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Pushing Super 16mm


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#1 Bryce Lansing

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 03:32 AM

I'm shooting a music video with a "horror theme", and the Director wants it to have a gritty/grainy look to it. We're shooting Super 16 on an Arri SR3 with Zeiss superspeeds.

I want the sharpest image we can get with super 16, but I don't want it looking too clean. I want a MORE grainy look than what I get with Eterna 500T on regular 16mm. I was thinking push processing a stop or two should do the trick, but I was warned that push processing is riskier with 16mm than with 35mm.

I'm used to regular Eterna 500T, but I was considering shooting Eterna VIVID 500T. I know it's higher contrast, but if I push it 1-2 stops, will it give it too much contrast?
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#2 Andrew Koch

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 05:17 AM

The Reala 500D is much more grainy than the Eterna. On a short I directed about 5 years ago, my Cinematographer underexposed the 500D stock by 2/3 and pushed it a stop to increase the grain. It was really grainy just as we had hoped. When you were warned about the risks of pushing 16, what were the specifics issues? The obvious one would be that you have less latitude, but I always think its more fun to take risks. I would recommend testing the 500D if you were to use it because it has a different look overall than the Eterna series.
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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 05:49 AM

If you're blowing up to 35mm, Super 16 can get grainy pretty easily. Projecting 35mm 1.66 (assuming you can) is much less grainy than the much more common 1.85.

However, that not really as issue on a music video.
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#4 Bryce Lansing

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 02:53 AM

I have thought about using the Reala 500D. I used it on a short for some day interiors I lit with HMIs.

I've always heard that you get more contrast (and like you said, lose latitude), with push processing. Then someone else told me, you get less contrast by pushing (I thought you get less contrast by pulling?). My question is, if it gains contrast through push processing, and I push process a VIVID stock, which has more contrast, would I start getting too contrasty? If I wanted to shoot an Eterna stock, would I be better off just shooting the regular 500t than the vivid 500t?

I'm watching a scene I shot on Regular 16mm with regular Eterna 500t, and I love the look, but i'd like to get some more grain over the exposed areas. I know I can do this by underexposing a little, but I hate the look of a thin negative brought up in telecine. I'd like to have the look of a thick neg, but grain on the midtones (exactly what I've gotten with 800 ASA still film). If I push process 1-2 stops, will I still have that well exposed look of a thick neg, but add grain to my midtones? and How much more contrast would it add to the regular Eterna 500t?
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#5 Dominic Case

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 09:46 PM

Keep it simple.

Use a wider angle lens, and enlarge/crop the image when you transfer.

Frame up a grid before you start, and mark up your viewfinder or video monitor in some way that someone else who knows how can tell you.

Expose correctly (or a tad over if you hate the "thin" neg look) . Process normally.

You get the right size image, right field of view, right contrast, but the grain is enlarged more than it would be normally.
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