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35mm to DI Versus Digital aquisition (Arri D-21)


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#1 Josh White

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 11:34 AM

Hi All,

I am trying to put together some information for an independent production company planning to shoot a feature next year in the UK. The director wants to know what is more cost efficient, shooting with the new Arri D-21 or shooting 35mm 3 or 2 perf and going through a DI. With a shooting ratio of 8:1, 2 cameras on set with the need for more for a few large crowd scenes and a planned 6 week shoot time. There is also some VFX work needed and some quite considerable grading will be required.

Is there any information which gives a side by side comparison of the 2 workflows and their price implications? Or if anyone has sample budgets for both.

All help will be great appreciated.

Thanks
Josh
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#2 Paul Bruening

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 11:47 AM

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change mag,

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change mag,
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#3 Josh White

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 01:13 PM

Well that helps, thanks Paul
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#4 Lance Flores

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 01:22 PM

Hi All,

I am trying to put together some information for an independent production company planning to shoot a feature next year in the UK. The director wants to know what is more cost efficient, shooting with the new Arri D-21 or shooting 35mm 3 or 2 perf and going through a DI. With a shooting ratio of 8:1, 2 cameras on set with the need for more for a few large crowd scenes and a planned 6 week shoot time. There is also some VFX work needed and some quite considerable grading will be required.

Is there any information which gives a side by side comparison of the 2 workflows and their price implications? Or if anyone has sample budgets for both.

All help will be great appreciated.

Thanks
Josh


Hardly enough information to make a recommendation. Like .. I need to drive to L.A.; from where? Okay how about one of the BMW sports model cars. Didn't work? You didn't mention you were taking a family of 6 and the two family pets.

First of all what is your responsibility to the Director or he to you? Sounds like he has limited experience. There are a lot of experts available and I would recommend looking at the experience of the people you taking advice. If your Director doesn't understand digital and your team doesn't have experience in digital cinema, then the absolute answer is to shoot film even if you expect to average that many takes. If you can find a team then you should consider digital cinema. Depends what your goal and intermediate objectives are specified.

I initially was going to shoot our BMM project 2 perf. After evaluating our long term goals and available (and emerging) technologies, decided on a 4K 4:4:4 acquisition and designed a highly optimized workflow to accommodate the process from acquisition to film print-ready and watermarked 4K Digital Cinema delivery. If you have access to such a work flow that this is well worth considering. If you can?t get a work flow that substantially more efficient than film then you should use film, though 2 perf may not be your optimum format, and just a fantasy shoot. Don?t know what your goal specification.

I depend on my well experienced cinematography team and my own extensive technology experience to make the call for our visual rendering of the production guided by the specifications set for optimum production value and budget. It is the story and the effective interpretation, performance and rendering of the story that is important. Visual capture and manipulation is an important part, but still, only a part. Present a comprehensive list of your objectives and find the expertise, some you may find here, then go with your decision and don?t look back.
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#5 Josh White

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 02:17 PM

Thanks Lance,

Obviously the project is still in early development and budgets are wanting to be ironed out before the distributor will have a look. The DP and crew that is chosen will be chosen for their knowledge in the route we take. What we are initially trying to find out is the cost benefits of one or other of the formats. or if they work out about even. As we are going to a DI anyway is it a benefit to go straight to digital.
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#6 K Borowski

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 12:31 PM

Hi All,

I am trying to put together some information for an independent production company planning to shoot a feature next year in the UK. The director wants to know what is more cost efficient, shooting with the new Arri D-21 or shooting 35mm 3 or 2 perf and going through a DI. With a shooting ratio of 8:1, 2 cameras on set with the need for more for a few large crowd scenes and a planned 6 week shoot time. There is also some VFX work needed and some quite considerable grading will be required.

Is there any information which gives a side by side comparison of the 2 workflows and their price implications? Or if anyone has sample budgets for both.

All help will be great appreciated.

Thanks
Josh


I'm not going to delve into workflow details, as I am not really an editor; that's not why I got involved in filmmaking anyway.

Aesthetically, there is something about film that no other media has. The way it renders color is organic, natural. It doesn't clip highlights, blowing out, but it doesn't have as much of a view into the shadows.

Despite the fact that I am a film guy, I happen to hate what a lot of people like film for: grain. Grain, to me, is the enemy. And all of the nice aesthetic features of film are somewhat to severely lessened by a DI.

So do you really need a DI for your whole film? It can still be cheaper to finish optically, even with some FX work, unless 90% or so of your movie is shot in front of a greenscreen.

What I think you need to be asking yourself is "Why is workflow taking precedent over the aesthetic considerations of this production?" And armchair internet experts can't determine which is best for your particular situation. You need to go out, test, and find out which is best for you, for your situation *yourself*.

Talk is cheap, but tests can and do speak for themselves and make making informed decisions so much easier. Good luck.
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#7 Keith Mottram

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 01:18 PM

the d21 is the most film like camera i have seen, filmout tests to me do not look different to a high quality 2k scan of 100 asa footage. the cliping is better when it clips. and the lattitude means that a good dp should be able to sort that out. if you haven't worked with the d21 then you shouldn't right it off.
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