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S16mm for period piece


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#1 David Michael Conley

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 09:04 PM

Hello,

This is my first time posting on Cinematography.com, but I am hoping to get some guidance.

I am shooting a short period piece next month and I would love for it to have the look of something that was shot in 1968. I think the best way to do that would be in camera with the right stock, but I am having a hard time finding what types of stocks were used back then. I am sure most or all are no longer in production, but I would like to find something close. I know that in Buffalo 66 Lance Acord used an old reversal stock that they used to shoot football games with, but they worked out a deal with Kodak to make another run of that stock. I don't think I have that kind of clout.

Does anyone know where I may be able to find older stocks in the Los Angeles Area? Maybe some company that has a freezer full of really old stuff that has been preserved. I am sure it is a stretch and probably dangerous. haha.

Also, I am shooting on an Arri SR2 with Zeiss super speed primes. I am wondering if the primes are a good choice because they may be too clear, so maybe a zoom might be better for the look. There are currently no zooms in the plan.

Unfortunately this is a low budget project, so there will be no test days to really figure this stuff out. Just have to go with the gut, so I figured it would be a good call to get multiple guts in on it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 10:17 PM

I think you're much better of finding examples of the look you want to create, and then break those down into their technical components of color, grain, texture, and so on. Simply shooting an "old stock" is rather a shot in the dark: while it may look interesting, it may not be at all what you were hoping for.

Color correction in the digital realm is pretty easy these days, and you can evoke the feel of many different eras with digital control. It just depends on how keen an eye you have for image quality and how well you can use the tools.
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#3 andy oliver

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 04:52 AM

if your planning to shoot reversal, the oldest color film is still out that will give you the older look is 'kodachrome'. Though sourcing 16mm k/c is a nightmare. Only other option is double super 8, k40 is still available for the format, but involves costly shipping from Germany, and finding a ds-8 bolex..... Appears your stuck with modern stock...
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#4 David Michael Conley

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 11:28 AM

I think you're much better of finding examples of the look you want to create, and then break those down into their technical components of color, grain, texture, and so on. Simply shooting an "old stock" is rather a shot in the dark: while it may look interesting, it may not be at all what you were hoping for.

Color correction in the digital realm is pretty easy these days, and you can evoke the feel of many different eras with digital control. It just depends on how keen an eye you have for image quality and how well you can use the tools.


Thanks for the advice, I think you are right. I guess I got sort of caught up with the idea of achieving an older look in camera, that I had disregarded the other tools available. I know you can achieve some amazing things with color correction. I have a handle on basic color correction for sure, but I am no master. It is definitely going to take some experimenting to get the right look. I will post some clips when I get them.

Thanks again!

Edited by David Michael Conley, 03 May 2008 - 11:30 AM.

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#5 Joshua Reis

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 01:30 AM

Michael Nash gave you great advice. Study the lighting of the period that you would like to mimic. Also take a look at the camera work. Is it hand held? is the camera always moving? Is there zooming? I think the lighting style and the type of camera operating/framing will be more influential than choosing just a film stock. In a spirit 2k telecine session, a good colorist can dial in the look of an older and aged film-stock. Also, if you have the opportunity and can afford to I would suggest filming and transferring a test or two to see what gives you the most desirable results with the resources at hand. Best of luck.

Joshua

Hello,

This is my first time posting on Cinematography.com, but I am hoping to get some guidance.

I am shooting a short period piece next month and I would love for it to have the look of something that was shot in 1968. I think the best way to do that would be in camera with the right stock, but I am having a hard time finding what types of stocks were used back then. I am sure most or all are no longer in production, but I would like to find something close. I know that in Buffalo 66 Lance Acord used an old reversal stock that they used to shoot football games with, but they worked out a deal with Kodak to make another run of that stock. I don't think I have that kind of clout.

Does anyone know where I may be able to find older stocks in the Los Angeles Area? Maybe some company that has a freezer full of really old stuff that has been preserved. I am sure it is a stretch and probably dangerous. haha.

Also, I am shooting on an Arri SR2 with Zeiss super speed primes. I am wondering if the primes are a good choice because they may be too clear, so maybe a zoom might be better for the look. There are currently no zooms in the plan.

Unfortunately this is a low budget project, so there will be no test days to really figure this stuff out. Just have to go with the gut, so I figured it would be a good call to get multiple guts in on it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


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#6 David Michael Conley

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 04:41 AM

Michael Nash gave you great advice. Study the lighting of the period that you would like to mimic. Also take a look at the camera work. Is it hand held? is the camera always moving? Is there zooming? I think the lighting style and the type of camera operating/framing will be more influential than choosing just a film stock. In a spirit 2k telecine session, a good colorist can dial in the look of an older and aged film-stock. Also, if you have the opportunity and can afford to I would suggest filming and transferring a test or two to see what gives you the most desirable results with the resources at hand. Best of luck.

Joshua


Thanks Joshua! There are a few films I am studying right now and the director is going to give me a few that he had in mind when he wrote the screenplay, so that should help quite a bit. This being my first period piece, I had made it much more complicated in my mind than it is. I had forgotten that the foundations are the same as any other film and my methods of arriving at the final idea for the look and feel should be exactly the same.

I am definitely learning a great deal about 1960's cinema, which is an era that I suppose I had neglected.

Unfortunately there isn't much of a budget, but I am talking to the producer to see about getting some funding for at least one day to do some camera tests. I have my fingers crossed.

Thanks again!
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Willys Widgets

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Metropolis Post

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

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Aerial Filmworks

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