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Death Without Parole (16mm Feature)


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#1 Michael Class

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 02:25 PM

Hi all,

I'm currently in the process of trying to make a 16mm feature film for $2000.00, I have a blog that is going through my trials and tribulations. I thought it would be fun to document this process. As it seems that I hit nothing but pitfalls. The blog will also explain the whole $2,000.00 budget for the curious and disbelievers.

Cheers!

http://www.noclasspr.../dwop-blog.html

Also feel free to view my donation page, maybe you have a piece of equipment lying around you don't need, that we'd love to borrow.

Ask questions post comments, I'll get back to 'em.

--Michael
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#2 Richard Boddington

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 03:00 PM

Well are you doing this with the hope of selling the final product?

Or just to see what you can do with $2000.00?

After reviewing your blog I see a long long long list of problems with your plan(s).

But if it's just to see what you can do with $2000.00 then the point is moot.

R,
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#3 Michael Class

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 04:40 PM

Yeah, the process is pretty much to see what I can do with $2,000.00 and blood sweat and tears.

Of course there's tons of problems, I'm using broken equipment, film that's older than I am, shooting at a ridiculous ratio. But I'm not going for Hi-Art, the film is for lack of a better word a homage to 1950's grindhouse cinema.

The final delivery of the film will be on a digital print which will be showcased in a small Theater with about 40 friends and family. The goal is to make something fun, under ridiculous circumstances; why?... well why not.
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#4 Freya Black

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 06:57 PM

Yeah, the process is pretty much to see what I can do with $2,000.00 and blood sweat and tears.

Of course there's tons of problems, I'm using broken equipment, film that's older than I am, shooting at a ridiculous ratio. But I'm not going for Hi-Art, the film is for lack of a better word a homage to 1950's grindhouse cinema.

The final delivery of the film will be on a digital print which will be showcased in a small Theater with about 40 friends and family. The goal is to make something fun, under ridiculous circumstances; why?... well why not.


Hiya Michael!

Sounds like a good attitude you have.

However I don't think you can moan about your scoopic having a scratched lens when you only paid $50 for it! :) I think you should shoot some kind of test with the camera to start with. It could even be a scene that you use in the actual film later on but it will allow you to see if the scratch on your lens is so severe as to be a serious problem. It may not be that visible on the footage or may diffuese the image mildly, neither of which is neccesarily a bad thing. Guy maddin has made old scratched lenses part of his aesthetic. If you get hold of another lens and try to replace it then you may destroy the collimation of the lens to the camera, as this camera does not take interchangeable lenses. It seems like a silly risk to take when your lens might be just fine in spite of the scratches.

As for the out of date film, I would try and over-expose the film a full stop to try and overcome the base fog. However this will produce a denser negative which could cause you problems with your DIY filmchain so you might want to test that too. It's hard to get a good transfer from neg with a film chain (easier for reversal).

I guess you might want to try and keep the dialogue to a minimum as the post soundwork, will be a nightmare. You may want to record the sound on set too no matter how you are going about it because then you will have a recording of what the audio is supposed to sound like. In El Mariachi, they recorded the audio immediately after shooting it so that the talent could try and remember the way they just said it. This method also ensures that the rooms will sound the way that they look.

I hope you have loads of fun and learn many things from the experience. :)

love

Freya
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#5 Michael Class

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 02:23 PM

Hiya Michael!

Sounds like a good attitude you have.

However I don't think you can moan about your scoopic having a scratched lens when you only paid $50 for it! :) I think you should shoot some kind of test with the camera to start with. It could even be a scene that you use in the actual film later on but it will allow you to see if the scratch on your lens is so severe as to be a serious problem. It may not be that visible on the footage or may diffuese the image mildly, neither of which is neccesarily a bad thing. Guy maddin has made old scratched lenses part of his aesthetic. If you get hold of another lens and try to replace it then you may destroy the collimation of the lens to the camera, as this camera does not take interchangeable lenses. It seems like a silly risk to take when your lens might be just fine in spite of the scratches.

As for the out of date film, I would try and over-expose the film a full stop to try and overcome the base fog. However this will produce a denser negative which could cause you problems with your DIY filmchain so you might want to test that too. It's hard to get a good transfer from neg with a film chain (easier for reversal).

I guess you might want to try and keep the dialogue to a minimum as the post soundwork, will be a nightmare. You may want to record the sound on set too no matter how you are going about it because then you will have a recording of what the audio is supposed to sound like. In El Mariachi, they recorded the audio immediately after shooting it so that the talent could try and remember the way they just said it. This method also ensures that the rooms will sound the way that they look.

I hope you have loads of fun and learn many things from the experience. :)

love

Freya


Hi Freya,

Thanks for the advice and tips! I'm mailing off a batch of film today to get developed and see the status of the stock, also sending in some other stock for a snip test. I'll shoot some more on the camera with the scratch on it, but it looks pretty bad. It's about 1 inch long and 1/4 inch wide across the middle of the lens, so when I zoom and focus I can see it in the view finder at all different angles. I'll try that over-exposure trick, see how that comes out, that could be a big help.

Yeah, the plan is minimal dialog, the plot / script doesn't demand too much from the characters, but I am bringing my audio rig to get backup audio / recorded voices after each shooting.

Thanks again for the tips and encouraging words!

-- Michael
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#6 David Sweetman

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 09:05 PM

I like this idea. Like the man said, "An artist never works in ideal conditions. If they existed, his art wouldn't exist." I plan on shooting a first feature the summer after this so I'm interested in hearing your report.

However, in my opinion the question "why does the film look this way?" should never be answered "because it was the cheapest route." The look itself should have something to say.
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#7 Zamir Merali

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 10:20 AM

It seems to me that someone is dancing all over you when it comes to processing. 30 cents a foot is ridiculous. I just made a 16mm feature for just over a grand and I got all my film processed at studio post for 10 cents. They transfered it to dvcpro50 on their c-reality scanner for a decent price too. http://www.studiopost.com/
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#8 Michael Class

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 10:54 AM

It seems to me that someone is dancing all over you when it comes to processing. 30 cents a foot is ridiculous. I just made a 16mm feature for just over a grand and I got all my film processed at studio post for 10 cents. They transfered it to dvcpro50 on their c-reality scanner for a decent price too. http://www.studiopost.com/


That was my high estimate, I'm looking at around 15c a foot, but had to factor in shipping and handling as it's not a local joint. Placed locally to me are 24c a foot, which is painful. I'll check out the place you mentioned, that's a great rate. You happy with the results?
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#9 Zamir Merali

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 11:56 AM

It took me a lot of searching to find that rate. I just realised that you might not be able to get as good a rate because you couldn't get the student discount. Either way the results were really good and the cc was great for a best light.
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#10 Chris Burke

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 04:36 PM

That was my high estimate, I'm looking at around 15c a foot, but had to factor in shipping and handling as it's not a local joint. Placed locally to me are 24c a foot, which is painful. I'll check out the place you mentioned, that's a great rate. You happy with the results?



Michael,


You are getting hosed on the film costs. I made a short where I got a deal with the lab:fresh Fuji film, Eterna 250T, processing and a best light with keycode for less than $200 per 400' core. I understand that this is more of and experiment to see what you can do for two grand and the supplies you already have, but shop around, there are many deals to be had.

chris
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