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1014XLS Theatre Rehearsal Shoot


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#1 Jim Train

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 06:31 AM

Hello,

This is my first post, however I have been reading through many previous topics and have learned a lot of valuable information and been a bit overwhelmed at times with what is seemingly a mountain of knowledge that I will have to acquire over time. Anyway, I am about to shoot my first ever super8 stock and I'm a bit nervous about it. I have photographed for a while but am new to all of this.

A local theatre company want me to shoot footage of their rehearsals and build up to the opening night of a new production that they are putting on. Most of the footage will be shot indoors in available light and so I am going to use either 200t or 500t. My first question is whether there is a big difference between shooting 500t as is or pushing the 200t by a stop? I'm not hugely concerned about grain as I want a raw look to the film but I really want good contrast and deep blacks if possible.

Given that this is my first shoot and I have never used a super8 camera before I was going to shoot in auto exposure mode seeing as the lighting conditions will be quite straightforward - is this a bad idea? Also should I overexpose the film by a 1/3 of a stop as I have heard that this improves the image quality of these film stocks?

The film will be telecined and edited using Adobe Premiere or something along those lines and so rather than use external filters (at times I want the material to look cold and sterile, other times warm and comfortable) I was just going to handle all of this in post, does that work well with super8?

Finally are there any other big issues that I should consider before shooting? I have read through many posts and articles in books and feel that, given that the shooting environment will be quite safe in that it will mostly be normally lit rooms with people talking and acting within, as long as I don't do something stupid everything should be okay.

Sorry the final question is whether about the fps - I won't be recording sound in camera so is there any reason to shoot in either 18fps or 24fps? The finished piece will be online and on a dvd.

Thank you for your time,
Jim
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#2 andy oliver

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 06:26 PM

Hi, shoot in auto mode, canon auto iris is pretty damm good, another option, zoom in to the face, exposure lock then pull back and shoot. I would shoot at 18fps, you may need al the light you can get, 200t, would be my 1st choice, 500t if light levels are really grim. Where are you located??
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#3 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 08:36 PM

Hi, shoot in auto mode, canon auto iris is pretty damm good, another option, zoom in to the face, exposure lock then pull back and shoot. I would shoot at 18fps, you may need al the light you can get, 200t, would be my 1st choice, 500t if light levels are really grim. Where are you located??


I think you will need to shoot 500T AND hopefully there is a lighting board that will be turned on for you to use.
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#4 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 04:25 AM

It's been a while since I've shot Super 8 and I've only shot reversal stocks with my 1014 XLS. However, I've done a lot of low-light work with those stocks (K40, Ektachrome 64T, Plus-X, Tri-X). I would use the slower frame rates like 12fps and 18fps to get more exposure and also open the shutter to 220 degrees (no choice, shooting night exteriors with no lights on 64 ASA stock!). If you can get 500 ASA stock, then by all means go with that and leave the shutter at 180 degrees, shooting at 24fps. You'll get less motion blur, which may help you get sharper images if you're handholding the camera on the long end of the zoom lens. Also, overexposing the stock by 1/3 to 2/3 of a stop is a good idea - it'll tighten up the grain and give you blacker shadows.

Autoexposure can work if are aware of your lighting conditions and can compensate accordingly. For example, if you are shooting into backlight be aware that the camera's light meter will underexpose and you will need to open up the aperture to compensate. Like Andy says, your best bet is to zoom in on your subject, lock the autoexposure for that, and then zoom out to your final framing. As for grading Super 8 in post, I think that would largely depend on how good of a transfer you can get. If you get a high quality telecine or scan direct to hard drive that captures all the detail on the negative, then you may have a relatively easy time of it. Get a backalley film chain transfer and it will be impossible to do anything with it in post (believe me, I know!).

Other big issues: Bring a tripod - it's quite hard to hold steady the 1014 XLS on any but the widest shots. Be very conscious of what coverage you need and shoot sparingly - those little 50' cartridges go fast. Don't push the stock unless you have to, or unless you can afford it - special processing can double your lab costs. Another reason to shoot 18fps - your 50' of film will last longer. Bring spare AA batteries - 'nuff said. Bring more film stock than you think you need - you'll still need twice as much. That's all I can think of at the moment. Have a good shoot!
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#5 Jim Carlile

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 03:27 AM

Those two stocks will be automatically overexposed by about one-stop anyway, so don't open up the meter anything more.

What Kodak does is they supply the VISION stocks in a cartridge that will-- to make a long story short-- set the exposure meter of cameras like the 1014XLS to the lower ASA film speed that is identified with the cartridge's specific speed-notch size. Since each notch size has two different ASA speeds associated with it (2/3 of a stop apart,) Kodak deliberately sets up those cartridges to trigger the lower ASA speed.

Specifically, Kodak notches VISION 200T at ASA 160, and then has a filter-notchless cartridge automatically set the meter to the lower ASA, which is 100. The VISION 500T stock is speed-notched at ASA 400 (last I heard) and has the filter-notchless cartridge set the meter to its low ASA, which is 320. The difference between the ASA rating of both films, and what the exposure meter is set for, is about one full stop for each.

At the same time, the filter-notchless cartridge also triggers the camera to prevent the use of the internal 85 filter. So you need to use an external one if you want to shoot outdoors in daylight.

This is the same thing they do with 'daylight' film like Tri-X and Plus-X. So why do they do this for VISION stocks?

Kodak's philosophy is that they prefer some overexposure for their negative films. Since setting the lower ASA through the notchless cartridge method also prevents the use of an internal 85, they like that too, because many older cameras have bad, worn out internal 85s. Their thinking is that if you want an 85, put it on the lens the way the pros do.

So... just let the cartridges do all the work with the 1014XLS, and use an external 85 filter outdoors if you wish (just to be sure, make sure the internal one is definitely disabled--Kodak has been talking about changing their VISION notch protocol, but I don't think they've done it yet.)

VISION 500T negative is so good that grain is not the problem it used to be in the old days.
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#6 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 04:29 PM

I've shot the Vision film stocks outdoors without the filter and been very happy with the color, however it was transferred at Spectra Film and Video so I can't guarantee the same results on a lower cost transfer system, especially for a negative film stock.
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