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Looking for advices in choosing stock for a-minima shoot


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#1 Jonathan Rubin

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 01:56 PM

Hello,
I am looking for advices in choosing the stocks I will use for a short film in madagascar. The camera I will be using is an aaton a-minima with either a COOK 10.4/52 or a FUJINON 10/40 zoom lens. Using the a-minima, I can only use KODAK stocks. The film will then be blown up to 35, so I would prefer to use slow speed film. Our film crew being very small we want to take the minimum with us. So I would like to carefully chose the stocks I use to be more efficient.

most of the film will be shot outside, with a few indoor scenes. And very important, they will be some night scenes only lit by fire (no artificial lights).
On location, we wont have any cine lights around, and we will have to shoot with what is available.

I will be going to Kodak in Paris friday or next monday to get some stocks to shoot some tests and get more familiar with the a-minima over the christmas holidays.

I have used the 7201 50D before, but only with a JK optical printer.
I have never shot with the Kodak 250D before, but I have used the FUJI 250D and I have obtained amazing results.
I am still wandering what to use to shoot the night scenes that are fire lit.
Unfortunatly, I will not be able to shoot tests on location in madagascar as we can go only once overthere. Shooting will be in february, which is summer in the southern hemisphere.
Any help and advices are welcome.
Thank you
Jonathan.
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#2 Jess Haas

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 03:11 PM

7201 is a great stock so if 50 is fast enough for you I would go with that. If you expect the weather to be very gloomy, or want to shoot during dusk you may need some 250D.

For the night stuff your best bet will be 7219 (v3 500T). I have underexposed the vision2 version a stop or two with decent results. It is grainy, but doesn't look bad. I don't know how fast those zooms are but you really should have atleast one or two fast primes for the low light stuff since I doubt the zooms are as fast as a prime could be. The 500T should also serve you well for the interiors.

For super low light stuff I have a little 16mm filmo with a wide shutter angle and a 25mm c-mount prime that opens up to f0.95. It is rather soft, but nice for getting those shots when you really need the extra stop or so that it gives you.

For the night scenes people will need to be rather close to the fire for you to get enough light and you may need to pump those fires up a bit. I would suggest taking some aluminum foil and some silver reflectors in order to try to get a little more light out of them when you can. Definitely shoot some tests so you know what will work and what wont.

~Jess
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#3 Jonathan Rubin

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 04:28 PM

Thank you for your reply, and all your advices.
I will go mainly with the 50D then and bring a few 250D in case the weather gets too bad (it will be cyclone season when i'll shoot the film).

About the 500T, did you ever shoot with the "expression 500T" stock (7229/5229). Apparently it picks up more details in shadows.
I know you are right about getting a prime lens for the fire stuff. The two zoom lens that I have open at 3.95 and 2.8. I will try to get a prime lens, but since all the a-minima equipment and the lens that I will get are borrowed to me for free, I can't be too difficult.
I also have my own bolex which has been converted to super 16. Maybe I should use it to shoot the fire stuff as I have a few prime lens that open more than the zoom. I have a kern Macro Switar 26mm that opens at 1.1 and a Macro Switar 50mm that opens at 1.4
The fire will be kind of big and the people will be kind of close to it (not too close of course).
And since kodak now offers four kind of 500T films which one to choose from? 7279, 7218, 7229 or the new vision3 stock?

I will of course try to do as many tests that I can before the shoot, but since this film is not produced by a big major, I can't aford to buy all the kodak stocks and shoot tests with all of them. So I have to narrow down my choice of stock test.

Thank you,

Jonathan
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#4 Will Montgomery

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 04:44 PM

The "expression" 500T has a very "pastel" look to me. Low contrast. Don't think it will play well with the 50D or 250D. It's closer to Fuji's stocks than other Kodak stocks. Has it's uses and looks great on people closeups, but you may want to stick with 7218 or 7219 to match your daylight stocks better.

Try a test to see, best to experience it so you have the look in your head when you're shooting.
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#5 Jonathan Rubin

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 04:52 PM

Thank you for your reply.
I will test then the new vision3 7219 and see how it matches with the 7201 and the 7205.
Jonathan
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