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RED replacing 35mm killing 8mm


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#1 jason duncan

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 03:36 PM

I'm sure you all have heard about the new Red digital video camera that is supposed to match the res of film. Does this spell certain Death for Super 8? Because if this kills 35mm, how is 8mm going to survive?
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#2 Richard Boddington

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 03:41 PM

No video format has succeeded in killing off even 8mm, so I would not worry about 35mm. It will be around for a very long time.

R,
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#3 Matthew Buick

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 04:39 PM

BAH! If any recent digital camcorder were going to kill of Super 8 the Canon HV20/30 would have done it. It's a terrific camera, but it doesn't hold a candle to it's daddy (814XL-S). :P
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#4 Nate Downes

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 05:32 PM

I'm sure you all have heard about the new Red digital video camera that is supposed to match the res of film. Does this spell certain Death for Super 8? Because if this kills 35mm, how is 8mm going to survive?

I laugh when I hear that statement, "match the res of film." Movies are not about pixels, resolution or any of the sort. It is about the look and feel you want. RED offers one look, one radically different from Super8, 35mm, or any other filmstock. RED no more kills off Film than 1" videotape did. Film is not a fixed standard, it grows, matures, changes over time. RED might not, say, match EXR stocks from the 1990's, but it might not hold up to Vision3. And if RED did match Vision3, well, Kodak's developing new stocks... who knows where film will be in 10 years. And that is the investment. RED, in 10 years, it will be a paperweight. Film cameras, still churning along, likely running something like Vision5 or some such. And all of us here in camera-land are better for it.
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#5 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 06:32 PM

I'm sure you all have heard about the new Red digital video camera that is supposed to match the res of film. Does this spell certain Death for Super 8? Because if this kills 35mm, how is 8mm going to survive?



Red? What is Red?! Never heard of that... is it something new and yumee and comes in different flavours, replacing oil, sunscreen and the government all in one?


(Gosh, since I was in LA last months, I am addicted to Jelly Belly which I had there for the first time, me innocent European human... yum!)




P.S.: I cannot believe that Red contaminated the Super 8 subforum as well, now. I thought this place would be save from the ludicrous marketing machinery, but no, I was wrong...
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#6 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 01:24 AM

RED has killed film the same way video-only cameramen have displaced film-AND-video trained cinematographers . . .

Not at all.
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#7 alex mitchell

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 03:26 AM

Oh this is going to give me trouble but I'm going to say it any way: there is no reason to shoot Super 8 except for the quaint aesthetic that it provides, unless you're trying to learn film cinematography basics at a cheap price. Anyone that shoots Super 8 now or in the future does so because they prefer something about the untamed and imperfect look that isn't easy to duplicate digitally. People like Super 8 because it's a challenging format and because it looks bad, but in a way that a lot of people like.

Just... We should really cut this adversarial bullshit. The guys saying that film is dead really ought to try working with film for a little bit, and all the cronies in the film camp should try shooting on a Red. There's a lot to learn from both disciplines.
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#8 Kristian Schumacher

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 11:10 AM

I am not sure if Jason is just pulling our legs (and he probably is...:-) but if not, it seems very strange to start worrying about the death of 8mm now, and not 15 years ago. I think one of the main attractions to 8mm is that it is a retro-thing, which gives you a 60s-70s feeling when you watch it. I don't think many people shoot 8mm because they want the best detail, sharpness (or "resolution"haha...) possible in the motion picture world..


P.S. I think VHS actually killed 8mm a long time ago as a home movie format. And just like Ford's Model T died a long time ago - it still turns my head and warms my heart whenever I see one still running....

Kristian
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#9 Mark Dunn

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 11:36 AM

I shot what I expect was my last Super-8 in 2001. If K40 were still around I'd still make the occasional film. 16mm. is just too expensive, Steenbeck or no.
I don't shoot video instead. The medium IS the message here; I just like film. It's that simple.
Super-8 doesn't compete with 35mm. in any way, so whatever the RED camera does is of as little relevance.
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#10 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 11:57 AM

Just... We should really cut this adversarial bullshit. The guys saying that film is dead really ought to try working with film for a little bit, and all the cronies in the film camp should try shooting on a Red. There's a lot to learn from both disciplines.


I agree. Personally, I shoot with whatever the producers decide to use. I appreciate them both for what they are, and try to master both mediums. But there are a lot of people who have been too quick to dismiss film as obsolete when they haven't even used it, and viceversa. Some of these video only peeps I know who call themselves DP's (as opposed to video DP's or videographers) go even as far as trying to get film jobs. Which just boggles the mind. They are two different things. One can move to video from film a lot easier than the other way around. Different skill set. Like learning to drive automatic cars and one fine day deciding to drive stick shift. The ride is going to get suddenly very bumpy.
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#11 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 12:30 PM

Oh this is going to give me trouble but I'm going to say it any way: there is no reason to shoot Super 8 except for the quaint aesthetic that it provides, unless you're trying to learn film cinematography basics at a cheap price. Anyone that shoots Super 8 now or in the future does so because they prefer something about the untamed and imperfect look that isn't easy to duplicate digitally. People like Super 8 because it's a challenging format and because it looks bad, but in a way that a lot of people like.


Alex, you come onto the Super 8 subforum with a remark like that? Everything about this quote above is crap. Let's analyze it for a second: 1) Super 8 is not a way to learn Cinematography at a cheap price. As some have pointed out, S8 can often be more expensive to work with then 16mm, especially given the lack of recan or short end options. 2) Although Super 8 does have a look that cannot be duplicated digitally, I wouldnt refer to the look as "imperfect." It has all the strengths that it's bigger brothers have except the increase in resolution. 3) Super 8 is somewhat challenging to work with if you compare it to shooting digitally. Then again, 16mm and 35mm are more challenging to work with then digital too if you are referring to someone who isn't trained in any form of Cinematography. Film, no matter what size, forcing you to think about your shots carefully, it even improves your sound quality too because it forces you to get a seperate sound device. My first ever short film was shot on an XL2 and the audio was terrible because I used the built in prosumer audio. My Super 8 films have crisp and wonderful audio now that I use a seperate audio device intended for the purpose of just recording clean audio.

I really take offense to your remark that Super 8 looks bad in a way that a lot of people like. What is bad? Is it bad to have such a beautifully smooth amount of dynamic range in such a small amount of resolution? Problem with digital fanboys is, and always has been, that they can only quantify two things...resolution and color depth. In reality, there is so much more that you're missing. And for that, I would say that RED is still light years behind Super 8 film ;)
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#12 Paul Bruening

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 01:32 PM

1) Super 8 is not a way to learn Cinematography at a cheap price. As some have pointed out, S8 can often be more expensive to work with then 16mm, especially given the lack of recan or short end options.

I just had another completely stupid idea that I MUST share with you, Matthew. Use a nice but cheap camera like a Mitchell. Get one with the switchable frame/gate. Have four or so gate plates cut. Roll 35mm short ends through multiple times with a different S8 gate on each pass. Yea, you couldn't open the hatch, ever. But, jeeze, how many S8 passes could you squeeze onto that 35mm horizontal dimension? What's the measurements on S8? Will it's vertical fit into a 1-perf, 35mm pulldown? Do the evil DI on each 35mm frame and let PS or AE do the chop-down and filing on the 16 frames or whatever of S8.

Damn, that feels crazy. Could it work, though? If it could take the low cost of short-ends and cut it by 1/16th per frame... I don't know...
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#13 K Borowski

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 06:26 PM

1) Super 8 is not a way to learn Cinematography at a cheap price. As some have pointed out, S8 can often be more expensive to work with then 16mm, especially given the lack of recan or short end options.

I just had another completely stupid idea that I MUST share with you, Matthew. Use a nice but cheap camera like a Mitchell. Get one with the switchable frame/gate. Have four or so gate plates cut. Roll 35mm short ends through multiple times with a different S8 gate on each pass. Yea, you couldn't open the hatch, ever. But, jeeze, how many S8 passes could you squeeze onto that 35mm horizontal dimension? What's the measurements on S8? Will it's vertical fit into a 1-perf, 35mm pulldown? Do the evil DI on each 35mm frame and let PS or AE do the chop-down and filing on the 16 frames or whatever of S8.

Damn, that feels crazy. Could it work, though? If it could take the low cost of short-ends and cut it by 1/16th per frame... I don't know...


Actually Paul, that was done, quite successfully, in the brief era of Super8 release prints of commercial and educational films before the market switched to video.

You can actually fit four rows of S8, I think that is with regular 35mm perforations along each side. I don't think you could get it cut and perforated right these days, but as an acquisition medium, if you somehow solved the registration issues, it's doable.

But again, you keep treating digital like some magical, free, medium. If anything, it's a great sword, if you can get it out of the friggin' stone. Excalibur is unbeatable then. . . and only then.

You are thinking too big. Double Super 8 is the solution to all of these S8 lab hassles everyone has. Cameras are reliable Bolexes, and, with a large enough minimum order, you can get any stock perfed for DS8 (10,000 feet).

Your stock costs are 1/4, as would be your telecine costs, if you could solve the problem with having frames running each way down the film and having four per 16mm frame. This at least is realistic, maybe even very realistic, if someone'd write some software, ahem ahem Paul.

DS8 really is proportionally and practically, except when it comes to scanning until someone writes clever software, the cheapest medium available in the film world.

I'm really surprised more people aren't using it!

To paraphrase from the movie "Black Rain" "Here's to the [RED company]: fu** 'em."
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#14 Robert Hughes

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 08:28 PM

Video's great - it has a steady image, it can run reliably in auto mode, and you can see what you've got immediately. It works very well if you control the light or have low contrast such as cloudy weather.

Film's great - it has a classic look, you can dial in the exposure for effect, and watching your dailies is like Christmas all over again. It works very well if you have uncontrolled lighting such as outdoors in sunny weather.

Fish or foul? Yes... :rolleyes:
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#15 Paul Bruening

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 03:24 PM

Hey Matthew,

I couldn't leave this 4-pass S8 thing alone. I'm thinking of calling it Crazy8 (C8). I think the Mitchell NC would be cheapest to convert to 1-perf pull down and some models already have the switchable frame plate mount. The two pin registration would keep that S8 image steady. As you know, few S8 cameras keep rock solid registration.

I did the frame measurements and S8 jambs into a 35mm horizontal 4 times without any room to spare. Those gates would have to be cut slightly narrower than standard S8, but not by much. The S8 frame fits into 35mm's 1-perf pull-down with no trouble.

Here's some of the costs and math involved:

Given that you could get 200' short ends of decent quality stock at not even great bargains (0.12/ft buy and 0.10/foot process) you'd pay $44.00 per roll for buy/process, not counting shipping.

A 200' SE lasts 2min. 13sec. in a 4-perf pull-down. It would last 16 times that in a crazy8. 2min. 13sec. = 133sec. 133sec. x 16 = 2128sec. 2128sec. / 60sec. = 35.5min. run time per roll. (of course, some small amount of that will be wasted when the roll is rewound for the next pass.)

35mm frame at the above figures costs $0.01375 per finished frame. Divide that by 16 and the per frame bought and processed cost is $0.000859375 per frame.

Let's say you got an Arriscan of the 35mm frame at $0.50/scan and let PS or AE macro do the chop and file. .50 / 16 = $0.03125/frame. That gives you an approximately 1.5K wide x 1K tall DI per frame. If you snagged a $0.30 6K scan, $0.01875/frame cost.

Even at $.50 per scan a 173,000 frame, 2 hour feature would cost $5,406.25 for the 1.5K DI (not counting waste from handles and un-needed S8 frames grabbed with the needed). *The math of dividing 35mm scan costs are quirky since not all of the S8 frames in each 35mm frame would be needed. Some sort of 4K datacine of all the footage might be better*

The cost of 10:1 shooting ratio in C8 on a 2 hour feature comes out to a general budget of 40 rolls of 35mm, 200' SE. At $44.00 per roll = $1,760.00 to buy and process (not counting shipping).

You can sometimes get better bargains on film and lab, but the resolution of a S8 frame demands buying the freshest stock. V3 would probably do great in a S8 framing.

A last benefit to Crazy8 is that you have more stocks to choose from. Well, and an almost 3 hour run time from a 1,000' roll.



Crazy, baby! Crazy8.
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