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super8 for 35mm blow-up??????


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#1 Sebastian Matthias

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 04:40 AM

hello everybody ! this might seem a very silly question, but is it possible to get a decent quality blow-up to 35 ? good enough to run on a big screen ?
we are in preproduction for a commercial and most will be filmed on super 16 for blow up to 35.
a lot of the shots can´t be done with a sr3 because a: it´s too big and b: chances of damaging the camera are very high in those shots!
so we decided to try out super8 , but honestly I´m not very familiar with that format and with it´s possibilities. I know, in some commercials super8 was used (for television) but would that work for the big sreen ?
Any info I would appreciate very much!

thanks for your help



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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 11:49 AM

Why not use a Filmo16 or Aaton A-Minima (or the A-Cam or the Canon Scoopic) for those shots? Those cameras aren't much bigger than a typical Super-8 camera.
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#3 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 12:11 PM

^ +1

Also, I think super8 done at the best scan, would look like old time war footage. And depending on what stock you used and how you exposed it/focus etcetera, would make a huge impact. I'd push for a test on this.

I know that kodak makes Vision 2 8mm stocks, 200t and 500T, which is amazing, so give those a whirl.
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#4 Chris Burke

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 01:40 PM

^ +1

Also, I think super8 done at the best scan, would look like old time war footage. And depending on what stock you used and how you exposed it/focus etcetera, would make a huge impact. I'd push for a test on this.

I know that kodak makes Vision 2 8mm stocks, 200t and 500T, which is amazing, so give those a whirl.



Depending on your camera, lens choice (if you can choose) and the transfer, you might be quite suprised at how good the Super 8 can look. Granted it will look different, but not quite antique war footage like. It can look old and rough, but it can also look so much better.
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#5 Sebastian Matthias

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 01:46 PM

dear david,dear J.
thanks for your replies.
I would love to use a A-Minima or maybe a Ionoskope(did I spell that right?You know what I mean),but the problem is that those cameras will get damaged at the shots we plan.That´s why we were thinking about getting a lot of cheap super8 cameras over ebay and just "use them up".This might sound a bit radical and unprofessional, but since the shots are short and just last till "impact"(just as the cameras) it should work.
We found a company,that slices up 16mm stock to make super8 stock out of it.This would give us the chance to use any stock avaiable.
My main concern is picture quality and as you stated,the picture might look like 2nd worldwar news.
I know that super8 films normally had about 40ASA,so I´m concerned that quality gets even worse with faster stocks.
I have never seen a film on super8 on a big screen.Has that ever be done ?
Are there any possibilities to improve picture quality with super8? if I go for it....what stocks and wich processes i should use?

thank you for your input! (i know it! this shoot will keep the gears in my brain moving ;-) )


best regards


sebastian matthais
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#6 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 04:51 PM

dear david,dear J.
thanks for your replies.
I would love to use a A-Minima or maybe a Ionoskope(did I spell that right?You know what I mean),but the problem is that those cameras will get damaged at the shots we plan.That´s why we were thinking about getting a lot of cheap super8 cameras over ebay and just "use them up".This might sound a bit radical and unprofessional, but since the shots are short and just last till "impact"(just as the cameras) it should work.
We found a company,that slices up 16mm stock to make super8 stock out of it.This would give us the chance to use any stock avaiable.
My main concern is picture quality and as you stated,the picture might look like 2nd worldwar news.
I know that super8 films normally had about 40ASA,so I´m concerned that quality gets even worse with faster stocks.
I have never seen a film on super8 on a big screen.Has that ever be done ?
Are there any possibilities to improve picture quality with super8? if I go for it....what stocks and wich processes i should use?

thank you for your input! (i know it! this shoot will keep the gears in my brain moving ;-) )
best regards
sebastian matthais



You don't need to destroy a camera to get the effect of something crashing into it.

If you are thinking about that, to sacrifice image quality and resolution, straying from your 16mm, then I think that is a bad idea. There are a million ways to make cars look like they are going faster, or cars crashing into the camera. A lot of that work is done in editing, so ask and editor how you can shoot the scene a little better to help the outcome.

About the super 8 wartime comment, disreguard that. The same vision 2 Kodak Stock you would use, is the same stuff you'd put in your super 8 camera, but the only thing different is the size of the film. You could get the super 8 telecined, since you'd have a negative with Vision 2 stock, and not a positive; so you would have the 7 stops of latitude in the film, and be able to expose the negative a bit better than you were used to.

If you are shooting ektakrome, then that's a different story
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#7 Scott Bullock

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 05:04 PM

I remember reading an article about Sam Raimi and Bruce Tapert that concerned them gearing up for the movie, EVIL DEAD. Both had wanted to shoot the movie on Super 8 because they'd made so many little movies on that format and thought it would be more cost effective than shooting 16mm, which, of course, is correct. However, and understandably, they had the same concerns that you have regarding blowing their footage up to 35mm. So, what they did was shoot a short film on Super 8 and then paid to have it blown up to 35mm and projected. According to the article I read, when Sam Raimi, Bruce Tapert, and Bruce Campbell saw the finished results they were absolutely horrified by how horrible it looked and knew right away that they had no choice but to go out and raise the money to shoot on 16mm. Bruce Tapert said something to the effect of, 'The grain looked the size of boulders.' You can read the full story in a book titled, "The Evil Dead Companion."

Now, granted, this was back in the day before color negative stocks were available for Super 8, so perhaps it wouldn't look as bad as their results did. Then again, I'm not sure that these stocks would have less grain or be any sharper than the Kodachrome 40 that Raimi and the boys used for their test. I can't help but think that if you are looking to seamlessly edit Super 8 footage in with 16mm footage and then blow it all up to 35mm that you are going to be disappointed with the results. That said; you probably won't know for certain until you've tested it for yourself, which is something I'd strongly encourage. If it were me, I'd rather know the results going into the project instead of finding out in post that you're going to have to go back and re-shoot all that stuff. I'll bet that you'll find that it is well worth your time and money to simply purchase a few Canon Scoopics or older Bolex 16mm cameras, even if they aren't reflex, to use as "crash" cameras and jettison the Super 8 idea completely.
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#8 Robert Hughes

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 05:10 PM

You may want to look at a Bell and Howell GSAP 16mm aircraft gun camera from WW2. They are smaller than Super8 cameras, run on 28VDC and take 50' magazines of 16mm film, and are well nigh indestructable, as can be attested to by the fact that they were bolted to fighter plane wings right next to banks of 50 caliber machine guns. The civilian version, the B&H model 200, is a windup camera available for about $20 on eBay nowadays. It takes fine pictures also.

Edited by Robert Hughes, 27 August 2006 - 05:13 PM.

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#9 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 06:37 PM

One good way of saving an expensive camera from destruction is to use mirrors. Place the mirror in the danger zone, with the camera on the appropriate lens pointing into it. Let the mirror get destroyed and correct the footage in post so its the right way round. Of course be careful when smashing things into mirrors, with flying glass.

If you must destroy the camera, consider using russian 16mm camera like a K3. You can always have these camera's altered to your needs. These cameras will be financially benefical too as you can get them from about $150, which is actually cheaper than a versatile super 8 camera.

Super 8 is a wierd athetic, best use it for that rather than any possible financial or practical gain. The image can be nostalgic, retro, sureal... very different from much of what you see on proffesional 16mm, and the new negative stocks help that to be minipulated further, they are however not less grainy than old Kodacrome 40, infact quite the opposite
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#10 Sebastian Matthias

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 01:28 AM

hello all !
thanks a lot for all that replies !
i think i really got off that super8 idea. I knew about crashboxes and those ways of faking crash situations,it just would not have worked with the shots we plan (throwing cameras over long distances,for example!)
But the idea of getting some old russian cameras sounds good and I know that most of them are allmost undestroyable! I had a Krasnogorsk for years,but sold it last year.
We will do a test with super8 anyway, just to be sure.
I also like the idea with the mirrors! That could be a great tool for some shots.
It´s allways a bit hard to explain exactly what I´m looking for and how I want to execute shots, because I´m not allowed to talk about that shoot in detail. But You gave me some really nice input! :-)

thank You all a lot ! if there are any more ideas...let me know !


cheers

Sebastian
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