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Good 35mm horror movie stock?


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#1 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 02:01 AM

I'm, looking for opinions here, what's a good 35mm stock to shoot a horror flick on that has a lot of night scenes in the desert. We have a complete grip truck availible w/ a large genny and several lights, gels ect. I wanted to try and create a modern noir feel (meaning shot in color maybe ala body heat) and combine that with the horror genra. My color plallet will include lots of red (the story takes place for the most part during a lunar eclipes called a blood moon) and one charature will be dressed in red thoughout the film. I was thinking of using black and white for the other charature but am concerned about him showing up against the blackness of night so I might go to muted greens and white instead. I also would include flashes of bight colors greens, yellows, blues ect, to contrast the browns, tans and dark greens of the desert. I kinda want to try and find a stock that will work with older standard lenses in the event I can't find or afford newer fast lenses. I don't mind discontinued stocks especially if I can get a good price on them.

The daytime scenes will vary from long shadowy feels to bright daylight although I plan to keep these limited to very specific moments in the script and there is some interior stuff so I may be looking at a couple of stocks that will cut together well and not loose to moody feel of the piece. Now, I know 5218 is pretty much the workhorse of the industry right now, but I'm not sure how well it will work for the night scenes with the possible limitations of lenses that may be availible. Sense we're gonna be limited on cash, I want to find a good starting point so I can shoot some tests without wasteing money on stock that is not going to be close to the look I want to achieve. Grain is not an exceptional consideration but I don't want it to look like I shot it on 16 :D . I know there will probably be compromises I'll just have to accept given own budget and demands but If I can get in the ballpark I can probably live with it. I would very much apreciate any and all help offered here ladies and gentlemen so feel free to share your thoughts. I will be most greatful. B)

Edited by Capt.Video, 24 July 2006 - 02:02 AM.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 02:11 AM

You don't have a lot of choices if you are doing a lot of night work on a budget.

There are three Kodak 500 ASA stocks, the older 5279, 5218, and the lower-contrast 5229.

And there's Fuji Eterna 500T. Maybe you could also include the low-con Fuji 400T (which was just used for "Lady in the Water.")

5279 is probably fine-grained enough (Kaminski still uses it, like for "Munich" and "War of the Worlds") and it probably cheaper, although Fuji 500T may be close.

The main reasons I would probably suggest 5218 are that it pushes well by one-stop, which may come in handy, and since it is the most popular 500 ASA stock, it's also the most common at the recan companies. Otherwise, it's more of a question as to the look you want, whether you want more contrast or less contrast (5279 probably being the most contrasty and 5229 and Fuji 400T being the least contrasty, and 5218 and Fuji Eterna 500T being in the middle, with the Fuji being slightly lower-contrast than 5218.)

Truth is that these are all rather close in quality if you are shooting in 35mm. None of them would not be considered contemporary or modern in look.

The big question is what does your DP think?
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#3 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 02:42 PM

I mentioned your input to him and he agrees. He thinks 5218 should work well and also feels the ability to easily push one stop is a desirable asset. He did however suggest we do our best to get ahold of some fast lenses if possible. I am intriqued by the Fugi 400T, I liked the look of "Lady in the Water". It's not QUITE the look I plan to use but I can see it working with our lighting design. I loved the look of War of the Worlds so I think I'll get a small roll of 5279 and try it out. However, as they are all pretty close in quality, unless I can get a deal on the 5279, the cost factor of 5218 may be the deciding factor.

This is not a piriod piece (It's supposedly set in 2000 when the longest blood moon in 1000 years occured and will not be repeated for another 1000 years) so a contemporary look in the stock shouldn't be that big of a deal. I am, after all, going for neo-noir and I think I can live with a modren feel. I will definately shoot some tests. I very much appreciate your expert opinion and advice, David. Thanks for the response B)

Edited by Capt.Video, 24 July 2006 - 02:44 PM.

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