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Need help choosing a film stock (with screen grabs)


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#1 Luke Hill

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 07:14 PM

Hello everyone. Well, I finally got a 16mm camera and before I can do any test shots, I've got to decide on a film stock - there's a particular look I'm going for - one that's a bit 'older' looking in terms of color reproduction and grain (more of it).

Unfortunately since I have no experience in this area, there may be other qualities that I'm looking for that I can't put my finger on. With that in mind, I was hoping I could show everyone some screen shots and see if that sparked any film stock recommendations.

The screen grabs are from two films: Tarkovsky's The Mirror and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Both are beautiful and I love the grain they have (The Mirror even more so than ESOTSM) and I like the 'feel' they both seem to have. The color reproduction on The Mirror I'm especially fond of. For me, five minutes of that movie illustrates why I've gotten rid of my video equipment for film better than anything I could put into words.

So... I know that Eternal Sunshine was done with somewhat of a more natural lighting approach (which, as much as possible, is how I hope to shoot my upcoming project) and I know they used Fuji Reala 500D (from Ellen Kuras' interview in American Cinematographer: http://www.theasc.co...ver/index.html) and I've considered trying that myself, but before I spent any money on film stocks, I was just wondering if any of the experienced members of the group had any recommendations?

The one thing I'm thinking is that because I want to try to use as much natural light as possible, I'll probably need to use a stock with a large amount of latitude (and I believe the Fuji fits the bill for that).

Anyway, here are the screen grabs - I tried to pick shots representative of the look/feel I'm after.

The Mirror: http://www.flickr.co...57619936489337/

Eternal Sunshine: http://www.flickr.co...57619937915279/

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Luke Hill
http://www.LukeHill.com
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 07:46 PM

If you're shooting in 16mm and referencing 35mm movies, you have to remember that you've already got more grain and softness as a starting point than they did. So a stock like Reala 500D, which is OK in 35mm, might be too soft and grainy for you in 16mm.

But it also depends on the degree of enlargement for presentation, and the post.

So I have no idea what stock to recommend. If you want a lot of latitude, I'd suggest something like Fuji Eterna 400T.
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#3 Luke Hill

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 07:59 PM

If you're shooting in 16mm and referencing 35mm movies, you have to remember that you've already got more grain and softness as a starting point than they did. So a stock like Reala 500D, which is OK in 35mm, might be too soft and grainy for you in 16mm.

But it also depends on the degree of enlargement for presentation, and the post.

So I have no idea what stock to recommend. If you want a lot of latitude, I'd suggest something like Fuji Eterna 400T.

Yeah, I know the grain will be much more significant on 16 than 35, but wasn't aware that the softness would be significantly different, so good to know.

I was kind of thinking the Eternal Sunshine stock, which isn't quite as grainy as I'd like (but is 35) might be a good bet because I wouldn't mind some more grain, but the softness could be an issue.

Also, anything's possible, but I'm guessing this will be transferred to HD and maybe projected digitally at some festivals on the big screen, but will primarily be viewed on TVs and the like.
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