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Budgeting a feature film shooting on 2 or 3 perf 35mm - Amount of stock needed

2 perf. 35mm. Film stock. Footage needed. film budget. 3 perf 35mm.

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#1 Ryan Kaercher

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 01:45 AM

I am looking to shoot a feature film (35 day shoot) on super 35. Either 2 or 3 perf.

 

If I was to budget for a 5 to 1 shooting ratio and my final film would end up with a 120 -14 minutes run time how many feet of film should I budget for?

 

I did the film footage calculation and it comes out to around 5400-6300 ft at 2 perf and 8100 to 9450ft at 3 perf if it were to run 2 to 2hr20min (if it ran really long).  

 

I'm working with an experienced line producer that really knows his stuff and has done some big films who has us budgeted for 350,000 ft of film.

 

How does that make sense and why on earth do we need so much film?

 

I know you have to budget for printing and what not but I'm not planning on film dailies and not many theaters are wanting to exhibit in film these days anyway so a DI and 2K out is kinda the plan. Even if that was for 4 perf and we went to 2 perf an cut in 50% that is still 175,000.00 ft of film...

 

The story and period are the reason that it's being shot on film. But as of now the stock is going to cost us around $175,000.00 or $87,500.00 at 2 perf (if not already) which seems really high to me.

 

If you guys have had any experience with something like this I would love to hear some insights.

 

Thank you for your time.

 

Cheers

 

 


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#2 Pavan Deep

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 05:12 AM

That does sound excessive, but it all depends on various factors. I use a lot of Super 16, but I am budgeting for a 2 perf 35mm film. My film will have a final running time of about 14 minutes and my shooting ratio will average around 3:1, though I am confident it will be less than that as there isn’t much dialogue. I have bought 5 reels of 35mm - a total of 2000ft, this gives me a total screen time of about 43 minutes at 2 perf. Personally, in my opinion your shooting ratio of 5:1, though a good ratio it is quite generous for a low budget short [presuming it is a low budget short]. When using Super 16 I tend to have a very low shooting ratio depending on the script. For my 2 perf 35mm short the cost of raw stock, processing and telecine will cost me about £800.

 

 

Pav


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#3 Alex Wuijts

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 06:51 AM

Sounds ridiculous. Maybe he hates film ;) I did a 2-perf feature and I used a 1 to 15 shooting ratio. Production bought 150 rolls and it was about what we needed. We did an average of 20-22 setups a day. I shot about 6-8 rolls a day, and I would seriously have a hard time shooting double that amount. We got low quality digital rushes though, but who gets film rushes anyway these days..

Ofcourse it all depends on your script and shooting style, but this was not a 'hey let's make a feature out of 30 wide tableau shots' kinda project.


Edited by Alex Wuijts, 26 March 2014 - 06:53 AM.

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#4 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 08:40 AM

The shooting ratio depends on a number of factors, for example experienced your actors are, how fast you're cutting, the chances of the unexpected adding extra takes and how hard you're pushing for a performance. Performance doesn't always mean the actors getting through without blowing their lines and giving an acceptable performance, it can involve allowing some time for that something to happen, the tiny variation that moves it up a gear.


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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 10:20 AM

Exactly as Brian says. I know personally, though I've shot 1:1 ratios on 35mm! which is INSANE, the sweet spot is somewhere between a 7:1 and a 12:1 for me. That said I would get about 75 1000' loads of 35mm for 2 perf (giving roughly a 12:1 ratio) or at least budget for that much-- and order more as needed through the shoot, maybe after the first week or so, as you start to see how much you're typically shooting.

For 3 perf, I'd budget for 113 1000' loads, but again re-evaluate as you go.


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#6 Ryan Kaercher

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 05:01 PM

Thanks for the input guys.

 

 

I had a meeting with him and he said that if he drops it any lower than 300,000 feet that we'd be getting some very nervous DPs. He'll put in what ever I want but in his experience on 35mm feature films in the 8-10 MM range and up he has always budgeted that amount.

 

We aren't processing that much, just budgeting for it. We're processing circle takes and doing digital dailies

 

The guy has been around for a long time and done a lot of movies, many that were shot at studio levels on film so he definitely knows his stuff. I'm just a bit confused by that number.

 

He basically said that to shoot film all in it will cost about $350,000.00 more than if we were to HD such as Alexa. All those lines for film, processing, telecine, prints go to zero when HD.

 

I see it as worth it and a story that needs to be shot on film. Although I think I can get those numbers to come down with creative solutions.

 

Cheers.


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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 06:09 PM

I think that's a bit of bull-- especially in the it necessarily costs more to shoot film than digital. While those numbers do drop to zero in digital, many other numbers come up.


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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 01:16 AM

350000 ft of film in 2 perf, is somewhere around 129.5 hours of raw footage, which if you're talking about a 2 hour movie is a lot higher than a 12:1 ratio. . .


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#9 Ryan Kaercher

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 01:56 AM

Oh it's a 129.5 hour mini series. I didn't tell you that...

 

Yeah I'm aware of the way it breaks down and I know it seems absurd. I also agree about the film vs. digital expenses as well. It just can't cost that much more to shoot film.

 

I'm just wondering why he thinks we need this much like I said he really knows his stuff and this is the only red flag I've seen really.

 

If there were prints needed that I'm unaware? But I've been researching it and I cannot seem to find a reason why we would possibly need that much stock.

 

Have you done a DI before? I always thought that you edited the telecined footage in an NLE and then got an EDL. Then you go back and do a DI on your EDL based off of the keycode numbers. Is that not how it works?

 

Do you need to have a negative cutter to make a final print, then do a DI on that? 

 

Even then that would only add an additional 8000ft at most.

 

We should be more than fine with 150,000ft I think.

 

Thanks for the input!


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#10 Pavan Deep

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 02:03 AM

Please don’t insult people’s intelligence by leaving out such vital information. No you didn’t say you were planning a 129.5 hour mini series.

 

I agree that amount of raw footage is way too much even for a feature and is ridiculous for a short. An experienced line producer would not come up with such figures unless the agenda is clearly anti film.

 

Pav


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#11 Pavan Deep

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 02:18 AM

Is it 129 minutes as 129.5 hours sounds a lot of hours for a mini series.

 

Pav


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#12 Ryan Kaercher

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 02:19 AM

Please don’t insult people’s intelligence by leaving out such vital information. No you didn’t say you were planning a 129.5 hour mini series.

 

I agree that amount of raw footage is way too much even for a feature and is ridiculous for a short. An experienced line producer would not come up with such figures unless the agenda is clearly anti film.

 

Pav

 

Pav: Why do you keep referring to this as a short or bringing up short? Its stated from the first post that this is a feature and short was never mentioned.


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#13 Pavan Deep

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 02:30 AM

I agree you did say that you were budgeting for a feature of 120 -14 minutes, but it didn't make sense to me as most would just say 134 minutes or round it up to 150 minutes approx. I thought perhaps there's a typo and you're probably meaning 12 - 14 minutes, hence I referred to a short. In either case you now say it's hours and not minutes, which changes everything.

 

Pav


Edited by Pav Deep, 28 March 2014 - 02:31 AM.

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#14 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 02:36 AM

From the first post it's alway been a feature film -  "shoot a feature film (35 day shoot)" - - "120 -14 minutes run time" - if with a missing "0" typo. The "Oh it's a 129.5 hour mini series. I didn't tell you that... " is a joke based on the raw footage.

 

However, If the OP is planning a 35 day shoot I would consider uping your shooting ratio unless you're planning a film with a slower cutting pace that matches that found in the 1940's or 50s.

 

Although a number of Hollywood films do hit the 65 to 1 shooting ratio, you'd also need to increase your shooting time and post production time in order for it to have much sense.


Edited by Brian Drysdale, 28 March 2014 - 02:37 AM.

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#15 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 02:43 AM

However, If the OP is planning a 35 day shoot I would consider uping your shooting ratio unless you're planning a film with a slower cutting pace that matches that found in the 1940's or 50s.

 

I'm referring to the 5 to 1 mentioned in the first post.


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#16 Mark Dunn

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 03:24 AM

Please don’t insult people’s intelligence by leaving out such vital information.

It was a joke. Please don't overreact if you don't understand something.


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#17 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 04:00 AM

Hey Ryan - stick to your guns and fight for film. If you're willing to stick to a reasonable shooting ratio, and it sounds like you are, then there's no reason to think you're going to make a large saving by switching to a high end digital format. Even a 10:1 shooting ratio in 2 perf wouldn't need anywhere near that amount of stock.
I'd imagine nowadays most DPs experienced in shooting film would rather continue to shoot on film even at the expense of a lower shooting ratio - at least I would. I think you'll have more interest in your project from DP's because you're shooting film!
Shooting alexa raw for example means a much higher rental rate and higher labor costs on set, plus additional storage costs, so the money you save in one area just gets spent elsewhere.
If the aesthetic of film is important to you then stand your ground and I applaud you for doing so.
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#18 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 09:54 AM

Exactly as Stephen says. I also think this producer may have an agenda re film origination.


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#19 Freya Black

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 10:26 AM


He basically said that to shoot film all in it will cost about $350,000.00 more than if we were to HD such as Alexa. All those lines for film, processing, telecine, prints go to zero when HD.

 

This is a common mistake people make when thinking about working with digital cameras. Both film and digital cameras require media to record to and while you might be able to reuse camera media you still need to archive that data somewhere and a backup of the data too, none of which comes for free.

 

In fact it's normal practice to have someone employed to just deal with all the data.

 

Freya


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#20 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 10:33 AM

Not to mention the generally higher cost for the camera rental, the monitors to set up a proper full VV -v- a film camera, and a DiT station's kit fee.


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