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35mm print for Camerimage 2009


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#1 Matteo Cocco

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 07:19 AM

Hello everybody! I just received feedback from the Festival´s office, with the good news that a short film I shot this year is invited to compete at Camerimage 2009. This is a very good news, it makes me happy....

The bad news is: the festival accepts only 35mm prints. The short was shot on low/no-budget on s16mm and transferred and color corrected to Digibeta. Does anyone of you know of someone or of some kind of deal where to get a 35mm print of the film. The length is 23 minutes....

Hope you have some suggestions.
Thanks!

P.s.: I´m based in Germany....
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#2 David Auner aac

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 08:25 AM

Hi Matteo!

First of all, congrats. That is very cool!
Secondly, 23mins to 35mm is going to hurt. A lot. You might try labs in Poland or Czech Republic, maybe Hungary. They might be a little cheaper than the labs in Germany or Austria.

Regards, Dave

PS: Really, they only accept 35mm copies? Wow! That's a statement in today's world!
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#3 Brian Rose

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 01:03 PM

So did you not know when you entered what the necessary exhibition format would be?

When I submit to a fest, I make a point of A) checking what format(s) they require for exhibition and B ) if I can afford to transfer my project to the necessary format. Good fests like Cameraimage are very clear on this point when you enter, even more so if you submit through Withoutabox, which even has a feature where you can check your film's "compatibility" with the fest to which you want to submit.

This is becomes all the more important since you say you finished digitally. So you don't have an interneg, interpos, or even a cut o-neg to blow up to 35, not to mention all the audio work involved! So now do you not only have the cost of the transfer, but you've also got to get your o-neg cut and conformed, and get a color corrected interpos and interneg, which involves a slew of workprints, answer prints and all that. Unless you get a DI, which at this stage (correct me someone if I'm wrong) is MORE expensive than the traditional route.

And all of THAT is predicated on the assumption that you planned your workflow for finishing to film: getting your footage transfer with keycode burn-in, converting the interlaced footage with a program like Cinematools so you can edit it properly, and exporting an EDL so you or the cutter/conformer knows where to cut. If you didn't it means you've got a poop TON of work ahead, and it's gonna cost an arm and a leg. And, I'm sorry to say, a short film has fairly limited commercial appeal, meaning you're going to have a tough time finding a lab, distributor or bank willing to give you the loan, or defray the costs of all this work.

Which brings me back to my main point: if you're not prepared to give the fest the exhibition format they require, YOU. SHOULD. NOT. ENTER. THAT. FEST. Plain and simple.

I'm afraid the only options I can think of are 1) bite the bullet and pay out of pocket 2) Withdraw and eat the entry fee or 3) Use your acceptance notice to Cameraimage as a form of collateral/leverage to get your film into another fest that does accept the format you currently have. This last option, I think, could work well in you favor, since festival programmers are competitive beasts, and many no doubt would relish the chance to "scoop" a competitor. This might be your best option.

Consider this a learning experience, and try to make the best of it.

Good luck!

Best,

BR

Edited by Brian Rose, 11 November 2009 - 01:07 PM.

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#4 Phil Connolly

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 03:02 PM

If the Digi-Beta copy looks good it migh be cheaper to get a cinevator print from the Digi master direct to 35mm print. That may be the cheapest way to do it - but its still going to cost a lot and not look as good compaired to going back to the 16mm and doing a proper blow-up digital or optical.

Still supprising that such a big festival can only cope with 35mm only.

It would work out cheaper to rent a digi-beta deck and a high end d-cinema projector then it would to create a 35mm print.

I wonder if theres any room for negotiation on that front and convincing them to allow video, they have video companies as sponsors and could probably add digital projection to the screenings quite easily.
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#5 Dominic Case

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 05:09 PM

I wonder if theres any room for negotiation on that front and convincing them to allow video, they have video companies as sponsors and could probably add digital projection to the screenings quite easily.

Screening mixed formats at a festival is not something that would ever be described as "quite easy".

Most cinema projectionists are good at showing the same feature film at scheduled times for a couple of weeks. Not so good at showing a mixed bag of short films (maybe 5 mins or 25 or 55) each one on a different medium. I've witnessed embarrassing debacles too many times to recommend it. You need a specialist festival projectionist (or a tema of them for a long festival), and there aren't many of that "old school" still vertical. Meanwhile, most festivals run on a very tight budget and can only push their sponsors so far (I know, I've represented a sponsoring company many times).

Even if the cinema has digital projection already installed, there are countless formats that material could be supplied in, and probably would be. You can forgive a festival for restricting the formats, and avoiding extra expense and probable chaos on their part. Though, that said, they should, in 2009 be prepared to accept one film and one digital format - be it digibeta video, or a particular, specified digital file. Especially for short films, which simply aren't going to earn their transfer costs in a box office anywhere.

But this year, it is what it is. You aren't going to refinish the film as Brian describes. Not in the time you have. And if you were expecting to submit on digibeta, then a 35mm blowup from digibeta would surely be OK for your standards. Someone here may know a European lab that does direct-to-print transfers. Infinitely cheaper than a DI blowup for a single print.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 07:55 PM

Take a look at Swiss Effect's price sheet to get an idea of the costs:

http://www.swisseffe.../New_prices.pdf
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#7 Russell Richard Fowler

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 09:56 PM

I do tech and liason for many festivals in our region......in addition to worrying about multiple formats, there is usually scheduling of proper projection / tech staff, possible print (or media) inspection / revision requirements.....which equal time and money.

Edited by Russell Richard Fowler, 11 November 2009 - 10:01 PM.

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#8 Vincent Sweeney

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 11:06 PM

I second the Digibeta direct to film option as it can look surprisingly good and I assume it's done in PAL which will help. Your next step up, if you can get any money together, is to scan your selects to 1080p. You probably dont have too many reels so it's not too complicated. Find some cheap help from someone with a desktop color correction suite, then take your final file to a lab for a 35mm out. There is no reason bother with inter pos., neg. cutting, etc. these days.
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 12:31 AM

Camerimage is only in a few weeks, he barely has time to get his PAL DigiBeta filmed-out with audio and check it before it's shipped out.
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#10 Phil Connolly

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 07:29 AM

Screening mixed formats at a festival is not something that would ever be described as "quite easy".


But its not that hard either, we are talking in theory, about 'professionals' who should be able to cope - that said in the real world many 'projectionists' are incredibly usless. :rolleyes: - I guess I holding projectionists up to my own standards rather then what they are actually capable of.

To me adding digital to a show seems quite easy, but I'm basing that assumption on using compitant projectionists. I have operated on serveral multi-format shows in the past, as projectionist - I wouldn't be freaking out if video was added to a film programme.

I'm not suggessting lots of formats - but adding say, digi-beta to a 35mm programme its not that bad. As you say festival projection is more difficult then mulitiplex projection, so you would hope that the booth would have a competant projectionist on a shorts programme. Since even a 35mm only, shorts programme is likley to have different aspect ratios and sound formats that need to be changed during the show.

I don't think it would add a fortune to the running costs to add one video format, espcially if the cinema already has digital projection. QC and inspection cost on video may even be less then film - since 35 mm prints may have been through the wars if they have been through multiple festivals and require pre-screening.

My local unfunded non profit arthouse cinemina could cope with Digi-Beta/SP and film way back in 2000 - I operated several mixed format screenings without disaster there. Projection work is at its most fun when your bouncing between video/film/sides/live presentations.

I'm very supprised in 2009 at such a high profile event they can't offer the option of at least one video based format, at the risk of sounding contencious could be due to to a bit of film snobbery.
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#11 Dominic Case

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 05:34 PM

But its not that hard either, we are talking in theory, - I guess I holding projectionists up to my own standards rather then what they are actually capable of......

To me adding digital to a show seems quite easy, .....that assumption ......
.... you would hope .....is likley to have ......

I don't think .....may even be less .....may have been through the wars .....


This sounds like a rather speculative argument. Try running a festival. Then report back.

Russell Richard Fowler adds to my point about projection when he mentions print/media inspection etc. What projectionist runs a public screening on a sight-unseen show, whether it's a new print, a dog-eared print or on tape or hard drive? It's ALL got to be checked - especially for a prestigious festival that's likely to have an audience full of film professionals, reporters and the filmmakers themselves.

And "just adding digibeta" might be fine. But why just digibeta? Once you do that, someone asks for some other format, and then another. One rule for one filmmaker, a different one for another?
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#12 Russell Richard Fowler

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 08:03 PM

Projection work is "fun" when the details are prepared and the audience is not held hostage by a bad performance.......I handle a world class festival with 250 screenings / 7 locations with a staff of 25 people.....this year we had 5 bad screenings....three of which the film maker assumed changing the rules where O.K.....the other two we had back up equipment and the show went on. Time frame....if the festival is in a couple of weeks, their staff is probably up to 100% speed doing prep / revision / and site work.

Edited by Russell Richard Fowler, 12 November 2009 - 08:08 PM.

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#13 Brian Rose

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:07 PM

Is it a bit old fashioned for a fest to screen only 35mm? Yes. There's a lot of reasons. Maybe they don't have the budget to get a decent digital projector, like a 2K. Maybe they prefer 35mm as a way to maintain a consistent level of quality? Maybe it's to narrow the field to the most serious of applicants? Who knows. In the end they can run their fest any way they please, I suppose.

Ultimately, the responsibility falls to the submitter to know the requirements of the festival. They need to know what formats the fest exhibits in, and if they can meet that requirement. If not, they should not enter. I've submitted my latest film to more than a dozen fests. And since its' a feature length film, I wind up paying 40 to 50 bucks an entry. Sometimes more. So for that money, I make damn sure my film won't get deprived of a public screening because I wasn't familiar with the requirements of the fest.

Yes, Cinemaimage needs to get with the times, but the submitter should've paid closer attention before he paid his entry fee.
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#14 Phil Connolly

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 08:05 AM

This sounds like a rather speculative argument. Try running a festival. Then report back.

Russell Richard Fowler adds to my point about projection when he mentions print/media inspection etc. What projectionist runs a public screening on a sight-unseen show, whether it's a new print, a dog-eared print or on tape or hard drive? It's ALL got to be checked - especially for a prestigious festival that's likely to have an audience full of film professionals, reporters and the filmmakers themselves.

And "just adding digibeta" might be fine. But why just digibeta? Once you do that, someone asks for some other format, and then another. One rule for one filmmaker, a different one for another?


I'm sure running a festival is challenging from a projection point of view I wasn't claming otherwise. My point was if you have an efficient projection team that is capable of running a complex programme on 35 mm, they should also have the ability to run digital on top - it doesnt add a vast degree of complexity to the operation. Thats not to dissmiss the complexity of the work of a good projectionist - it requires skill to run a slick programme when not using automation, if a progectionist is skillful enough to cope with 35mm - they should be able to turn there hand to video - often its easier to deal with when its properly set up.

A well organised festival that properly checks the projected media - runs rehersals, has a clear detailed running order and good admin and media management in the office - is whats required. I agree that is not a small undertaking and a big job that I wouldn't want to took and I respect the people that can do it well.

But adding another format to the list dosent multiply the work exponetially. Especially if you limit the digital formats you'd have to or I agree, it would become quickly rediculous. Of course you have to draw a line somewhere - I just found it supprising the line was drawn under 35mm and nothing else. I agree budget is an issue, but we are not talking about a small festival here.
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#15 Luca Zamai

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 07:59 AM

Hey Matteo, try TrickWilk. I let him do 35mm a 35mm print for a short of mine a few years ago. It was a great experience. Thomas is just a wonderful guy and makes very good deals for young filmmakers. Good luck. Luca
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#16 Luca Zamai

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 08:00 AM

Hey Matteo, try TrickWilk. I let him do 35mm a 35mm print for a short of mine a few years ago. It was a great experience. Thomas is just a wonderful guy and makes very good deals for young filmmakers. Good luck. Luca
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#17 Edgar Dubrovskiy

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 11:37 AM

Screening mixed formats at a festival is not something that would ever be described as "quite easy".

Most cinema projectionists are good at showing the same feature film at scheduled times for a couple of weeks. Not so good at showing a mixed bag of short films (maybe 5 mins or 25 or 55) each one on a different medium. I've witnessed embarrassing debacles too many times to recommend it.


Will agree with Dominic.
Have seen 4 short film compilations (7-8 shorts each) on London Film Fest this year.
And each screening had at least 2-3 technical problems. No Sound, out of focus picture, aligning projection, while the short has already started.

But frankly enough it was only the case of the films screened on film. All digital screenings were fine.
So it seemed to me submitting high quality digital format will come up as safer option in the end, for that level of fests.

Just my 5 pence.
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#18 Justin Hayward

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 02:21 AM

the submitter should've paid closer attention before he paid his entry fee.


Yeah, but it’s almost worth the fee to just find out you got in… even if you can’t actually screen it. :)
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#19 Warwick Hempleman

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 05:07 PM

I wasn't able to call up the submission guidelines to see what was stated, but the Camerimage Student Etudes competition films are all shown on one day in one theatre. Camerimage is indeed set up to run multiple formats, but the Student Etudes screeings is a one day marathon, and is the only viewing chance for these films for the jury as well as for the audience. For those who have not been to Camerimage, the Wielky Theatre is a large theater (akin to West End or Vaudeville houses) seating several thousand, and is used as a cinema for the festival. If the requirement is for one medium, as the gentlemen who have worked other festivals will comfirm, it's not unreasonable. The Camerimage festival is unique in it's dedicaton to the cinematography, hence the stringent requirements for material. Some day it may of course go fully digital.

Here's this year's jury for the Student Etudes:

Sir Alan Parker - Jury President (director - Pink Floyd The Wall, Evita, Harry Angel, Birdy)
Don Burgess (cinematographer - The Book of Eli, Forrest Gump, Contact)
Don McAlpine (cinematographer - Tempest, Moulin Rouge)
Lilly Kilvert (production designer - Legends of the Fall,The Last Samurai, The Siege)
Lorenzo Codelli (film critic, advisor at Cannes festival and author)
Allen Hughes (director, producer - Menace II Society, Out of Hell, Dead Presidents)
Michael Seresin (cinematographer - Angela's Ashes, Mercury Rising, Birdy)
Oliver Stapleton (cinematographer - Absolute Beginners, Buffalo Soldiers)
Paweł Pawlikowski (director - From Moscow to Pietushki, Last Resort, Stringer)

For those who have never made the trek to Lodz, I highly recommend it.

Warwick Hempleman
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#20 Miguel Angel

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 06:11 PM

Wow... Lily Kilvert!!!.. I love that woman.. she is very very polite and she has an exceptional conception of colour and design.. If you can you must talk with her about her job because she is very ¿poetical is the word? and she knows a lot about art and photography.

So, in the other way I think that your better option is going to Cinevator, it is cheap and good looking.

Congrats!.

Bye!
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