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#1 Marc Roessler

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 11:17 AM

Hi everyone,

as you all know things aren't going so well right now for our big yellow mama Kodak.
And let's face it, in case Kodak (and the Vision technology) fades away, for color projects this will be the death blow to film as a serious choice as a recording format.

Now my thought is, usually buying stocks (talking about financial stocks here, not film stocks) is seen as gambling, you're trying to maximize your returns by investing in stocks which you expect to rise. But when you buy stocks of a company, it also means that you invest in that company, giving them money to work with. (you should keep that in mind when buying shares of companies with questionable ethics, by the way...)

Currently Kodak shares are somewhere around 18 Dollar-Cents. For example buying shares for 50 Dollars will give you around 277 shares. Yes they may drop. Yes you may loose all your money in case Kodak goes belly-up. But on the other hand, as a film affictionado loosing 50 Dollars will be the least of your problems in case we loose Kodak?

It sure is just a tiny drop in the ocean, but I guess it's better than just sitting there and doing nothing...

Greetings,
Marc

Edited by Marc Roessler, 30 December 2012 - 11:19 AM.

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#2 Andy Hager

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 06:06 PM

I think the best news of the last year was when Fuji announced they were pulling out of the Motion Picture Film market. Why Kodak doesn't see this as a capitolistic oportunity, I don't really know?

There is NOTHING new with digital technology anymore and, frankly, I think the film market has been penetrated as about as far as it will go with substitue digital products. I do NOT believe that there is anyone still "on the fence" between going digital or stying with film anymore. That ship has definately sailed over a decade ago already!!! Sure, there will be some who will still step away, but I do believe that the majority of people stepped away from the film market and I think some have come back to film, regardless of its costs.

It costs about $150 to $160 dollars for a 400ft roll of 16mm film not including processing and other items. I can't fill the gas tank of my daily driver pickup truck without it costing $100 anymore!! It's $150 per month for a cable/phone/internet subscription for crying out loud! Somehow I'm told to be expected to believe that film is expensive?
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#3 Matt Stevens

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 08:42 PM

Processing and the HD scan is what kills you. Film IS expensive. it is. period. End of story. For most really low budget projects it makes no sense. But once you start getting into the traditional low budget areas, you can find ways to use film for the same amount of money as digital.

Fuji dropping film only hastened Hollywood's switch to digital.
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#4 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:27 PM

For most really low budget projects it makes no sense.

\
How low budget are we talking there Matt? Borrowing a friends T3i without providing insurance low? That is the territory where I wouldnt consider shooting film. However, doing like many do and purchasing a 3-5k digital camera package with 1-2k of accessories, I think film becomes a potential medium depending on the gauge you shoot and keeping your ratio down.

I shot many Super8 shorts on less than 1k. The most I ever spent for an S8 short was 1,200 USD, i think. And that was including post. You'd have to call in some favors with friends to go less than that with digital. Owning a camera package already is cheating budget wise because you should be depreciating the camera based on use and useful life. So if you want to be honest, there are very few times that film CANNOT be shot in any capacity at the same price level as digital. People just view different costs differently.
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#5 Geoff Howell

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:34 AM

I think the best news of the last year was when Fuji announced they were pulling out of the Motion Picture Film market. Why Kodak doesn't see this as a capitolistic oportunity, I don't really know?

Fuji jumped ship because the market is shrinking at an alarming rate.
Here in the UK the BBC stopped accepting material shot on super16 just prior to Fuji pulling the plug; this and other similar decisions would have had a considerable impact on keeping their motion picture division as a viable business.

Its not as if there are a large group of TV producers migrating to Kodak as film (from any manufacturer) simply no longer factors in to their day to day operations.
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#6 Marc Roessler

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 08:43 AM

I don't think film and processing is that expensive. It's usually the (high quality) scanning that is expensive.

Even for a short film, once you factor in cost for travel, parking, food, props & wardrobe, filming permits, renting lights, sound mix, DVD duplication (you give free DVDs to your crew, right?) in my experience you end up with 15 to 50 % of the budget spent for film stocks and processing. Let's face it, making a film is expensive, regardless of whether you shoot film or digital.

Coming to think of it.. sitting through some indie films with endlessly long scenes where nothing is told to the viewer, I sometimes think that the cost of film stock and processing is a good thing. Forces you to be more to the point.
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#7 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:35 AM

Marc is right as rain. It gets so old and tired hearing how expensive film is. Making movies IS expensive, no denying that. But there are so many costs that are fixed regardless and there are unanticipated costs to digital that add up. I've known many people who had to upgrade their computers to handle the sheer amount of data to process for digital. Any often times you have to purchase additional software to get the grades you want if you dont have it already. Not to mention all the storage media for backups.
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#8 Matt Stevens

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:34 AM

I know a number of DP's and producers of little projects here in NYC that have had no choice but to go with a DSLR. It was digital or not move forward and it was all due to the costs. The shoot on a DSLR and use Magic Bullet in post.

The audience is also changing. Younger people have no idea "what's wrong with the picture" when viewing super8 or even some 16mm. They have become so used to the clean digital look that grainy film looks like poop to them. "How come the image is so sandy? I don't like that."

Hollywood is catering to those paying customers.
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#9 Marc Roessler

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 11:10 AM

I agree that for some projects it's actually too expensive. It all depends on the amount of total effort you put into it. On the other hand, if a project isn't worth shooting on 16 or even 8, isn't there another problem to begin with?
(It's different of course if you decide not to shoot film for other reasons. Film is not the ideal medium for every project, that's clear too.. for "ext/night with available light" I think an Alexa would be the better choice...)

S16 is not that grainy as long as you stay away from the 500 ASA films. On the cinema screen (2k DCP) without degraining the S16 grain is apparent even with 200 speed films, it's a matter of taste there. But then again there are very nice degraining tools. S8 grain is very in-your-face grain and sharpness wise of course...

Tastes do change and the slick digital look is very en vogue at the moment. However, whereever there's a trend there's usually a counter-trend too: I see quite some commercial music videos and ads shot on s8 at the moment .. one example is "DU" ("you") from Cro:

Certainly a look only suitable for some clips, but I really enjoyed it here.
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#10 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 03:36 PM

Marc is on fire with points, IMO. Matt, at what point should a filmmaker realize that he/she simply is underfunded and NEEDS to wait and raise some funds? The film cost argument can be a slippery slope and lead to making compromises one shouldnt make. Ive been on shoots where they forgone lighting (not cheap lighting but as in NO lighting at all other than basic household lighting) because it "wasnt in the budget." There comes a point, I believe, when you make so many compromises because you are cheap/poor/impatient/whatever that maybe your movie shouldnt even be made in the first place.
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#11 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:03 PM

We have had full length feature films run through Cinelab both on 16mm and on 2-Perf,3-Perf and 4-Perf 35mm where the budget was under $250k and with some of the 16mm projects under $50K sure it is not 5D cheap but have you ever really looked at what comes out of a 5D? I am surprised that DSLR shooting is not banned by the BBC they barely resolve more than SD resolution and have tons of noise issues.

I know plenty of people who shoot film regularly who are broke film makers smaller labs like us at Cinelab or Alpha-Cine etc. will work with you and the cost of scanning will drop as more newer scanners are put in place.

_Rob-
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#12 Geoff Howell

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:12 PM

I am surprised that DSLR shooting is not banned by the BBC

It is! or at least the 5D2 was!
not sure where they stand on more recent models though
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#13 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:46 PM

They cleared the Nikon D800 (which resolve something a bit less than 720P in their test) and I am not sure about the MK3 but after shooting a industrial with a few of them all I can say is that even with the better compression it still is low resolution noisy and has no latitude. I would have preferred to shoot that industrial with HPX-250's or some other decent 3-chip video camera.

-Rob-
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