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#1 grahamstanly

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 01:02 AM

Sorry for all the questions but i am new to all of the new terms, first i know the quality of the shot is the main difference in a 16mm camra vs a mini dv camra, but for a highschool students first camra should i get an ARRI bl, or a nicer camra that shoots mini dv. I really dont understand a 16mm seems much more complex, and do i need some fancy program to edit 16mm film on? Basicall can somone explain the pros and cons of Getting a 16mm camra. Sorry for all the stupid questions guys but thanks for the help.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 01:09 AM

Sorry for all the questions but i am new to all of the new terms, first i know the quality of the shot is the main difference in a 16mm camra vs a mini dv camra, but for a highschool students first camra should i get an ARRI bl, or a nicer camra that shoots mini dv. I really dont understand a 16mm seems much more complex, and do i need some fancy program to edit 16mm film on? Basicall can somone explain the pros and cons of Getting a 16mm camra. Sorry for all the stupid questions guys but thanks for the help.


Sign your posts with your first and last name or change your User Name to that, please. You can easily set-up an automatic signature in your user profile.

Do that and I'll answer your question! :)
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#3 grahamstanly

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 01:59 AM

O sorry well my full name is gram stanly but i just dont see why that matters?
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#4 David Sweetman

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 03:08 AM

i just dont see why that matters?


s th' rules.

I'd say start out on miniDV. (which I'd never call "nicer" than 16mm...since all those minidv cameras are trying to look like 16mm.)

The main difference is not the quality of the image perse, but the method of aquisition. If you've ever used a 35mm still camera, the difference between a film still camera and a digital still camera is exactly the same difference between a movie film camera and a digital video camera. With 16mm, you'd be running big reels of film through the camera. When the light comes through the lens, it exposes the film with the image. The film advances 24 times every second in order to get 24fps. Then you have to get it processed at a lab, just like you would with still film, and then you'd have to take it to a post house to telecine it to digital media in order edit it on your computer.

Which one you start with - digital or film - might depend on what you want to do, long-term. If your goal is to learn how to tell stories and become a director, then I'd suggest you start on dv. If your goal is to study lighting and become a Director of Photography, then you may want to consider 16mm (or even super-8, as film can get very expensive very quickly.) If you do learn to shoot film at this stage, you'll be way ahead of the game later, when most people in your college class still don't know the difference between film and video. Either way, shoot as much stuff as humanly possible, that's the real way to learn.
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#5 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 10:07 AM

O sorry well my full name is gram stanly but i just dont see why that matters?


Because there are dozens of working proffesionals here who gladly give up their time to answer all our questions - and in an industry which is incredibly small and where reputations are upheld and recomended by the verbal mentioning of a name - knowing real names is a must. Plus there's no real bad side to it, its not like its some dodgy internet dating agency.

Plus its probably worth changing your profile from 'camera operator' to 'student.' I'm not criticising, but people will probably be happier to answer your questions if it was correct, in the industry it takes several years to graduate to the level of a camera operator. Infact i've been thinking to change mine, i've been out of work for so long due to injury that I can't call myself anything.


To Answer your question:

DV and 16mm are two very different formats and not just because of picture quality.

With DV after the initial cost of a camera there are barely no extra costs, except for that of very cheap tape. The equipment ranges from $300 to $3000 and literaly anyone can pick up the equipment and within a few minutes film something acceptably. Of course with so many advantages come some major dissadvantages - the equipment can be very poor and the picture quality ranges from good to terrible.

However for you its advantages are for little money it can help you learn framing, coverage, sequencing shots and even lighting.

Also one of the most usefull aspects of owning a DV camera (providing it is DVin/DVout enabled) is it gives you a tape deck, and miniDV for a cheap format is very high quality. Latter you can get super 8, super 16, digiBeta transfered to miniDV for editing (and even fininishing if you don't mind some minor loss in quality)

For the cost of an Arri BL (which isn't a great camera for begininers anyhow) you can get a pretty decent DV camera. When you buy one make sure you have manual controls over:

Exposure
White Balance
Gain
Shutter Speed
Focus

Plus make sure it is fully DVin/out enabled, and if you can afford it try and get a 3-chip camera for better colour balance.

If you want to compliment you video experences with some film experiences, as David S already mentioned consider getting a super8 camera with manual exposure control and use it with a seperate incident light meter. Filming reversal films (Ektacrome64/PlusX/TriX) and projecting it at home will give you some groundwork ready for your 16mm attempts without paying the enourmous prices for proffesional developing and telecine. Also Super8 cameras have a major plus point to them, nearly all have lenses marked properly for focus and focal length, allowing you to build up an understanding of that too.
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#6 grahamstanly

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 10:20 AM

Ok thanks for all the help guys and i am sorry about the name thing i just diddnt see that in the rules. But also you were talking about possibly getting a super 8 over a 16mm, What is the difference in the two I noticed most super 8 camras are quite a bit smaller than a 16mm, but I dont understand the difference. Thanks again for all of your help.



--Graham--

Edited by grahamcracker, 07 August 2006 - 10:24 AM.

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#7 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 10:43 AM

Ok thanks for all the help guys and i am sorry about the name thing i just diddnt see that in the rules. But also you were talking about possibly getting a super 8 over a 16mm, What is the difference in the two I noticed most super 8 camras are quite a bit smaller than a 16mm, but I dont understand the difference. Thanks again for all of your help.
--Graham--


Super 8 is the amateur guage once used by your dad and his dad instead of shooting video. Its essentialy the same thing as 16mm except the film is half as wide which results in the image being a little more grainy and less sharp. Now its used exclusively by students, or proffesionals trying to achieve a nostalgic look (or strange cultists ranting on about its 'resolving' power). If you follow the same route as 16mm of shooting negative, processing and then telecine to video it won't be much cheaper, but shooting reversal for viewing on a projector at home will allow you to shoot a lot of film, and experience its issues for a lot less. Plus the cameras are generally cheaper.

As an example here is a young filmmaker who has had some successes with his super 8 projects
http://www.justinlovell.com/
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 11:02 AM

Why did you set-up your signature file as "Graham S."? Was it that hard to type in your last name? The point isn't to tell us once what your name is because a month from now, all we will see is "Graham S." in your posts, not Graham Stanly.
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#9 grahamstanly

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 09:46 PM

Well their you go david :D :D

well i guess i will just add another question If I was going to get a 16mm camra does anyone have any suggestions it would need somthing in the 1000 dollar range but if all of the 16mm camras that cheap are junk then I guess I wont get one i dont know really how much they cost.

Here is what i was thinking get a semi decent 16mm camra learn everything about it so I will be ahead of the game if I go to a film school. And get a nice mini dv camra so I can make and editing smaller movies with out paying to get the film processed. So if you guys could possibly suggest a desent 1000 dollar 16mm for a beginner, and a desent mini dv camra I was thinking a Gl2, or xl1.

Ohh noo I feel another question comming on. I know a lot of you guys have been doing this for years but in the film industry when you get hired to be a camra person, do they expect you to have all of your own equipment? or do they get you the equipment and just expect you to do your job?

Thanks again for your help guys I know most of you have busy lives and could care less about my questions but thanks for taking the time to answer them.
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#10 Alessandro Malfatti

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 10:10 PM

(Sweet, my first post here ^^)

Hi Graham,
after reading your last post, I somehow felt the need to tell you, that you CAN get a cheap 16mm camera, which isn't necessarily junk: You can get a russian made Krasnogorsk 3 for just a few hundred bucks on ebay or for about 700 on www.k3camera.com just check that it's a seller you can trust, an that the camera is in working condition. Just search the forum, there's a lot of information to that camera.

Well, now that I'm already writing here, I could tell you about your second question: I don't work professionally with film, but I doubt that if you're hired as director of photography, you can be expected to have your own tens-of-thousands-of-dollars-camera, right? You'll probably get the camera or the money to rent one.

(Now let's just hope I didn't say anything stupid haha)

Greetz
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#11 grahamstanly

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 10:22 PM

^^ thanks for the tip on the camra I will check it out. Do you know of any good dv camras?

o wait new question, in todays movies larger scale movies I always wondered what camras do they use not that I want to buy one but I always wondered? do they use 16mm ever or is it all 35mm, and hd camras? do they ever use mini dv? I have always wondered.

Edited by grahamcracker, 07 August 2006 - 10:24 PM.

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#12 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 10:24 PM

in the film industry when you get hired to be a camra person, do they expect you to have all of your own equipment? or do they get you the equipment and just expect you to do your job?

Generaly to get hired to do anything they expect to have seen you work and do it well. If you go to the libray and read the back issues of "American Cinimatographer" you will find on the last page an inbterview with folks who have "made it' in the Camera department. They often got started with a TV station doing local news, doing labour type work, or did several "film festival" type productons, or perhaps educational prioductions, and were offered a job as a clapper-loader, or a focus puller. or perhaps a grip. from their they worked up into second assistant for the second unit, and if they can build up to the point where they manage to capture the actual camera guys confidence that they could do the job, they got promoted through the ranks.

Confirms to me that I will always be a wantabe!

SO when you get to that position - yes the producers will rent you a nice shiny camera. - To get to that position you better have your own and know how to use it, fix it, modify it, make love to it, and manage ot get results that the maker of the camera never expeted to achive with that bucket of bolts.

There are propbaly 1000 Folks who dream of getting a job for every one who does get a job in "the movies", even the job of the guy that sweeps the floor on the set.
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#13 David Sweetman

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 12:53 AM

There are propbaly 1000 Folks who dream of getting a job for every one who does get a job in "the movies", even the job of the guy that sweeps the floor on the set.

It's not that hard just to get on a set...which, by the way, is great experience and a great way to learn, no matter what set it is. The easiest way I've found is to work as an extra. Not the most glamorous thing, but it's a heck of a lot of fun, and you can get on the larger budget productions to see how they do it. Last week I was on The OC with just one phone call, and I didn't have to sweep any floors. Actually I'd rather have the job sweeping the floors...because the problem was, I'd be standing around, being an extra, but I wanted to DO something! freakin' anything, yeah, give me a broom, I'll sweep!

I've never seen the show before, and I was surprised to see (to answer another of your questions) that it shoots on Super-16 with SR3's. They had three cameras (that I saw), but I only ever saw them rolling two at once. I'm not sure how many tv shows shoot 16mm, but I know it's common to shoot 16 for commercials as well...most features you see, however, are all 35mm. I think documentaries use 16mm more often because of the volume of "spur-of-the-moment" kind of stuff they shoot, "March of the Penguins" comes to mind (s16 aatons).

As far as the minidv camera to get, I would go for a used xl1. That camera has really grown on me lately. Be wary of any xl1 ebay auction.
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#14 grahamstanly

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 01:14 AM

Thanks david good advice, I have heard bad things about getting xl1's on ebay also. As for a 16mm I am now looking more at getting a k3 I just got a paycheck so it just may happen in the next month or so.

but say I get a k3 or any other 16mm camra and i get a role of film and shoot it, then I send it to the developers what do I get back from them? reel? what do I do with the reel how do I edit it? do i need a bunch of special fetures to edit 16mm?

thanks again for your help
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#15 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 01:36 AM

Do you want to edit on film using workprint and a tape splicer, etc. or edit on a computer? If the second (which is now more common) you'd need to get your film transferred to video. Then you'd import the video footage into your computer just like you would with camcorder footage (you'd probably get the film transferred to a tape format you can playback at home like DVCAM -- or nowadays, you can also get film transferred directly to hard drives.)

The film-to-video transfer process, using a telecine, is not cheap though.
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#16 grahamstanly

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 01:41 AM

Thanks david so basically if I am just shooting a reel to get a good feel for the camra I probably shouldnt get it put on a tape. ok Also david for the first to options of editing what exactly are they i havnt heard of them.
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#17 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 06:43 AM

Thanks david so basically if I am just shooting a reel to get a good feel for the camra I probably shouldnt get it put on a tape. ok Also david for the first to options of editing what exactly are they i havnt heard of them.


Thats why if you haven't already got a DV camera which is DVin and out enabled, a DV camera will be your best investment right now. Essentially you can use it as deck for all your video and film projects.
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#18 grahamstanly

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 03:07 PM

Thats why if you haven't already got a DV camera which is DVin and out enabled, a DV camera will be your best investment right now. Essentially you can use it as deck for all your video and film projects.



thats exactly what i was thinking get a good dv camra like xl1, or a desent sony hd camra, and then get a cheap 16mm camra so i can learn about it and be ahead if i go to a film school.
thanks
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#19 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 07:44 PM

I'm not one to openly flog my book, but if you want to know more about editing 16mm, look at "Cinematography" (The Third Edition) by Malkiewicz and Mullen... It was written basically to take someone through 16mm production from start to finish.
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