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Switching from video to film


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#1 Rens

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Posted 09 July 2007 - 06:10 PM

Hello,

I've just bought a Bauer C 109 XL for (just) ? 25. ($ 34) It is my first super-8 camera. I'm totally new to the filmworld (I've always shot on video) so I have a few questions:

- To which points do I have to pay attention to? What are the advantages and disadvantages of a Bauer C 109 XL?
- What is the main difference between film and video? Where I need to focus on as I'm a 'switcher'?
- Is exposing film different from exposing video?

Other tips are welcome!

Rens (The Netherlands)
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#2 Robert Hughes

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Posted 09 July 2007 - 07:26 PM

Hello Rens and welcome to filmmaking in Super 8. I'm not acquainted with your model of camera, but you might try a couple web sites for more information:

Michael Nyberg is "super8man":
http://home.pacbell....r8mm/index.html

The Super 8 Wiki has information on all kinds of cameras:
http://www.super8wik...x.php/Main_Page

After you've had a look-see at those pages, consider some hard facts about filmmaking in general: film = money. After you've bought and processed a few carts of film, you will see dollars (or Euros) flying through the gate every time you pull the trigger. And super 8 only comes in 50 foot cartridges, which run for only a few minutes. If you're used to shooting 15 minute run-on takes with your digicam, you'll need to adapt your thinking to shooting only what is absolutely necessary; 20 second shots are considered generous. Another tough reality is that there is no such thing as new gear; all the Super 8 equipment around today is at least 30 years old, and likely showing its age. Accept that someday you too will likely need to pick up a jeweler's screwdriver and open up your ailing camera to clean, lubricate, and perhaps replace a broken part with something cobbled together or scrounged off a dead parts camera. I've done it, and you can too.

Now for the cool part of filmmaking; no video looks like film, no matter what filters you put into the editing software. Well exposed and focussed film has character that just won't quit. You can transfer to video at home or at a professional telecine house and edit everything on computer, getting the best of two worlds. If you want the intentionally degraded look you can bucket process the film yourself - literally, developing the film in a bucket, and you'll get wonderfully hideous footage that can't be imitated in the video world. Multiple color and b&w stocks are still available, and you can get looks from old-home-movie to French Art House with the switch of a cartridge. Super 8 uses many of the same film stocks used in 16mm and 35mm releases, just cut down smaller. You'll notice much more grain in Super 8 than show up in the larger stocks, and of course video doesn't have grain. So go with the grain, and use film when you want "the look"; video will still be around for that soul-sucking, lifeless imagery it does so well :rolleyes:
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#3 Robert Hughes

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Posted 09 July 2007 - 07:39 PM

Exposure for film versus video is a good question. Video has a relatively short, straight-line exposure scale which works great under controlled lighting but has difficulties in uncontrolled lighting such as outdoors; shadows are too dark, and highlights get blown out. Film has more of a curved response, so that it sees into shadows somewhat better and tolerates highlights more before going to full white; negative film stocks are designed specifically to handle wide range lighting contrasts, whereas reversal stocks' exposure characteristics are more limited. The best way to find out how they work is to buy a cartridge or two of different types, like Tri-X (high speed b&w reversal), 7217 color negative, and Ektachrome 64 reversal. They all look different, and all look different from video. Ever see one of those "the Making Of..." specials on TV, where co-stars walk you around backstage and talk about a movie or bigtime TV show? Oftentimes the walkaround footage is video and the production footage is 35mm origination. It's enlightening to see how different the set looks as the show switches between video and film; in video the set is garish and fake looking, but on film it's perfect. Of course, if the show is lit for video from the start you won't see a difference.
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#4 Rens

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 06:40 AM

Hmm film is money, I knew that, but I still can't wait to shoot my first film! Thank you for the very helpful information! I think I'm going to buy several stocks to shoot with.

You're absolutely right about that 'Making of video' thing. The fact that they're shooting on video annoys me quite a bit. Why they are not shooting the making of on film too? It would be to expensive...

Edited by Rens, 10 July 2007 - 06:41 AM.

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#5 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 05:54 PM

- Is exposing film different from exposing video?


For me and my taste I found:

Video: better under than over
Film neg: better over than under
Film color reversal: better under than over
Film b/w reversal for telecine: better over than under
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#6 Terry Mester

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 11:43 PM

Hi Rens, the HTTP Links below will provide further info. In addition to Kodak, you can buy Super8 Cartridges from Spectra Film & Video: www.spectrafilmandvideo.com.

INFO FOR SUPER8 NEWBIES
You can find useful information on Super8mm by clicking the Threads linked below. If you would like to record Sound with your filming, log onto the Website www.geocities.com/filmanddigitalinfo which provides info on recording synchronous Sound. Good luck to you.

http://www.cinematog...showtopic=20597
http://www.cinematog...showtopic=20645
http://www.cinematog...showtopic=20939
http://www.cinematog...showtopic=20634
http://www.cinematog...showtopic=23249
http://www.cinematog...showtopic=21857
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Tai Audio

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

Opal

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

Aerial Filmworks

Abel Cine

The Slider

Paralinx LLC

Wooden Camera

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Rig Wheels Passport

Metropolis Post

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

Visual Products

Technodolly