Jump to content


Photo

best low budget route to 35mm answer print


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 steve hyde

steve hyde
  • Sustaining Members
  • 446 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Seattle

Posted 16 February 2007 - 04:37 PM

What is the best low budget route to a 35mm answer print for a feature film these days? Let's not concern ourselves with shooting ratios here. What is the cost comparison between 90mins tape transfered to 35mm v. 90mins S16 optically blown up to 35. I called the lab this morning to discuss and am waiting to hear back from them with figures. I imagine this kind of question has come up before, but a search in the archives was surprisingly sparse.

The new JVC HD (HDV) cameras have us curious about the possibility of shooting in HDV and blowing up to 35. I'm skeptical and my gut instinct tells me to shoot S16 on modern PL mount lenses for an optical blow up. I am under the impression tape to film transfers are more expensive and inferior to S16 blow ups. The only real savings by shooting tape is materials cost for camera original footage.

EDIT: and telecine of course

We would love to hear views from people who know something about these procedures.

Thanks in advance.

Steve

Edited by steve hyde, 16 February 2007 - 04:41 PM.

  • 0

#2 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19761 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 16 February 2007 - 07:31 PM

Typical laser recorder film-out for any digital material is about $50,000 for a feature.

Typical optical printer blow-up cost for S16 to 35mm through an IP/IN is around $25,000 - $30,000.

A direct blow-up from the S16 original negative to a 35mm print, which can be done at certain labs if you conform your negative with enough frame handles ("zero cut"), can be around $12,000 per print for a feature.

You might want to factor in that making a final transfer to HD from the film element for home video mastering may run you $50,000 for a week's worth of time in a Spirit suite.

Others may quote different prices.

Whereas an optical printer blow-up will generally always be cheaper than a D.I., once you factor in mastering the final movie to HD for home video distribution, HD and SD submasters, it may not be a significant difference. These days, rarely does one just need a 35mm print but not video masters.

Personally, if all you need is a 35mm print, then perhaps you should shoot in 35mm in a standard projection format that allows contact printing (standard 1.85 or anamorphic 2.35) and just keep your shooting ratio low. Then you can cut the negative and strike a print. The simplest post route often works out to be the cheapest method -- no blow-ups, no conversions, no D.I....
  • 0

#3 steve hyde

steve hyde
  • Sustaining Members
  • 446 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Seattle

Posted 20 February 2007 - 01:07 AM

...Thanks David. I was hoping you might chime in with your experiences.

Today I got a chance to see a remarkable S16 color neg=> Vialta HD 4:4:4 => Arri Laser 35mm film out from Alpha Cine Labs that looked fantastic. I was surprised that I could not detect any video artifacts in the final print at all.

The Arri Laser Film Recorder is quite a nice machine.

Steve
  • 0

#4 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19761 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 20 February 2007 - 01:19 AM

Super-16 through 4:4:4 HD to 35mm can look pretty decent -- I think the amount of digital artifacts is more an issue of the types and degree of color-corrections you have to make to the image, i.e. trying to fix an underexposed shot, trying to boost chroma a lot, etc.
  • 0

#5 steve hyde

steve hyde
  • Sustaining Members
  • 446 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Seattle

Posted 20 February 2007 - 12:56 PM

Super-16 through 4:4:4 HD to 35mm can look pretty decent -- I think the amount of digital artifacts is more an issue of the types and degree of color-corrections you have to make to the image, i.e. trying to fix an underexposed shot, trying to boost chroma a lot, etc.



...that makes sense. The challenge for the cinematographer then is to do as much in camera through filtration and lighting as possible. I like the Arri Laser work flow because you get your HD master done on the way to printing and have the option to project HD for festivals before fund raising for the print/s.
  • 0

#6 David Cox

David Cox
  • Sustaining Members
  • 323 posts
  • Digital Image Technician
  • london, UK

Posted 20 February 2007 - 02:18 PM

Today I got a chance to see a remarkable S16 color neg=> Vialta HD 4:4:4 => Arri Laser 35mm film out from Alpha Cine Labs that looked fantastic. I was surprised that I could not detect any video artifacts in the final print at all.


Remember not to associate issues found to a greater or lesser degree with HD cameras, with the use of HD in the post production chain. If by "video artefacts" you might have been looking for flattened highlights, noise etc, these are actually issues at the camera end, not the digital recording end.

Uncompressed HD 10 bit 4:4:4 as a DI storage medium has the same data holding ability as 2K when applied to a 1:1.85 cropped image. 2K gains if the film image is "full height anamorphic" since 2K is film-frame shaped and HD is of course wide-screen (ish).

So your described route is a very efficient and high quality one.

David Cox
Baraka Post Production
www.baraka.co.uk
  • 0

#7 steve hyde

steve hyde
  • Sustaining Members
  • 446 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Seattle

Posted 20 February 2007 - 03:42 PM

Remember not to associate issues found to a greater or lesser degree with HD cameras, with the use of HD in the post production chain. If by "video artefacts" you might have been looking for flattened highlights, noise etc, these are actually issues at the camera end, not the digital recording end.

Uncompressed HD 10 bit 4:4:4 as a DI storage medium has the same data holding ability as 2K when applied to a 1:1.85 cropped image. 2K gains if the film image is "full height anamorphic" since 2K is film-frame shaped and HD is of course wide-screen (ish).

So your described route is a very efficient and high quality one.

David Cox
Baraka Post Production
www.baraka.co.uk



Thanks for your input.

my technical knowledge on these matters is very limited. Based on what I saw yesterday via the HD intermediate, I'm not sure I would be able to see the difference with a full 2k or 4k scan or even an optical. It looked like film in and film out to me. I do understand that the higher res scans buy the production the ability to do more post effects.

I am very interested to see more blow ups from HD and HDV cams. I don't think I have ever seen HDV blown up. In the mean time, I'm leaning toward S16 because I see the format as the best low/no budget option for theatrical projection films. I am also eager to see S16/HD projected on an HD projector. I have heard it is stunning, but have not had the chance to see it yet.

As far as HDTV goes - I may be the only person on the planet that argues that HDTV looks worse than SD. The over saturated color of HDTV looks ridiculous to me. It is a lot like "the emperor wears no clothes." When are people going to speak up and say. Hey, wait a minute, this actually looks like shite - I want my money back.... :blink:

Steve
  • 0

#8 Paul Bruening

Paul Bruening

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2858 posts
  • Producer
  • Oxford, Mississippi

Posted 20 February 2007 - 08:16 PM

Hey Gang,

I have another issue with HDTV. I haven't seen an HD monitor yet that was correctly proportioned. The image is always overstretched horizontally. Is this something that can be adjusted in the set or is it inherent? Why do people tolerate these obviously disproportionate images?
  • 0

#9 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19761 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 20 February 2007 - 08:18 PM

Hey Gang,

I have another issue with HDTV. I haven't seen an HD monitor yet that was correctly proportioned. The image is always overstretched horizontally. Is this something that can be adjusted in the set or is it inherent? Why do people tolerate these obviously disproportionate images?


I've never seen what you're talking about except people playing 4x3 DVD's or other 4x3 material on a 16x9 set and stretching it to fill the screen. Otherwise, I've shot HD many times and it always looks correct on the set monitor, and I've done plenty of telecine transfers to HD and it looks correct there too.
  • 0

#10 Paul Bruening

Paul Bruening

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2858 posts
  • Producer
  • Oxford, Mississippi

Posted 20 February 2007 - 08:30 PM

Sorry, I used the wrong terms. I'm referring to the TV sets I encounter in bars and homes.
  • 0

#11 Nick Mulder

Nick Mulder
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1023 posts
  • Other
  • Auckland, New Zealand

Posted 20 February 2007 - 10:40 PM

Sorry, I used the wrong terms. I'm referring to the TV sets I encounter in bars and homes.


Our Bravia is set up to stretch 4x3 as its expected that you'd take 'advantage' of the extra real estate (its not my telly actually...) ...

What I've noticed is that the field is not stretched equally across the full image, the middle of the shot is almost correct aspect and the edges are stretched even more to compensate - If you put a source of 45deg diagonal stripes into it they come out curved almost like an S ...

This is not a sub-function of the stretch - thats just how it is ... typical Sony Domestic
  • 0

#12 Will Earl

Will Earl
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 385 posts
  • Other
  • Wellington, NZ

Posted 20 February 2007 - 11:49 PM

I have another issue with HDTV. I haven't seen an HD monitor yet that was correctly proportioned. The image is always overstretched horizontally. Is this something that can be adjusted in the set or is it inherent? Why do people tolerate these obviously disproportionate images?


My 24" LCD monitor has a max resolution of 1920 x 1200, if I leave the incoming HD signal set to 'fit' then it throws the horizontal aspect out of whack, but streching it up to fit the 1200 vertical resolution, if I switch it to 1:1 then it looks fine. So this could be the cause of the problem your seeing.
  • 0

#13 K Borowski

K Borowski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3905 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • I.A.T.S.E. Local # 600 Eastern Region

Posted 21 February 2007 - 01:25 AM

Of course, we don't have a full HD TV, our "HD" TV, is I believe, only 1/3 -1/4 of what the true resolution of HD is, but anyway, I have had a lot of "fun" trying to explain to other members of the house crops and stretchs and how stretching out 4:3 is an abomination of the authors original intent. Get this: the SALESMAN told us that the grey bars on the side were bad for the set, so you HAD to stretch it out. I don't know why I didn't educate him right there, in front of all of those onlookers about what a bunch of bullshit that was and then tell him, just as "politely" how something like 5% of tleevision is broadcast in HD, and that will probably still be less than 20% by 2010. It's a bunch of hype having it unless you really are a film buff that can apprciate it> Those idiots that buy the 60 in. sets for football, stretch the image out, and then DON'T get HD just give me a headache. Paul is right in that SD looks worse on an HD set than just SD becuase there's all sorts of conversions that a mess with the colors. I mean, everything I watch shouldn't look like a shot from National Geographic, especially not films like "Minority Report" ;-)
  • 0

#14 Nick Mulder

Nick Mulder
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1023 posts
  • Other
  • Auckland, New Zealand

Posted 23 February 2007 - 08:12 PM

Film nerd vs. TV salesperson is always going to be fun ...

They tend to just stare at you like you're mad.

If the TV designer/engineer is the 'DP' then the TV salesperson is the dude selling you ice creams at the theatre.

Edited by Nick Mulder, 23 February 2007 - 08:15 PM.

  • 0


Visual Products

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

FJS International, LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Technodolly

CineLab

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineTape

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

The Slider

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Opal

Tai Audio

CineLab

FJS International, LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

The Slider

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Opal

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

Tai Audio

CineTape

Paralinx LLC