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#1 C Kenneybrew

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 06:22 PM

I own a mini dv camera. It does not of coarse a a film grain look. But I have hear that applying panyhose to the camera lense will give that film grain look. Do I need a new camera or a 16mm. I am going for the motion picture type look. Also what does a 16mm, super 8, etc cost? Thanks
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 07:05 PM

I own a mini dv camera. It does not of coarse a a film grain look. But I have hear that applying panyhose to the camera lense will give that film grain look. Do I need a new camera or a 16mm. I am going for the motion picture type look. Also what does a 16mm, super 8, etc cost? Thanks


"Film look" is a very broad topic and covers both technical issues and artistic ones. Basically what using a pantyhose (net) diffusion filter will do is give you a net-type diffusion effect. If that's the look you want, go ahead and use it, though it's hard with consumer DV cameras to keep the net pattern out of focus enough except on long-lens shots at wide-open apertures. Certainly diffusion is a different thing than film grain.

It would be more productive to think about what it is about the way your video camera's images look that you don't like, item by item, and then step by step find ways of reducing that look. It's easier to think in terms of reducing negative video artifacts and characteristics than it is to think abstractly about a film look.

But I would tell you that probably two common aspects of standard video that many people try to minimize to get away from that look is: (1) motion reproduction of interlaced-scan video, and (2) depth of field from using cameras with tiny sensors and thus very short focal length lenses.

Using a video camera with a progressive-scan feature or look would help the first item, especially if it could do 24P, and using ND's and longer lenses so that you can consistenly shoot at a wide-open f-stop to reduce depth of field would help with the second.

Obviously production value from good lighting and composition, coverage, sound recording, etc. all aid tremendously towards a cinematic feeling.

Certainly shooting in film will automatically give you a film look technically-speaking, but I think you'll find that it won't necessarily give you a professional or cinematic look if you don't know what you're doing with that film camera.

I think everyone defines what they think a film look is individually, so you need to spend more time thinking about what you want to accomplish visually.
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#3 Nate Downes

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 06:42 AM

Also what does a 16mm, super 8, etc cost? Thanks


David addressed the first part, so I'll handle the second.

with 16mm, Super8, or any film, the cost isn't in the camera really, it's in the film itself. Typically, this is measured in the cost per-foot. Typically, a Super8 roll will cost you $10-$30, depending on the type, kind, if it includes processing, etc. And that roll will gain you 2 minutes 30 seconds of footage. 16mm costs a little bit more, from $12-$45 for the same amount of time.

As for the camera itself, that is a wide range. I've picked up cameras for $2, others for thousands. I spend more on lenses than cameras, however.
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#4 Will Montgomery

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 01:34 PM

If you're asking the question you'll probably want to take David's approach. Please explore film, but don't expect to get professional results without much practice and experience.

I'd suggest finding a 16mm camera on eBay and going through the process of buying film, shooting, processing and transfering a few times to learn what's involved. It's expensive and time consuming but you can get beautiful results.
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#5 Joshua Jackson

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 12:31 PM

For the "film look," you have to use film. Video will look like video; however, the guys are right. You need to define what it is exactly about film that you like. What part of the "look?" I'm working with both 16mm and video now days and I've come to find (in my amateur experience so far) that the majority of it is in lighting. Check out some of my short videos: www.youtube.com/agentJJ22 I'm not an expert, and it doesn't look like film. But play around with lighting, and it might look a little more professional.
P.S.:
Any professionals reading this:
If I am wrong, please correct me! Thanks!
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