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#1 Matthew Buick

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 06:50 PM

I'm looking for a monochrome film stock for a new production taking place after Sacred Mushroom. The look I am after is: High Contrast, Smooth, Sharp, Extremely Low Grain. Rather like Babes in Arms and Strike up the Band.

Now I know that most of that is in the lighting, and I'll see what I can muster.

Which stock do you think in Super 8mm will get me as close as I can to whichever blessed film was used on these two productions?

Best Regards - Matthew Buick. :)
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#2 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 10:21 PM

I'm looking for a monochrome film stock for a new production taking place after Sacred Mushroom. The look I am after is: High Contrast, Smooth, Sharp, Extremely Low Grain. Rather like Babes in Arms and Strike up the Band.

Now I know that most of that is in the lighting, and I'll see what I can muster.

Which stock do you think in Super 8mm will get me as close as I can to whichever blessed film was used on these two productions?

Best Regards - Matthew Buick. :)


Plus-X Reversal 7265 would be my choice.:


http://www.kodak.com...8mm/t7265.jhtml

KODAK PLUS-X Reversal Film 7265
Technical Data

KODAK PLUS-X Reversal Film 7265 is a medium-speed, panchromatic black-and-white film suitable for general exterior photography. It has a high degree of sharpness, good contrast, and tonal gradation. It can also be used in interior photography with ample artificial illumination.


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#3 Matthew Buick

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 03:57 PM

Ah...lovely...thanks John. :)

Glad to see you back here. :)

Which stock was used on the original movies?
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 05:56 PM

Plus-X negative, released in 1938, was the most commonly used 35mm b&w stock for Hollywood studio pictures in the 1940's/50's/60's.
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#5 Matthew Buick

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 06:15 PM

HEHE! I'm using the EXACT film I wanted. Never had that luck before (5247 :rolleyes: ). :)

I take it the two film in question were filmed on Nitrate Stock?

Is it just me..or is there something a little different in the look of B&W film shot on Nitrate?
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 09:37 PM

Plus-X negative is going to look too soft & muddy in Super-8 probably (if it were even an option), so Plus-X reversal will give you a snappier look with deeper blacks.

Some people feel that the old nitrate-base stocks had a certain look when projected, especially the old nitrate prints, although you'd be seeing dupes to safety film transferred to video these days. You hear comments like "they used more silver back then" although I'm not sure how that's possible -- silver is the only thing that the final image is made up of afterall. Some people feel that the nitrate base transmitted light differently. It may all be romanticism.

Even though safety film was invented in the mid 1920's, Hollywood wouldn't switch over to 35mm acetate base until the early 1950's. Partly for cost, I heard -- the nitrate base stock was cheaper. Don't know if that's true.

Really, that look is wrapped up in production design and lighting almost more than anything else.

Matthew, you'd be happy to know that last night at the Dalsa event I chatted with Bill Butler about "Grease". He mentioned that he had a lot to do with designing the approach to making the movie because the first director quite early on in prep, and the final director was hired in the last minute, so Bill had to lay-out to the producer how they were going to transpose the style of the musical play to film.
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#7 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 01:58 PM

Some people feel that the old nitrate-base stocks had a certain look when projected, especially the old nitrate prints, although you'd be seeing dupes to safety film transferred to video these days. You hear comments like "they used more silver back then" although I'm not sure how that's possible -- silver is the only thing that the final image is made up of afterall. Some people feel that the nitrate base transmitted light differently. It may all be romanticism.

Even though safety film was invented in the mid 1920's, Hollywood wouldn't switch over to 35mm acetate base until the early 1950's. Partly for cost, I heard -- the nitrate base stock was cheaper. Don't know if that's true.


Spottiswoode mentions in 'Film & its Technique' 1951 that acetate prints cost more.
The example he gives is of a producer/distributor of short films, something akin to NFBC where he was at then. Thye higher cost of safety prints would be compensated for by not needing special nitrate storage vaults.

Nitrate base was, probably more durable than acetate base.
1000' of nitrate film weighs more than 1000' of acetate. One can feel the difference by holding a reel of each in one's hands. The reels are the same size, so the nitrate is denser.

Nitrate prints have deeper blacks than current prints. A higher silver content would account for that. Though there probably wouldn't be enough extra silver to noticably effect the weight.

When the method of measuring ASA speed using the base fog density was changed in the early 50s, the under exposure latitude was lessened.

When I was loking up nitrocellulose dope vs. butryte(acetate) dope, I found that the nitrate had a deeper gloss than the butryte. (the Mythbuster hindenburg tests used modern butryte dope instead of nitrocellulose,
so their conclusion is inconclusive)

Special newsreel printstock was available which had a thinner base. Newsreels had a usable life of a couple of weeks.
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#8 Matthew Buick

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 04:06 PM

WOW!! You met Bill Butler ASC?!?!?

That is truly amazing!!!

Thanks for the data, everyone. It's all very informative.


Best Regards - Matthew Buick :)

By the way, David. Acetate film was invented in 1908.
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 04:14 PM

By the way, David. Acetate film was invented in 1908.


Good to know -- I was thinking it was just before 9.8mm and 16mm was introduced (in other words, I was guessing!)
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#10 Matthew Buick

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 04:31 PM

HAHA! :lol:
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#11 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 08:52 AM

The look I am after is: High Contrast, Smooth, Sharp, Extremely Low Grain.

If you're into extrem contrast you could use documentfilm. I saw some stills done with this, never saw it in Super8. Kahlfilm sells a documentfilm in Super8, but the emulsion has some defects(they call it Gussfehler), and it's only 12iso. I never tried it, maybe some one else here did?

In 16mm some people use soundnegativfilm to get extrem contrast. Don't know if you can get this in S8.
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#12 Matthew Buick

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 02:45 PM

12ASA! Crikey! Would you even get an exposure out of that on a sunny day?
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#13 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 03:07 PM

Good to know -- I was thinking it was just before 9.8mm and 16mm was introduced (in other words, I was guessing!)


There are types of "acetate" film that predate cellulose triacetate, the current base used for motion picture camera films.
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#14 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 09:07 PM

12ASA! Crikey! Would you even get an exposure out of that on a sunny day?

Kodachrome used to be ASA 10, and the last daylight version was 25, that is only one stop. Kodachrome in super 8 was 40T and the camera has an 85 filter so if you have shot Kodachrome in Super 8 you have shot at 25.

Go back to your sunny 16 rule. with a 24 FPS camera probaly in the /50 of a second range.(ROUGHLY GUYS) for ASA 25 open a stop so sunny day is f/11 for asa 12 Open another F/8 LOTS of light.

NITRATE used older versons of enulsions that were probably not as linier as today, and the film was SLOW so the DP could not get away with scatering a few lamps in difusers around the set, they would have had to realy plan their lighting so it would not be obtrusive. That alone may give more defined shadows. shoot with 500T and a lot of shadow will pick up, even if you TRY to make it dark.

Old film was Ortho, so skin tones look different.

The film only would have had one coating which was probaly a bit thicker than today..

Switch to safety.

Safety WAS more expensive, Story is that George eastman insisted on using it for 16mm - in spite of the cost. he was probaly woried that if someones cine-Kodak burned down a house the home movie business might not get off the ground.

I have heard early safety was also not as flexible and damage resistant as the Nitrate, the switch in teh 50s came after tri-acetate was used rather then the original plain acetate. Somewhere along the way they stopped using camphor as a plasticiser.

Sound track film is high contrast, as is microfilm, shooting on microfilm, if you could find it perforated, and developing in normal development will get you close to a litho effect. Your exposure would have to be on the very edge. +/- a half stop. (I used to use a lot of Microfilm as Microfilm we ran tests to get the exposure right even though the Gervert and Fuji were fairly close in speed to the Recordak) I have heard that the speed is equivelent to about 10 ASA on that, but it is not rated that way, and the equipment uses arbitray numbers to set the exposure.
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