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shooting in 16mm


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#1 anthony le grand

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 06:54 AM

Hi,
I will shoot a film in 16mm soon and with an old Bolex camera. As everything is outside i think i will use the 7205 but we don't have enough money to make some test... Moreover, this is my first short in 16mm, i have always shooted in digital. But film is very exciting.
For the grain i think i'll overexpose by 1/2 stop but the thing is that i want a kind of "melancholic" style for this short. My reference is Days of Heaven (knowing i won't have something as good as the third of this film). I like Eyes Wide Shut too and know that Kubrick pushed the film by 2 stop but do you know if he had really shoot close to 1600 asa? 1200? Less?
But i want rich colours and a little bit washed out. I'll always remember the shots of the Malick's film with this very little light, rich blacks and these warm tones... it looks like a Rembradt paintaing...
Anyway, could somebody help me cause i have no experience with film and i would like to know how i have to process the film to have this kind of look.

Thanks a lot,
Anthony
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#2 K Borowski

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 01:58 PM

First of all, I'd like to say that, with the exception of some documentary shoots I've done, I've never shot anything but film.

Second, if you don't have the money to shoot a test, don't waste any money at all shooting film. You'll need to do some sort of tests for the camera and for the lenses and for the exposure, or you could ruin your entire shoot. Be a pro, save up some money, buy 50 ft. of the stuff, and shoot a test.

I'm not trying to rain on your parade and say you don't have enough money to shoot film, but I am saying that the heartbreak of shooting an entire film only to find your OCN is ruined is going to be a hard way to learn the absolute necessity of testing all lenses, equipment, camera bodies, and stocks before spending lots of money on a film. The negative is the heart of your film, you don't have a film without a good one.

I believe that Eyes Wide Shut was shot around 1200 (actually 1250 is the correct ISO), and pushed the full two for an ISO of 2000. Dave Mullen could explain it better than I how pushing ECN a stop doesn't give a true stop of speed increase, but is making up for loss of speed with boosted contrast. Also the EI may have been a third of a stop higher or lower than 1250.

If you're shooting a 500 stock with 16mm, you don't need two stops of push, you'll have plenty of grain. If I were shooting 16 500T stock, I'd probably be shooting at an EI of 320 or even 250 to try to minimize grain as much as possible. If you want grain though, perhaps it's best for you to shoot it at its box speed of 500.

In terms of matching your color pallette to a Rembrandt painting, you may want to utilize a certain filter to warm the skin tones or cool them off or accomplish whatever color scheme you are after. This really isn't my area of expertise though
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 12:46 AM

"Rich colors" and "washed-out colors" are usually considered opposites, rich usually connoting saturated, not desaturated.

If you are shooting 16mm, you already have more grain and less sharpness than something shot in 35mm, so you really don't need to push-process to get more grain if you are thinking of the look of 35mm movies.

Overexposing and printing down will improve contrast, reduce grain, and make colors and black levels richer, deeper.

Shoot a few tests to find out what the look of normal and push-processed footage is.
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#4 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 05:51 AM

keep in mind that the 'old Bolex' looses light due to the prism and 130° shutter angle. This would mean that you have to overexpose at least 2/3 of a stop just to compensate the light loss. This doesn't take into account old lenses etc.
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#5 Ignacio Aguilar

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 05:59 AM

I believe that Eyes Wide Shut was shot around 1200 (actually 1250 is the correct ISO), and pushed the full two for an ISO of 2000.


Actually, "Eyes Wide Shut" used the old 5298 EXR 500T stock, overexposed by a third of a stop and then pushed two stops, which means that they rated the stock at 1600 ASA to shoot in very low-light levels.
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#6 anthony le grand

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 07:32 AM

sorry, i didn't meant desaturated by washed out, i was just thinking about how push processing make the film a little bit grainy and less sharp.

Thanks for the advice for the bolex (it's an H16). I'll shoot with the 7205 so do you think i have to rate it at 125 if i want to compensate the lost of the cam and slightly overexpose it for the saturation, i mean by 1/3 stop.

Thanks for you answers
Anthony
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