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Burnt in titles 16mm


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#1 James collins

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:56 PM

Hello,
I am working on a 16mm print.

I want to try and do my own titles. I was planning on a +b 'ing. And this will be my first a + b I've done. I would like to try and do my own titles rather than have my lab do them.

My first scene where I want my titles to go, is an outdoor scene in slo-motion of a kid pouring water out of a container.

I would like superimposed on the first scene after a few seconds, in red letters the name of my film. I would like 'sound film #2' which is the title of my film. And then a few seconds later, or right after the title of my film. In small font in white 'a film by, james collins.'

Like I said I want to try and do my own titles. I thought of having the name of the film dissolve in and out and the 'a film by, james collins.' Dissolve in and out too. But I thought for my first title something simple like just display the title info normal. And the titles could be white if red is too hard.

A couple of things to note: I am doing everything in 16mm. From original footage to final print. I have a couple of closets I can turn into a dark room if needed. I also could get supplies like a dark room light, if needed. I have a synchronizer and could do an a b and c roll if I have to.

I am looking for any info(a step by step guide or tutorial would be great) on how I would go about doing this?

I do have some film books, but don't know exactly how to do this.

Anyway any help or info would be great.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 01:41 PM

Someone who has done this themselves can explain the issues more clearly but I see two problems.  One is that simple burn-ins are basically double-exposures so there is a little ghosting, you don't get those solid-looking letters over a picture without doing optical printing using hold-out mattes.  

 

Second is that if you shot color negative, having a separate title card that was white letters on a black background shot for the B-roll wouldn't allow you to double-expose white letters over the picture on the A-roll because with negative, the black background of the letters is clear and the white letters are black, so the black background (being clear) "burns in" (i.e. exposes) the print stock, I think you'd end up with a final image that was a black field with clear letters that you'd see the background plate through.  And if your title card was the reverse, black letters on a white background (and thus a black background on the negative with clear letters), then when you A-B roll printed them, you'd end up burning in black letters onto the background plate, not white letters.

 

So I don't know how you burn in white letters over a background in a negative-to-positive printing scenario. If you had shot color reversal, it would be possible, but then of course you'd be duplicating color reversal onto color reversal.

 

I could be wrong, but generally you'd need an optical printer to do what you are asking.  You'd make a color interpositive of the background imagery shot on negative, then shoot the titles on hi-con b&w stock and make positive and negative versions for hold-out mattes, then reprint the background interpositive onto a new negative but bi-packed with the version of the titles that have a clear background with black letters to hold-out exposure on the new negative where the letters go, and then in a second pass in the optical printer, expose the clear letters with a black background onto the new negative to get white letters where the held-out black lettered area was. Though today all of this would be done digitally instead.


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#3 James collins

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 02:17 PM

I am using, for this print color reversal. How would one go about doing this with color reversal?
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 05:55 PM

You mean you are printing color reversal footage onto color reversal stock, positive to positive?  Then in that case, an A-B roll with the titles being shot white letters on black on the B-roll would burn in white letters onto the background image on the A-roll, though again, it's not quite as solid looking as when you use hold-out mattes in an optical printer.


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#5 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 12:14 AM

Common sense should tell (as David does) that with reversal you can burn in a bright title with a pass using a clear or bright title against thick black.

 

I don't think there was a high con 16mm B&W,  but something that will help give those white or colored letters against black the max possible contrast using the 16mm camera stock is to prep the titles on lithographic film.   Typesetters and reprographic print services used to do this for me.  The copy from the type setter would be black letters against white.  The litho film (then mounted into title cards) would be clear letters against a thick black background.  With the same kind of title card you could shoot titles on reversal that would burn into reversal print stock as bright titles on the second pass (B roll pass) 

 

I have used this method to prep titles shot on a rostrum (animation table),  also by the really simple method of putting a diffused light source in a box with the title cards back lit.  Maybe today one can print high con title cards direct onto film using an A4 inkjet printer?  You can actually cut up pices of litho film and stick that to hard mattes of black cardboard.  Otherwise you have to shoot a whole piece of litho film for each title.  Expensive for indies,  artists etc.


Edited by Gregg MacPherson, 21 October 2013 - 12:16 AM.

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#6 James collins

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 12:26 PM

Can someone explain to me how to go about shooting the title card?

Do I need a titling stand? What would be a good black card, I have read to get a high density black card? Is that what I would want? How about lighting the card?

Am I right in saying the black card with white title letters would go on the b roll? And when the lab would run the b roll. That the black wouldn't expose the film?
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 01:35 PM

So you are printing reversal onto reversal?  You didn't confirm that exactly.

 

I used to make my own title cards by creating black text on white paper and sending it to a print shop to make a Kodalith from it, which would get me clear letters on black.  I used to cram all the text onto a page and then cut out the words with scissors into a rectangle and tape that onto black poster board, one for each title card, with a rectangle cut out behind the letters, then cover the back with tracing paper and backlight the card.  But Kodalith transparencies are near impossible to find these days.  Some print shops can xerox onto transparency but the blacks aren't very dense. But there must be shops that still make transparency artwork for commercial displays.


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#8 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 08:30 PM

Can someone explain to me how to go about shooting the title card?........
Do I need a titling stand? What would be a good black card, I have read to get a high density black card? Is that what I would want? How about lighting the card?.......
Am I right in saying the black card with white title letters would go on the b roll? And when the lab would run the b roll. That the black wouldn't expose the film?

 

I think David and I are describing the same process for making the title cards.  Just to re-iterate or make clear.  The cards are transparencies.  The titles are clear/black litho film (a high contrast B&W film like Kodalith) mounted within the area of what is esentially a black cardboard matte.  It's back lit,  so anything black is fine.  Paint,  stuck on black paper.  I normally turned the room lights off,  there was no front light.

On the cheap,  like I described before,  a cardboard box with a household bulb inside,  diffused,  can backlight the title card OK.  I can't remember if we had diffusion paper hard behind the titles as well.  I do remember some halation around the letters,  which I quite liked.  Maybe could have reduced that with a better lens,  or optimizing the exposure better,  stopping down but still getting fully clear titles.  Use your spot meter.

Rostrum cameras,  animation tables will not be that hard to find if you want to set up more precisely.

When prepping title cards for the lab to shoot 35 high con the card frame is a fixed shape,  reminded me of an animation cell frame.  I remember the lab gave these to me and I mounted my "title cards" onto that.

All sounds complicated,  but in the simple version is quite easy to do.  Just have a go.  It's a shame that nowadays we cant drop down to the color reversal lab at the local TV station and give them our latest camera test.

Re-reading your post again,  if you are trying for bright titles with a black background that wont print through,  maybe shoot a series of title tests,  with exposure wedged over a likely range.  A&B roll test with that,  using a constant image for the A roll.

 

(Edit:  spelling)


Edited by Gregg MacPherson, 21 October 2013 - 08:34 PM.

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