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Old Style Titles


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#1 Matthew Buick

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 06:40 AM

I detest modern CG titles, and would like to learn how to shoot the good old kind.

How would I go about doing this ?

-Me
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 10:37 AM

Do you just mean words over black or trying to composite them over a moving picture background using an optical printer?

Titles over black are usually just backlit Kodaliths -- some print shops still make these. You give them regular black-on-white text and they make a photographic transparency that is reversed, clear letters on black. You photograph these on a light table, or just put tracing paper / diffusion gel behind them and shoot them on a movie camera. Since Kodaliths are somewhat expensive, I used to cram my text onto single pages (within an 8x10 area) so it would only take two or three 8x10 Kodaliths, and then cut them up with scissors and mount them onto black posterboard with a slot cut out where the words went, then back it with tracing paper and shoot it backlit. You can then add color gels or camera filters for colored letters, diffusion on the camera for glowing letters, etc.

Although I don't see how a CGI title is any different that creating the words on your computer and printing it out onto paper, taking it to a print shop, making Kodaliths, etc. Either way, the text is computer generated. I think you are talking more about how you don't like the look of video titles.
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#3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 11:23 AM

At film school, we used to print out our titles as white on black from MS Word, or whatever it was then, then stick them up on the wall and film them. Worked fine.
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#4 Matthew Buick

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 06:35 PM

Do you just mean words over black or trying to composite them over a moving picture background using an optical printer?

Titles over black are usually just backlit Kodaliths -- some print shops still make these. You give them regular black-on-white text and they make a photographic transparency that is reversed, clear letters on black. You photograph these on a light table, or just put tracing paper / diffusion gel behind them and shoot them on a movie camera. Since Kodaliths are somewhat expensive, I used to cram my text onto single pages (within an 8x10 area) so it would only take two or three 8x10 Kodaliths, and then cut them up with scissors and mount them onto black posterboard with a slot cut out where the words went, then back it with tracing paper and shoot it backlit. You can then add color gels or camera filters for colored letters, diffusion on the camera for glowing letters, etc.

Although I don't see how a CGI title is any different that creating the words on your computer and printing it out onto paper, taking it to a print shop, making Kodaliths, etc. Either way, the text is computer generated. I think you are talking more about how you don't like the look of video titles.


I believe an Optical Printer is what I'm talking about, I love the retro look, I love that retro look, the fact that they sometimes wobble, and that general coolness, do you know where I can find one of these ?

Video titles, that's what I meant, boy, they really stink. :D

-Me

P.S If I do get an Optical Printer I'll be making a Brickfilm for the Special Effects Extrordinaire film festival,(probably the first Brickfilm to feature Optically Printed special effects), which I'll screen here.

Edited by Matthew Buick, 21 October 2006 - 06:36 PM.

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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 07:11 PM

Optical printing titles over picture is near impossible to do in Super-8 and not worth the effort, plus it is beyond your budget and skill level, honestly. You have to make dupes, hold-out mattes, etc. and Super-8 does not handle being copied on film multiple generations very well, plus the registration would be awful. Plus you'd need a Super-8 optical printer which I'm not sure even exist anymore.
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#6 Glenn Brady

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 08:18 PM

Hi, Matthew

As I advised in an earlier thread, the K107 optical printer for Super 8 is available from www.jkcamera.com. Interchangeable modules for regular 8mm, 16mm, Super 16, and 35mm are available from the maker for this machine. A basic K107 costs $4,950.00, but accessories can add considerably to the cost. I suggest you visit Jaako Kurhi's website to gather more information. Used optical printers turn up occasionally on eBay.

I once owned an earlier version of the Kurhi printer (the K103) and was able to produce results that satisfied me. If your only purpose is to create titles, however, such a machine would be a real extravagance. Have you considered using a simple optical bench style of titler like the one made by Bolex? These appear regularly at eBay and can be had for less than $300.00.

Glenn
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#7 Matthew Buick

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 08:22 PM

Aww man, that stinks, that stinks, that stinks, that stinks soooooooooo much, oh well, just have to do with Kodaliths I guess.

Oh, David, what do you think of my camera choice, teh Sankyo CME 1100 Hi-Focus.
I'm finding it a bit worrying, though, the viewfinder gets rather dim in even slightly lowish light, and I'm hoping that doesn't reflect the camera's performance in the aforementioned lighting conditions, cause lowlight is an absolutely crucial feature to me, and I don't want to have to sell my new camera.

Here's a link to the cam : http://super8wiki.co...E-1100_Hi-focus
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#8 Matthew Buick

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Posted 21 October 2006 - 08:51 PM

Hi, Matthew

As I advised in an earlier thread, the K107 optical printer for Super 8 is available from www.jkcamera.com. Interchangeable modules for regular 8mm, 16mm, Super 16, and 35mm are available from the maker for this machine. A basic K107 costs $4,950.00, but accessories can add considerably to the cost. I suggest you visit Jaako Kurhi's website to gather more information. Used optical printers turn up occasionally on eBay.

I once owned an earlier version of the Kurhi printer (the K103) and was able to produce results that satisfied me. If your only purpose is to create titles, however, such a machine would be a real extravagance. Have you considered using a simple optical bench style of titler like the one made by Bolex? These appear regularly at eBay and can be had for less than $300.00.

Glenn


AAAAAAAAARGGHHHHH !!!!!

I'll try the Bolex, thanks, the most ambitious I really want to get is to do flying THE END titles.

Ta muchly,
-Me.

Edited by Matthew Buick, 21 October 2006 - 08:54 PM.

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#9 Matthew Buick

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 08:01 PM

Could someone perhaps supply some gen on this mysterious Bolex Titler ?

-Me
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#10 Glenn Brady

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 06:44 AM

Could someone perhaps supply some gen on this mysterious Bolex Titler ?

-Me



A description of the item can be found at http://bolexequipmen...itlingBench.htm. These titlers appear frequently at eBay.
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#11 Matthew Buick

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 12:22 PM

WOW, thankee. :D :D :D :D :D

Do you think you'll be able to add flying titles, e.g. that flying book at the end of 'Grease'.
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#12 Glenn Brady

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 06:16 AM

I think you'll have to settle for more ordinary results with the Bolex titler. One of these has just been listed at eBay with a starting bid price of $9.99. See item number: 110048472302.
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#13 Matthew Buick

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 09:37 AM

Thanks man. :D :D :D :D :D
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#14 K Borowski

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 10:40 AM

Honestly, unless you're using a typewriter or some old-school graphic arts stencils there's absolutely no advantage to optically duping through Kodaliths, save maybe for softening up the pixelation a little. There is NO benefit to this than just printing it out on regular paper or transparancy and overlaying it when copying film. I'll agree with David also that you'll be hard-pressed copying S8 through multiple generations. I also GUARANTEE, that you will not be able to afford Kodaliths. They're expensive, and they are not suited to S8. It's good that you want to shoot with film; I'm the same way, but you're just learning. Best learn cheaply. For your first film, no one will knock you for having titles written on a piece of paper filmed off a wall. Your first crack at titlemaking is probably, no offense, going to be subpar at best. It's like in still photography. My first photographic print was out of focus, severely overexposed and probably not processed properly, but I still have that print. Needless to say, the countless thousands of prints I've made since then I've gotten better, but had I not made that first, cheap print, I never would have gotten to where I am now. You need to CONCENTRATE on cinematography, well thought-out, well lit shots (do you even have lights yet?), and a good story. Titles, film format, distribution format, special effects, editing style are all secondary to those two things, at least in my opinion.

To sum it in one sentence: get your film in the can (or cartridge) first and then worry about all this secondary BS.

~Karl
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#15 Chris Keth

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 04:03 PM

When I was limited to bolex films freshman year, I made my titles by cutting out the letters from black paper. Then I'd back that with a sheet of tracing paper and shoot it with said bolex. It made very good looking titles.
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#16 Matthew Buick

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Posted 27 October 2006 - 11:55 AM

Honestly, unless you're using a typewriter or some old-school graphic arts stencils there's absolutely no advantage to optically duping through Kodaliths, save maybe for softening up the pixelation a little. There is NO benefit to this than just printing it out on regular paper or transparancy and overlaying it when copying film. I'll agree with David also that you'll be hard-pressed copying S8 through multiple generations. I also GUARANTEE, that you will not be able to afford Kodaliths. They're expensive, and they are not suited to S8. It's good that you want to shoot with film; I'm the same way, but you're just learning. Best learn cheaply. For your first film, no one will knock you for having titles written on a piece of paper filmed off a wall. Your first crack at titlemaking is probably, no offense, going to be subpar at best. It's like in still photography. My first photographic print was out of focus, severely overexposed and probably not processed properly, but I still have that print. Needless to say, the countless thousands of prints I've made since then I've gotten better, but had I not made that first, cheap print, I never would have gotten to where I am now. You need to CONCENTRATE on cinematography, well thought-out, well lit shots (do you even have lights yet?), and a good story. Titles, film format, distribution format, special effects, editing style are all secondary to those two things, at least in my opinion.

To sum it in one sentence: get your film in the can (or cartridge) first and then worry about all this secondary BS.

~Karl


Hmm, I'll go with credits printed on A4, just out of interest, how much are Kodaliths ? :D :D :D :D :D
I'll just concentrate on my Cinematography, though I don't yet have any lights, do you think I should go for some ARRI light's, or are there cheaper options ?

Thanks for your time,
Matthew Buick.
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#17 Eugene Hughes

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 09:31 PM

Light is light is what I am told. You have to make it work for the shot.

You can use any lights you can afford. If you have the bucks go for expensive ones that have the right color temp.

Hell even incandescent bulbs will work, You will have to either filter to correct or place a gel over to correct. Just shoot & learn & ask tons of questions on these boards.

best
Eugene
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