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Combining S8mm with a RAW workflow(Or just digital)


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#1 Zachariah Shanahan

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 10:06 PM

I had a recent plan to shoot a short exclusively on S8mm. I love the look, but I now feel it's best reserved for certain sequences to compliment a narrative. I don't want my story to be hindered by a lack of crystal sync etc. so refuse to adapt a serious film around the format just to shoot it because I love the organic look. 

 

With the advent of RAW and the ability to play with the grading on an extreme level, I reached the conclusion that the BlackMagic Cinema Camera would be a perfect couple for S8mm. It's look is extremely proffesional compared to that of DSLR and it could be used for dialogue sequences and ones that rely on multiple takes. 

 

So I've begun to theorise the best way to use S8mm alongside a digital workflow.

Now, I don't want to stick to flashbacks (cliche), instead I aim to deliver a refreshing mix of images that will not feel out of place. I don't want the audience to get taken out of the story because of it. 

It's a tricky discussion. 

 

I wonder if anyone on the board has had sucess experimenting with intercutting film and digital formats for cinematic effect?


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 10:19 PM

Super-8 is so distinctive in texture and resolution that I think you need some sort of conceptual rationale for those sections -- even if it's just that lyrical non-dialogue passages would be shot in Super-8 but more mundane dialogue scenes would be shot digitally.  It could be used to suggest two states of mind in the main character.


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#3 Zachariah Shanahan

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 10:31 PM

That's a brilliant suggestion, thank you. I'm dealing with a psychological thriller, so that would be a very effective approach. I don't want it to feel like an Oliver Stone film with 3 formats cutting together for over indulgence. 


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#4 Matt Stevens

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 03:12 PM

I'm putting together a feature that will be shot digitally and one avenue or approach may be with the BlackMagic Compact. We will look at it (and some of the new gimbal steady rigs coming to market). However 8mm is 8mm and no digital capture method can substitute. In fact, the main character in the film uses a Super8 camera from time to time and a crucial scene that leads the film into the third act will be the 8mm footage captured by the lead. 


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#5 Christopher Sheneman

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:08 PM

Whenever someone has a Super 8 problem, I'd refer them to this video which will solve any and all problems you have with the format.

 

 


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#6 Zachariah Shanahan

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 01:19 AM

It's all a matter of experimentation. I am determined to find the correct way to make it acceptable for an audience. At no point did I mention matching digital to Super 8. I will be shooting with (at the least) a Super 16mm sensor and a layer of film grain will be added in post production. It wouldn't be SUCH a big deal if we shot on S16mm film stock but that's out of the question, budget wise. I will venture forth under a lack of resources!


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#7 Zachariah Shanahan

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 09:42 PM

Anyone else care to add to the discussion?


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#8 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 10:30 PM

Super 8 would come in handy for any cut away shots where you want to capture the texture or fine details of your surroundings within the story. If your using color negative, it will cut in better with digital than reversal would.
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#9 Zachariah Shanahan

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 12:32 AM

I've been considering Color Negative Vision 3 because of it's speed. Haven't been too impressed with Reversal so far. 


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#10 Matt Stevens

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 09:25 AM

Well reversal is gone now so for daylight 50D is the best bet and will yield minimal grain. Properly exposed you will have an image that looks like 16mm. 

 

200t is noticeably grainier and 500t... Well... It's big fat grain. Of course, I love big fat grain. :)


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#11 Zachariah Shanahan

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 07:23 PM

Reversal is all gone? Damn, I better scoop up the last of it from Retro8/Enterprises when I process my test shoot. Looks like I'll actually have to learn to transport Super 8 to Single 8 carts after all......ehhh I was dreading this moment. Oh well, there's clear evidence that Negative IS better, I might as well adapt. 

 

I'm very interested in grain, though I don't feel threatened by it. In no way will it inhibit a film. 


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#12 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 07:56 PM

What reversal there is left, is being sold at a premium of about double the price what it was retail. Matt it right about grain varying between the 3 neg stocks from low to high. But given the lighting situations, even 500T can look pretty tight for S8 in low lit scenes.


Edited by Anthony Schilling, 25 July 2013 - 07:57 PM.

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#13 Zachariah Shanahan

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 08:12 PM

What about Agfa 200? 


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#14 Matt Stevens

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 10:35 AM

Without Kodak's Ektachrome 100D, reversal is now a fringe of a fringe product at great cost and annoyance. It is essentially dead. Just the way it is. Negative Vision3 is what's widely available and therefore easier to shoot, develop and scan.


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#15 Zachariah Shanahan

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 09:37 PM

Shame, as I'm just getting started! 


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#16 Gary Lemson

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 08:43 AM

"...I don't want my story to be hindered by a lack of crystal sync etc..."

 

On a side note (since you mentioned it), I recently finished a story on 16mm with no crystal sync. There were (intentionally) a couple of takes lasting over 1 minute. Syncing audio in the edit suite was no problem at all.


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#17 Matt Stevens

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 01:50 PM

 

On a side note (since you mentioned it), I recently finished a story on 16mm with no crystal sync. There were (intentionally) a couple of takes lasting over 1 minute. Syncing audio in the edit suite was no problem at all.

As long as the motor is rather consistent it can work out. Especially with some of the latest digital software in post.


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#18 Zachariah Shanahan

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 08:37 PM

 

On a side note (since you mentioned it), I recently finished a story on 16mm with no crystal sync. There were (intentionally) a couple of takes lasting over 1 minute. Syncing audio in the edit suite was no problem at all.

I'd love to see a clip, via private link ,if you may.


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