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Shooting on 35mm Film - What does it really cost?

35mm Film Development

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#1 Randy J Tomlinson

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 11:18 AM

Hello everyone,

 

So, since last week i can call myself a proud owner of a Moviecam Compact mkII :)  Yeehh.

I always had an affinity for Film but was never able to use Film for obvious reasons: $$$$

Today i took the time to do a serious research.

 

- where can i buy film?

- where can i develop it?

- who offers the best scan service?

 

Well, most of you already heard the news: Fujifilm stoped producing Filmstock in January 2013. No new Filmstock is avaiable anymore.

Let's talk Kodak. Today i had a nice conversation on the phone with a representative from Kodak. Subject of course was me fear that Kodak alsowill stop production of Filmstock. No, they won't. The Lady told me, Kodak will continue the production of 8mm, super8mm, 16mm and 35mm Filmstock for the next 10 years "GUARANTEED"!!

That is good news. But what does it cost to buy Film? Well i can tell you roughly as i have european prices here. A 400' Foot Roll of Kodak Vision 3 , 500T cost me around 285 US$ BUT the minimum order is 600$ so i will buy 3 Rolls ( 3x 4.46 minutes of film)

 

Then i called Arri headquarter for developing and scanning my 3 Filmrolls. Straight forward, Scanning my 3 films in 2K is out of Question. But they gave my some sweet deal, tough. per 400' they ask 175 US$ for the development and preparing to scan. So we're talking about 525.00 US$ for 3 rolls of 400' Film. Thats not to bad, isn't it?

Well, i still need a scan, so they offered me a "student price" for a full HD scan (1920 x 1080)

Per Film Minute (not labor minute) they ask aroun 11.20$ which would be 168.00 US$ for my 3 Rolls of 35mm Film.

 

Let's be realistic. Cut 1/3, because you will waste film. Especially if you are a beginner like i am.

 

I have Calculated that 3 Rolls of 35mm Film (400 foot) will give me 10 Minutes of "Movie" and it will cost me roughly 1500.00 US$ (purchase film, developing and scanning)

 

That ain't to bad?! Honestly i expected twice the price. of course this is a very rough calculation. Let's say +/- 100$

 

Lets assume we're going to shoot a Music Video. At least here in Switzerland you pay for an Arri Alexy 1400.00 US$ rental per day!

Same Company is asking 400 US$ rental for a Moviecam Superamerica. Your shooting takes 2 days....

 

I wish i could bring that argument everytime when i read the comments in forums when they talk about price and claim that shoting on Video is cheaper.

And btw, im sure David can confirm that, a 2k or 4k video post production will cost most likely 3times what a film post production costs. (depends on the production company of course)

 

My conclusion: Film is not necessarily more expensive that Video. Maybe equal. At the end you have to ask yourself: Do i want Film or do i want Video. i'd rather Film because of the rich dynamic which can not be done with Video.

 

Respectfully

Randy


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#2 Mark Dunn

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 01:00 PM

You will find a shooting ratio of 1.5:1 unachievable. 6:1 is an absolute minimum for drama and I suppose if your music video were storyboarded to the beat you might get a bit lower than that. So your costs will be at least 2 or 3 times higher than you think. It will look terrific though.


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#3 Stephen Williams

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 01:26 PM

Hello everyone,

 

So, since last week i can call myself a proud owner of a Moviecam Compact mkII :)  Yeehh.

I always had an affinity for Film but was never able to use Film for obvious reasons: $$$$

Today i took the time to do a serious research.

 

- where can i buy film?

- where can i develop it?

- who offers the best scan service?

 

Well, most of you already heard the news: Fujifilm stoped producing Filmstock in January 2013. No new Filmstock is avaiable anymore.

Let's talk Kodak. Today i had a nice conversation on the phone with a representative from Kodak. Subject of course was me fear that Kodak alsowill stop production of Filmstock. No, they won't. The Lady told me, Kodak will continue the production of 8mm, super8mm, 16mm and 35mm Filmstock for the next 10 years "GUARANTEED"!!

That is good news. But what does it cost to buy Film? Well i can tell you roughly as i have european prices here. A 400' Foot Roll of Kodak Vision 3 , 500T cost me around 285 US$ BUT the minimum order is 600$ so i will buy 3 Rolls ( 3x 4.46 minutes of film)

 

Then i called Arri headquarter for developing and scanning my 3 Filmrolls. Straight forward, Scanning my 3 films in 2K is out of Question. But they gave my some sweet deal, tough. per 400' they ask 175 US$ for the development and preparing to scan. So we're talking about 525.00 US$ for 3 rolls of 400' Film. Thats not to bad, isn't it?

Well, i still need a scan, so they offered me a "student price" for a full HD scan (1920 x 1080)

Per Film Minute (not labor minute) they ask aroun 11.20$ which would be 168.00 US$ for my 3 Rolls of 35mm Film.

 

Let's be realistic. Cut 1/3, because you will waste film. Especially if you are a beginner like i am.

 

I have Calculated that 3 Rolls of 35mm Film (400 foot) will give me 10 Minutes of "Movie" and it will cost me roughly 1500.00 US$ (purchase film, developing and scanning)

 

That ain't to bad?! Honestly i expected twice the price. of course this is a very rough calculation. Let's say +/- 100$

 

Lets assume we're going to shoot a Music Video. At least here in Switzerland you pay for an Arri Alexy 1400.00 US$ rental per day!

Same Company is asking 400 US$ rental for a Moviecam Superamerica. Your shooting takes 2 days....

 

I wish i could bring that argument everytime when i read the comments in forums when they talk about price and claim that shoting on Video is cheaper.

And btw, im sure David can confirm that, a 2k or 4k video post production will cost most likely 3times what a film post production costs. (depends on the production company of course)

 

My conclusion: Film is not necessarily more expensive that Video. Maybe equal. At the end you have to ask yourself: Do i want Film or do i want Video. i'd rather Film because of the rich dynamic which can not be done with Video.

 

Respectfully

Randy

 

 

Hello everyone,

 

So, since last week i can call myself a proud owner of a Moviecam Compact mkII :)  Yeehh.

I always had an affinity for Film but was never able to use Film for obvious reasons: $$$$

Today i took the time to do a serious research.

 

- where can i buy film?

- where can i develop it?

- who offers the best scan service?

 

Well, most of you already heard the news: Fujifilm stoped producing Filmstock in January 2013. No new Filmstock is avaiable anymore.

Let's talk Kodak. Today i had a nice conversation on the phone with a representative from Kodak. Subject of course was me fear that Kodak alsowill stop production of Filmstock. No, they won't. The Lady told me, Kodak will continue the production of 8mm, super8mm, 16mm and 35mm Filmstock for the next 10 years "GUARANTEED"!!

That is good news. But what does it cost to buy Film? Well i can tell you roughly as i have european prices here. A 400' Foot Roll of Kodak Vision 3 , 500T cost me around 285 US$ BUT the minimum order is 600$ so i will buy 3 Rolls ( 3x 4.46 minutes of film)

 

Then i called Arri headquarter for developing and scanning my 3 Filmrolls. Straight forward, Scanning my 3 films in 2K is out of Question. But they gave my some sweet deal, tough. per 400' they ask 175 US$ for the development and preparing to scan. So we're talking about 525.00 US$ for 3 rolls of 400' Film. Thats not to bad, isn't it?

Well, i still need a scan, so they offered me a "student price" for a full HD scan (1920 x 1080)

Per Film Minute (not labor minute) they ask aroun 11.20$ which would be 168.00 US$ for my 3 Rolls of 35mm Film.

 

Let's be realistic. Cut 1/3, because you will waste film. Especially if you are a beginner like i am.

 

I have Calculated that 3 Rolls of 35mm Film (400 foot) will give me 10 Minutes of "Movie" and it will cost me roughly 1500.00 US$ (purchase film, developing and scanning)

 

That ain't to bad?! Honestly i expected twice the price. of course this is a very rough calculation. Let's say +/- 100$

 

Lets assume we're going to shoot a Music Video. At least here in Switzerland you pay for an Arri Alexy 1400.00 US$ rental per day!

Same Company is asking 400 US$ rental for a Moviecam Superamerica. Your shooting takes 2 days....

 

I wish i could bring that argument everytime when i read the comments in forums when they talk about price and claim that shoting on Video is cheaper.

And btw, im sure David can confirm that, a 2k or 4k video post production will cost most likely 3times what a film post production costs. (depends on the production company of course)

 

My conclusion: Film is not necessarily more expensive that Video. Maybe equal. At the end you have to ask yourself: Do i want Film or do i want Video. i'd rather Film because of the rich dynamic which can not be done with Video.

 

Respectfully

Randy

I shot a music video in CH a few years ago, we had free 5 year old film & I provided an Ultracam 35 camera. Egli processed 5 years & did a Spirit HD graded telecine to quicktime for 2000 chf.


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#4 Pavan Deep

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 03:50 PM

It is still possible to get Fujifilm here in England until [I suppose] it runs out. Re-cans and shortends are still selling quite cheaply. If you shop around for film the actual costs of using 35mm aren't as high as many believe. For instance I recently bought several rolls Vision 3 50D in 400ft rolls from a production company that had film left over. I intend to cut it into 100ft rolls, the processing and HD telecine works out at about £36.00 for each 100ft roll. I plan on using it as two perf this will give me about two minutes the total cost is a little over £47.00.

 

P


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#5 Randy J Tomlinson

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 08:56 PM

I shot a music video in CH a few years ago, we had free 5 year old film & I provided an Ultracam 35 camera. Egli processed 5 years & did a Spirit HD graded telecine to quicktime for 2000 chf.

hi stephen,

 

i have talked to egli films a couple months ago and they are very expensive. around 2000 swiss franks for 1 hour work (est. 3 rolls of film) and that is only developing and preparing for a scan.

i'd love to support a swiss company but not with my limmited budget.

 

randy


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#6 Randy J Tomlinson

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 09:01 PM

It is still possible to get Fujifilm here in England until [I suppose] it runs out. Re-cans and shortends are still selling quite cheaply. If you shop around for film the actual costs of using 35mm aren't as high as many believe. For instance I recently bought several rolls Vision 3 50D in 400ft rolls from a production company that had film left over. I intend to cut it into 100ft rolls, the processing and HD telecine works out at about £36.00 for each 100ft roll. I plan on using it as two perf this will give me about two minutes the total cost is a little over £47.00.

 

P

 

yes it is. in fact i used to buy films on complete 16 in london which included developing and scaning on a DVD for a nice price. but i sold my 16mm camera a few years ago and now (finally) moved to 35mm. i called fujifilm in london and the lady gave me an adress where i can buy outdate stock. i dont know about the quality. for a hobby project sure it is perfect but i would been worried if i had to use it on a professional project. possibly i am wrong in this but still, i would need to ask arri lab if they develop fuji as well.

maybe i give them a ring tomorow.

 

cheers

randy


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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 09:13 PM

 It will look terrific though.

 

Shooting 35mm film will not automatically make every production look terrific. I've seen lots of cheap British movies that were shot on 35mm and still looked like they'd been shot in someone's back bedroom (because they had).

 

My attitude to this is that if you have to ask how much 35mm costs, you can't afford it. Production design, including sets, locations, props, costumes, makeup, plus hiring quality actors, getting a decent sound recordist, a focus puller, decent grip gear, and a proper lighting package, are all orders of magnitude more important than the frankly rather vague benefits of photochemical film. 

 

There are always exceptions. I was sitting in the Burbank Islands Burger earlier on, watching some surfing videos on their plasma displays, where the need for high speed and the need to capture detail in the sunlit white foam on the waves was obvious. The film stuff looked rather better than the GoPro stuff, helping the production to a degree which probably justified the expense. But unless you're in pretty specific circumstances like that, shooting 35 on the basis that it's like pushing an automated nice-photography button is deeply misguided.

 

Do not rob the rest of the production to shoot film. I would much rather watch nice photography of a nice location with nice costumes and hair and makeup and actors and decent sound, shot by a unit that had enough time to do its job properly, than I would watch a production where every aspect had been stripped bare to feed a hungry 35mm film camera.

 

P


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#8 Pavan Deep

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 03:59 AM

Personally I think that a lot of bad imagery is due to a combination of things, such as direction, lighting, framing and so on and it happens with both film and digital. I do know when an inexperienced person uses film to capture lets say a group of people hanging around a busy street chatting, kicking around a ball and so on provided that film is loaded, focused, exposed, processed and scanned properly, the results will be amazing, the same is true with digital. But in my experience when people who rarely shoot film use it quite often the final results exceeds their expectations by far, which makes the cost and hard work worth it.

 

Pav


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#9 Randy J Tomlinson

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 06:44 AM

ooh i should mention that i know all this. when i said i am a newbie with film, that would be true as i never shot on film professionally! i did a few shots on 16mm but those were hobby projects and just "fiddling around". BUT in general i am not really a beginner. i was at the brighton film school in england and i learned queit a lot there. i only wish it was more focused on film than on video....

 

Randy


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#10 Stephen Williams

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 11:51 AM

ooh i should mention that i know all this. when i said i am a newbie with film, that would be true as i never shot on film professionally! i did a few shots on 16mm but those were hobby projects and just "fiddling around". BUT in general i am not really a beginner. i was at the brighton film school in england and i learned queit a lot there. i only wish it was more focused on film than on video....

 

Randy

Thats the commercial rate, you can negotiate way better than that if you try.

 

BTW this is a real name forum, you need to change your user name.


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#11 Will Montgomery

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:26 PM

My attitude to this is that if you have to ask how much 35mm costs, you can't afford it.

True. Spend the money on actors, set design, costumes...everything else. You can come close enough with a digital camera if you take the time to light it right.

 

If you really like the look of film then go Super 16; you may get more of what you like that way.


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#12 Randy J Tomlinson

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:01 AM

True. Spend the money on actors, set design, costumes...everything else. You can come close enough with a digital camera if you take the time to light it right.

 

If you really like the look of film then go Super 16; you may get more of what you like that way.

sorry i dont spend money on actors, set design and costumes. unless the animals i am filming in the wilderness want to  :-)

i have no ambitions to make a feature, comercials etc. My love is the nature, wilderness and the animals.

 

cheers

randy


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#13 Will Montgomery

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:11 AM

sorry i dont spend money on actors, set design and costumes. unless the animals i am filming in the wilderness want to  :-)

i have no ambitions to make a feature, comercials etc. My love is the nature, wilderness and the animals.

Then 16mm will give you more running time which I'd bet is important for nature. But 35mm for big wide shots would be nice. Don't know labs or how to buy film in Europe but I'm sure someone here will.


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#14 Randy J Tomlinson

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:38 AM

Then 16mm will give you more running time which I'd bet is important for nature. But 35mm for big wide shots would be nice. Don't know labs or how to buy film in Europe but I'm sure someone here will.

 

i can always help with that. in fact i have my favorite labor which is really, really cheap and they do an extraordinary job. and getting filmstock is not to difficult as well. one has to do the homewerk of course ;-)


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#15 Dustin Supencheck

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 01:02 AM

I've been reading a lot of film vs digital budget breakdowns and everyone keeps forgetting the cost of 35mm camera equipment. In your case you own the camera but in many they compare the raw stock, processing and scanning to the rental of an Alexa. Well what about the cost of an equivalent 35mm camera and aks?
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#16 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 01:22 AM

Why do you need to own the camera?  Most 35mm feature and short productions rent their cameras because they are one-time projects of limited duration, not long-term open-ended projects, nor part of a slate of production of multiple projects.

 

As for comparing rentals, generally a 35mm sound camera will be cheaper to rent than a high-end digital cinema camera though some people rent Red cameras pretty cheaply.  But the cost of 35mm stock, processing, and scanning far outweigh any camera rental costs.


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#17 Saumya

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 05:01 AM

Hello SwissRandy!

 

film is a fantastic medium to shoot on. If you feel you should shoot on fil, by all means go ahead.

I am a producer and a DOP and I know that the cost difference isnt as much as is mae out to be by illiterate film makers and the digital marketing machine.

 

Pleae go ahead and follow your heart.


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#18 Prashantt Rai

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 03:51 PM

I suggest shoot Super16. Since most of the time it will be viewed on TV and monitors and not projected on theatre screens. So I feel the smaller format will give you better results for your money. Super 16 Vision3 stocks have improved vastly. just check their results on Vimeo and youtube. they look awesome.

 

regards

 

Prashantt

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#19 muhammad farooq

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Posted 27 October 2016 - 03:14 AM

 

 

- where can i buy film?

 

Hello,

 

I am distributor of Fuji Motion picture films in Pakistan and i still have stock of Fuji Motion picture films. Tell me if anyone need Fuji stock.

 

Farooq


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#20 Karim D. Ghantous

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Posted 27 October 2016 - 11:36 PM

I've seen several examples of 2K scans of all three Kodak Super 16mm stocks. They're all amazing and they surprised me at how good S16 actually is. Even 7219 pushed by a stop looks amazing. You do need sharp lenses, of course.

 

I agree with Saumya that a lot of people today are almost deliberately ignorant of film's performance.


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