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Embarking on my first Super 8mm Film Project


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#1 T Sanders

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:56 PM

Hi there,

I'm new to the forum and Super 8mm filmmaking. I've been reading a lot of posts on here and thought I'd jump right in. Last year I bought a Canon 514XL and a Canon 514XL-S. I used the XL for a wedding and some test footage using the 100D and Tri-X film stocks.

I've decided to go ahead with a planned little short (1 cartridge) film this coming Saturday by filming a river lights festival. I LOVE how the Kodak Vison3 200T film stock looks at night using a Canon 514XL like in this film: https://www.youtube....h?v=Jnbe-n-JqYY

So I've purchased a few cartridges of it for the lights festival. I also just got my C-8 wide angle lens for my 514XLs yesterday and it really does add quite a bit more image.

I'm going to take the plunge and report back the results. :)

If anyone has any pointers, that would be greatly appreciated.

Funny thing, I've been doing documentaries using digital cameras since 2002 and when I first got my Super 8mm cameras, my brain couldn't wrap around the idea that shooting with the film camera was easier. My mind kept wanting to "fix" something or "compensate" for something like what you have to do with digital filmmaking. I'm not saying digital filmmaking is not as good but just that I had to realize that shooting on film didn't have the same challenges as shooting on video. I kept thinking "Wait, it can't be THAT easy..." :)

Cheers!
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#2 Bill Rodgers

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:14 AM

GOOD LUCK!

I love using both the 43mm/67mm C8 wide lenses on the 514XL-S/1014XL-S Canon cameras. Same goes for the PMAs on Eumig, similar Aspheron 4mm lenses on Bolex models (manufactured by Eumig) and the incredible Schneider Kreuznach UWLs on Braun Nizos.

Going W I D E is such a joy but beware of just filming that way, as it's often tempting to but can honestly get a bit visually boring. So combine with medium and close-up shots for full effect. Have FUN!
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#3 Matt Stevens

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:18 AM

I've never used the wide angle lens on my Canon 1014 XL-S. I kind of don't know how. :unsure: I'll try and remedy that this Christmas.

The Youtube video in post #1 is from lealer, the uncrowned King of Super8 shooting.



My advice to T Sanders is take your time, but do not overthink. Since you are shooting for something not meant for theatrical display you can shoot 18fps. That will give you more exposure at night.

I've not used the 514's but 200t is best overexposed by 1/3 or 2/3 of a stop. If you can take exposure off auto and put it to manual, you will have a more consistent look. Watching footage that drifts all over the place with exposure is annoying.

And please remember not to have bright light behind your subject. :D
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#4 Chris Burke

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:22 PM

I've never used the wide angle lens on my Canon 1014 XL-S. I kind of don't know how. :unsure: I'll try and remedy that this Christmas.

The Youtube video in post #1 is from lealer, the uncrowned King of Super8 shooting.



My advice to T Sanders is take your time, but do not overthink. Since you are shooting for something not meant for theatrical display you can shoot 18fps. That will give you more exposure at night.

I've not used the 514's but 200t is best overexposed by 1/3 or 2/3 of a stop. If you can take exposure off auto and put it to manual, you will have a more consistent look. Watching footage that drifts all over the place with exposure is annoying.

And please remember not to have bright light behind your subject. :D



I wouldn't worry about overexposing the film, especially because you intend to shoot at night. Don't you? Either way, it handles overexposure very well and going one full stop over is recommended rather than 2/3.

Having lights behind the subject pointing toward the camera is a matter of taste. I do it all the time and quite like the look, especially because of the way it handles clipping and flaring. If you meter for your subject and they are back lit, as long as you are getting what you want in the areas of the frame you want, then it really doesn't matter where the light comes from. the shots you used as example has plenty of back lighting.
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#5 Matt Stevens

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:34 PM

Most canon's will read the 200t as 160 so it's already going over a bit. So I try to go 2/3 from there.

I point out the lights behind the subject thing because most first or second time shooters just do not know that it will cause their subjects to be black blobs of underexposure without the proper correction. I've even looked at footage from people who should know better and whoops... underexposed faces galore. It happens.

Thankfully Vision3 stocks have great latitude.
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#6 T Sanders

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 04:27 PM

Thank you all! You have been very helpful. I was thinking about shooting 24fps because I was under the impression it made telicine process easier somehow but I do think it's more wise to shoot 18fps for this video... or I might be silly and shoot 24fps because I'm used to shooting 24p with video... hopefully logic will get the better of me and I'll shoot 18fps. :D

I am definitely looking forward to shooting with the wide angle for the cityscape shots and will remove it to shoot closer shots when needed. :)

I'm shooting this at night: http://tampariverlightsfestival.org/

I knew about the blobs because it seems to be mentioned on every site about super 8 filming and also I believe it's in the manual. But it doesn't hurt to keep hearing it. I'm getting old and forgetful. :D

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to testing out the Vision3 stock.

Edited by T Sanders, 06 December 2012 - 04:29 PM.

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#7 David Cunningham

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:09 PM

This festival looks awesome! I'd love to get the chance to shoot it on Vision3. I'd take some spot light meter readings with my 35mm SLR to get an idea on the lighting. But, most likely (especially on wide angle city-scape shots like the one on the front page of their website) I'd just set to manual and leave it wide open with Vision3 500T and DEFINITELY leave it wide open for 200T. At a wide angle far from the lights themselves you will never overexpose and will almost surely under expose.

If you are going to be up close to some of the lights I'd still do spot reads with my SLR and set the Super 8 camera about 2/3 - 1 full stop over exposure to get some area highlights. I think leaving the auto exposure enabled is sure to cause bright and dark spots and horrible "blobs" of black like Matt mentions.

That's just my take. Opinions?

Dave
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#8 David Cunningham

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:12 PM

Oh, and one other note...

I'd probably shoot at 12 FPS as long as the camera wasn't moving at all (tripod, monopod, very steady hand), including no panning. That makes it nice and easy to frame double up to 24 FPS. I've done that in a few low light and time sensitive situations, like a monologue that was 4 minutes and 45 seconds. One super 8 cart was almost exactly right.
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#9 T Sanders

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 02:36 PM

I think the festival will be pretty sweet. The spots they picked for the lights are also between two real draw bridges too, should make for some interesting visuals.

Just got my new Vision3 200T film just now from the UPS guy! :)

I do need to go over the manual for the cameras to make sure I know how to control everything. I'll do that today. I think I'm shooting with it wide open (as instructed by the wide angle adapter manual) but I want to make sure I'm not missing anything.

I've decided to shoot with both Canons. One hand held with the wide angle adapter on and other on a tripod for the close shots; both at 18fps. Found out last night the batteries don't keep their connections with the handle up on the canon 514xl-s I have. This is the first time I've used it since I bought it over a year ago. So I can't put it on the tripod. But it's good and heavy so using it handheld is cool. I'll use the lighter 514xl on the tripod.

On a side note... Anyone ever realize that many Super 8mm cameras look like an Uzi?

Every now and then crazy things pop into my head and I was thinking about the possibility of someone mistaking my camera for an Uzi at the festival tomorrow. Hahahahahaha I'd better be careful huh? :)

Maybe they need some bright colored enhancements. I'll slap a bunch of my neon green gaffer tape on them.

Edited by T Sanders, 07 December 2012 - 02:39 PM.

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#10 Steve Williams

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 03:09 PM

Thank you all! You have been very helpful. I was thinking about shooting 24fps because I was under the impression it made telicine process easier somehow but I do think it's more wise to shoot 18fps for this video... or I might be silly and shoot 24fps because I'm used to shooting 24p with video... hopefully logic will get the better of me and I'll shoot 18fps. :D


I was under the same impression, I shoot 24fps only because I use Pro8mm who says they complete their telecine at 24fps. What would be the outcome if I shot an entire roll at 18fps or even 12fps as David had suggested?
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#11 Matt Stevens

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:54 AM

If you are using Pro8mm, then do not shoot 18fps. You will have to go elsewhere. But you can shoot 12fps and then use After Effects or Premiere Pro or numerous other programs to double it to 24 and it will look fine. But I only recommend doing that for shots where your camera is stationary and with little movement going on in the frame.
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#12 T Sanders

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 01:59 PM

The festival wasn't that great. 95% of the lights were out with a minute of them being dumped into the river and 10k is very small on top of a river so we could barely see them anyway. But I did get some great cityscape footage and i'm looking forward to having the film processed and transferred. :)
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#13 Matt Stevens

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 04:03 PM

Oh well. You gave it a good go.
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