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Popsicle - A Completed Super-8 Short Film


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#1 Justin Aguirre

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 04:52 PM

Popsicle is my first ever serious film to be shot on... well film.

My two other attempts were camera tests using Pro8 Ekt 100 and Kodak Plus-X.

So here it is:

Popsicle

I shot this over a 3 day period in the early mornings down in Newport Beach, CA. The camera was a Canon 1014xls and I choose 6 rolls of Kodak Plus-X with process and transfer from Spectra. Since this was my first "film" production I would really like to hear your comments on anything about it. I learned so much from this experience and I now would like to hear a professional opinion on it.

I am currently enrolled at Orange Coast College in their film production courses with hopes of transfering out. I have yet to take the actual film production course and everything I've learned so far has been from this site.

Currently I have submitted it to the Newport Beach and Seattle film festivals and I am planing on submiting to a few more.

Edited by Justin Aguirre, 03 March 2008 - 04:54 PM.

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#2 Zamir Merali

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 05:08 PM

I'm no professional but the movie has a certain charm to it. I liked your compositions and your choice of aspect ratio. Also, the flying scene is effective but original. If I was going to give a critique I might say that the twist at the end seems a little forced and the acting shows promise but is not very sincere. All in all, pretty good, it goes against the norm for short black and white movies about angst (ie. being shitty and humorously melodramatic).
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#3 timHealy

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 05:10 PM

If this is your first film that you ever made I would say you did a very nice job. The story moved along enough to keep my interest.

I liked your editing around the flying aspect the most.

Technically, in the future I would loosen the camera while it is on the tripod unless there is some call for it to be locked down.

I saw some lens flare that was minor and some weather inconsistancy that was minor.

I would try and de interlace for the internet and that would be a minor thing too.

Did you shoot anamorphic or did you just crop in Final Cut or something? I shot an anamorphic Super 8 film in college and was just wondering. Also If you cropped in Final Cut you can do slight headroom adjustments if need be very easily during a shot.

Good luck in your future endeavors. Keep shooting!!

Best

Tim
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#4 Justin Aguirre

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 07:08 PM

I'm no professional but the movie has a certain charm to it. I liked your compositions and your choice of aspect ratio. Also, the flying scene is effective but original. If I was going to give a critique I might say that the twist at the end seems a little forced and the acting shows promise but is not very sincere. All in all, pretty good, it goes against the norm for short black and white movies about angst (ie. being shitty and humorously melodramatic).


Thanks Zamir,

I'm glad you liked it. I do agree with your comment about the actress, she is just a friend of mine who did some acting way back in high school. I hear you on the "norm" for black and white shorts... You should see what gets turned in for class. Some people need a hug.

Justin
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#5 Justin Aguirre

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 07:17 PM

If this is your first film that you ever made I would say you did a very nice job. The story moved along enough to keep my interest.

I liked your editing around the flying aspect the most.

Technically, in the future I would loosen the camera while it is on the tripod unless there is some call for it to be locked down.

I saw some lens flare that was minor and some weather inconsistancy that was minor.

I would try and de interlace for the internet and that would be a minor thing too.

Did you shoot anamorphic or did you just crop in Final Cut or something? I shot an anamorphic Super 8 film in college and was just wondering. Also If you cropped in Final Cut you can do slight headroom adjustments if need be very easily during a shot.

Good luck in your future endeavors. Keep shooting!!

Best

Tim


Thanks Tim,

I truely believe the reason the film came out so well as in part from the information I learned here. I've only shot HD and DV before this on numorous shorts but I studied for 2 weeks on this site to learn what I can about shooting black and white film.

I do wish I shot it in anamorphic but it's just a crop in FCP. I've thought about making my Canon and making it widescreen but I think i'm going to keep it 4x3. I will diffenently watch out for lens flares and weather next time I shoot. Looking back I wish I had the lens hood for the Cokin P series filter holder I was using.

I'm happy to hear that so far you guys like my film!

Justin
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#6 Rolando Fernandez

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 05:18 PM

Nice job! I like the story

for your next short use the LA7200 anamorphic in front of your Canon
that way the full frame resolution can be use without any aditional crop
you will have HD super8mm format! 16x9

I shoot a kodachrome this mode and look superb!

hope to see your next film!

Edited by Rolando Fernandez, 04 March 2008 - 05:20 PM.

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#7 Justin Aguirre

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 10:30 AM

Nice job! I like the story

for your next short use the LA7200 anamorphic in front of your Canon
that way the full frame resolution can be use without any aditional crop
you will have HD super8mm format! 16x9

I shoot a kodachrome this mode and look superb!

hope to see your next film!


Thanks Rolando,

Does the LA7200 screw onto the threads of the Canon like a filter or would I need to do something special? My main DV camera I shoot with is the 100b so I've thought about getting that lens but it never crossed my mind to use it for super-8.

PS.. Do you have your kodachrome online? I would really like to see how this method worked out for you.

Justin
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#8 Rolando Fernandez

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 12:46 PM

Ok this is the procedure:

the LA7200 is a 72mm tread, use a step-up ring for 58mm (Canon) and an additional ring extension
because the LA7200 was made for DV and the clearance for the tread is limited and wont fit directly
in the step-up ring, for the extension I use an old 72mm polarizer without the glass.

Very important:
1- keep the anamorphic fully horizontal
2- Adjust focus and recheck anamorphic lens position
3- Avoid extreme short DoF
4- At the begining of every shoot put a perfect circular object in front of the camera (draw a circle in the slate)
this will be your guide in post for 16x9 correction

Super 8mm is perfect for this adapter

I dont have the kodachrome test , is in Cuba but I will made another in Double 8mm cinechrome soon!
I like low speed film for my tests but I will try in plus-x also.
I'm working in the same setup for 16mm.

Edited by Rolando Fernandez, 05 March 2008 - 12:49 PM.

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#9 Nate Downes

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 05:45 PM

Love this piece, very well done.
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#10 Justin Aguirre

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 03:49 AM

Ok this is the procedure:

the LA7200 is a 72mm tread, use a step-up ring for 58mm (Canon) and an additional ring extension
because the LA7200 was made for DV and the clearance for the tread is limited and wont fit directly
in the step-up ring, for the extension I use an old 72mm polarizer without the glass.

Very important:
1- keep the anamorphic fully horizontal
2- Adjust focus and recheck anamorphic lens position
3- Avoid extreme short DoF
4- At the begining of every shoot put a perfect circular object in front of the camera (draw a circle in the slate)
this will be your guide in post for 16x9 correction

Super 8mm is perfect for this adapter

I dont have the kodachrome test , is in Cuba but I will made another in Double 8mm cinechrome soon!
I like low speed film for my tests but I will try in plus-x also.
I'm working in the same setup for 16mm.


That sounds very simple to construct and when you finish your cinechrome anamorphic let me know!

Justin
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#11 Justin Aguirre

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 03:51 AM

Love this piece, very well done.


Thanks Nate,

I'm glad you enjoyed the film!

Justin
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#12 Tony Bullock

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 04:36 AM

The anamorphic aspect sets it off very nicely. I love the handwritten titles and the simplicity of the soundtrack against the postcard like compositions around the shoreline. You have a keen photographic eye!

Feels very 60's french new wave in Black and white also. Maybe the use of some handheld would further enhance that feel, but I like the simplicity of locked off shots all the same. Good job.
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#13 Justin Aguirre

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 05:57 PM

The anamorphic aspect sets it off very nicely. I love the handwritten titles and the simplicity of the soundtrack against the postcard like compositions around the shoreline. You have a keen photographic eye!

Feels very 60's french new wave in Black and white also. Maybe the use of some handheld would further enhance that feel, but I like the simplicity of locked off shots all the same. Good job.


Thanks Tony,

I'm glad you enjoyed the film and thank you for leaving those very nice words. I think it's interesting that you used the world "simplicity" to describe the film. During preproduction that was one of the things I wanted it have, a nice simple story and to tell it in super-8's unique textured format to really bring out the emotion of the girl.

PS.. I've heard the french new wave remark from a few other people too :)

Justin
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#14 Nick Norton

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 10:36 AM

Personally, i think this film would have worked much better if it were a silent film.

The dialogue is on the nose, and it's too obvious.

Put some faith in your audience and let them figure out the emotion of the girl. I think you did a well enough job of this without the voice over.


-Nicholas
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#15 jason duncan

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 03:54 PM

With this LA72000, can I get a 2.35:1 ratio?

Ok this is the procedure:

the LA7200 is a 72mm tread, use a step-up ring for 58mm (Canon) and an additional ring extension
because the LA7200 was made for DV and the clearance for the tread is limited and wont fit directly
in the step-up ring, for the extension I use an old 72mm polarizer without the glass.

Very important:
1- keep the anamorphic fully horizontal
2- Adjust focus and recheck anamorphic lens position
3- Avoid extreme short DoF
4- At the begining of every shoot put a perfect circular object in front of the camera (draw a circle in the slate)
this will be your guide in post for 16x9 correction

Super 8mm is perfect for this adapter

I dont have the kodachrome test , is in Cuba but I will made another in Double 8mm cinechrome soon!
I like low speed film for my tests but I will try in plus-x also.
I'm working in the same setup for 16mm.


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#16 Jim Simon

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 04:12 PM

I noticed you used the same camera that I was looking at purchasing. I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with the registration of the piece. Even locked down shots have very noticeable drift. I know this is a common problem due to the plastic pressure plates in the Super 8 cartridges, but I was really hoping one of the better cameras (such as yours) would produce a more stable image. To me, that drift says amateur. That is not a comment on your talent, per se. But it's a rock solid picture I'm looking for, and that film audiences are accustomed to seeing, whether it's a tripod or handheld shot.

I may have to step up to 16mm.

Edited by Jim Simon, 13 March 2008 - 04:13 PM.

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#17 Rolando Fernandez

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 07:54 PM

With this LA72000, can I get a 2.35:1 ratio?


Well is simple math, super 8mm is like 4x3 or 1.33:1 ratio and the anamorphic is 1.5x
that will be 1.33 x 1.5 = 1.995:1 or 2:1 with some horizontal crop you cat go to 1.78:1
or HD format 16x9.

Using a 2x anamorph then is 1.33 x2 = 2.66:1 or like cinemascope.
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#18 Gencer Hassan

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 05:57 PM

With this LA72000, can I get a 2.35:1 ratio?


Hi Jason I use a kowa lens 16D on my panasonic dv camera. I needed to build a rig to support it as it weighs more than the camera :blink:

The results it produces are quite good, but you end up with more lens flare (well i did) and you need to make sure that the lens is lined up properly or else you will really notice the slant especially on horizons.

When i transferred it to the computer i stretched the resolution to 1440*576. Or 720*288 also seemed to work fine as well. I'm working in PAL by the way.

ps.
Nice short film Justin

Edited by Gencer Hassan, 17 March 2008 - 06:00 PM.

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#19 Greg Traw

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 10:34 PM

...and just when I was getting sick and tired of hand held extreme sport's footage shot of super-8, this beautiful little short comes along.

It reminds me of Bergman but naive and sweeter. If that makes any sense?

Great Job, Justin!!!
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#20 Rolando Fernandez

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 08:31 AM

That sounds very simple to construct and when you finish your cinechrome anamorphic let me know!

Justin


Hi Justin , this is the setup for 8mm cinemascope:

anamorphic 2x , tungsten filter , Bolex P1 & cinechrome asa 25
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Tai Audio

Glidecam

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