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"Sleep Always" Super-duper-8 feature


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#1 Ian Marks

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 05:24 PM

Has anyone seen this movie? It was shot on Super-8 with an extended gate, and I'm wondering how good or bad it looks. I've been thinking of popping for the DVD, but I thought I'd ask for your impressions first.
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#2 Nate Downes

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 10:37 PM

I own a copy, looks very good in all honesty. While not perfect, it is more of an art-house film than anything, it does show a lot of strength of the Super8 medium, and really impressed this filmmaker.
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#3 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 03:13 AM

I just watched it again a couple weeks ago. I enjoyed the story personally. It looks surprisingly good if you consider the technical aspects.. shot at 18fps, DIY telecine, and the use of S-8 7240, they pulled it off very well. The grain isn't bad either, they did use a wider gate.
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#4 Chris Burke

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:52 AM

I saw it and own a DVD, only because I was curious about the look of S8. It does look good considering the afore mentioned production path. I thought the story and acting were quite weak. I did not believe or feel invested in the lead character and the story was a bit under developed. I will sell you my copy for ten bucks.
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#5 Ian Marks

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:58 AM

Thanks everyone. I was thinking of buying the DVD from the "Sleep Always" website because I thought it might be a good example of what could be done with Super 8 when it's treated like a professional medium, but if it doesn't sound like this is it... I don't understand why they would take the time to widen the gate and then shoot at 18fps...
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#6 Rick Palidwor

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 07:59 PM

Allow me to jump in as the co-director/producer of Sleep Always.

We shot at 18 fps, knowing it was not the wisest thing to do, because our projector is only equipped with a 3-bladed shutter. To transfer at 24 fps requires a 5-bladed shutter, which can be difficult to obtain. Co-director Mitch Perkins used to work at a local super 8 lab and he recalled that they had to have a five-bladed shutter specially made for them many years ago and it was a big hassle. Given that we were anxious to get going we decided to go ahead at 18. I don't think the image quality suffered in a serious way - it was just a hassle for the sound team during post since film shot at 18 is actually transferred at 20fps. If that sounds odd, given that we went to the hassle of widening the gate, Mitch has been experimenting with widening gates for over 15 years, so that part was old hat to us.

While some people have valid criticisms about the story and the cast, most viewers have found these elements more than satisfactory (which surprised us as we know it's not perfect). Check our reviews on the IMDB and other comments posted on our site.

Story and cast aside, most viewers (or at least the ones we have heard from, so there is a built in bias there) are unanimous that it is one of the best looking super 8 movies they have seen. In other words, I think you have to judge for yourself.

We've just learned that Sleep Always is being awarded the "best feature" prize at the New Jersey International Flm Festival. It screens there on June 24, 25 and 26.

Rick
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 11:50 PM

We shot at 18 fps, knowing it was not the wisest thing to do, because our projector is only equipped with a 3-bladed shutter. To transfer at 24 fps requires a 5-bladed shutter, which can be difficult to obtain.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I would have thought that the SLOWER frame rate would need the 5-bladed shutter to reduce flicker more than the faster frame rate.
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#8 Rick Palidwor

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 12:47 PM

David Mullen wrote:
"I would have thought that the SLOWER frame rate would need the 5-bladed shutter to reduce flicker more than the faster frame rate."

I don't have a reference in front of me but it is definitely 3-bladed for 20 fps and 5-bladed for 24 fps when doing a film-chain transfer to 29.97 interlaced video. With the new 24p video cameras the 3-bladed shutter will suffice for 24 fps.

Rick
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#9 Nate Downes

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 08:19 AM

Rick, it's still $50 CDN for converting a cameras gate, correct?
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#10 Rick Palidwor

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 05:15 PM

Rick, it's still $50 CDN for converting a cameras gate, correct?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Yes.

Rick
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#11 Scot McPhie

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 05:18 AM

Hey Rick - just wondering what you're up to now? - anymore SD8 featrues in the pipeline?

Scot
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#12 Nate Downes

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 01:56 PM

Alright, I'll be sending one your way in the next few weeks. Time to get my productions on the road.
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#13 Rick Palidwor

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 08:32 PM

Hey Rick - just wondering what you're up to now? - anymore SD8 featrues in the pipeline?

Scot

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Unfortunately, as you may know from your own work, it seems like I am destined to spend the rest of my lift marketing my last film, just to recoup. I am writing a couple new feature scripts but they look like big-budget stories where I'll be looking to sell the script to someone with the resources to get them made. But I shot a b&w (plus x) super-duper short for someone the other day!!

Are you still marketing In My Image?

Rick
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#14 Nate Downes

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 08:49 PM

If i had my way, I'd be producing 5 to 7 pieces, then go around with all of them. The same technique used by distributors such as New Line to get more of their material distributed. A potential buyer likes one product, you won't sell unless he takes all of them. Also forces the price up for the group, as one distributor may like one piece, and another one likes something else, so they bid up the total price even tho they don't like the same bits.
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#15 Rick Palidwor

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 09:00 PM

If i had my way, I'd be producing 5 to 7 pieces, then go around with all of them.  The same technique used by distributors such as New Line to get more of their material distributed.  A potential buyer likes one product, you won't sell unless he takes all of them.  Also forces the price up for the group, as one distributor may like one piece, and another one likes something else, so they bid up the total price even tho they don't like the same bits.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


That's a wonderful theory and I don't doubt it's merit (from a distributor POV) but when it takes at least two years to make each feature it's not practical. By the time you get the 3rd one done the 1st is considered "too old" for the festival circuit, etc. If New Line shops 5 or more at a time they came from 5 different filmmakers. Like I said, it's a valid theory but it's a distributor POV, not a filmmaker's.

Rick
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#16 Nate Downes

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 09:21 PM

Not too familiar with New Line, are you? New Line is the home of Roger Corman, one of the most prolific producers in the business. He produces many movies a year, and this is the reason why.

But, my thinking is, why don't filmmakers bunch-up and assault the distributors en masse? Say you, Scottness, and 3-4 other Super8 movie makers all team up, cut a deal between each other, and do an "all-for-one/one-for-all" kind of arrangement?
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#17 Rick Palidwor

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 09:57 PM

I'm familiar with Corman but didn't realize he was New Line. I stand corrected. He's an exception of course. But your idea of people teaming up is not bad.
Rick
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#18 Nate Downes

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 10:01 PM

People teaming up isn't actually much different than what Corman does.

I'm still weighing between the Super8 feature I want to do and the 16mm feature I should do.
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#19 Rick Palidwor

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 10:12 PM

I'm still weighing between the Super8 feature I want to do and the 16mm feature I should do.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I say start with the one you think you can get finished, or, started on, first. Mitch and I started Sleep Always before everything ($, final script) was in place, and in doing so it forced us to make some decisions and there were advantages to working out certain details as we went. I don't think we ever would have made it if we didn't just take the plunge.

Rick
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#20 Scot McPhie

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 03:38 PM

Unfortunately, as you may know from your own work, it seems like I am destined to spend the rest of my lift marketing my last film, just to recoup. I am writing a couple new feature scripts but they look like big-budget stories where I'll be looking to sell the script to someone with the resources to get them made. But I shot a b&w (plus x) super-duper short for someone the other day!!

Are you still marketing In My Image?

Rick

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hi Rick I kind of am and I kind of aren't - it's permanently on sale on my web site and I put it on eBay every now and again, however I'm not actively pushing it anywhere - however I reckon (just yesterday) that I've woked out how to get the ntsc version done so I will be pushing that in a week or so - I've sold about 50 PAL orders (and given away about 20 complimentary copies to press/crew etc) but I reckon there should be about 50 NTSC sales I can make in the course of the year.

This will all help but won't recoup the budget - but that doesn't really worry me I've kind of accepted that. The project has helped propel me to professional work both as an actor and a 1st AD so it's kind of paying for itself in other ways. I think it could actually pay for itself out right if I go on and make other more sucessful films and people want to look back though the back catalogue and that way the sales will go up. So one day sure.

I doubt I'll ever do another feature on Super 8 again - I may do - I like the texture of it - and particulalry liked that in Sleep Always - but it's just not economically viable for me at the moment - I'm concerntrating on 16mm at the moment. I can get that developed and telecined locally and hopefully one day I could a get a distribution deal which could put a film in a cinema which is my big aim/hope -- all of these things are quite hard with Super 8 and why I want to avoid it. However the feel really suits some stories which is why it would be good to do another feature in Super 8, but not until I had the money or the economic set up/backing to handle the limited distribution options with it (ie DVD release!).

The idea of putting a package deal in to a distributor too is interesting - I'd be in that.

Scot
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