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Whats the Cinematography Budget for Film $

film budget

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#1 Alejandro Gonzalez

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 09:27 PM

Say I wanted to film a feature, what would be an estimate for the budget of the Cinematography department? This would include the camera, dolleys, lenses, but most especially - film.

 

Im talking about an indie here. So what would be a good option if I wanna show this at film festivals? 35mm 2-perf, 3-perf or S16mm? Whats a ballpark figure for all these options? Including processing and scanning?

 

How would you edit this btw? Can you use Adobe Premiere or Final Cut?


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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 11:59 PM

I don't think you'll find a ballpark figure. It all depends on the film you're doing-- stuff (edit typo) with stunts ect will cost substantially more than say 2 people talking in 1 bedroom at night (edit clarification). Are you planning on shooting with Cooke S4s or can you get by with Compact Primes... ect..

And then what kind of deal can you drive with rental houses and labs ect. How much will require a MOS camera -v- a sync camera...

 

Editing, yes, you get the film digitized, cut on whatever you like, and then typically rescan selects from an EDL, color and output to what you need it outputted to (HD master, film, d-cinema).

 

There are no "to shoot a feature will cost you 100K," because it really all depends.

You really will have to do a lot of leg work and calling around to get quotes on things....
 

Finding an experienced indie producer will be quite helpful as well.


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#3 Paul Bartok

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 01:12 AM

If your going strait to a DI with no 35mm prints, then shooting either S16mm or 2 perf 35mm is going to be your cheapest and best option, I would go for the 2 perf 35mm I don't think your going to have add that much more budget for 35mm and shooting 2 perf 1000ft will give you roughly (of the top of my head) 20mins. Which is really quite good for a single camera film. There is no way to really tell how much it will cost without actually adding everything up.

 

Then you need to decide how you want to finish, i.e. HD or 2K, this will effect your workflow, weather you get Data scans or dailies, bestlight or one light. You will need to research and find that out and as Adrian said you can use a EDL to cut the film on really most editing softwares out there such as FCP.


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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 01:34 AM

I would say 2 perf is cheaper t han 35mm as you can get more short ends and recans in 35 than in 16. the main problem with the 2 perf route is that you've pretty much got only a 2.39:1 ratio. Granted you could crop  to 1.85 but at that point might as well just go 3 perf.

 

Basically, form 4 perf on down, you save 33.333333% in stock and processing and get longer run times with 3 perf and 50% in stock processing and longer run time in 2 perf. Camera body rentals for 35mm can be pretty cheap. Your main costs are going to be lenses and the lab-- what with scanning and all.

what I normally do to save some money on S16mm but also some 35 I've done is just get everything scanned @ 1080p if I know it'll only wind up on HD. I normally go Prores for the editors and basically we're cutting online. We get it flat scanned so it looks awful to look @ but this can be pretty cheap (it's flat) and then later on you can contract out the color correction to free-lance colorists who sometimes can come pretty cheaply -v- doing it in a proper suite. Of course vetting someone who just happens to have a copy of resolve (and with the black magic there will be quite a few) to properly be able to give you a well done color session can be quite difficult, but you could save a few grand probably.
Good luck


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#5 Alejandro Gonzalez

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 10:59 AM

Kool thanks guys. Its a drama. Might have two fight scenes but its mainly dialogue scenes. Im thinking a month worth of shooting. A friend of mine has this feature he's trying to get funded and he's talking to investors that might back the project. I told him I was interested in shooting it for him if he decided to go with film. And he's interested in going that route as well - if the money isnt too far off from shooting on an Arri Alexa. He's planning on shooting next summer.

 

2-perf sounds like a viable option. If I can do 3-perf I will - since he will want film festival presentations. Ill probably go with Arri cameras (cheaper than panavision???) And Zeiss lenses or any other recommendations?)


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#6 Will Montgomery

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 11:29 AM

Only issue with 2-perf is that you may find it harder and more expensive to rent a 2-perf camera if you're not in LA. 3-perf is more widely available.

 

With Panavision you will need serious production insurance but they will certainly talk to you. They aren't renting film cameras as much so maybe there's a deal there to be had (although I don't think they are big on 2-perf.)

 

Might make sense to buy a camera for the production and sell it afterwords wit prices as low as they are. Just find a good camera tech in your area you can call as needed.


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#7 Alejandro Gonzalez

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 12:43 PM

Hm I see. Yea someone else above had mentioned that 35mm camera rentals are cheap, might have to dig to see if buying one would be more cost effective and as you said have a tech I can call standing by. How many magazines do they come with?

 

Do you pre-load them in a darkroom? I saw this tutorial of someone loading a magazine using a light-sealed bag - and you put your hands through some sleeves and you gotta feel (no sight) that is crazy.


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#8 Paul Bartok

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 04:35 AM

ARRI 235 (love that camera as well as the next)

ARRI 435 2 perf mod

ARRICAM LT and ST

ARRI BL2 2 perf

 

http://www.kodak.com...f_SellSheet.pdf

 

"Do you pre-load them in a darkroom? I saw this tutorial of someone loading a magazine using a light-sealed bag - and you put your hands through some sleeves and you gotta feel (no sight) that is crazy."

 

Pretty much all fim must be loaded in the dark, not to be rude but based upon that question,

Digital could be better in your case, Rent a ALEXA or EPIC.

 

It will take you allot of time to learn how to use film properly inlcuding the workflow etc.

If the DP doesn't fully understand everyrhing todo with film, how it responds to light, how the workflow is done, etc. it could reflect upon the movie

It's cool that you want to shoot on film, but perhaps you should really understand it first. Remember it's like painting with the lights off, it's not as easy as digital, but the reward is well worth it.

But trial by fire could be interesting

 

All the best to you :)


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#9 Alejandro Gonzalez

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 04:16 PM

Paul thanks for your insight. I am well aware that film is to be prepared in the dark. I shoot film in still photography. In a darkroom a red darkroom safe light assists you by being able to see what your doing. With the bag, you cant see anything. Dont know if anyone of you guys have used that bag.

 

Im more interested in learning how to work with film rather than digital despite the process. Like you said, the results can be rewarding. Digital is not that easy either from what I've read and seen. All those cables and LED screen menus and you need a DIT etc etc. Not knocking digital but I think theres a simplicity to film in a way. 

 

Anyway, understanding film is why Im on here asking questions and surfing around. As far as hands on stuff, Ill look around for workshops. I dont underestimate the knowledge and experience of anyone else, I welcome it. But I know Im smart enough to learn it too.


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#10 Heikki Repo

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 06:04 PM

With color film you can't use safe lights. IR night goggles would work, but it isn't really that complicated to do without sight. Usually you'll only need to load the giving side and unload the taking side blind. That's easy. The trickiest part is loading the taking side and it can usually be done in daylight even though you do lose some film.


Edited by Heikki Repo, 29 May 2013 - 06:05 PM.

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#11 Alejandro Gonzalez

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 07:28 PM

Thanks Heikki, I did not know that about color film. Practice will make perfect I guess.


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#12 Alejandro Gonzalez

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 07:29 PM

If we get the budget for film, I should research a camera to buy, so I can get use to loading that one model if the loading methods differ camera to camera.


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#13 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 07:38 PM

..... why you would buy a camera to practice loading is beyond me. that's not your job as a DoP; it's why you hire ACs.....unless you happen to have quite a few grand laying around to purchase a 35mm sync package.

 

 

also if you rent, you can swing by the rental house and they will happily show you how to work with their gear. Make friends enough and you can sneak in and practice on all their cameras. But again, I haven't loaded my own film in quite some time. You've got much more important things to attend to than that when you're actually shooting.


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#14 Alejandro Gonzalez

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 10:28 PM

You make a good point. How much do one of these cameras go for anyway? Like the Arri 235 Paul had mentioned?


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#15 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 11:36 PM

about 30K used

http://www.ebay.com/...=item53e973e21b


and the 235 is a MOS camera, meaning generally too loud to record usable dialogue with. You'd want to look into something like a BL4 which'd be cheaper and sync if it's in good condition. Though I wouldn't want to shoot handheld with it (again) and you'd still need lenses, matte box, follow focus, heavy duty tripod before you even get to something resembling a usable package. Also at least the basic filters (ND/NDSE, 85, Pola)


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#16 Alejandro Gonzalez

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 10:40 PM

Thanks Adrian I will look into it.


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#17 Mark Dunn

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 06:59 AM

Have another look at your basic photography textbook.

Black and white film has a slight dip in sensitivity in the red/green  so you can use a safelight. Indeed the insensitivity is built-in for that purpose. Look at the response curve for any B/W stock. Colour film obviously can't have a gap in its response, otherwise colours wouldn't record properly. So no safelight.


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#18 Freya Black

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 05:35 PM

Come on guys, it's only paper you use with a safelight. the negative you still work with in darkness.

 

You know this!

 

You know you do!!

 

Freya


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