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Kodak 7231-7222 Quality


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#1 Rodrigo Silvestri

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 08:20 PM

Hi. I am a film student from Argentina.
This year, on July, we get from the film school 200ft of Kodak 7231 or 7222 film and a Bolex H16 camera to make a short movie. We have 3 days to do it and give the film back so they process and transfer it (to DVCAM).
As the story we are going to shoot is not an easy production, I'd like to buy more film so we can do at least 3 takes of every shot.
I'd like, also, to send the film for processing myself, because in the school they let the cans in a shelf until they get a minimum number to send to the lab (that can be weeks).
I also want to do a 1K or 2K scan of that film, so I can edit it in a better quality.

Today, I called the school to ask about that. The man who answered the phone is an old professor who is very old fashioned. He told me that the film is property of the school and that I don't need to send the film to process because they pay that for us. So I told him about the scan and he said that it wouldn't be worth it because:
1) The quality of those films is too low, even lower than video (MiniDV PAL is what we use here), so I won't get a better thing doing an HD scan.
2) As its quality is lower, the scanner "will not have information to scan", and it will generate a kind of "rain" (like noise) or something similar.

2 more important things to take into account:
I am getting a special price from a postproduction house for the scan, it'll not be so expensive.
We might be able to film with an Arri 16SR instead of the Bolex.
--

So I want your opinion about this...
Would "being three weeks in a storey at ~20ºC/70ºF" mean a great loss of quality?


Thanks,
Rodrigo
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#2 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 08:37 PM

Hi. I am a film student from Argentina.
This year, on July, we get from the film school 200ft of Kodak 7231 or 7222 film and a Bolex H16 camera to make a short movie. We have 3 days to do it and give the film back so they process and transfer it (to DVCAM).

2 more important things to take into account:
I am getting a special price from a postproduction house for the scan, it'll not be so expensive.
We might be able to film with an Arri 16SR instead of the Bolex.
So I want your opinion about this...
Would "being three weeks in a storey at ~20ºC/70ºF" mean a great loss of quality?


1) I would imagine that they are trying to get you to think about your shoot, the less film you shoot to tell a story the more care you need to take. Some places ask students to "tell a story" using one super 8 Cartriges with no editing posible.

2) PLus x and Double X are a somewhat more grainy than the modern colur films. (they date for the middle of the 20th century after all) The resoultion would be as good as PAL (or probaly better) although the gray scale would be far better than any Video. Again I wonder if they are giving you an assignment with constraints to push you to think.

3 I would guess tahn even a couple of months at room temperature would not made a change on eiother of those stocks that could be detected without a densitometer. you don't want to keep them in the trunk of a car in the summer sun.
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#3 Rodrigo Silvestri

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 09:19 PM

1) I would imagine that they are trying to get you to think about your shoot, the less film you shoot to tell a story the more care you need to take. Some places ask students to "tell a story" using one super 8 Cartriges with no editing posible.

We have 2 kinds of excersises... Some of them are like "practical works" and we have a specific task (like to do a short in 1 shot without moving the camera, or do a short with flashbacks and flashforwards, etc), and the others are just to write a good script (using or not the tools that we learnt before). I told the professor of the "main" signature about buying more film and all that, and he had no problem.
So I'm sure that it's not because of that.

And thanks for the other info! I'll take it into account.

Rodrigo
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#4 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 02:55 AM

Both 7231 and 7222 far surpass any standard definition video and if properly shot make the basis for a very good 2K scan or either a 16mm print or a 16mm > 35mm optical blowup.

B+W stocks store very well on the shelf and a few weeks will do no harm.

I am negative cutting a short film that I am making right now for a 16mm print finish which is 7231 and 7222 and all I can say about the quality of the print is that is much better than video in every aspect.

-Rob-

Plua an estar print might last a millenium or more, not bronze but pretty good......
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 08:41 AM

I wouldn't be surprised is the professor's "Rain like" was just grain, which would be more apparent scanned @ HD and shown at SD as opposed to telecined/shown @ SD.
That at least had been my experience off of the Spirit Datacine. . .Though I still don't "get," why. I've been meaning to ask, though.
And film has no inherent "quality," inasmuch as you can scan/telecine at many different levels of quality. Your film, if properly exposed will look fantastic in HD.

You know, I had the same project in my Filmmaking class, with the same cameras!
We had one kid, I recall, who shot sync on an Aaton XTR, and the quote the professor;

"I would have passed you, even though you didn't do the assignment, if you had pulled it off. But you didn't."

So keep in mind, when shooting for grades, it's fine to break the rules, but when you do, make sure your end product is all the better for it!
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#6 Rodrigo Silvestri

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 01:26 PM

So keep in mind, when shooting for grades, it's fine to break the rules, but when you do, make sure your end product is all the better for it!


We know a lot about that... Fortunately I have a great group (one of the bests at the school, not joking, some people even tells us), and all the ideas are first thought for passing the assignment, and then we create over that.
In this case, our assignment is to make our first short with film, to expose correctly and to make something nice. Professors recommend us things about the script and make sure that we are going to be able to do it.
I hope this man who I talked to decides to allow us to have the film for scanning and/or processing (now I'm not so interested about the process, but yes about the scanning).

I have some new questions which I'll post in another topic.

Thanks,
Rodrigo
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#7 Marc Roessler

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 06:16 AM

If you get a good deal for the scan, have it scanned. It will be worth it.

I just shot a short film on 7231 and had it scanned in 2K (DPX files). I would absolutely do it again:
- you get all the texture from the grain, which I think looks beautiful. Telecine rather smooths it all up, and you will loose quite a bit of the character of the emulsion
- you can still tweak the image, much more than with the telecined image
- you can grab any image from your scan and use it for promotional stills
- if you decide that the film is worth it, it is a nice way to go to a 35mm neg - in case you get a good deal on that as well
- you can do HD/Bluray DVDs, which is what I would try to keep as an option for ALL future projects from now
- you can have a DCP (Digital Cinema Package) made... prices depend on your personal connections, from zero to $$$

Make sure you have the keycodes in the DPX file headers as metadata, then you can use the
material for doing a cut you can do negative cutting against, _and_ as a basis for digital formats.
(That is, if you scan the complete material, i.e. before doing any negative cutting)

Regards, Marc.
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#8 Rodrigo Silvestri

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 06:07 PM

I just shot a short film on 7231 and had it scanned in 2K (DPX files).

Any way you can give me 1 frame of that (DPX)? I want to try to match a color file (i.e. a 4K DPX from projectred.net) to a B&W file.

Make sure you have the keycodes in the DPX file headers as metadata, then you can use the
material for doing a cut you can do negative cutting against, _and_ as a basis for digital formats.
(That is, if you scan the complete material, i.e. before doing any negative cutting)


Those 200ft given by the school must be returned to the school, we cannot cut anything, so I just
I talked with the man of the company that would do the scan. He told me to make a transfer first, edit offline, and then go with an EDL so we can scan only the parts that are being used in order to reduce the size of the scan.
Does anyone know how to do this? I mean... how to make a useful EDL so it's easier to do the scan?
How much space would 10 mins of 2K DPX take? (24fps).

Thanks,
Rodrigo
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#9 Mike Lary

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 07:27 PM

Does anyone know how to do this? I mean... how to make a useful EDL so it's easier to do the scan?


You can export an EDL from Avid using the EDL Manager. I'm not sure how to do it in other apps. The EDL is a data file that lists the code for in/out points on the timeline. You edit your dailies, then export an EDL of your final edited version and hand it off to the telecine house. Then they dump only the parts you need to tape. Another way is to do a flat HD scan to tape, edit and dump your EDL, then the colorist can do a tape-to-tape transfer of the parts you need. Both of those methods take extra time, though, back and forth between you and the lab. You might consider just getting a flat HD scan of the whole project so you can edit and fine tune the image in post (if you have access to good post tools).

Your project sounds like one I had to do freshman year. We had one spool of black and white reversal and we had to shoot a film by only editing in-camera. It was a great exercise because I had to preplan every shot and triple check everything to make sure I didn't screw anything up. That project worked out better than the first project that I had the opportunity to shoot multiple takes on because it forced me to edit before shooting. Personally, I'd save my $$ for a project where you have more than three days to shoot, where your production value will be higher, and where you'll have plenty of planning time, before throwing money on a 2K scan.

Good luck whatever you decide to do.
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#10 Ernesto Martínez Bucio

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 06:07 PM

Rodrigo.

Did you ever watch THE FOLLOWING? It's the first Christopher Nolan's film and was made with a BOLEX and in weekends.

Take things step by step. We don't know. Maybe one day you will be shooting BATMAN...
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