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Black and White 8mm Film


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#1 Mark Inducil

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 07:51 PM

Hey guys,

I'm about to start pre-prod on a short film that we all thought, given the content of the story, would be best to shoot on 8mm. black and white. I haven't got much experience with film or film stocks and I was just wondering if anyone has any suggestions.

Most of the film is about trying to capture the look and feel of a nightmare and we really like the other-worldly look of 8mm (given the proper lighting, sets etc.)

Thanks in advance :)
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#2 Steve Phipps

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 04:37 AM

Hi Mark.

You don't say much about the project with respect to your aspirations and workflow -- if it's a festival piece, if you're going to finish on film, if you're going DIY-transfer or with a higher-quality transfer, if you want a high-contrast look, and so on.

In one way, it might not seem to matter, because your basic choice in B&W film-stocks in S8 will seem somewhat limited. Tri-X or Plus-X. (There is some other, non-Kodak, B&W stock too.) If you have the light (... you have a good lighting kit) and the lens-speed, I'd go Plus-X.

But, also, if you're doing a transfer, you could shoot color and then desaturate. That gives you more flexibility with stock-choice and ASA.

Anyway, I think you need to say more about your project to get better advice.

Hey guys,

I'm about to start pre-prod on a short film that we all thought, given the content of the story, would be best to shoot on 8mm. black and white. I haven't got much experience with film or film stocks and I was just wondering if anyone has any suggestions.

Most of the film is about trying to capture the look and feel of a nightmare and we really like the other-worldly look of 8mm (given the proper lighting, sets etc.)

Thanks in advance :)


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#3 Simon Wyss

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 06:05 AM

Double-Eight will offer most possibilities with reversal stock (Fomapan R 100), negative stocks (PX, TX, UN 54), positive stock (PF 2, 7302), and everything somebody puts on a perforator. Since it's 16 mm wide you'll not have any processing problems.

Camerawise you'll be almost too well off with all the makes around plus sometimes amazing quality lenses.
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#4 Mark Inducil

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 11:15 PM

Hi Mark.

You don't say much about the project with respect to your aspirations and workflow -- if it's a festival piece, if you're going to finish on film, if you're going DIY-transfer or with a higher-quality transfer, if you want a high-contrast look, and so on.

In one way, it might not seem to matter, because your basic choice in B&W film-stocks in S8 will seem somewhat limited. Tri-X or Plus-X. (There is some other, non-Kodak, B&W stock too.) If you have the light (... you have a good lighting kit) and the lens-speed, I'd go Plus-X.

But, also, if you're doing a transfer, you could shoot color and then desaturate. That gives you more flexibility with stock-choice and ASA.

Anyway, I think you need to say more about your project to get better advice.


Hi Steve,

My apologies :) it seems it seems that's constant thing with me when I ask for advice... not enough info. It is a festival piece and I do want a high contrast look but I would prefer to keep or even exaggerate the grain of it. We have a good set of lights (kinos, redheads, blondes, dedos) most of the scenes will be shot indoors while 2 scenes will be shot at night (wide shot of a desert town) I might just shoot that during the day then manipulate that in post to look like night (overcast pls.)

It's interesting what you said about shooting it in color and desaturate because I do want the option to do a transfer - any suggestions on what film stock if I do go this route?

Sorry if I still haven't provided enough information and thanks for the advice and the patience :)

Regards,

Mark
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#5 Steve Phipps

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 02:21 AM

Hi Mark,

What is your camera(s), or are you still shopping/deciding? Are you shooting sync or MOS?

It is a festival piece

I'm not up-to-date on submission formats (and I don't know which festivals you anticipate), but I would try to make sure that you match your workflow to what you will need in the end. It sounds like you are not going to finish on film. (At least, I don't know anyone who is striking prints in 8mm, and you haven't asked about good splicers ... .)

I do want a high contrast look but I would prefer to keep or even exaggerate the grain of it.

It's a look I'm particularly fond of as well. You could push either of the Kodak S8 stocks and get the contrast you want in your editing suite (assuming a transfer). Shoot a test cart: Push Tri-X 2 stops and see how you like it (I believe I can recall someone calling the look "swarming gnats"). If you were developing it yourself, or dealing with a small facility, you could do some other things in development to get more grain and contrast, but a 2-stop push should get you plenty of grain. That will be a nice, fast ASA, too.

You could also check out the Pro8 stocks.

Simon also mentioned D8.

I do want the option to do a transfer

Well, you always have the option. :) All it takes is money.

If you don't transfer, unless your piece is silent, S8 will also mean you will have to stripe your film, and then record your dialogue tracks and SFX onto that stripe. I don't know any facility that does that. And you won't have the wonderful drag-to-match power of FCP/Avid.
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Ritter Battery

rebotnix Technologies

Abel Cine

Glidecam

Tai Audio

Opal

Rig Wheels Passport

Visual Products

CineLab

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

Wooden Camera

CineTape

Metropolis Post

Willys Widgets

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks