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super 16mm or Red one


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#1 Dev Varma

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 04:56 AM

Hi I need to choose from these format...

its a feature film, and half of the film is based in 1952, so have to give that old look, kind of sepia, and because it has more night scene, I am worried about 16 grains....

can i mix up both... day scene with 16 and night with red or just use one format throughout...

and lighting wise, any comments.....how to give that old look...
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#2 Fred Neilsen

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 05:42 AM

This topic has been covered several times on several different sites, in short, you'll get different answers depending on the people you ask (fanboys....)

As far as period pieces go, 16mm could be seen as more appropriate (though then again they didn't have 416s and vision 3 in the 50s) mainly because it looks less sterile. In my opinion, the biggest deal breaker isn't necessarily the image quality (the red's acceptable) but the process, 90 second boot ups.... and low ISO/dynamic range (pre MX, but still somewhat of an issue), I generally shoot 16mm because it's quick and pretty painless.

16mm... Turn on camera, plug in timecode from master clock and shoot. If you want B cam, whip out your a-minima, turn on and press run.

Remember that you will have grain, (I love grain, probably why I watch our public broadcasters, ABC and SBS, who shoot most of their dramas with s16) Either embrace it (Hurt Locker, The Wrestler, Everlasting Moments) or shoot at 250 iso, overexposed by 1/3 and minimise it.

As far as the 50s look goes, the questions you've got to ask is whether you want it to be set in the 50s or look like it was shot in the 50s, generally, it's half way between the two. In my opinion a substantial investment has to be made in 50s production design and research, though excelent 50s production design could easily be ruined by sub par camera systems being used (case in point, Public Enemies)

At the end of the day, both systems are good, film is probably going to look "better" and is generaly going to be easier to shoot, but, it amy come down to cost. If you can afford it (without taking away from production design or other departments), by all means shoot 16mm (or 2 p 35, slightly more expensive but feasible)

Fred
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#3 Alain Lumina

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 08:46 AM

excelent 50s production design could easily be ruined by sub par camera systems being used (case in point, Public Enemies)


Could you explain what you see as the drawbacks in Public Enemies? I'd like to watch it again after hearing you out to see if I can grasp what you're seeing. Right now I can only remember one scene in a hallway that looked extremely dark, grainy, and pretty much could not see what was happening.
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#4 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 02:20 PM

As far as the 50s look goes, the questions you've got to ask is whether you want it to be set in the 50s or look like it was shot in the 50s, generally, it's half way between the two.


I think we accept the current visual style we have applied to other time periods without a problem.

And thinking of film, '50's 35mm might have more grain than 2010's S16.
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#5 Fred Neilsen

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 04:10 PM

Could you explain what you see as the drawbacks in Public Enemies? I'd like to watch it again after hearing you out to see if I can grasp what you're seeing. Right now I can only remember one scene in a hallway that looked extremely dark, grainy, and pretty much could not see what was happening.


Yes, perhaps that was a bit subjective, though personally I thought that perhaps the cheap video "district 9" look didn't suit an epic period film, there's an entire post dedicated to it.
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#6 K Borowski

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 06:19 PM

I disagree. Watch 1941 U.S. boxing matches and 35mm (B&W) looks pretty sterile and life-like, far better than HD-originated TV of the present.

Of course, B&W was sharper than color, should be today if they put the same R&D into it. There are many other factors like lighting portability to take into consideration before format.


If I shot S16, I wouldn't touch the 500T (7219 or Fuji equivalent) and would underrate everything by at least 2/3 of a stop. S16 is very very grainy even in standard definition, even at 720P. I personally wouldn't use anything faster than 200T stocks.
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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 07:00 PM

I'd go S16mm if I had the choice... but that's just me, and thats just my guy feeling. Period isn't as important as what aesthetic the script itself calls for-- so tell me, how does the script look in your head?
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#8 Dev Varma

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 08:00 PM

Hi Federik, thanks for the comments....


I did my last feature on S16,I love shooting on film its much faster and look good too but I found heavy grains in two scenes, one was the night and other when I was shooting against white background, I was using kodak 500T, anyways, this feature is set in 1950's and 2010, so I need to give change in the looks too...

we will go for DI, so will have options to de grain....

for night scene what iso should I go for....shooting 1/3 over and than in the post minimising will certainly help...

I cant go for 2 perf or 3 perf, budget problem..
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#9 K Borowski

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 08:54 PM

Dev: There's also the very important question of cost. S16 will almost certainly be more EXPENSIVE, which matters little on a big-budget shoot, but is of prime importance if you are a low-budget production.


A white background will accentuate the grain in film. Out-of-focus highlights are where grain is most noticeable. I assume the other night scene was at least a stop underexposed. Generally, I find night-for-night photography to be the LEAST noticeable on grain because the grain is "hidden in the shadows" so to speak. The negative is essentially unexposed for a large part of the grain and then this blank area is printed through to fine-grain print stock, or registers as pure black in a telecine.


Anyway, were you shooting at box speed or were you underrating 2/3 of a stop? It really helps to tighten up grain structure (exposing slower grains to fill in the gaps between larger, higher-speed grains) to give film the overexposure when you can help it.

Edited by Karl Borowski, 24 August 2010 - 08:58 PM.

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#10 K Borowski

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 09:00 PM

The negative is essentially unexposed for a large part of the FRAME and then this blank area is printed through to fine-grain print stock, or registers as pure black in a telecine.


I couldn't edit my post a second time. It should read "frame" not "grain."
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#11 Edgar Dubrovskiy

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 10:58 AM

I would go for s16.
Just came from a rushes viewing of the latest short - shot on a beach, hot sunny day, insane contrast ratios. And was, once again, blown away by what can this strip of gelatine do.
Absolutely love shootig film. Shot Fuji 250D (overexposed by 1/3) for this show, processed as normal, tech grade to HDCAM and a copy of DVD for rushes.
Haven't seen the HDCAMs yet, but DVDs were already enought to remind me of how beautiful shooting on film is.
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