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Super8 Music Video/Pro8 stocks


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#1 KyleRepka

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 12:54 PM

Here's a link to a music video I shot and co-directed with Matt Montemorano last year for Merovingian Music's release of Anthony Hamilton's "Magnolia's Room" on the Southern Comfort album.



I used two cameras--a Nikon R10 and a Nizo 801.
I used the following stocks from Pro8mm:
Fuji Pro8/43 (160T) for most exteriors in the countryside
Fuji Pro8/63 (250D) for the barn studio and photo studio interiors
Kodak Ektachrome Reversal Pro8/85 (100D) for NYC exteriors
Kodak B/W Reversal Pro8/66 for countryside exteriors
I used a warm polarizer for most exteriors and a deep red filter for the B/W film.

Parts of the video seem a bit corny and make me cringe, but overall I'm happy with the way the aesthetics of the super8 images were able to mesh with the nostalgic feeling of the song.

I shot test rolls in preproduction but still faced unexpected jamming and registration problems with the Pro8 Fuji stock. I can't stress enough the importance of testing every stock with every camera at every frame rate. Most Super8 cameras were intended to be used with the Kodak-manufactured emulsions and cartridges available in the 70s and 80s. Fuji negative stock is significantly thicker, thus requiring more torque and steadiness from the pressure plate and pull down claw than many Super8 cameras can offer. My Nikon R10 and Nizo 801 are great cameras, but when I shot at a high frame rate at the beginning of a roll, the registration of that footage and the adjoining footage was jittery and unacceptable. Some footage was unacceptable even if an entire roll was shot at 18fps. At least 3 of the 250D cartridges wouldn't advance, even after I replaced the batteries in the camera. Luckily, with the help of Final Cut 6's "Smooth Cam" feature, we were able to salvage most of the footage. You need to play around with the program for a while to find the right settings, as it can make the footage appear to float and zoom around. We always intended on making the frame of our video smaller and squared, like a projected image, so we could crop the edges a bit.

I've grown tired of the homogenization of Kodak stocks, although the 200T is almost always a safe bet, with great latitude and color reproduction and minimal grain. But if you want a really vibrant and crisp look, try either of the two reversal stocks offered by Spectra and you'll be pleasantly surprised. From my experience, Spectra offers superior cartridges and emulsions with their Velvia 50D and Ektachrome 100D, however my Nikon R10 can't keep the Velvia still, even after I had it serviced. The Velvia's greens are amazing. The Kodak is cooler, has less lattitude and less resolution in the background, but if handled properly, can give exceptional images as well. Remember to use your auto exposure wisely (or just use an external meter) if you're working with strong backlight or tilting from the sky to ground, since you'll have only a few stops of latitude with these stocks.

Pro8 did a fine job with the telecine of "Magnolia's Room", but I've found that Spectra is even better, and their customer service is far friendlier and more helpful.
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#2 Ronney Ross

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 02:47 PM

Thanks for posting Kyle,

Nice shots both the b/w and color is lovely in my opinion. Interesting seems you chose to shoot memory aka flashback stuff in color?

Nice
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#3 Art Leal

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 07:45 PM

Great work Kyle. Not corny at all, great song, nice to see the variety of stocks used. I particularly liked the shots of "Magnolia" in the barn and in the photo studio...the lighting on her looks soft, yet focused. Good to see it's possible with Super 8. I would love to see a Vimeo version or a High Quality version on Youtube. My compliments to you.

Edited by Art Leal, 18 September 2008 - 07:46 PM.

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#4 KyleRepka

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 09:10 PM

Thanks a lot for the feedback. Here's a vimeo link that's higher res.


View on Vimeo
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