

The video was shot for just under $1000, and you can see the resulting video here:

http://www.cardboard...minata_HIGH.mov

-Scott
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#3 Daniel Madsen

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 07:26 PM

A silver screen- explain exactly what you mean by that.

Thanks
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#4 Scott Lynch

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 09:54 PM

Well there are a couple of different types of projector screens that you can buy. High grain, Low grain, Silver, and Rear Projection. High grain is a white screen that has a bit of shine to it so you can use it without having to kill all of your ambient light. Low grain is a flat white matte surface that you use in complete darkness. Silver helps reflect more light from the projector to a larger room. And Rear Projection is used when the projector is behind the screen.

I'm not sure if I would recommend a Silver screen for this type of application. My screen tends to produce specular highlights, which may be undesireable for a cleaner look. If you look at the video there is part of the screen that is brighter then the rest, and I believe this is because of the type of screen that I used. I think a Low Grain screen would give you the most even picture, but I don't own one and couldn't say for certain. The Silver screen worked for what I needed to. We created the video to feel like an old newsreel, so we almost wanted it to seem like you were watching the video being projected on the screen.

Maybe someone here is a bit more familiar with different screen types and could give an authoritive answer.

-Scott

Actually I just found this website that might clear up the information about screens.

http://www.projector...rontscreens.asp

-Scott
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#5 Alan Duckworth

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 03:54 PM

Nice work Scott! I liked the white border, "framing" is everything.

For more accurate results, as in when you need to have the original movie reproduced exactly as it is, try projecting onto a piece of white art board. The dead matt surface is better for that, and you can control contrast by bleeding some white light onto the projected image. It sounds too easy, but you can even use the regular room light on a dimmer - quite effective.

And you are correct, manual exposure and manual setting of the shutter speed are key. Depending on the projector, other shutter speeds might be used - trial and error testing will be needed.
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#6 Michael Nash

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 04:40 PM

Maybe someone here is a bit more familiar with different screen types and could give an authoritive answer.


I think you mean gain, not "grain." B)
http://www.projector...creens_gain.htm

I'm not a projection expert but I have done the homebrew telecine you describe. The choice of screen will depend on the setup you're able to build. For example, the angle of reflectance between projector and camera will determine if high-gain "hotspots" are a problem.

The other issue you'll run into is the dynamic range of your video camera compared to the brightness of the screen. If the screen is too bright or reflective, you'll clip the highlights when exposing for proper midtones. If this happens, try moving the screen farther away from the projector (or vice versa) to lower the contrast on the screen. You'll have to play with all these varaibles a bit to find the optimum setup.

Keep in mind that with a home DV camera you're going to be throwing away a lot of the nuance that film offers over DV, so a home setup like this would really be best used for creating a "look." There are also facilties that will do relatively cheap one-light telecine transfers, and you can mail them your film from anywhere in the country.
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#7 Ronney Ross

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 11:57 PM

when a the DIY was done with the negative footage did you have a problem getting an image. because I would like to shoot some negative in Super 8 but can't justify paying for telecine due to the fact that dont shoot anything hardly anyway and the stuff I do shoot are just test. Also will a program like vegas video or power director 3 perform the task or will I have to have a program like Premiere.

-Ronney Ross
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#8 Scott Lynch

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 08:27 AM

when a the DIY was done with the negative footage did you have a problem getting an image. because I would like to shoot some negative in Super 8 but can't justify paying for telecine due to the fact that dont shoot anything hardly anyway and the stuff I do shoot are just test. Also will a program like vegas video or power director 3 perform the task or will I have to have a program like Premiere.

-Ronney Ross


No I didn't have a problem with shooting the negative and getting an image. Although all the negative that I shot was the b&w footage. All of the color in the video was reversal. I've done this process with 16mm color neg (I think it was Kodak 7245), but I noticed more of a color loss when I inverted the footage in my editing program. I'm no expert when it comes to telecine, but I believe it is because color negative film has a slight brown/red tint to it that you need to compensate for with how you white balance your DV camera when you go to record the screen.

One other thing I wanted to mention was how difficult it can be to get your images to look sharp when doing this process. Make for sure that the projector you are using is projecting your image with the maximum sharpness for the screen, that the screen is absolutly flat and does not warp at the edges, and that your camera has the screen in focus. With the tests I've done, I find it better to make your projected image approx 2 feet wide on the screen, and to not use the edges of the screen, as mine was older and had a little warp to it.

-Scott
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#9 Scott Lynch

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 08:46 AM

No I didn't have a problem with shooting the negative and getting an image. Although all the negative that I shot was the b&w footage. All of the color in the video was reversal. I've done this process with 16mm color neg (I think it was Kodak 7245), but I noticed more of a color loss when I inverted the footage in my editing program. I'm no expert when it comes to telecine, but I believe it is because color negative film has a slight brown/red tint to it that you need to compensate for with how you white balance your DV camera when you go to record the screen.

One other thing I wanted to mention was how difficult it can be to get your images to look sharp when doing this process. Make for sure that the projector you are using is projecting your image with the maximum sharpness for the screen, that the screen is absolutly flat and does not warp at the edges, and that your camera has the screen in focus. With the tests I've done, I find it better to make your projected image approx 2 feet wide on the screen, and to not use the edges of the screen, as mine was older and had a little warp to it.

-Scott


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