Jump to content


Photo

16mm Film Scanning


  • Please log in to reply
2 replies to this topic

#1 Bill DiPietra

Bill DiPietra
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2339 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York City

Posted 04 December 2009 - 01:22 PM

I am finishing a 16mm B&W film and have a few questions about film scanning. I am just beginning to learn about film scanning, so please excuse the ignorance.

On a garden-variety low-budget production, is ALL of the footage usually scanned in or is it just the final, conformed negative? If all of the footage is usually scanned, is it possible to just scan the conformed negative to save on cost?

Also, once the film is scanned, what are the different file formats that are used? Would I be able to do DVD authoring on my own (on a Mac) or would I need to take the file back to the lab for any and all output to video?

Finally, I am based in NYC and I am curious what the average going rates are for 16mm 2k film scanning.

As always, any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  • 0

#2 Chris Burke

Chris Burke
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1675 posts
  • Boston, MA

Posted 04 December 2009 - 10:00 PM

I am finishing a 16mm B&W film and have a few questions about film scanning. I am just beginning to learn about film scanning, so please excuse the ignorance.

On a garden-variety low-budget production, is ALL of the footage usually scanned in or is it just the final, conformed negative? If all of the footage is usually scanned, is it possible to just scan the conformed negative to save on cost?

Also, once the film is scanned, what are the different file formats that are used? Would I be able to do DVD authoring on my own (on a Mac) or would I need to take the file back to the lab for any and all output to video?

Finally, I am based in NYC and I am curious what the average going rates are for 16mm 2k film scanning.

As always, any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.


it all depends on how much footage you have whether or not you scan everything or not. For a feature length, scanning selects is most likely going to be the cheapest way. What Ihave found is that "if" you are set up to handle the vast amounts of data that scanning will deliver, then it really is a great way to go. I personally would ask the lab you are going to work with if they could deliver the files as prores 2k 4444. It will deliver an image, especially with black and white, that is more than adequate.

on a different note, what stock did you shoot? reversal or negative? Because if it were reversal, you can do an optical blow up to 35 negative very easily. That negative will yield an image better than a 2k scan perhaps better than even a 4k. I recently saw plus x 7276 to 35mm projected and was blown away at how sharp it was. 7266 and 7265 sometimes get a bad rap, but I am of the opinion that they rule when it comes to black and white. I am in the midst of testing different black and white workflows and would love to share my findings as well as see some of yours.

in nyc there are plenty of places that can help you. I would expect to pay $1 per foot or more. PM me and i can give you info about cheaper options.
  • 0

#3 Paul Bruening

Paul Bruening

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2858 posts
  • Producer
  • Oxford, Mississippi

Posted 05 December 2009 - 01:06 AM

There's a great many options to the workflow available out there. Every salesman will posses the best way to go.

Here is just one suggested workflow for you to consider: Mark an X at the head of each roll and have that included in a low-cost, standard definition telecine of every roll. It can be put onto hard drive matching your computer type and the file type of the software you prefer. Use that to do a workprint. Then do your sound track on the same timeline. When all your decisions are final and the best matching soundtrack can be put together use the Xs to count out where your actual film can be cut. You don't have to precisely conform here. Just add ten frames to the beginning and end of each shot. These are called "handles". They give you some fudging room when you precisely conform the scans to your workrint on the timeline. These shots are glued or taped together into a roll (your scan house will tell you which splicing method they require) that is sometimes called a flat, though, scan roll is fine as well. The scanners will then do the scans without having to monitor scans off the whole rolls which will save you some money. You take the scans and do the conform, color timing, and any FX you need. From there you can go digital out (like burned disc or hard drive if you can score some theatrical screen space) or onto a hard drive to send back to a post house that can record the images back to film.

One of the keen benefits of going this way is it gives you the ability to bail-out if it doesn't work out so great as a project when you get it into workprint. I've made enough stinkers to admit that despite your best efforts, some projects just don't work out as good as you hoped. If that happens to you then you still have a standard def project that you can finish to SD DVD (for smaller film festivals) and skip the expense of scans and costly outputs.

That's pretty oversimplified of a description. But, it's a cheap way to go still leaving you the power to get strong results if your project turns out to be worth wider exposure. Feel free to ask questions since my description used far too much abbreviated thinking.
  • 0


Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Wooden Camera

Rig Wheels Passport

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

FJS International, LLC

Willys Widgets

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

Metropolis Post

Paralinx LLC

Opal

Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

CineLab

The Slider

Abel Cine

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Glidecam

Tai Audio

Visual Products

Opal

Paralinx LLC

Aerial Filmworks

The Slider

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

FJS International, LLC

Willys Widgets

CineTape

Metropolis Post

CineLab