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R16 cropped for 16:9


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#1 Christopher Murakami

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 03:25 AM

How effective is shooting regular 16mm film cropped to 16:9 in order to get a widescreen visual?

I'm in the process of getting a camera converted to U16, but if cropping with tape (and post-production) works well, it'll save me a fortune (for a poor student).
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#2 Tim Carroll

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 07:49 AM

How effective is shooting regular 16mm film cropped to 16:9 in order to get a widescreen visual?

I'm in the process of getting a camera converted to U16, but if cropping with tape (and post-production) works well, it'll save me a fortune (for a poor student).


Chris,

I point you to this page of the Arri16S.com web site to give you an example of how to tape the ground glass on an Arri 16S camera. It's pretty simple:

Shooting 16:9 w/regular 16 camera

As far as the results, take a look at any clip on this page (all shot 16:9 with a regular 16 camera):

16:9 film clips shot with regular 16 camera

And this long clip is all 16:9 shot with a regular 16 camera (pardon the shaky hand held work):

Long 16:9 clip shot with regular 16 camera


Use slower film stocks and you'll be fine.

Best,
-Tim
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#3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 08:33 AM

It can easily be done, but the resulting negative area will be 40% smaller than that of s16.
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#4 Tim Carroll

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 09:31 AM

It can easily be done, but the resulting negative area will be 40% smaller than that of s16.


Yep, and if you use slower film stocks, the new Vision 3 film, and have a great script, that 40% isn't going to make a darn bit of difference.

I promise you that the 40% bigger negative is not going to have bearing on whether your film gets into film festivals or gets distribution. Of all the important issues in making a movie, that 40% is at the bottom of the list.

A short rant (and this is not directed at Stuart):
I get so tired of how hung up everyone gets on inconsequential crap like the 40% bigger negative of Super 16, or the 20% bigger negative of Ultra 16, or whether it's digital or film. Write a GREAT SCRIPT, get GOOD ACTORS, tell a VISUALLY INTERESTING STORY, and you can shoot it on your f#@*ing cell phone and people are going to want to pay money to see it. IT'S NOT ABOUT THE SIZE OF THE NEGATIVE OR WHETHER YOU USE DIGITAL OR FILM!

IT'S ABOUT TELLING A VISUALLY INTERESTING STORY!!!

End of rant, thanks for listening.

Best,
-Tim
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#5 Will Montgomery

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 03:27 PM

When I saw the subject line I knew Tim would have something to say.

He's right of course, we do tend to obsess over size. It is all about the story and some stories would benefit from a little more grain anyway.

If you are a student I would save your money and concentrate on the story, interesting angles that support the story, maybe even rent better lenses and not worry about Ultra 16... chances are you would be transferring it with a company that can't support the format anyway and you'd be back to a slightly wide version of R16. The companies that do support it are very good but few.

Look at it this way, you're friends will be impressed that you actually shot film when they see a little bit of grain.

Also plan your shots to take advantage of slower stocks with smaller grain.

BTW, what do you mean by "Cropping with tape?"
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#6 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 11:12 PM

I just finished a process and transfer project for my friend Jeff Wedding of a film titled "A Measure of the Sin" which was shot R16 and I transferred it on the Y-Front to 16:9 crop. Jeff makes really interesting looking films and this one is no exception I am sure the finished cut will be great and I am going to do a final color pass with him on Resolve. It is a unique looking film shot with a number of stocks including new 50D and 500t and E6 X-Processed and older expired color neg.

Like others said its about the film not the format but R16 cropped can work...

-Rob-
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#7 Herbie Pabst

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 06:03 PM

I think R16 cropped is very effective. In my mind it's a beautiful format to tell a story. (see Tim's Rant) I have a K3 and an Eclair NPR both U16 they take fabulous shots. Rob (Cinelab) is part of my work flow and the good news is that at Cinelab R16, U16 and S16 cost the same to transfer to HD.

What I like the most about shooting 16mm are the colors I get from ProResHQ transfers. It's the highest color quality image I can create. All my other cameras are either DV, HDV, Hi8, S-VHS etc... I am a filmmaker who uses his lunch money to fund his films. I can buy more DV tape than film with lunch money and do often but film is my best. I don't eat much when I fire up the 16's.

I spend most of my time writing trying to come up with something watchable. Also been down the equipment head trip road thinking that's what's missing. The funniest thing is when I come home from work and my kids are watching something that was shot 4:3 and they have it stretched to 16:9. By habit I go over to the TV and put it back to 4:3 and they start screaming "it looks like crap" and tell me to put it back the way it was. Stretch is so flattering for the actors, it looks like they've been eating french-fries and brown gravy for three months. And I'm worried about a little grain?
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#8 Christopher Murakami

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 01:14 AM

Thanks for all the advice. I'll definitely try this route.
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#9 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 02:57 PM

Yep, and if you use slower film stocks, the new Vision 3 film, and have a great script, that 40% isn't going to make a darn bit of difference.


Of course it makes a difference, Tim, otherwise why would we bother with 35mm, or 65mm? As cinematographers we generally strive for the highest possible image quality available to us. To discount a 40% increase in neg area is to ignore the facts.

It may well be true that a great script will win through and find an audience whatever, but does that mean that cinematographers should settle for shooting everything on mini-dv? Of course not. Let Directors and actors worry about great scripts, our job is images, and we should strive for the highest quality format that we can.
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#10 Tim Carroll

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 12:01 PM

Of course it makes a difference, Tim, otherwise why would we bother with 35mm, or 65mm? As cinematographers we generally strive for the highest possible image quality available to us. To discount a 40% increase in neg area is to ignore the facts.

It may well be true that a great script will win through and find an audience whatever, but does that mean that cinematographers should settle for shooting everything on mini-dv? Of course not. Let Directors and actors worry about great scripts, our job is images, and we should strive for the highest quality format that we can.


Stuart,

Spectacular job of "missing the point". This is a broke college film student. Not a seasoned DP. Nowhere does he say he is pursuing a DP career. He's a film student, trying to get his film made on no budget, but he has a regular 16mm camera at his disposal. If he had a Super 16 camera at his disposal, certainly we would all recommend he use that. But he doesn't. So we showed him how to get his film made, and pointed out what was really important for a film student to focus one when making his school film.

Best,
-Tim
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#11 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 02:36 PM

Spectacular job of "missing the point".


I didn't miss the point, I just disagree with it.
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