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Graduate Schools - 35mm


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#1 Mike Rufail

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 06:15 PM

I understand it is a rarity to find a 35mm camera available for students at their schools, but I know they exist. Can anyone list off the known Grad schools with access to superior equipment (most notably 35mm)?

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#2 Jon Amerikaner

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 12:51 PM

AFI requires its cinematographers to create a 35mm MOS production. They don't own any 35mm cameras but have an agreement with a local rental house. I'm sure the Rockport Photographic Workshops have at least one. UCLA extension offers courses in 35mm so they either own one or rent one for the course. Chapman University is building a grand new film studio, to be finished next year, which could quite possibly be the best in the world. They are talking about permanently renting a 35mm camera for cinematography students. But many will tell you that if you shoot 16mm right, no one can tell the difference between it and 35mm. I think if you master your craft well, you can shoot in any format. It's not a big deal if you don't shoot 35mm because as a DP all you really need is a first AC and operator who are competent with 35mm. And by many accounts, film will be phased out all together within ten years.
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#3 Mike Rufail

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Posted 16 May 2005 - 09:29 PM

Thanks for the input. I have shot a few shorts on 16mm. I used Arriflex cameras (Sr-II and Sr-III). I know first hand that the image quality can be extremely close to 35mm. However, I would still like to get some hands on experience with 35mm cameras in an educational setting. How does Chapman's faculty stack up to the competition?
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#4 Jon Amerikaner

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Posted 16 May 2005 - 10:23 PM

I'm starting at Chapman this fall so only time will tell. But one of the biggest reasons I'm going to Chapman is because of Bill Dill, ASC. He was the cinematography chair at AFI and is now at Chapman. By many accounts, he is the best cinematography teacher there is. Chapman also has John Badham leading their directing program and Larry Paull leading production design. Paull was also a past production design chair at AFI. Badham's and Paull's credits speak for themselves. All three have lifetime positions and are at the center of Chapman's new graduate conservatory.

I would also like to shoot 35mm. I asked Professor Dill about it when I visited Chapman in March. His response was that students needed to learn to walk before we can run. However, there are several Chapman films that get shot on 35mm. It's up to the students to raise the funds and secure the equipment. I know that last winter, during their interterm classes, one of the cinematography teachers, Mark Parry, ran a class on 35mm cinematography, so they must have rented one for the three week session. Hopefully, he will offer it again. When I get there I'm going to do whatever I can to get a 35mm camera there.

But if you want to get some 35mm experience without the commitment of film school then check out UCLA Extension, USC, and Rockport Photographic Institute summer programs. All are very expensive, but probably worth it. In fact I spent one evening on the set of Rent, being shot by Stephen Goldblatt ASC, and was talking to his Steadicam/B-camera operator who learned to operate at the Rockport workshops.
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#5 Mike Rufail

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 05:01 AM

jamerikaner:

I took an in depth look at Chapman after your recent replies. I have to say that the new facility looks like it will enhance the program a great deal. I did a little analysis with Princeton Review, but they don't give specific details. It is a small school. Do you know how many students are in their film programs? Undergrad and Graduate combined? I assume there are many after taking notice to the number of 16mm camera packages they own. Also, the website mentioned 5 24p cameras... are those DVX100, XL2? I have many other questions, but I'll save those for a phone call to their own faculty. I have to say that I am seriously considering this program for Fall 2007 since you brought it to light. I attended an undergrad film program on the east coast at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. The academia was helpful and solid, but the school lacked a bit in the equipment department. I did have a few good professors and teachers, however. They were probably more important than the equipment at that level. Yet, at this period of my education, I am looking for the university that can offer me plenty of face time with good equipment paired along with great instruction. If you wouldn't mind, I would appreciate any other discussion about this school and others you have encountered in your own searches.

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#6 Jon Amerikaner

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 10:56 AM

Check out http://ftv.chapman.edu/ for all the details. The website says they have 900 film students, 700 undergrads and 200 graduates. They do have a lot of equipment but the number of students probably means that there is a healthy competition to get your hands on it. I'm told that graduates have priority but getting the right equipment probably requires careful and early planning on your part. I'm not sure what 24p cameras they have, probably Panasonic. I was also accepted to AFI. Before Chapman, AFI was the only place a dedicated cinematographer would go for a specialized education. It was a terrible decision to decide between the two. But I've had several current AFI students tell me that they would probably choose Chapman too. The biggest reason: Bill Dill. Almost all his students I've talked to say they learned so much from him. And it doesn't matter where I go as long as I'm learning from him. Dill was still teaching at AFI this year but he is unsure if he will be back. He will be at Chapman as a long as he wants.
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#7 Mike Rufail

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 06:30 PM

Thanks for all the info. I contacted the Graduate admissions today to get a better basis, but it is always good to hear from people outside of the program. Good luck to you this fall. It's going to take a long haul to California, but I may be seeing you around in Fall '06.
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#8 Andrew Roddewig

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 09:05 PM

The Savannah College of Art and Design has Three 35mm cameras, Two Movie Cams, and one Arri IIc. I have just shot my third film on 35mm, SCAD also has two HD cameras (cine alta and Varricam).
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#9 Josh Hill

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 08:14 PM

I believe that Florida State University thesis films are being shot on 35mm.
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#10 Jarin Blaschke

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 05:34 PM

I once thought that one could bring 16mm close to the look of 35. Then I shot 35mm.
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#11 Robert Hughes

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 01:17 PM

That's for sure. Even an old Eyemo takes shots that leave any 16mm in the dust.
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