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Shooting a video projection with Super 8


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#1 Wesley Simon

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 05:23 PM

So this question was asked in another thread here but didn't get much feedback.  I'm trying again here in the student forum, as I am a graduate student, and hopefully the polite folks who make it a point to help out us fledgling film and video makers will be willing to give this a go.

 

I want to transfer some HD video to super 8, ideally by just shooting the video projection with color reversal film stock.  The reason for this is conceptual, otherwise I would have just filmed with Super 8 originally or I would stick with the HD.  It's for an installation project and the notion of entropy and deterioation is central to the work, hence going from high quality and "lossless" to low quality with a higher rate of entropy (i.e. a looping film will get scratched and deteriorate over time, with visible changes even in a short exhibition duration). 

 

I read an interview with Guy Maddin where he basically just projected the DV footage from 'My Winnipeg' onto his fridge and shot the projection with a 16mm or 35mm camera (given Maddin's other work, I'm assuming it's a 16mm camera).  The result looks pretty good.  I would like to do the same thing but with a Super 8 camera.  Here's the thing, the video is in 30p (I know, I know, but it's what I had to work with).  I don't need high quality (in fact, I want low but legible quality), I just don't want flicker that will cause someone to get a headache or have a seizure.  My rudimentary amateur assumption is that shooting 29.97fps video with 24fps film will be less likely to get flicker since there are less breaks between frames in the video than in the film recording.  Maybe this is a completey wrong and stupid assumption, but I can't find anything to indicate otherwise, which is why I'm writing this here. 

 

So, that's it: I want to transfer 30p video to 24fps film cheaply and easily and it's okay if it looks rough so long as it doesn't turn into a strobe light.  That said, anyone have any suggestions on details I'm probably missing here and what I should do to make this happen as seemlessly as possible?  I'm thinking that as long as the lighting is right, I can just shoot the video projection and develop it.  I just want to get feedback before I start spending money on film stock and developing (my budget is ultra low).  The alternative seems to be paying $250 a minute for a 16mm transfer (which also includes having to pull down the frame rate with FCP or compressor) which I can't really afford.

 

I reference this forum so much for technical stuff and you all are the best.  Hopefully someone can help. 

 

Thanks so much!

 

 

 

 


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#2 Chris Burke

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 06:55 AM

the cheapest would be to get some of the new Agfa 200 color reversal and shoot it yourself off of the very best flat screen monitor you can. do the frame conversion, like you stated, before hand, then do a 1 to 1 transfer off of the screen. You will have to burn a roll to find out the optimal exposure via bracketing, but well worth it. bare in mind that this method may only produce mediocre results, depending upon how well YOU do plus all the technical variables; exposure, alignment, monitor quality......


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#3 Wesley Simon

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 08:26 PM

Thank so much for the info.  Nice coincidence to get advice from somone in Boston (I'm at SMFA).

I'll plan on shooting a monitor with as high of a refresh rate as I can get.  Each roll will be capturing one take of video that has very little light variation, so I might be able to get a good shot on the first roll just by calibrating with a light meter.

 

Cant' seem to find the Agfa 200 anywhere for sale.  I can get some Ektachrome 100, however. 

 

Thanks again.


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#4 Zac Fettig

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 10:24 AM

Ektachrome will work, getting to be hard to find these days. Velvia will work (http://spectrafilmandvideo.com/).

 

If you're shooting off the screen, 72Hz refresh will help (72 is a multiple of 24). Ideally, slowing it down would help more. If you're S8 camera has animation features, it might be worth your time to go frame by frame, with long exposures.


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#5 Chris Burke

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 08:08 AM

yes, a one frame to one frame transfer would be best. Ektachrome would be best. What does your school have for monitors? Get the best you absolutely can.


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#6 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 07:50 PM

I transferred some video footage to Double 8 Ektachrome recently by simply shooting it off an iMac screen. (Thanks to Richard Tuohy of Nanolab for the tip.) Didn't get any flicker, but if the footage is high contrast or changes from say bright exteriors to dim interiors it can be very hard to get correct exposure. Turning down the screen brightness or contrast helps, but at normal speed you then need a very fast lens. I used an f0.9 Kern Switar and it was still a touch underexposed at times. Since the original video was only under a minute I filmed it about 4 times at different exposures and selected the best exposure scene by scene, then spliced it together.


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