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Choosing a stock for a Sci-Fi


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#1 Alexis Vanier

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 03:49 AM

Hi you all,

As our latest project, we want to take our first dip into shooting super-16. All we've shot before is super-8 (very carelessly that is) and sd video. I regularly shoot still 35mm and medium format, but I haven't got to do much dark room work and didn't shoot enough slide to my liking and get acquainted to what's on the film. Hence I turn to the Greater Knowledge for some much needed input and/or advice.

So, well, here's the pitch, you tell me where I'm headed. No budget film. The script was written to be as simple as possible on the technical side. Simple costumes, simple locations, few (no) props, simple camera work. Some tripod, some panning, some shoulder cam, some steadicam. I'm planning on buying 800' and shooting for transfer. This is an all exterior winter with snow 5 minutes Sci-Fi short. There's two locations, a fire site with some trees and (ideally) some small waterfall thing in the background, and some path surrounded with threes. The two characters will be wearing dark uniform coats with very few marks, some small red, purple, gold, silver embroideries and silver buttons. Characters is a short dark haired man and a woman, short blond hair. Pale skin tones. They might be wearing black berets (like the green berets' berets... but black.) half the time. Every day I pray to the good lord I'm going to get an overcast sky. That's what I picture.

I'm for no grain realistic shots with down to earth colours, slighly desaturated. I like pastel skin tones. Whites are white, not cooler. Blown sky if weather provides. Might tint it warmer a bit with a graded filter. I'm figuring 5205 so far, since I'm thinking about using a polarizer to try and reduce the reflections from the coats which will most probably be this sort of felt material and try to salvage some saturation from the trees in the background. We won't be using much lighting equipment, maybe a couple flexfill diffusers and reflectors... some small flags, silks, dunno. I'll try shooting with a constant medium aperture, NDing the extra light out.

That's my plan so far and I'm looking for input, suggestions and criticism. I've been at a loss, having recently watched too much Battlestar Galactica and some X-Files, and only having Star Trek First Contact handy for study. I don't have a single movie with snow shots in my library. I'd be looking for good recommendations on movies to study.

Thank you,
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#2 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 04:09 AM

I think using a polarizer to try and reduce the reflections from the coats and salvage some saturation from the trees in the background is a good idea however you might have a little trouble loading 5205 35mm film into a 16mm mag, but aside from that I don't see a problem until of course you try running it though the camera. It might be better to go with 7205 16mm film instead, just a thought :D

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 20 December 2006 - 04:12 AM.

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#3 Alexis Vanier

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 04:19 AM

:rolleyes: Thank you for pointing this tiny detail to my attention.

I'm just reading this other thread about fuji vs kodak films. Does anyone know if I can get a student discount from fuji in Montréal Canada? I know it's very simple with Kodak.

Thanks.
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 04:50 AM

When you mentioned "pastel skintones", Fuji stock quickly came to mind. I guess it depends on the distributor you're buying from, I hope you can find a worthwhile student discounted price.

The slower the stock the better I think, since you're going for less grain. I shot the Fuji Eterna 250T stock recently, it was gorgeous and really worked for what I was doing.

Hmmm, scifi movies in the snow? John Carpenter's "The Thing" comes to mind. "Dreamcatcher", shot by John Seale (not a great film, but John Seale nonetheless)
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