Jump to content


Photo

How to switch to film cameras


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 Malik Sajid

Malik Sajid
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 130 posts
  • Student
  • Lahore, Pakistan

Posted 16 October 2008 - 04:39 AM

I am studying currently in film/video production. I have always been working on digital dv cameras for my class assignments and term projects. Though i've been into couple of big projects where i was in the team but never actually worked myslef on the film cameras?

How can i switch to film? What should i study?

I just got a manual SLR camera. I will start doing the photography with film negative. Where should i start first? what should i practice? Suggest me please
  • 0

#2 Saul Rodgar

Saul Rodgar
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1682 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 16 October 2008 - 11:42 AM

Try searching the archives. This topic has been discussed before.

If you have a still film camera, try loading it with motion picture film and taking stills at 1/48th of a second to mimic the exposure time at 24 fps motion picture photography. That will give you an idea of how things look on film, how to light and apply some of your video knowledge to the new format.
  • 0

#3 Mike Lary

Mike Lary
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 472 posts
  • Other

Posted 16 October 2008 - 12:04 PM

Learn as much about photography as you can. I found this book extremely valuable: The Photographer's Handbook by John Hedgecoe. It contains a lot of technical information about how film stocks work, filters, processing, the mechanical aspects of cameras, etc. Once you have a strong grasp of photography you can apply it to both film and digital cinematography.
  • 0

#4 Serge Teulon

Serge Teulon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 757 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London UK

Posted 16 October 2008 - 12:21 PM

There are quite a few books as already mentioned. Try Ansel Adams "The Negative".

Also, as Saul mentioned shoot some film with a stills cam but I would shoot at 1/50 shutter.
  • 0

#5 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 16 October 2008 - 12:27 PM

Also be aware that you will screw up, throughout your career. You're supposed to and you're human. Take each screw up and move on, never making the same mistake again.
I am still haunted by a scratch down a whole 400ft load. .. but I learned to tell the sound of a bad load really fast and now will anally check the gate just to make sure nothing's in there!
  • 0

#6 Serge Teulon

Serge Teulon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 757 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London UK

Posted 16 October 2008 - 01:46 PM

Hey Adrian,

What you just said reminded me of a story that occurred many years ago on shoot in the UK.
I won't name names, but a dp over here was so pissed off with his 1st constantly checking the gate after each take, that in the lunch break he stole his 1st's mag lite.
Together with the mag lite, he took a polaroid camera with him to the toilet.
Stuck the mag lite up his arse and took a picture of it.

On returning from lunch and after the first take, the 1st did the usual and stopped to check the gate. He took his mag lite out of his pouch, put it in his mouth and removed the lens. As he was peering at the gate, the dp slid the polaroid in front of his eyes. :blink:

Edited by Serge Teulon, 16 October 2008 - 01:47 PM.

  • 0

#7 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 16 October 2008 - 01:49 PM

Ha! Serge, that's a brilliant way of dealing with it. I don't do it per take, normally per set-up, just to make sure. Unless, for some reason there's nothing else going on.
  • 0

#8 Saul Rodgar

Saul Rodgar
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1682 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 16 October 2008 - 03:34 PM

As he was peering at the gate, the dp slid the polaroid in front of his eyes. :blink:


Serge, that's got to be the most outrageously gross DP on the face of the earth. I could make a variety of crude remarks about it, but I won't.

I gotta ask, what did the AC do after he was shown the pic? Hopefully he got up, knocked a tooth or two out and walked off the set never to come back. . .

Here in the US, it is routine to check the gate after each hero take, but not every regular take. Hell, the AD's or even the director will call for it, as well as the DP. Standard practice, really.

An AC should never be punished for ensuring the gate is clean / doing his job, unless he really is slowing things down or just doing it without the DP's agreement. And if the AC is checking the gate a little to often, a word or two will suffice.

No matter how frustrating it is for a DP to wait for the AC to check the gate when it is called for, it is always better to wait a bit than realizing something was there and no one caught it when it is too late. But I am preaching to the choir.

OK, I'll stop. Yikes. That story really got me going.
  • 0

#9 Allen Achterberg

Allen Achterberg
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 437 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Santa Maria CA

Posted 16 October 2008 - 09:05 PM

Hey Adrian,

What you just said reminded me of a story that occurred many years ago on shoot in the UK.
I won't name names, but a dp over here was so pissed off with his 1st constantly checking the gate after each take, that in the lunch break he stole his 1st's mag lite.
Together with the mag lite, he took a polaroid camera with him to the toilet.
Stuck the mag lite up his arse and took a picture of it.

On returning from lunch and after the first take, the 1st did the usual and stopped to check the gate. He took his mag lite out of his pouch, put it in his mouth and removed the lens. As he was peering at the gate, the dp slid the polaroid in front of his eyes. :blink:


its a good thing you dont name names! Thats really really bad. There are better ways of getting the point across. Maybe the DP just like to put things up his butt. He got satisfaction from it!
  • 0

#10 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 16 October 2008 - 09:07 PM

Well they do say some DPs can be really anal... now we know what that really means :lol:
  • 0

#11 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 16 October 2008 - 10:29 PM

Next time a DP is being difficult I'll have to ask, "What size maglite is up your ass?"
  • 0

#12 Saul Rodgar

Saul Rodgar
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1682 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 16 October 2008 - 11:12 PM

Next time a DP is being difficult I'll have to ask, "What size maglite is up your ass?"


That just made my day!!! :lol:
  • 0

#13 Simon Wyss

Simon Wyss
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1414 posts
  • Other
  • Basel, Switzerland

Posted 17 October 2008 - 04:10 AM

Do not read any books before you have shot film. Jump into the mud ! Get yourself an Eyemo, load it with a roll of Eastman 5234, you can buy this at better labs, throw yourself to the front like a newsreel hero and shooot. You will never ever learn more about filmmaking than with that canned hundred-footer in the hand.
  • 0

#14 Malik Sajid

Malik Sajid
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 130 posts
  • Student
  • Lahore, Pakistan

Posted 17 October 2008 - 04:14 AM

well.............. any AC reading this post would be careful now


anywayz.......where should i start taking pictures? What should i shoot with my still camera? Techniques that would help me working with motion pictures cameras?
  • 0

#15 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 17 October 2008 - 05:23 AM

Shoot whatever. Start with natural light and then try lighting things with lamps you have 'round your house.
Shoot people, places, etc.

Work on framing and exposure to convey an emotion.
  • 0

#16 Luke Haywood

Luke Haywood
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 61 posts
  • Electrician

Posted 17 October 2008 - 05:56 AM

well.............. any AC reading this post would be careful now


anywayz.......where should i start taking pictures? What should i shoot with my still camera? Techniques that would help me working with motion pictures cameras?

Well, as I just got through saying in another post, most of the storytelling skills like framing and composition are pretty universal no matter what sort of camera or medium you're shooting on.
However, you can really only learn lighting with real film, but you don't need a particularly fancy camera or lenses for that.
At first thought you might think that if you can light successfully for video, then it would be even better for film because of its more forgiving exposure latitude, but you usually wind up with dull and lifeless-looking images.
There's no particularly easy or cheap way to learn skills like focus pulling.
  • 0

#17 Serge Teulon

Serge Teulon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 757 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London UK

Posted 19 October 2008 - 11:56 AM

Next time a DP is being difficult I'll have to ask, "What size maglite is up your ass?"



LOL!!!! :lol:


Guys, you are right, it was a horrible thing to do. I must say that initially found it funny as it was so shocking.
I just couldn't believe it.....

Saul - I think the reason why no one backed the AC up was because he was slowing the shoot down with his constant stopping, whilst they were behind schedule. Nevertheless you are right to feel the way you feel about it....

Edited by Serge Teulon, 19 October 2008 - 11:59 AM.

  • 0


Metropolis Post

Paralinx LLC

Opal

Ritter Battery

Tai Audio

Glidecam

rebotnix Technologies

Visual Products

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineTape

Technodolly

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Aerial Filmworks

CineLab

Visual Products

Metropolis Post

Technodolly

Tai Audio

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Paralinx LLC

CineLab

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC