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#1 Paul Bruening

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:21 PM

I'm putting together a shooting budget for God Bites Man and weeping excessively. I really need some personal recommendations for labs in NY or LA for ECNII processing. I'm looking for a rating for each on a 1 (excellent) to 5 (sucks) basis on the following categories: Quality, cost, likelihood of staying in business through an extended period of casually scheduled filming (up to a year depending on costs and scrounging abilities). Of course, you'll want to rank the ones you'll want to score some points with. Don't bad mouth anyone. I just need to know who to approach and get some budget numbers from. The reason I'm asking is because the lab landscape has changed so much from the economy thing.

Thanks in advance for your help with this.
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:31 PM

Hey Paul,
I normally use NFL Films in Cherry Hill NJ. They've been good to me thus far. Also, Technicolor NY, in my one dealing with them for processing were also very helpful.
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#3 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 02:26 PM

I like my lab ;)

I think we do a very good job turn out excellent clean ECN in 8mm, 16mm and 35mm. Plus we offer cost effective SD and Uprezed HD transfers and True HD and 2K scans. We are not likely to go out because our overhead is low. Some of this stuff (Like 2K) is not on our web site yet. www.cinelab.com

I do not think the lab landscape has dramatically changed with the economy most of the big labs are not affected at all and smaller shops (Like Cine) mostly have their niche and operate with lower overhead. We have also done jobs for the bigger labs mostly processing Super-8 ECN or B&W that they do not want to do...

-Rob-
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#4 Michael Kubaszak

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 04:04 PM

I did some extensive searching when I made my last film on 35. Deluxe in LA(35) and Deluxe NY(16) are the cheapest you'll find anywhere.
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#5 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 04:46 PM

I did some extensive searching when I made my last film on 35. Deluxe in LA(35) and Deluxe NY(16) are the cheapest you'll find anywhere.


I've also had great results with Deluxe LA. They co-hosted the 2 perf seminar at Cinegear, so they are down with 2 perf, too.

I'd give them a 5. Great price, excellent quality, jobs done on time. Just be sure to get a sales consultant to work with.

Bruce Taylor
www.indi35.com
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#6 John Gorski

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 10:17 AM

I'd agree with Rob. The labs currently standing have come through challenging times. If they're still around, they have staying power. But, most importantly, if they're still around it is because they continue to deliver a great product.

We continue to deliver a very tight processing line with clean film. We also deliver standard def dailies up to 2K selects. The big labs will give you pricing from $.08 to $.11 but then get you on dailies production. I'd recommend you look at your entire project, let the lab give you a "total" project cost for processing, dailies, sync, final scans. When you the see the bottom number, I will bet the smaller labs (like ours) will be very competitive and probably offer better service and product.

It's certainly worth quoting the labs that cater to independent production and don't have the large studio contracts. They will all be happy to talk with you.
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#7 Evan Ferrario

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 01:29 PM

I have been using Cinelab for my 16mm negative since I started shooting about 3 years ago. I haven't dealt with any other lab so I can't compare but that is only because Cinelab has delivered everything I need.

I usually get the film back around a week or so of sending it out. I've only gotten my film processed there but the results are always excellent and the film handling is great. I am located in New England and it will be the lab I use unless I have a special need that I need to send elsewhere.
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#8 Glen Alexander

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 05:33 PM

For me, it's only Fotokem in Burbank.

From what I know Deluxe, doesn't give any kind of personal service unless you're a major studio or production. I've never heard great things about their quality control.

Whereas with Fotokem, I know them personally, when I go there, I'm part of the family.

Edited by Glen Alexander, 28 November 2009 - 05:36 PM.

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#9 David Rakoczy

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 05:54 PM

I have used Technicolor and Deluxe each once. CFI a couple times. However, I have used Fotokem for over 20 years and hope to use them another 20! The Production Dept. is first rate and it is hard to find a more dedicated, knowledgeable person than Mark Van Horne.
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#10 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 11:31 AM

I've used about 6 different labs over the years... for S8 and 16mm I'm pretty happy with Alphacine in Seattle and Spectra in LA. They both give excellent results for E-6 and ECN-2, Alpha also does excellent B&W reversal.
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#11 RAJENDRA BISWAS

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 12:17 PM

is ecn 2 16m or 8mm
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#12 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 12:21 PM

ENC2 is color negative for motion picture, but it 8mm/16mm/35m or 65mm Kodak or Fuji.
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#13 Rob Vogt

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 01:12 PM

Just had film developed at CineLab for the first time last week. Can't beat the price and the people there are really nice. Tell Bill I said thank you Rob! BTW Now I know you do Ultra 16 I'm considering getting my Eclair converted more seriously. I didn't like having to ship unprocessed film to CA to get it developed and transferred.

On the other end of the spectrum there's Du Art. While they are top notch in quality, the people there don't really cater to independent filmmakers. There prices are really high and they're difficult to talk with.
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#14 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 01:35 PM

Just had film developed at CineLab for the first time last week. Can't beat the price and the people there are really nice. Tell Bill I said thank you Rob! BTW Now I know you do Ultra 16 I'm considering getting my Eclair converted more seriously. I didn't like having to ship unprocessed film to CA to get it developed and transferred.

On the other end of the spectrum there's Du Art. While they are top notch in quality, the people there don't really cater to independent filmmakers. There prices are really high and they're difficult to talk with.



All of our processors exceptout 35mmTreise are demand drive without sprockets so if we prep your film as super-16 we have no issues with processing Ultra-16 in ECN, B&W Reversal and B&W Negative. I am still working on equipping one or both of our telecine's to do Ultra-16 but they are usually so busy it is hard to get the gate to the machine shop. Fortunately our new P+S technik 2K steady-frame scanner does not use sprockets or any other guides which would be a problem for U16 and it can see into the perf area to scan so a real 2K solution is available.

I will tell Bill....

-Rob-
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#15 Yuriy Orlov

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 06:00 PM

I absolutely loved how I was treated at Cinelab with my reg. 16mm film. Rob and Brad are very nice people, very kind and always willing to help. HOWEVER...

ALL of my 16mm film (3200 feet) processed at Cinelab has an "electronic noise" defect! ALL of it! Two different batches of film display the same thing.

I did a test: I took three different 16mm Bolex cameras, loaded them with three different brand new 100' rolls of Kodak film bought from Kodak just for that test (500T, 200T and 250D) and shot the same footage (my girlfriend holding clapboard with exposure and filter data) using different exposure setting. I also used six different lenses during that test. Then I submitted these rolls to Cinelab for processing and one-light print.

When I got my results, ALL three one-light print rolls were damaged. All of them showed "electronic noise", and ALL of them had multiple vertical scratch lines that are result of Cinelab's equipment. How do I know that my cameras didn't have those defects? I have another previously shot footage that shows that my cameras were ok and didn't cause the scratch lines.

Well, being nice is great, but being able to deliver acceptable professional quality is different. Now I am looking for another lab that will not damage my film.

I don't have a production insurance and I would like to ask Cinelab for a refund. Can anybody give me an advice on how to proceed?
Thanks.
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#16 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 24 December 2009 - 12:25 AM

I absolutely loved how I was treated at Cinelab with my reg. 16mm film. Rob and Brad are very nice people, very kind and always willing to help. HOWEVER...

ALL of my 16mm film (3200 feet) processed at Cinelab has an "electronic noise" defect! ALL of it! Two different batches of film display the same thing.

I did a test: I took three different 16mm Bolex cameras, loaded them with three different brand new 100' rolls of Kodak film bought from Kodak just for that test (500T, 200T and 250D) and shot the same footage (my girlfriend holding clapboard with exposure and filter data) using different exposure setting. I also used six different lenses during that test. Then I submitted these rolls to Cinelab for processing and one-light print.

When I got my results, ALL three one-light print rolls were damaged. All of them showed "electronic noise", and ALL of them had multiple vertical scratch lines that are result of Cinelab's equipment. How do I know that my cameras didn't have those defects? I have another previously shot footage that shows that my cameras were ok and didn't cause the scratch lines.



Yuri

Film cannot have electronic noise, you may have had objection to some of the transfer of the first 3200' but these were exposure issues there too. I know that you took some of that negative back after the transfer and came back with the thought that there was a movement or cadence issue with the telecine transport. I also know that you said you projected some of your original negative. Were there any issues withe the 3200' being scratched I don't remember seeing any.

We did run hundreds of thousands of feet of 16mm color negative this month including professional projects for television broadcast in the us and elsewhere I don't know what happened with your tests but there was a bad bearing in one of the processors that caused a issue for one or two days this month this can happen to any lab we fixed the problem as soon as it came up.

Feel free to go to other labs that don't apply electronic noise to your negative or film print.

Happy Holidaze to all!
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#17 K Borowski

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Posted 24 December 2009 - 02:42 PM

I absolutely loved how I was treated at Cinelab with my reg. 16mm film. Rob and Brad are very nice people, very kind and always willing to help. HOWEVER...


Yuriy:


This thread is hardly the place to bash a lab with which you've had a problem.

A new thread, or better yet, an actual call to the lab itself, or an e-mail would get you far more respect from me than bashing them in public. That is, of course, unless you've had a problem that they ignored, or tried to avoid blame. Cinelab hardly seems like the type of place that wouldn't address a problem, IF you told them. Berating them in public like this is really inappropriate, from the situation you described.

Usually if there is a scratch problem (despite all the best precautions, Rob is right that seized rollers will pop up at the worst possible times), a lab will give you a credit for free wet-gate printing or something comparable.


Of far more importance than fixable base scratches are emulsion scratches, or worse-yet, labs that don't keep their chemistry in control, or don't properly fix or dry your film.
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#18 Yuriy Orlov

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 02:07 PM

Hello Karl:

About my post: I observed that Rob is using this thread for promoting his lab, and I hardly find that objective and appropriate on this forum. It helps his business but puts other labs at disadvantage, and if this is the case, he should expect negative postings like mine from customers who are not satisfied with the lab for any reason.

I posted my input on this forum AFTER I complained and called about the "electronic noise" effect that I saw in the transferred footage. It is still unclear to me what it is. Cinelab told me that it was result of the underexposed footage. Well, I felt different about that but every time I complained I got the same verdict. Obviously, this is my first 16mm film experience, but I looked at other people's footage, and that footage looked much cleaner than mine. I needed an expert to look at the footage and tell me what the hell was that "noise". So far I had one expert who did that, and his opinion was: "it's the lab". DP who shot the footage sad the same thing.

I did call Rob couple of days ago, and he agreed to meet with me and look at the negative. But as far as I can tell, Rob and I both feel uneasy about this. He has to spend his time for looking at my negative, and I have to spend my time and a lot of gas to drive from Malden (north of Boston) to Fall River and back just to figure out what happened during the processing and transfer of my film. Basically, a happy process of film making turned into 16mm film forensics analysis.

Hopefully, my meeting with Rob will determine the cause of the "noise" defect. I am also going to ask other labs to look at that "noise". To be fair to everybody, I will post the findings on this forum, and I will publicly apologize before Cinelab in case the "noise" was my fault.

All the best.
-Yuriy.
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