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USING REG 16MM FOR A FEATURE


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#1 Kevith Mitchell

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 06:46 PM

For the last 4 months straight I've been shooting REG 16 for a feature I'm doing. Through out this time I've been dealing with labs, pro filmakers, rental houses, HD houses, and traditional neg cutters. What I've learned is that making a film comes down to economics. The more $$ you have, the more you can do. Also, REG 16 (the aspect format) is slowly fading into the past. The format is not used as much and is being kept alive by mainly the education world (film schools). Do worry... 16mm film will always be around.

The advantage of REG 16 I've learned is econonics. REG 16 lens and cameras rent out for almost nothing because everyone is interested in shooting on Super 16 or using Super 16 lens for their video camera. Nothing against Super, I love it, but if I can get a REG16 SR2 with a Ziess zoom for a week for only $900.00, I'll shoot on REG16. In the end the audience is not going to jump out of their seats because of the aspect ratio.

Yes... REG16 may be going away, but now is the time to shoot on it. Its cheaper than ever. The rental house I go to for R16 lens, the guy practically gives them away. He's glad someone is useing these lens that are just sitting on his shelf.

The one thing that still sucks is buying film. New is expensive as hell $125.00 for a 400ft can? OOOOuch!!!!
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#2 Ed Sieb

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 07:21 PM

I couldn't agree more. I too have tons of standard 16MM gear - three Arris, a Beaulieu 16R, and even a K3. Don't wnat to bother getting them modified for Super 16. Still shoot with them. Yes, film is expensive, but so what?

You mention standard lenses are cheap now. I'd love to get some primes for my Arri 16M. Any suggestions on a cheap source?



For the last 4 months straight I've been shooting REG 16 for a feature I'm doing. Through out this time I've been dealing with labs, pro filmakers, rental houses, HD houses, and traditional neg cutters. What I've learned is that making a film comes down to economics. The more $$ you have, the more you can do. Also, REG 16 (the aspect format) is slowly fading into the past. The format is not used as much and is being kept alive by mainly the education world (film schools). Do worry... 16mm film will always be around.

The advantage of REG 16 I've learned is econonics. REG 16 lens and cameras rent out for almost nothing because everyone is interested in shooting on Super 16 or using Super 16 lens for their video camera. Nothing against Super, I love it, but if I can get a REG16 SR2 with a Ziess zoom for a week for only $900.00, I'll shoot on REG16. In the end the audience is not going to jump out of their seats because of the aspect ratio.

Yes... REG16 may be going away, but now is the time to shoot on it. Its cheaper than ever. The rental house I go to for R16 lens, the guy practically gives them away. He's glad someone is useing these lens that are just sitting on his shelf.

The one thing that still sucks is buying film. New is expensive as hell $125.00 for a 400ft can? OOOOuch!!!!


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#3 Paul Korver

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 01:42 AM

I couldn't agree more. I too have tons of standard 16MM gear - three Arris, a Beaulieu 16R, and even a K3. Don't wnat to bother getting them modified for Super 16. Still shoot with them. Yes, film is expensive, but so what?

You mention standard lenses are cheap now. I'd love to get some primes for my Arri 16M. Any suggestions on a cheap source?



And therin lies the beauty of Ultra 16mm... best of both worlds. A cheap mod to this R16mm kit will give these cameras and lenses more resolution and a native 1.85 aspect ratio.
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#4 Michael Kubaszak

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 02:24 AM

The problem is not the stock cost. Student rates are about $100 a roll for Fuji and Kodak.

The problem is telecine. That is the single most expensive thing.
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#5 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 04:33 AM

Edit traditionally. There are TONS of R16 table top editors for a song on ebay (I mean under 100 bucks for one in excellent condition). Hell a Moviola 16mm flatbed, portable flatbed or upright go for less that a week's camera rental often times and printing 16mm is not all that expensive. At Movielab HD telecine is 30 cents a foot, printing is 28 cents a foot.

Also, finding an academy 16mm projector with a portable screen for checking dallies are cheaper that Hell as up til the 70s that's all there was and EVERYBODY had one and they were usually well taken care of. I've got one my dad gave me and it's mint.
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#6 Hal Smith

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 04:44 AM

Edit traditionally. There are TONS of R16 table top editors for a song on ebay (I mean under 100 bucks for one in excellent condition). Hell a Moviola 16mm flatbed, portable flatbed or upright go for less that a week's camera rental often times and printing 16mm is not all that expensive. At Movielab HD telecine is 30 cents a foot, printing is 28 cents a foot.

Also, finding an academy 16mm projector with a portable screen for checking dallies are cheaper that Hell as up til the 70s that's all there was and EVERYBODY had one and they were usually well taken care of. I've got one my dad gave me and it's mint.


A few years ago the U.S.Government surplused a zillion new 16mm projectors. Search "new 16mm projector" and you'll get a bunch of listings. I snagged a B&H JAN last year for $300.00. Currently Kinneaman wants $700 for new JAN's, $450 for B&H 2585's, and $250 for Telex's. What's nice about the JAN's is they use a Geneva mechanism pulldown (no claw but rather an intermittant gearbox driving a sprocket) just like movie theater 35mm projectors.

Hey Cap'n,

I see your up in the middle of the night too. What's your excuse? Mine is I'm suffering a winter cold, I woke up an hour ago and my newest batch of drugs is finally taking hold...
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#7 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 04:04 AM

I have horrifying insomnia and ofter times am up til 5 or 6 AM. That might be why I have all these weird images in my head. I get some of my best story ideas late at night...or very early in the morning depending on your perspective.

Sorry to hear you're ill though, I hope you fell better amigo. Get your wife to make you some nice homemade chicken soup. I had some Robbyn made for me tonight to ward off the aches and chills demons and it was fantastic. If you want really great chicken soup get a beautiful Jewish girl to make it for you!! :)
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#8 Simon Wyss

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 11:54 AM

There is that scene in The Apartment about a healthy soup . . .
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#9 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 12:20 AM

I love The Apartment. Billy Wilder is one of my all time heroes. Along with Woody Allen he is the most successful screenwriter in motion picture history. If I can write something one tenth as well crafted as one of his scripts, I'll consider myself accomplished indeed. B)
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#10 Kevith Mitchell

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 10:48 AM

I couldn't agree more. I too have tons of standard 16MM gear - three Arris, a Beaulieu 16R, and even a K3. Don't wnat to bother getting them modified for Super 16. Still shoot with them. Yes, film is expensive, but so what?

You mention standard lenses are cheap now. I'd love to get some primes for my Arri 16M. Any suggestions on a cheap source?


Try Du-All Camera in New York City. That is where I get my stuff from. They know there stuff and will give you a deal. http://www.duallcamera.com/
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#11 Michael Kubaszak

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 11:07 AM

kev, do you know anyone in film school right now? They might be able to 'check out' a S16 SR2 or something or maybe R16.
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#12 Kevith Mitchell

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 11:31 AM

As for editing REG16, if you are doing a short, editing on video and tranfering to HD is probably best. Just remember, the conform and coloring time are the things that kill you in HD. And expect whatever will go wrong, can wrong.

With a feature, its totally different. Its 10x more footage, more edits, more conforming, more coloring and that equals more money. As the other reviewer said, edit on a flatbed then give it to a neg cutter. I can't agree more from a low budget stance. A ton of your headaches will be eliminated. Just make sure you can still get 16mm fullcoat, which I hear you still can.

Last Sunday I spoke with a filmmaker (he actually makes living making feature films). He told me he respected what I was doing and gave me good advice. He said eventually get a HD transfer because the broadcast buyers right now have two channels. One for SD and the other for HD. If you can fullfill both channels, this raises your bargaining power. He also said don't use your orginal cut neg of the finished film to go to HD. Use an inter-positive. This saves wear and tear on your original cut neg.

I just got footage back yesterday from several REG16mm shoots for this feature. And I'm proud to say this stuff is looks like the most sexiest woman you've set your eyes on. You just keep looking: ) I used 7212 and 7217 stocks, did basic two point lighting. But my god, the lens and the stock pickup everything in detail. The colors, the contrast, the deep blacks, the separation of colored light from . And I mainly used Schnieder lens. In my opinion its a lot easier to get stuff like this on film than video. And since it is 1:66...it fills the whole monitor so you see more.
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#13 Simon Wyss

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 03:30 PM

To come around let me put it this way: I should never bother if a movie like The Apartment were shot in 3:4. Regular 16 is 3 to 4 aspect ratio. Wide screen is fine, but the regular format, if you want, also the contained triangle with sides 3-4-5, are very dynamic. Regular 16 helps convey depth for the action. Many motion pictures go so perfectly with that geometry like, let me see:

The Women
Mon Oncle
I soliti ignoti
The Third Man
Ursula oder das unwerte Leben
. . .

Let’s not forget that 9.5 mm and 16 mm were created for the promotion of safety reduction prints, old Pathé productions in the first place.
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#14 David Leugers

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 04:37 PM

[quote name='Hal Smith' timestamp='1292319886' post='339791']
A few years ago the U.S.Government surplused a zillion new 16mm projectors. Search "new 16mm projector" and you'll get a bunch of listings. I snagged a B&H JAN last year for $300.00. Currently Kinneaman wants $700 for new JAN's, $450 for B&H 2585's, and $250 for Telex's. What's nice about the JAN's is they use a Geneva mechanism pulldown (no claw but rather an intermittant gearbox driving a sprocket) just like movie theater 35mm projectors.


I have never seen, read, or heard about a JAN with a Geneva movement instead of the claw mechanism that is on all of my JAN projectors - including a new one I purchased from ICECO (Kinneman). That said, the JAN is one heck of a projector and one of my all-time favorites. The easiest on film I have come across. And the easiest to clean. The overhaul manual requires 2000 passes with a test film strip with no wear...
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#15 Chris Burke

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 06:38 PM

another great thing about shooting regular 16 is that you can get full resolution dailies. HD dailies are great, but a best light contact print, wow does it look great.
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#16 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 12:34 AM

Kev, one thing that has NOT been mentioned here and needs to be so I'll do it. This is a professional forum and you need to use your full name so please go to your controls and change it. B)
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#17 Dave Campbell

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 06:24 PM

Kev,
Maybe I didn't read close enough, but what is your output for your feature? Are you going to try for a theatrical release?
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#18 russell fowler

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 11:04 AM

David,
the JAN specs where designed by the government with several manufacturers producing the machine. There where some modifications.....one by Ampro had a Gevena pull down sprocket run by a "drunken screw" cam ( like Norelco / Kinoton ). Them unit was rock steady with shutter drive and movement in a easily replaceable oil tank. This unit did not output as much light as the claw type drives and where more expensive to manufacture; so examples are rare. I worked at a T.V. station in the late 1960's where we had two of these chugging along reviewing prints for broadcast.
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#19 Kevith Mitchell

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 01:23 PM

Kev,
Maybe I didn't read close enough, but what is your output for your feature? Are you going to try for a theatrical release?


I going the STV (Straight to Video)route. This movie does not have theatrical legs. I will do a couple theatrical bookings for promotion and marketing. But its pretty much targeted for a video release.
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#20 Curtis Alexander

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 01:52 PM

FYI, Fish Tank, pretty recent movie was shot 1.33:1 http://www.imdb.com/...32776/technical I thought it was a great. I saw it in the theatre and have the dvd. I admin 1.33:1 was a little surprising, but I don't think anyone else in the theater cared.
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