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After you've shot with the 8mm


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#1 monkeywithnoeyes

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 07:50 AM

Hi, i'm very new to super 8's and was wondering if there was a cheaper easier way to get the film shot and then watched and edited, rather than have to send it out to be processed all the time?
like i said i'm very new to 8mm and though the cams are cheap themselves it seems that to actually do anything with them becomes very expensive, and time consuming if you have to send each 3min film cartridge to get processed and then wait for it to come back just to see if you're shooting your camera right.
Is there no way you could get a cable and link the 8mm's to the pc to get the film on there to edit, like you could with the old tape home camcorders? or is it simply the case of geting a projector and splicer and editing your film first then sending it out to be processed and put on a dvd, and can you do this by opening up the cartridges and wrapping the film around a film reel on a projector, or would you have to do something to that film first?
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#2 Matt Pacini

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 10:54 AM

All film has to be processed. There's no way around that.
There are tradeoffs in everything in life, and this is one of them; to get the look of film, you lose the immediacy of seeing what you shot RIGHT THEN.
It's just the way it is. The more you do it, the better you get at it.
As far as video taps for Super 8 cameras, they're very expensive to buy, and damn near impossible to make yourself and have them actually function correctly, unless you're a serious hardware whiz.
Plus, that it's going to tell you anything other than if your focus & composition is correct.
It's not going to tell you if you exposed the film properly, what it's going to look like, etc.
The best thing to do if you really want to learn film, is to be very methodical and set up tests.
Set up scenes that you light in particular ways, expose at different levels, and keep logs on all of this, so you can look at the results you get back and see what you did that caused certain results.

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#3 Andrew Means

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 03:31 PM

Is there no way you could get a cable and link the 8mm's to the pc to get the film on there to edit, like you could with the old tape home camcorders?


I laughed out loud reading this. Hope springs eternal : )

Monkey, in some ways Super8 is the equivalent of driving across country in a Model T ford- it won't get you there quickly, easily, or conveniently, but it offers a completely unique experience that you can't replicate elsewhere. For some, it's worth it.
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#4 shutter bug

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 09:20 PM

I laughed out loud reading this. Hope springs eternal : )

Monkey, in some ways Super8 is the equivalent of driving across country in a Model T ford- it won't get you there quickly, easily, or conveniently, but it offers a completely unique experience that you can't replicate elsewhere. For some, it's worth it.


i actually would have said it was more like taking out a 206 dino ferrari, its not as fast as a lot of modern off the rack cars and requires more maintanence but its a ride and feel that does not compare to a japanese cars. sorta like fast food compared to a fine french meal.go try those to and tell me what you prefer. with cheap and easy you get what you pay for.
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#5 Andrew Means

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 10:23 PM

i actually would have said it was more like taking out a 206 dino ferrari, its not as fast as a lot of modern off the rack cars and requires more maintanence but its a ride and feel that does not compare to a japanese cars. sorta like fast food compared to a fine french meal.go try those to and tell me what you prefer. with cheap and easy you get what you pay for.


a better analogy, definitely.
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#6 Gianni Raineri

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 03:15 AM

This pros and cons, etc... discussion applies with film vs digital too. See the results on www.Flickr.com. In fact, it's human nature... to seek improvement and a better way of doing things. Another reason to shooting film, without convincing arguments either way, is shooting film for the 'art' of it. I like the quotation used at http://www.onsuper8.org

"The technology of yesterday becomes the artform of today" Marshall McLuhan, 1911-1980. He's the bloke who said "the media is the message". Nowdays his followers argue that virtual reality is more real than reality... :lol:

Film technology is improving and keeping pace with Digital and Video, but for instant feedback mini DV and digital wins that race. Just shoot with two cameras braced together on a flash bracket, simultaneously filming and DV-ing. I use an old Sony Ruvi for 8mm filming, but any cheap digi-cam that makes short movie clips will do. When you get rich and famous, you can use the fancy AV kit that comes with a rented 16 or 35mm camera.

Getting over the time delay hurdle, be grateful for the cheap processing available in the USA. If it's filmstock expense that bothers you, just do what 'real' filmakers do and join their fraternity. Using other people's money sharpens your filming technique, I think most (non-amateur) movies are made with other peoples money!

Alternatively you can process the film yourself. Once you've got all the kit and chemicals, film dry to dry in three to four hours. That's same day results. Then there are the pro labs that do next day, although world wide very few do it in Super 8. <_<

You can get some arts funding or grants to start up your own local Super 8 society. Use that to learn the technique. Don't wait for anyone to teach you, just do it yourself and get publicity from the local and community news media.

Gianni

Edited by Gianni Raineri, 15 August 2006 - 03:17 AM.

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#7 shutter bug

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 05:19 AM

a better analogy, definitely.


the car one or the food one?
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#8 monkeywithnoeyes

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 10:17 AM

Film technology is improving and keeping pace with Digital and Video, but for instant feedback mini DV and digital wins that race. Just shoot with two cameras braced together on a flash bracket, simultaneously filming and DV-ing. I use an old Sony Ruvi for 8mm filming, but any cheap digi-cam that makes short movie clips will do. When you get rich and famous, you can use the fancy AV kit that comes with a rented 16 or 35mm camera.

Getting over the time delay hurdle, be grateful for the cheap processing available in the USA. If it's filmstock expense that bothers you, just do what 'real' filmakers do and join their fraternity. Using other people's money sharpens your filming technique, I think most (non-amateur) movies are made with other peoples money!

Alternatively you can process the film yourself. Once you've got all the kit and chemicals, film dry to dry in three to four hours. That's same day results. Then there are the pro labs that do next day, although world wide very few do it in Super 8. <_<

You can get some arts funding or grants to start up your own local Super 8 society. Use that to learn the technique. Don't wait for anyone to teach you, just do it yourself and get publicity from the local and community news media.

Gianni


I'm based in the UK so i don't have your cheap processing, here its around £20..which is about $37 to get a cartridge developed..which you could pretty much get another 8mm cam for, and a waste in expense if the cartridges are only 3mins of film and you're experimenting whilst learning about it. Also you guys in the US seem to have the benefit of money and space..which is rare here, so just finding the space to process the film myself wouldnt be possible at the moment...i'd love to hear of any super 8mm clubs though based in the north west of England if anybody knows of any?

It looks like digital might be the best way to start out, are there any cheap digital cams that can get the 8mm look though? or software the can produce a close look to film? i'm sure "Brick" was filmed on digital and produced a flawless film look.
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 10:41 AM

i'm sure "Brick" was filmed on digital and produced a flawless film look.


"Brick" was shot in 35mm!
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#10 Andrew Means

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 12:48 PM

the car one or the food one?


They were both good analogies- I was saying the Ferarri Dino analogy is a better analogy than my Ford Model T analogy- super 8 isn't a rickety old antique, it's high performance of a different type and feel than today's "high performance".
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#11 Andrew Means

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 01:01 PM

I'm based in the UK so i don't have your cheap processing, here its around £20..which is about $37 to get a cartridge developed..which you could pretty much get another 8mm cam for, and a waste in expense if the cartridges are only 3mins of film and you're experimenting whilst learning about it. Also you guys in the US seem to have the benefit of money and space..which is rare here, so just finding the space to process the film myself wouldnt be possible at the moment...i'd love to hear of any super 8mm clubs though based in the north west of England if anybody knows of any?

It looks like digital might be the best way to start out, are there any cheap digital cams that can get the 8mm look though? or software the can produce a close look to film? i'm sure "Brick" was filmed on digital and produced a flawless film look.


From the sound of it, you're going to have to make a decision between convenience/expense and image quality- You need to decide how badly you want a real film look to your projects. In order to get a true film look you really have to go film- digital video just isn't there yet. There's plugins that do film effects, which I would encourage you to try out, but honestly, if your priority is to get a super8 look, bite the bullet and go with super8. It'll be a more enriching experience, you'll find you're more intentional about what you shoot, you'll find you treat the camera and the film as dynamic partners rather than simply tools that you use to get what you want.

However if your priority is convenience and cost, then there's no beating digital. If you can live with the look (and I wouldn't expect to get close to the look of film without putting some major money into a quality digital camera and post production effects) then utilize digital's immediacy to its full potential- shoot constantly and become a better filmmaker because of it- then when the time/money comes along for film, you'll be better prepared.

Ultimately though, make a decision and don't second-guess yourself- just start making movies, that's the important part! Some famous photographer once quipped that asking a photographer what kind of camera he uses is akin to asking a writer what kind of typewriter they use. The real question is what you have inside you and what skill you have in getting your vision and ideas out rather than what tools you use.
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#12 Tim Drage

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 02:19 PM

are there any cheap digital cams that can get the 8mm look though?

No, basically.

Any 'film look' you're gonna achieve on video will have to be done in postproduction. There's all sorts of ways to achieve it really. Don't overdo it by adding cheezy fake scratches etc would be my advice! :)

I personally would just aim for 'good look' more than film look when it comes to video! :)

Some hints to getting less overtly videoey footage from DV that i've found useful:
* Turn the sharpness control on your camera right down/off. Too much digital sharpness looks ugly and non-filmic, and while you can add sharpness in post, you can't take it away if it's on the original footage.
* Deinterlacing your video will help it look more like film.
* Don't use the zoom to frame shots... instead stick to one or two different zoom positions, to kind of simulate having different prime lenses, and move the camera to frame! The resulting consistancy of depth of field, perspective etc will subtly imply increased cinematicness!? :) This is an idea i read recently and couldn't believe i'd never thought of, so simple. (i guess this would apply for super-8 too as most/all cameras have zoom lens)
* light things properly.

Uhh that's about it, I'm not a pro cinematographer or anthing but thought these might help (and to be honest had to post something on the board to avoid my account being culled; i usually just lurk! ^_^)
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#13 shutter bug

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 02:42 PM

thanks andrew, i try to bring the nicer things in life into conversation,great cars and great food being tw of the several things i love.watch out for the next analogy though, its not as pretty.

heres the deal between film and video,in this case super8 and digital video.

you know that with digital video youll spend a wack to get a camera that will be worth nothing in two years and technology will have moved on,so youll want another one. the super8 camera doesnt have to but can cost a wack of cash,and will be just as good later as it is now.the picture,unlike video,improves everytime you put film through the camera (so to speak) becasue the film is what needs to improve to get better pictures...not the camera. so here comes the analogy.and its gonna be a real tom leykis analogy.

for the same price,and assuming you are straight, would you rather have ten dump annoying brain dead unskilled women or one or two really hot skilled knowledgable women? sure you can have lots of women ad you can go through them like dixie cups and you can feel great being surrounded by a bunch of women but at the end of the day you have lots of quantity and no quality, you also havent learned a thing so when a really great girl you want to have stick around comes by you havent learned a thing.

the other option is you get a couple of chicks that are gorgeous,fun to be around,know how to use their hands and they sound great.they teach you a heap of stuff and they build up your confidence, youre proud to show em off and people are jelous.you walk away proud of your accomplishment.

so,whats the analogy? most people get a video camera and think the camera does the work for them.in fact its harder to get a great image out of them becasue nobody thinkg you have to OPERATE the camera. they also generally shoot heaps of crap. crap after crap cause its cheap and easy. quanity instead of quality. people that matter dont want to see a heap of things you did, they want to see the good stuff you did.

plus the image quality is not the same as film.so if and when you want to do a professional production or work on a professional production you have no clue whats going on. DP's like to know you know what they mean when they say 7218. you will learn heaps. you will know the stuf pro's know instead of being at the same level as the guys who go to wal-mart and get a camcorder for $599.

so instead of shooting 5 shorts, you put your budget into one short, and you plan it, and think about it, and take your time with it.what comes out will then look great..or at least it should if you out in five times the time and effort instead of splitting it up into five projects.

so you are left with a movie that uses the same tools as the big boys, like a mni ferrari. youre in the game. id rather have the mini ferrari and the pair of hot chicks.
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#14 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 03:32 PM

I think there are a couple of important reasons to shoot film rather than video.

1) The first is developing technical skills, learning how to expose film, deal with depth of field and all the related issues. We all know that video is so forgiving because it provides immediate feedback so we end up relying more on the equipment to show us what is right or wrong rather than our knowledge and decision making. I hate the idea that I've come to trust a video monitor on set more than my own eye, the DP and camera op.

2) The second is time. I've been shooting a lot of ENG and small budget HD in the past year and I feel like its ruined my sense of time / timing / rhythm. Times is an essential characteristic of film and video (cameras are clocks that record right) but there is nothing like having the time limitation of 2 -3 minutes for a super8 cart. or 30sec. for an old wind up Bolex to help learn about time, how it flows in the image, what one can do with a limited amount of time, how a shot develops from beginning middle to the end, etc. One can do these things on video as well but I've never met anyone with the actual discipline and drive to follow through. Video quickly becomes all about "try it again" or lets not put artificial limitations on it.
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#15 Stuart McCammon

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 03:33 PM

Translation: put your budget in your shorts and you will get to hang around with models. . .

Uh, I think I need a how-to video on that one)
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#16 Robert Hughes

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 04:38 PM

cinematicness!?

Cinema-ticity?
Cinema-locity?
Cinema-mosis?
Cin-ereal?
Cine-lisciousness?

Dixie cups!? Or two finicky women with expensive tastes, are stone silent, always negative - and things never develop unless you're in a dark room. <_<
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#17 shutter bug

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 04:43 PM

Cinema-ticity?
Cinema-locity?
Cinema-mosis?
Cin-ereal?
Cine-lisciousness?

Dixie cups!? Or two finicky women with expensive tastes, are stone silent, always negative - and things never develop unless you're in a dark room. <_<


who said finicky women with good taste!??!? i said hot chicks that werent dumpy and homely. and the way you use always...come on man, youre sounding like you have no game! better listen to leykis!
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#18 Gianni Raineri

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 06:16 PM

Nowhere Labs in North London has workshops and help you to learn or can teach you super 8 processing. Use the kitchen sink and bathroom or living room for drying after it's quiet. Get a Lomo tank £50 ish. A liter of C-41 or E-6 chemistry ranges about £15-20 and soups anywhere from five or ten carts of super 8 if you do them in the same day or two. Sponge the black stuff off the film yourself.....

Frank in the Super 8 Reversal Lab in the Netherlands will process E-6 for 12 Euros, C-41 for 20 Euros...

ToddAO in London is the pro house, think £50 for one cart colour neg filmstock - processing - telecine - mini DV tape.

Try to enter some super 8 festivals, maybe just entering will motivate you...

I still think you ought to use other people's money! Ask around. Sell your camcorder! Gotta schmooze with the glitteratti.... Sell yourself to the local business people. A few hundred pounds is good for their business. Recently, my housing association offered me money for political correctness movies, but I'm not into that ATM... things like "Get a life, don't get pregnant", "Avoid ASBO's", "Do Sports, not Drugs" .....

Gianni in London

Edited by Gianni Raineri, 15 August 2006 - 06:17 PM.

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