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New to 16mm, and looking for stock advice


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#1 Stephen Hargreaves

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 03:04 AM

Hi,

I'm a student and I'm preparing to shoot a short that has been decided will shoot on 16mm. The film consists of a variety of scenes ranging from early morning interior, to late night exteriors. I have shot 16 before, but definitely didn't have much quite the same appreciation and care about the pieces as I now do for this piece. I have seen comparisons between Fuji and Kodak stocks of the same balance and speed, and have to say that I do prefer the look of Kodak, but I am open to any options, especially with regards to pricing, because this is a very low budget production.

I have access to some smaller amounts of short ends of Kodak stock, and I have a couple of cans of Fuji 250T Externa stock kicking around. We are shooting about a 50/50 split of interior, and exterior. Shooting both interior and exterior mornings, afternoons, evenings and nights. I would love some feedback from the gurus here about getting the best bang for my buck!

Thanks for you help,
Stephen
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#2 Rodrigo Silvestri

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 01:06 AM

Hi Stephen.
I am a starting DP but have worked in many shorts as electric or gaffer, and I saw many of the dailies.
I think you should first talk about the look you want. Because if the only info I have is that you're gonna shoot late exteriors and day interiors, I'd just say "I like Kodak Vision3 500T for night exteriors" and "I like Fuji F-400T for daylight, with 85 camera filter".
Answer these questions, once for daylight and once for night:
Saturated/desaturated/pale colors? Which range of colors (clothes, furniture)?
Perfect white? Greenish? Blueish? Yellowish?
Contrasty? Washed-out? Good blacks? Detail in highlights?
Grainy? Clean? Under/overexposed?
Any effects filter? Promist? Star?
Any postproduction FX? Chroma key?
Which final format? HD? Maybe a 35mm blow-up?
Scan? Telecine?

And the list can go on... But I think that is OK for a start...

Rodrigo
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#3 Rodrigo Silvestri

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 01:39 AM

Forgot to mention, that here in Argentina Fuji costs much cheaper than Kodak. And if it is for something that will end up on video, it looks good.
They also have special discounts for students. Maybe you should ask there.

One thing I learnt from Adam Frisch, is that it's good to Always overexpose 16mm 1 stop, so you get rid of the grain (in case you don't need grain).
It will make it look just less grainy, but it doesn't change the colors or levels (if your gray card is 1 stop over, the transfer will then push everything 1 stop down).

One thing I learnt from.. life? Is that you should always shoot tests if you're using stocks that are new to you. I shot a short with 16mm F-400T and it looked underexposed, and too grainy. I then talked to many people who had used that film in 35mm and had no exposure problems. Months later, I talked to the woman in the lab and she told me this:
The sensibility of the film is defined by the place where the curve starts to raise. But it doesn't depend on the film's contrast. So if you have a film rated at 50ASA which latitude is only 1 stop (just inventing), "exposing normally" would make you expose 4 stops over the "start of the curve" (the "zone 5"), and everthing would be overexposed. So, with F-400T, you need to "overexpose" 1 stop if you want your "zone 5" to have the correct density, because it is a low contrast film, and in order to achieve the "medium grey" density you need to overexpose 1 stop.

Rodrigo
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#4 Shubham Kasera

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 01:48 AM

hello
im about to shoot my diploma films
i have shot a few films on 16mm
well for me kodak works when i do need a vivid and colorful look
however if there are more shades of green and brown i like to work with fuji
i recently made a music video with fuji 160T and it worked fine for both exteriors and interiors
however if you are looking to shoot with fuji 160T, i would advice you to overexpose by 1/3rd of a stop when u r interiors and expose correctly for exteriors

i shot 2 films on Kodak 16mm and assisted in a few others recently
Kodak vision 3 500T needs to be overexposed atleast 1/2 stop when you are shooting interiors. i shot with 500T exteriors as well, using 85 filter. i rated it as 250 ASA and it gave me good results

Kodak 50D is also a good stock for exteriors, but it is slightly cooler in color.
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#5 David Rakoczy

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 09:04 AM

See the thread: First Time Shooting Film (s16) Need Stock Advice..

Also get the book FILM LIGHTING by Malkiewicz
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