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I want the 2:1 Anamorphic look for a Short Film


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#1 Ocean Zen

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 05:51 PM

I've written a script, and am starting to get the ball rolling for making a 10 min short set in London, that will take place largely on the underground.

I love the anamorphic look i.e. using 2:1 squeeze camera lenses, and I think a wide anamorphic lens will be particularly suited to shooting in narrow tunnels (Underground)

So, considering this will be a low budget short, (don't have a budget yet)
If you were shooting with anamorphic lenses would you shoot on 16mm, Red, HD? Is it even practical to shoot on 35mm for a short, does it ever happen?

Are there packages in London to rent like 16mm with anamorphic lenses, or do these not really exist, except for modded lenses/packages.


Thanks,


Ocean Zen

If anyone is interested in my 1st short film, also shot in a tunnel (with a Canon hv20) - Check it out here
View on Vimeo
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 05:59 PM

Anamorphic has been discussed here many times, search for it and find out all about anamorphic 16.
I'd recommend 35mm if you can afford it. Yes, shorts are shot on all formats. Real anamorphic lenses might be a problem inasmuch as light is concerned. . .
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#3 Antonio Cisneros

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 06:14 PM

Hey Ocean

Well anamorphic is a tricky thing. I've experimented with this format on 16mm and I would say to avoid it sadly unless you can get a set of lenses under 40mm (there are a few zooms). That's expensive and rare. Basically the widest you should go in anamorphic a 40mm on a 4perf 35 camera. A 40mm on 16mm is an 80mm. Shooting anamorphic on 16mm would mean your entire movie would be shot with long lenses. It's very limiting and hard to work with. As well the actual aspect ratio isn't true 2:35. When I tried an anamorphic on a regular 16mm camera it was a 2:66 ratio which just looks weird. On super 16mm I know it's a 3:1 ratio of some kind but I've never experimented with it. I know the award winning short "The Blue Dress" was shot super 16mm on anamorphic but they had to zoom into the 3:1 ratio to get a 2:35. Plus you have to get a special view finder for your 16mm camera which is costly. All in all you should just shoot 35mm because it doesn't save that much money to shoot anamorphic on 16.

But there is hope. The way to fake it well is just shoot super 16mm and matt it down to 2:35 and always have a streak 1 filter on. It looks good.

If you want to shoot the Red "word on the street" is Lomo anamorphic Russian lenses in 2K. I don't know much about this but you can easily look it up on other forums

Shooting 35mm for a short happens all the time. "Sikumi" which won best short at Sundance last year was a 35mm anamorphic short. Hope this helps and let me know if you're looking for a shooter. I love to shoot in that format.

best of luck
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#4 Ocean Zen

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 06:27 PM

Thanks mate - I'm going to check out those shorts in a minute - EDIT - looks like they'er only available in theatres at the mo'

I suppose it comes down to budget, ideally I'd shoot 35mm anamorphic - if not 35mm, then using anamorphics on a digital cam with 35mm size sensor like the red sounds like a good option. Thanks for your help.

Edited by Ocean Zen, 11 August 2008 - 06:32 PM.

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#5 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 07:38 PM

One of the advantages in shooting 35mm 4 perf 'scope is that it is a tried and true workflow. There shouldn't be any surprises-- and it will look exactly like 35mm 'scope because it is. If you ever want to make a projectable print it is a straightforward contact print, no funny business. You may be able to rent older equipment to save on rental costs and short ends (if they work for your project) can be very cheap.

I rent my Russian anamorphic packages very inexpensively, maybe you can find someone in your neck of the woods with something low cost.

There was a commercial shot on a RED with Russian Lomo anamorphics floating around that people seemed to like, you can probably find it in the archives.

Good luck!

Bruce Taylor
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#6 Paul Bruening

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 09:09 AM

Hey Bruce,

What's wrong with 2-perf? Why can't we seem to get anyone to see the merits of it? Is it a status thing? Is it just not cool enough? The occasional objections that come up are usually ill-considered or apply to circumstances that 2-perf isn't appropriate for anyway. I don't get it. Could it be a simple bandwagon thing? You know, it's not used because nobody's already using it?
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#7 Freya Black

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 10:50 AM

Hey Bruce,

What's wrong with 2-perf? Why can't we seem to get anyone to see the merits of it? Is it a status thing? Is it just not cool enough? The occasional objections that come up are usually ill-considered or apply to circumstances that 2-perf isn't appropriate for anyway. I don't get it. Could it be a simple bandwagon thing? You know, it's not used because nobody's already using it?


Actually I think 2 perf would work a lot better for this application.

I may have the wrong end of the stick but "shooting a low budget short" and "On the underground" don't really go together, so I assume you are hoping to gun and run it without anyone noticing, in which case you really don't want to be shooting Anamorphic.

For starters the lenses are big and bulky and so will be a problem.

Secondly you will be shooting in low light and will need a really talented focus puller, assuming theres enough light at all.

2 perf would reduce these problems a fair bit but actually for this application I would suggest S16 is the way to go and you want to be looking at a small S16 camera so that you don't get noticed hauling it in and out of there. I would suggest an A-minima or and Iconoscop A-Cam might better fit this application.

Unless you really are going to sort out the permits etc???

love

Freya
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#8 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 10:52 AM

Ive seen plenty of 35mm anamorphic shorts. I've just finished shooting one in London so it's certainly possible it just depends on the availability of anamorphic lenses at the time of your shoot.
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#9 John Holland

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 11:01 AM

So Stephen did you go Panavision ? john
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#10 Freya Black

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 11:10 AM

Thanks mate - I'm going to check out those shorts in a minute - EDIT - looks like they'er only available in theatres at the mo'

I suppose it comes down to budget, ideally I'd shoot 35mm anamorphic - if not 35mm, then using anamorphics on a digital cam with 35mm size sensor like the red sounds like a good option. Thanks for your help.


This doesn't makes sense to me as your still going to end up with a wider picture than normal scope and will have to crop it... I think that most of the people experimenting with anamorphics on red were trying to get the look of anamorphic lenses more than getting the aspect ratio which they could do just by cropping the image from the red anyway. In fact I was under the impression that the red had built in support for a number of aspect ratios out of the box, not sure exactly what however.

However I suspect even the red might be a bit obvious but it might be more borderline.
You really want something you can stuff in and out of an ordinary looking bag I reckon.

A-Minima seems the thing.

love

Freya
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#11 John Sprung

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 12:16 PM

Given that this is a noisy environment (subway), you might well get away with using a two perf Arri IIC, and looping all your dialogue. A lot of "spaghetti westerns" were made exactly that way.



-- J.S.
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#12 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 05:49 PM

So Stephen did you go Panavision ? john


Yep. I've used PV for years as an assistant and operator but always went with Arri as a DP so this was a first for me. They gave me everything i asked for, and managed to fit it into the budget the producer was working with. Platinum with full set of Primo anamorphics, rounded out with a few C-series for the longer lenses. The Primo's worked out very well. Should see rushes soon so ill post a thread with some frame grabs. Very impressed with how supportive PV were.
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#13 K Borowski

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 06:20 PM

Hey Bruce,

What's wrong with 2-perf? Why can't we seem to get anyone to see the merits of it? Is it a status thing? Is it just not cool enough? The occasional objections that come up are usually ill-considered or apply to circumstances that 2-perf isn't appropriate for anyway. I don't get it. Could it be a simple bandwagon thing? You know, it's not used because nobody's already using it?


Is it really surprising that human beings move in packs? Look at even how S8 is not accepted. Even regular 16 these days is ostracized.

2-perf's disadvantages are still there; it really is a limited playing field, and it's only really becoming reaccepted for DI films. Maybe he doesn't want to do a DI, perfectly understandable with a short film.
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#14 Ocean Zen

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 06:53 PM

Tjanks for all the replies. When I said I like the look of 2:1 anamorphic I meant the actual squeeze characteristics of the lenses not just the scope aspect ratio, so 2perf is not what I'm interested in. I an lookin to get a real budget. When I said low budget I suppose I really meant in comparison to features, so yes I will also be seeking permission to film on the tube.

There is not much dialogue in the underground sections so I will happily do the sound in post. Also I think anamorphic lenses tend to need more light right ? So hopefully with permission we can get some lights down there.

Thanks for your help guys and girls
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#15 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 07:10 PM

2-perf's disadvantages are still there; it really is a limited playing field, and it's only really becoming reaccepted for DI films. Maybe he doesn't want to do a DI, perfectly understandable with a short film.


It sounded to me as though there would be no DI, unless there was a film-out.

"If you were shooting with anamorphic lenses would you shoot on 16mm, Red, HD? Is it even practical to shoot on 35mm for a short, does it ever happen?"

So 2 perf wouldn't be any different from S16, 16mm or RED or whatever, as those formats would require expensive manipulation for a film out if there was one. Film-out or not, 2 perf is much the same as 16mm, S16, 3 perf 35mm or Super35mm these days, as none of them can be contact printed to 4 perf 35mm.

I suggested looking into std 4 perf 35mm anamorphic because it sounded as though Ocean wanted the anamorphic artifacts, which would not occur with 2 perf as it's a "flat" format.

Bruce Taylor
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#16 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 07:19 PM

Hey Bruce,

What's wrong with 2-perf? Why can't we seem to get anyone to see the merits of it? Is it a status thing? Is it just not cool enough? The occasional objections that come up are usually ill-considered or apply to circumstances that 2-perf isn't appropriate for anyway. I don't get it. Could it be a simple bandwagon thing? You know, it's not used because nobody's already using it?


Paul,

I think it's the "not used because nobody's already using it" thing. I think it makes more sense than ever, especially for very small budget films. I've got to guess that people are still stuck in the "has to be optically printed," expensive post, frame of mind. That's only the case when you're going for a 4 perf projectable print, and how many independents deliver that these days?

I guess we should remember how many years it took before Super 16 became a mainstream format.

Bruce
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#17 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 11:24 PM

Ocean Zen.....IF that IS your real name. I wanted to do the same thing, shoot 16 anamorphic just to screw with so i didn't waste expensive 35 and so the students at Del Norte' could try anamorphic. What I came up with was front anamorphic elements. Old Delft made the VistaScope lens attachment which was the small format version of their Delrama Cinemascope system. They came in 8mm and 16mm. It is a prism based anamorphic lens attachment. The 16mm came in 2 versions, 1.5 and 2x which are nearly IMPOSSIBLE to find.

Kowa also made a front element anamorphic lens attachment that will work on 16mm. I JUST saw one sell on ebay last week. (didn't have the cash to get it otherwise I would have bid) Of course you could just frame for anamorphic if you don't mind a little grain and soft focus. It might actually work with vision 2 or 3 daylight film. B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 12 August 2008 - 11:27 PM.

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#18 Freya Black

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 03:16 AM

Tjanks for all the replies. When I said I like the look of 2:1 anamorphic I meant the actual squeeze characteristics of the lenses not just the scope aspect ratio, so 2perf is not what I'm interested in. I an lookin to get a real budget. When I said low budget I suppose I really meant in comparison to features, so yes I will also be seeking permission to film on the tube.

There is not much dialogue in the underground sections so I will happily do the sound in post. Also I think anamorphic lenses tend to need more light right ? So hopefully with permission we can get some lights down there.

Thanks for your help guys and girls


Wow that's preety incredible! I think you should definitely try and shoot it on 4 perf Anamorphic then, as it seems a waste to skimp on such an incredible opportunity and most of the other anamorphic options come with some serious built in issues that aren't worth messing with when you have such a chance. Just shoot 4 perf Anamorphic, it will look amazing.

If you have platform scenes, you can of course film at Aldwych, which being a dissused station should present no problems with extra lights etc and I'm guessing will be quiet enough to shoot synch sound while still having some natural background sounds and ambience built in. :)

If you get the opportunity to shoot on real trains, then I suspect you won't be allowed to use a tripod, so you will need to go handheld or steadicam, so you will almost certainly need a very lightweight 35mm cam for those scenes, so thats something you need to look into.

Lighting could be an issue on the trains too but you can basically just buy in a load of the new Vision 3 filmstock and push it to 800ASA or even 1000ASA. It will increase grain a bit but if you are shooting 35mm anamorphic then that will help compensate. A few people here have said they have had preety great results doing this even when not shooting anamorphic.

Maybe you can even run trains after hours or something, I guess it depends what kind of a deal you can make with London Underground! If so then you can probably use a tripod and all kinds of other stuff.

Best of luck with your project and do be sure to post some stills here when you have finished it! :)

love

Freya
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#19 John Brawley

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 04:29 AM

Hey Bruce,

What's wrong with 2-perf? Why can't we seem to get anyone to see the merits of it? Is it a status thing? Is it just not cool enough? The occasional objections that come up are usually ill-considered or apply to circumstances that 2-perf isn't appropriate for anyway. I don't get it. Could it be a simple bandwagon thing? You know, it's not used because nobody's already using it?



It does actually look different. It's not just the aspect ratio of course. Plus it's difficult to actually get your hands on a 2 perf camera and a lot of regular telecine's won't do 2 perf. There's no 2 perf projection either. It's not always that simple. Here in Sydney the cameras cost the same. It's an Arricam or a G2 or Millennium !

That all said, I did a 35mm Anamorphic shoot last year which also just got nominated for an AFI ( tra tra -blow's own trumpet )

I managed to swing a 4K DI on an arriscan and PV were also REALLY REALLY helpful with making it happen for me. It's worth doing if you can, although I was hating it when I was shooting it. But if you like the anamorphic look, there's nothing like it at all. I was back in love again once I got to post.....

jb
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#20 Keith Mottram

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 08:21 AM

if you've got the money, but worried about low light shooting then shoot d21 data mode with anamorphics.
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