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Questions - Super 8, 16mm or Digital ?


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#1 DimitriMill

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 11:19 PM

Hi,

I have this intense desire to make movies.
I got a Canon Canon 514XL-S asa gift, but still didn't had the chance to shoot nothing with it...
Is it a good camera to make a short movie ?
What would be the best ? Super-8, 16mm or Digital ? Being a great fan of Robert Rodriguez, he seem to say that Digital is faster and look great. I also saw some really nice and cheap Bolex Paillard H-16, would it be good ?
Sorry for all the questions... :P
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#2 DimitriMill

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 12:47 AM

I read it's better to start with a Super 8 then experiment 16mmm.

I would still be interested in trying a 16mm first.

But here I found some camera I would like to have, if I could have some comments...

And cameras suggestion would be appreciated too, I would need something under 200$ or little bit more.

Super 8

Beaulieu 4008 ZM 4

Canon 1014 XL-S 1014XLS

Is that a good one ?

NIZO 6080

16mm

Bolex Paillard H-16

Paillard Bolex H 16 Reflex

Greatly interested in that one...

So is it a bad idea to start with a 16mm ? I have low budget...

Thanks
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#3 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 12:53 AM

Hi,

I have this intense desire to make movies.
I got a Canon Canon 514XL-S asa gift, but still didn't had the chance to shoot nothing with it...
Is it a good camera to make a short movie ?
What would be the best ? Super-8, 16mm or Digital ? Being a great fan of Robert Rodriguez, he seem to say that Digital is faster and look great. I also saw some really nice and cheap Bolex Paillard H-16, would it be good ?
Sorry for all the questions... :P


If you can afford any of those options, shoot on 16mm. It has the highest resolution of the three unless you have a budget for a Genesis or a RED. I, nonetheless, would still shoot on 16mm anyway. It is true film so there is no question as to the film look. Super 8 is a nice medium, but your camera isn't going to give you as good of results as what a Canon 1014XL-s, Beaulieu 4008, or a Leicina Special is going to. That caliber of camera is what it takes to compete with 16mm. Even still, your wide shots wont be as sharp as with 16mm and the raw resolution is not there.

I too am wrestling with whether I should shoot my upcoming short with 16mm or Super 8. I have a pretty decent S8 camera already so I'm leaning toward that but I would really like to shoot a short on 16mm. I don't want to use a K-3 however like I have in the past. I would love to own an Arriflex of some sort for a project. Chances are though, my Sankyo is going to be the camera on set for now.

Good luck with your decision, but I would urge you to shoot on film this time. When you're in the budget of Super 8, lower end 16mm gear, and low end digital, it is no contest that Super 8 and 16mm are heads and shoulders above Panasonic DVX100, Canon XL1/2 (I use to own an XL2 and they look nice, but are no where near film in latitude), and that variety. Not to mention, your cast and crew will feel more confident and proud about being a part of your project if you shoot on film. I think you will too.
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#4 DimitriMill

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 01:39 PM

Thank you for your help.
So I should go with the Bolex H16 Reflex ?
Can anyone tell me if this one look good.

I can afford the camera but I have no idea how much films and process would cost.

Now I'm gonna try to sell my Canon514XLS ;)
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#5 jacob thomas

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 06:23 PM

Thank you for your help.
So I should go with the Bolex H16 Reflex ?
Can anyone tell me if this one look good.

I can afford the camera but I have no idea how much films and process would cost.

Now I'm gonna try to sell my Canon514XLS ;)


Personally I would go with digital as a first time filmmaker. You're probably going to have to experiment and digital will allow you to shoot as much as you want and let you see the results immediately. Sure it won't be film but you'll be able to concentrate more on the actual "filmmaking" and spend less time budgeting, waiting for your film to come back from the lab etc. Not to mention sound...

16mm is about $40 a 100' roll (100D) with a minimum order of 5 rolls. Plus processing and transfer I would guess you'd be over $100 per 2.5minutes.

Super 8 is about two thirds of that.

Minidv/hdv is $10 per tape (60minutes).

Don't get me wrong I'm into film but if you are funding your own projects and there isn't some special reason for shooting film digital is the way to go.

[The bolex reflex is a very nice camera but for the price of the camera you could borrow/or rent a nice hdv camera and lights etc and shoot for hours]
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#6 DimitriMill

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 06:51 PM

And how much money could cost me a good starting HDV camera ?
For some reason I seem to be more interested in films...
I just want to cheapest one, so I can learn without ruining myself and still have good quality.
I guess I will just have to experiment, some will say go with super8 some will say 16mm and other digital.
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#7 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 07:46 PM

And how much money could cost me a good starting HDV camera ?
For some reason I seem to be more interested in films...
I just want to cheapest one, so I can learn without ruining myself and still have good quality.
I guess I will just have to experiment, some will say go with super8 some will say 16mm and other digital.



So you want to shoot Film. I don't blame you Film looks amazing. Super 8 and 16mm are both great.
I think a cheap way to start would be to pick up a cheap 16mm camera or Super 8, like the one your looking at on Ebay.
After you get the Camera, find a cheap 16mm, Super 8 projector. You can shoot 16mm reversal Black and White film. I think it's about $15.00 for 100' at Kodak.com on the Cinemotography page. Just call them to order. Kodak is very easy to purchase from and the shipping is fast!
Processing is another $10.00 and it looks great. Seeing your film projected is the best way to go anyway! The great thing about Film is that you can always transfer to digital Video later. Just save all your film and when your ready transfer it to Digital Video for editing!
Hope this helps and good luck.

Toby
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#8 jacob thomas

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 07:59 PM

And how much money could cost me a good starting HDV camera ?
For some reason I seem to be more interested in films...
I just want to cheapest one, so I can learn without ruining myself and still have good quality.
I guess I will just have to experiment, some will say go with super8 some will say 16mm and other digital.


Why do you have to buy the camera? When I was starting out I borrowed or rented, which teaches you to plan your shoots. When you're shooting 35mm you aren't going to own the camera and pull it out for five minutes of shooting every couple of days when the inspiration strikes.

But if you have to buy one the canon hv20 (probably the best consumer hdv camera) is only $899 from B&H you might even be able to find it cheaper. For a prosumer camera you'll pay about $2k more.

With super 8 or 16mm the camera is 'cheap' but you really pay for every second of film. With video whether it's dv or hdv the camera is slightly more expensive but the cost of shooting is virtually nil.

I guess you have to decide which is more important shooting film or making shorts. ( ;) )
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#9 DimitriMill

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 11:48 PM

Thanks guys for the help and informations.
I might go for a good Super 8. BEAULIEU 4008 ZMII and CANON 814 XL-S interest me.
If I had more money I would probably try a 16mm. Anyways I can't wait to start shooting :rolleyes:
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#10 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 11:01 AM

"TheCosmicActor" you need to use your real name on this site. The Administrator will probably be along shortly to ask you to change it!


BEAULIEU 4008 ZMII is a GREAT camera. I have two of them. One of the many nice things about this camera is that repair service is available at a few places around the country. The batteries are quite expensive though.
Good luck and let us know when you shoot your first roll.

Toby
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#11 Douglas Sunlin

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 02:51 PM

I'd go digital, and I am.
Reasons:
1. Fast feedback; you can experiment with various techniques and settings and see right away if they work.
2. Film and processing can be very expensive, especially with 16mm sound.
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#12 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 04:44 PM

I'd go digital, and I am.
Reasons:
1. Fast feedback; you can experiment with various techniques and settings and see right away if they work.
2. Film and processing can be very expensive, especially with 16mm sound.


I disagree, I think he should shoot film because he obviously wants to shoot film more. Quantity of footage shot is nothing to quality of footage. He will learn much more about planning shots carefully, using resources effectively, and patience if he shoots on film.
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#13 John Brawley

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 05:36 PM

. Quantity of footage shot is nothing to quality of footage. He will learn much more about planning shots carefully, using resources effectively, and patience if he shoots on film.


Indeed.

I coudn't agree more. I think people forget that the DISCIPLINE of shooting on film precisely because it is expensive, forces the filmmaker to be very sure of what they want to say with their film before they shoot it. Although there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to approach digital in the same way, most people don't. In the back of their head is this stupid idea that it's cheap so you can just keep shooting.

I've seen many cover a scene with 8 different shots with 45 takes and then try and carve something out in the edit suite.

I wonder if many have the discipline to do it in one shot ? When you do this, it forces you to get things right on set. To make a decision on set. To make a commitment to SAY something with your filmmaker's voice.

I'm not advocating single shot scenes, Im just saying that I believe that digital acquisition has led to the notion that you can just keep shooting, and defer your creative decisions until post. Then you get ridiculous things happening where someone isn't sure which eyeline they should take or some other action, so you start shooting two versions of everything !

Shooting on film is like going to the Olympics. You usually don't have endless takes or setups so you are forced to LIFT your performance. So is everyone else. Actors know that they only have two or three takes so they really consider and focus on what they are going to do with their three takes. It's good pressure. Stanly Kubrick was famous for multiple takes, but generally, I don't think it's good to make actors jump through hoops take after take, shot after shot.

Of course there advantages to shooting on digital and it totally depends on what style of film you're making. Im also not even looking at the visual and textural differences between shooting digital and film.

Looking back at my own work, I started shooting on both 16mm and this new fangled Hi8 format. I still look at the 16mm films I made and they are still watchable for all their faults. I don't even think I can find my Hi8 films.....

jb
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#14 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 06:47 PM

John' Matt
I could not agree more. I have stacks of Hi8 andDVCAM tapes with hours and hours of stuff that just looks OK and would takes weeks to go through. If I could that is I don't think you can even buy Hi8 cameras anymore. I'm sure there are a bunch of video of my family that's lost forever!!
I also have a stack of Film cans and boxes full of Film that looks amazing when projected or transfered to Video.
Yes it cost a bit more to shoot the film but it's worth every penny. And it will be around in another 100 years to transfer to what ever replaces Digital. I bet Digital Video cameras of today won't be around in five years. And if they are they won't work anyway!

Toby
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#15 norman cooper

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 10:57 AM

I'm studying film at uni and have looked into this for my own projects and came to the following conclusion:

- 16mm. is a commonly used standard but is too expensive, I think for 100ft roll of film its about $100AUD.

- Digital. Great to learn from and gives you the basics knowledge. From experience it can be tedious at times and after awhile it become less challenge because of the instant feedback of the viewfinder

- super 8. more affordable film format and has a cool factor. processing can be expensive if you need to post it interstate. Sound sync looks like it might cause a bit of hassle.

But thats my two cents on the matter.
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#16 DimitriMill

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 11:20 PM

I will really have to give a try to the three of them. They all seem interesting.
But I think I will just start with a good super 8 then I'll see, maybe try 16mm and when I will have enough money maybe get myself a good digital.
I'm not gonna go to any film schools so I will just have to learn by myself. This place is a good place to learn too.

Nice community ;)

Any suggestions and help is very appreciated

Thanks B)

... Should I sell my Canon 514XL-S and get a better one ?
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#17 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 04:48 AM

... Should I sell my Canon 514XL-S and get a better one ?


If I were you, I would get a camera that has more options...say a Canon 1014XL-s or maybe even a Beaulieu 4008 with the interchangable lens option?
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#18 DimitriMill

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 12:57 PM

Yeah, that's what I'll probably do.
Robert Rodriguez kinda got me intersted in Digital... but the price are insane for a beginner.

Anyways I appreciate all the help.

B)

Can't wait to film
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#19 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 04:31 PM

Film is definitely a safer option to buy, as hell, I still know people shooting on Bolexes. I think we've probably all spent time with one.
Besides that, as was mentioned, digital changes so quickly, it's hard to keep up. But the basics of the film camera have been around for a long long time. Film stocks keep getting better and better. And you'd be amazed what you and a good colorist can accomplish in a transfer!
And remember, you can TRUST film. A lot of people don't trust it, I feel. But, so long as you load the camera right, and get close to the right exposure, you'll get an image which can be manipulated later on. Hell, if you can shoot on reversal film, you can probably shoot on anything!
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#20 Tyler Decker

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 11:22 AM

Something that you might want to keep in mind is shotting reversal film on super 8mm and buying a projector to view your footage. Don't spend money on transferring your footage to digital right away.
If you have a local photo lab in your town you should see if they transfer super 8mm to video, they are in the market to do this for people that want to transfer their old home movies so it's not as good of a transfer as you would get from a professional lab, but it's still pretty good.
The local place near me charges 12 cent per foot which works out to be $6.00 per super8 cart, not bad at all.
Oh, if you do go to a place that is in the business to transfer old home movies they more then likely won't be able to transfer negative film.

I would also suggest that you don't try and shot something to complex, story wise with your first roll or two. Just go out and shot things you'll find interesting or experiment, epically if you get a camera that does time lapse, and different frame rates. Shot every frame rate you can so you can see what all the different things your camera can do.
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