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My first rolls - problems....


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#1 henry jameson

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 07:59 AM

hi, i just got back from the lab and telec. my first 2 rolls shot with my scoopic. Unfortunately results are not all that good, but i suppose it's my fault.
- first roll: old kodak Vision 250d 7246 bought from ebay. Very underexposed and grainy... i guess i should have read with more attention posts from other users and compensated exposure for old film... i guess i could have given at least 2 stops more (shooted outdoors in sunny conditions with f11 - 16) . But at least these are images that i did actually shoot myself.
- second roll: kodak Vision2 250d 7205 also bought from ebay. The strange thing i noticed right away with this roll was that it was inverted: perforations were on the wrong side. I decided to give it a try anyway and put the roll upside down in order to have the perforations correct and shot it. In the minidv transfer, i have 2 minutes of footage that is not mine. There is a time lapse scene and a mother with baby... So i think there could be 2 causes:
- lab made an error in telecine
- as the film on the spool was inverted, maybe it had been already exposed but not developed and so i shot over it... but in this case you should see double exposure, and this is not the case... images are perfect, they simply are not mine...

So the lesson for today is: don't try and save money buying stock from ebay... get new stuff and for testing purposes get b/w reversal so you save on telecine...

Here's a 10Mb clip of the nearly decent stuff that came out.
http://www.g-d.it/pr...scoopictest.wmv

What can cause all those white flashes ? is it only because it's old film ?
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#2 Walter Graff

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 08:16 AM

Congratulations and welcome to the world of filmmaking. Fear not, your errors are not just your own. Even the biggest budget features have entire days of shooting that are thrown away. To this day problems with film loading/shooting off speed/jamming/ scratces/etc can and do occur with my shoots and I'm sure others too. Sometimes it is your mistake and other times not. Like the time we shot a $50k spot for a major sports organization. We had a PA hand carry the exposed negatives from LA to NY. A few days later we learned that a video producer was curious about the film and opened all six cans even though they were taped and marked EXPOSED. Another time I had a product shot witha 35 mounted on a ladder shooting strait down at a table top. We imported flowers for the shot from Holland as they wer not available that time of year, got some of hte most beautiful props and a desk where a book was to be shot. I climbed up the ladder for one last look. MY AC asked if he should stay with the camera as we roll. I said no its fine. We rolled teh set-up which cost $11k to prop. Problem was that someoen moved a light last minute and teh book cover was nothign more than a glare of light. I found htis out in transfer. It only cost me an additional $6k to have the cover electronically replaced.

As for going the cheap on film, yea, don't. It works most of the time when you are in college, but will bite you time and again. I don't have similar stories to you because I've never believed it's the thing to do. Save money on lunch, don't save money on stock is my policy. :)
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#3 Chance Shirley

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 10:30 AM

Most of the flashes look to me like they occur when the camera is either slowing down at the end of a take or getting up to speed at the beginning of a take. As the film is not moving at full speed during these times, the frames are overexposed. This is a common occurrence with film cameras and the reason you should let the camera get up to speed before you call "action."
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#4 Joe Walker

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 11:04 AM

The very first time I shot my own 16mm, I used a non-reflex Bolex camera with a turret mount and a parallax viewfinder. I bumped the lens turret wrong and because I was looking through a parallax viewfinder, I didn't realize that I was exposing n-o-t-h-i-n-g. When I got the Beta tape back, I was the laughing stock of the transfer house. 10 seconds of color bars and 6 minutes of black screen. Oh it was beautiful.

And off-topic, hey Chance, how's "Interplanetary" doing these days? The teaser you guys did for the Sidewalk Scramble looked good.

Edited by Joe Walker, 05 December 2007 - 11:05 AM.

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#5 Walter Graff

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 11:09 AM

The very first time I shot my own 16mm, I used a non-reflex Bolex camera with a turret mount and a parallax viewfinder. I bumped the lens turret wrong and because I was looking through a parallax viewfinder, I didn't realize that I was exposing n-o-t-h-i-n-g. When I got the Beta tape back, I was the laughing stock of the transfer house. 10 seconds of color bars and 6 minutes of black screen. Oh it was beautiful.

And off-topic, hey Chance, how's "Interplanetary" doing these days? The teaser you guys did for the Sidewalk Scramble looked good.


Of course you told them that is what you intended and that is was more artistic than practical. They just don't understand. :)
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#6 Joe Walker

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 12:03 PM

Walter,

The second time I sent them my film, I called them up and gave them my instructions and I fondly remember them saying to me on the other end, "Did you take the lens cap off this time?" Ouch. :( This business is all about brutal honesty.
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#7 henry jameson

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 12:04 PM

glad to know i'm not the only one making mistakes....
I can understand the exposure mistake i made with the old vision stock , but i can't figure out why i have 2 minutes of perfect footage that is not mine.... Even if the seller of the film was dumb enough to sell me exposed film, i was more dumb than him to load it with the emulsion the wrong way and so i didn't expose the film but i just made it run through the camera.... could this be possible ?
i haven't checked the negative yet, but is there a sort of serial number/stock number on the negative that matches the numbers on the film cartridges? this would be the proof that i made a big mistake or the lab gave me someone else's film....
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#8 Joe Walker

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 12:28 PM

glad to know i'm not the only one making mistakes....
I can understand the exposure mistake i made with the old vision stock , but i can't figure out why i have 2 minutes of perfect footage that is not mine.... Even if the seller of the film was dumb enough to sell me exposed film, i was more dumb than him to load it with the emulsion the wrong way and so i didn't expose the film but i just made it run through the camera.... could this be possible ?
i haven't checked the negative yet, but is there a sort of serial number/stock number on the negative that matches the numbers on the film cartridges? this would be the proof that i made a big mistake or the lab gave me someone else's film....


No you're not alone in the mistakes department. If the images you saw were perfect and there was no double exposure chances are that in telecine someone got mixed up on which batch was going to which tape. If you elected a one light, un-supervised transfer, it could be that an intern was handling the telecine at 2am and just got a little sloppy.
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#9 Will Montgomery

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 12:45 PM

Scoopic is a great camera. Some purists might tell you to start with something that is all manual to really learn how to use meters and lenses but anything that makes you shoot more film is a good thing; and the Scoopic really does make it easy.

Buying film off eBay is not quite like buying unopened video tapes... so many factors effect film.

I've just gone to buying direct from Fuji and Kodak so I know it hasn't sat around for a long time or been mistreated. You certainly can get lucky with film off eBay, but for me it's just not worth the risk to save 5 or 10 bucks here and there when I spend so much stupid money on telecine.
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#10 Walter Graff

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 01:15 PM

I used to sell old rolls of 16 and 35 that was sitting in my fridge longer than it should have been to a girl who used them to shoot those location exteriors for Seinfeld. She never had a problem and I mean the film was old in some cases. I know a lot of college kids buy old stuff direct form DPs who have stuff after shoots and seem to do okay, but like the other person said, you never know where it might have been on places like ebay or how they aquired it. If it's aDP I say he's/she'd probably have treated it better. If you are just learning, then a few bad rolls will not kill you. You've still gotten the experience, but if its for a paying job, it behooves you to get fresh stuff.
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#11 Mike Lary

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 01:38 PM

glad to know i'm not the only one making mistakes....
I can understand the exposure mistake i made with the old vision stock , but i can't figure out why i have 2 minutes of perfect footage that is not mine.... Even if the seller of the film was dumb enough to sell me exposed film, i was more dumb than him to load it with the emulsion the wrong way and so i didn't expose the film but i just made it run through the camera.... could this be possible ?


It sounds like that's what happened. If you shot with the emulsion side in, the most you could probably do to the film with a proper exposure is expose some of the red emulsion because the light would have to travel through the base first. If the emulsion had already been exposed, maybe what you hit it with wasn't enough to affect the image noticeably.
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#12 John Brawley

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 05:27 PM

- second roll: kodak Vision2 250d 7205 also bought from ebay. The strange thing i noticed right away with this roll was that it was inverted: perforations were on the wrong side. I decided to give it a try anyway and put the roll upside down in order to have the perforations correct and shot it.



Hi Henry.

The first thing i thought when reading this was that the film had already been exposed. Id say you've loaded the footage again. Do you recall if it was emulsion out or in as it was going through the gate. Again i think you may have just shot through the base. In which case you would need to overexpose by something like 5 stops to get another image, maybe more if there's already an image on the film.

The white flashes are the normal flash frames that occour when you start and stop the camera. As the film stops and parks in the gate, light leaks around the shutter and fogs the film. You'll notice the pattern is always the same. A white flash, followed by a smaller localised flash on the left hand side on the new shot. Which is why you should always shoot a few extra frames after you want you're shot to end, and allow a little pre-roll the beginning.

I think you're pretty brave buying film off ebay. I'd never do it. Remember film stock is like perishable goods....

The clouds look nice BTW. Was the playground footage shot at the same time or a different day ?

jb
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#13 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 09:27 PM

1) Agree you are under exposed.
2) circular flash at start of every scene indicates a light leak "above the gate" you my be able to ignore this but look for leght seals on teh camera door that are showing signs of wear.
3) clouds are Quite nice, and show you limits as far as hand holding the camera. The slight wobble would not be noticable if you had a subject to foucus the viewers Eye.

For inexpensive film, you perhaps should consider the "short end folks, particularly with all the TV production in HD. they often have good film at lower prices, and most of it comes from productions with competent staff loading and unloadinhng the cameras. Somew of the short end folks actually run tests on what they sell.

the "wrong side perf" film was probaly exposed , and if you twisted the film the exposure through the REM_JET and the base would not have registered. if you still have the e-bay sellers name perhaps he/she is interested in buying back their footage? check with your lab to be sure that they transfered what you sent them. They can look at the negative rather easaly to be sure what is on it, any lab worker worth his/her salt can look at a neg and have a good idea of what the image looks like.
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#14 henry jameson

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 03:50 AM

For inexpensive film, you perhaps should consider the "short end folks, particularly with all the TV production in HD.
if you still have the e-bay sellers name perhaps he/she is interested in buying back their footage? check with your lab to be sure that they transfered what you sent them. They can look at the negative


i live in italy, getting short ends here is very difficult, and a new roll of 100 ' kodak neg is about 60 euros... that's why i tried to get them cheap off ebay as this was only a test, it's not a payed job yet.
I did contact the ebay seller and described the images to see if he remembered filming them; still waiting for answer. I have the negative and the first frames of the negative show the house that was filmed in time lapse that i see on minidv and that is not mine, so yes the negative and the minidv are matched.
John: playground and clouds scene were shot on the same day at different times... it was one of the best sunsets i've seen this autumn. Was at home watching tv and i happened to look out of the window and saw those pink clouds so i rushed out on the balcony. I didn't have my tripod with me cos it was in the office...
In the clouds scene i can see a fair amount of frame jitter on the minidv (don't know if with the web clip it is noticeable). At first i thought it was a registration problem with the scoopic, but then looking at the footage that's not mine and presumably shot with a bolex rex5, i can see the same jitter, so i guess it's something to do with telecine ( the cheapest one light i could find , they say they use a Rank Cintel Digiscan III with Da Vinci + DVNR ... whatever that means...)
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#15 Ole Dost

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 09:41 AM

i live in italy, getting short ends here is very difficult, and a new roll of 100 ' kodak neg is about 60 euros... that's why i tried to get them cheap off ebay as this was only a test, it's not a payed job yet.
I did contact the ebay seller and described the images to see if he remembered filming them; still waiting for answer. I have the negative and the first frames of the negative show the house that was filmed in time lapse that i see on minidv and that is not mine, so yes the negative and the minidv are matched.
John: playground and clouds scene were shot on the same day at different times... it was one of the best sunsets i've seen this autumn. Was at home watching tv and i happened to look out of the window and saw those pink clouds so i rushed out on the balcony. I didn't have my tripod with me cos it was in the office...
In the clouds scene i can see a fair amount of frame jitter on the minidv (don't know if with the web clip it is noticeable). At first i thought it was a registration problem with the scoopic, but then looking at the footage that's not mine and presumably shot with a bolex rex5, i can see the same jitter, so i guess it's something to do with telecine ( the cheapest one light i could find , they say they use a Rank Cintel Digiscan III with Da Vinci + DVNR ... whatever that means...)


Hi,
You can get tested short ends within Europe!! ThereĀ“s a plant of Film X-Change in Hamburg. I oftenly buy film there. It is never out of date and tested! You get a Recan there 120 Metres (NOT Feet!!) for about 90 Euros and 60/70 Metres short end about 60 Euros...
This is their Telefon (a Mr. Trojan answering), I guess they understand English as it is a plant of a US-Company
Telefone: 0171 3717416 (perhapes you have to add the Germany-Prefix, which is 0049...)
Fax: 0049 40 57006701
Best regards,
Ole
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#16 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 09:50 AM

Also, in terms of short ends and all, there is drrawstock here in the US. I havn't had a problem with any footage from them as of yet. They have a website, just google away. It'll save you some $$.
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#17 Hal Smith

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 10:56 AM

Dr. Rawstock no longer deals in film stock, they describe themselves as having transitioned to a digtial company. The new DR Group website refers film inquiries to Film Source LA.

http://www.filmsourcela.com/

I haven't dealt with the new company, Parental Discretion advised until we get some feedback on their services
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#18 henry jameson

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 11:02 AM

Also, in terms of short ends and all, there is drrawstock here in the US. I havn't had a problem with any footage from them as of yet. They have a website, just google away. It'll save you some $$.


thanks for the info. I shot another roll of the ol vision 250d this time with the Admira Electric, just to test the camera. I'll only have it developed but no telecine . I just wanted to see that it loaded correctly and did not jam and indeed everything seemed to go well. I'll have it developed just to see that there are no scratches and other camera related things. This time i overexposed by at least 2 stops as everything was quite dark with the other roll.

Ole, does that german company have a web site or a name i can google ?
thanks
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#19 Mark Dunn

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 12:21 PM

Some of your flash frames are near the start of a shot but most aren't, so check for leaks.
If you put in the inverted roll upside down, you wouldn't have been able to get the emulsion facing the gate without putting a twist in the film, so unless you did that you've certainly shot through the base.

As to what's on the film, have you actually looked at it? If it's not yours get your money back and tell the lab not to bother finding yours, because if you've shot through the base there's no point.
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#20 Erik Vilhelm

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 01:07 PM

Ole, does that german company have a web site or a name i can google ?
thanks


The website is:
http://www.filmxchange.de
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