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Trying to Determine Film Stock Used for This Specific Scene

film stock 16mm Bolex experimental film jonas mekas

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#1 Chris Van Horn

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 03:06 PM

Hi,

 

I'm looking to shoot my first 16mm short with a Bolex H-16. Going for a cinema-verite/60's avantgarde feel in terms of low light/natural light. Nearly all of the shots will be interior at night.

 

Going for a look very similar to the scene below from 1:40 to 2:07

 

 

Curious to see if anyone can narrow down what film stock was used for this (or what similar stocks made today could work in a similar way)??

 

Also any idea what f.stop he was shooting at in said scene would be helpful as well!

 

Thanks!


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#2 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 03:12 PM

Can you provide the Vimeo link?  The player that was embedded into your post has no ability to expand the window, which makes it a lot more difficult to answer your questions.


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#3 Chris Van Horn

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 03:28 PM

Sure, if you click the title and it doesn't open a new window, try copying and pasting this:

 

https://vimeo.com/2601707


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#4 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 03:39 PM

1969...wow.  Can't say exactly what the stock was, but since you're shooting night-interiors, I'd go with Kodak 7219 (500T.)  And if you want to get some excess grain, it takes well to push-processing.  As for the faded/muted colors, that would be something you'd have to adjust in the grading as most modern stocks come out with fairly saturated colors when properly exposed.  And I don't know any labs that do any kind of flashing, anymore.


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#5 Chris Van Horn

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 04:04 PM

Are there any good examples online of Kodak 7219 (500T) footage of night interior shots using natural light?


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#6 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 04:46 PM

Are there any good examples online of Kodak 7219 (500T) footage of night interior shots using natural light?

 

Are you talking about existing (ambient) light in the locations?  Natural light, at least at night, would refer to actual moonlight.


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#7 Kalle Folke

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 05:01 PM

Are there any good examples online of Kodak 7219 (500T) footage of night interior shots using natural light?

 

Hi! 

Just started writing but my computer stopped working, so I'll try again...

I've shot some rolls of 500T at night with only natural light (or naturally accruing in the location) during this year and hope to soon find some time to finnish my new "film stock montage" to show online. 

I'd say you generally need a fast lens, like T1.3. With 500T at T1.3 normal household lights or street lights gives a nice exposure in my experience.

I'd also say natural light is a very varied thing. Some people might just have a small reading lamp turned on at night and some have really bright fixtures in the ceiling… and maybe a big street light just outside the window. Also depends how close the light is to the subject etc. Is there any reason not to move the light or subject? Even in a documentary setting you can move the camera to effect exposure in the frame. That said I absolutely think you can light a scene without any fixtures made especially for cinematography.

I'll try to remember to post my new film with some good examples of 500T to this thread when I get id done. For now I have a test from my first roll that I shot last year:

00.40-01.15 is 500T. In the kitchen I tried to use a 300w redhead bounced in the ceiling, but I think it actually would have looked better/more natural without it.

 

I really prefer the look of film in lowlight compared to the washed out look from digital cameras at hight ISO.

 

Good luck!


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#8 Chris Van Horn

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 05:02 PM

Yes, I'm sorry, what I meant was ambient light (anything you might find in a kitchen and living room - lamps, skylights, etc).
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#9 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 05:12 PM

Yes, I'm sorry, what I meant was ambient light (anything you might find in a kitchen and living room - lamps, skylights, etc).

 

Do a search on Vimeo and you should find plenty of examples.  I'd say you'll still need to push it at least one stop.


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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 07:02 PM

Late 1960's 16mm color cinematography in the U.S. was almost entirely reversal. 

 

Either it was shot on:

 

KODACHROME (I don't know what year K40 tungsten was introduced) or

 

Introduced in 1958:

EKTACHROME Commercial film, 7255. Tungsten, EI 25. Process ECO-1. Replaced by 7252 in 1970. Or

 

Introduced in 1966:

EKTACHROME EF film, 7242. Tungsten, EI 125. Discontinued 1986.

EKTACHROME EF film, 7241. Daylight, EI 160. Discontinued 1984.
 
ECO was a very slow-speed lowered-contrast stock designed for duplicating, but was very slow.  
 
More likely this interior was shot on Ektachrome EF 7242 (125T), possibly pushed a stop.  It was common back then to replace the light bulbs in practicals with higher wattage photoflood bulbs for shooting.  Could have also been K40.
 
An experimental filmmaker from the time once told me that it was common to shoot Ektachrome but to make Kodachrome copies back then in the 1960's.

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#11 Chris Van Horn

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 08:27 PM

Thanks so much for the responses guys!

 

Is there any stock still made today that produces a similar look to the Ektachrome EF 7242 (125T)?

 

Or is there anywhere to purchase old rolls that were properly stored of any of those stocks listed above? (other than ebay)

 

Thanks again, this has all been SUPER helpful!


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#12 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 08:37 PM

As you can see, Ektachrome EF was discontinued in 1986 along with the processing. Ektachrome VNF was discontinued in 2004 along with VNF processing and just two years ago, Kodak discontinued their 16mm Ektachrome E6 reversal stocks, though E6 processing still continues for slide film still shooters.

 

You're better off shooting color negative today and trying to get that higher contrast look in color-correction.


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#13 Freya Black

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 07:19 PM

 

Late 1960's 16mm color cinematography in the U.S. was almost entirely reversal. 

 

Either it was shot on:

 

KODACHROME (I don't know what year K40 tungsten was introduced) or

 

Introduced in 1958:

EKTACHROME Commercial film, 7255. Tungsten, EI 25. Process ECO-1. Replaced by 7252 in 1970. Or

 

Introduced in 1966:

EKTACHROME EF film, 7242. Tungsten, EI 125. Discontinued 1986.

EKTACHROME EF film, 7241. Daylight, EI 160. Discontinued 1984.
 
ECO was a very slow-speed lowered-contrast stock designed for duplicating, but was very slow.  
 
More likely this interior was shot on Ektachrome EF 7242 (125T), possibly pushed a stop.  It was common back then to replace the light bulbs in practicals with higher wattage photoflood bulbs for shooting.  Could have also been K40.
 
An experimental filmmaker from the time once told me that it was common to shoot Ektachrome but to make Kodachrome copies back then in the 1960's.

 

 

 

Wow David, I was about to post about this but your posting is spot on.

Filmmakers would frequently shoot reversal and then there was an intermediate stock they could use so they could actually get prints from reversal. This was before my time but there were still people bemoaning the lack of this option anymore when I was still involved in that scene.

 

I would have actually guessed ECO and even seem to remember someone from about this period talking about shooting on ECO but I don't actually know offhand. I don't actually remember what "Walden" was like at this point and havn't managed to get the link working yet.

 

Freya


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#14 Freya Black

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 07:33 PM

Well I have an email account that is so old that I can almost raise the dead.

Here is something that the ever helpful Sam Wells (R.I.P.) wrote back in 2005  which might help.

Specifically there is the talk of the Walden book (which is probably impossible to find but it's worth noting just in case)

 

Sam said:

 

Some stuff prints nicely as "one light" some doesn't.

As reversal to reversal printing has all but disappeared probably "one
light" as a philosophy isn't quite what it was.

Anyway I would translate Jonas Mekas'  remark to indicate "print the
densities of the camera original"  IOW don't try to "correct" it.

I suspect in your case, the lab tried to "help you"  -- sometimes help
is not helpful. (Allen Daviau, shooter of Spielberg films etc is know
to have his assistant write "DON'T HELP ME" on camera reports  (ie
dailies timing instruction sheets).

Tip: Always keep the timing light card / sheet from workprinting, then
you can refer the answer print timer back to something that worked for
you, or if you're going to deviate from it / them, you have a point of
reference.

-Sam


> Reading the Walden book today and came across: "I do
> my work in camera, and all I ask from the lab is to
> make a straight, what's known as "one light" print,
> with no special timing, no anything.  Usually I get
> results I like." -Mekas, pg. 106
 


Edited by Freya Black, 23 December 2015 - 07:37 PM.

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#15 Freya Black

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 08:12 PM

Okay I just watched it. Outstanding transfer!

It's definitely reversal, (we already know that from Sam Wells in my last post anyway I guess)

I'm actually thinking Kodachrome because the exteriors look so amazing.

It might be Kodachrome 25 even, rather than 40.

 

Reversal has a very distinctive look so you might have a hard time trying to get close to that now.

There was that 200ASA agfa stuff around recently. Can't remember what it was called. It's still available here in Europe but might be harder to get stateside.

 

Here is that Agfa in Super8. Maybe you can find some in 16mm:

 


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#16 Freya Black

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 08:29 PM

Looks like they still have some in 16mm at Wittner but it's not the cheapest stock!

 

http://www.wittner-k...nik.de/home.php

 

On another note...

 

Really weird watching the Walden excerpt and seeing people you know years and years before you knew them.

That was a kind of experience that used to be normal with home movies but has gone away these days I guess.

It actually made me feel a little like I was somewhere I shouldn't be, watching something I shouldn't be seeing!

 

Freya


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#17 Maik Lobborn

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Posted 25 December 2015 - 12:07 PM

Hi Chris,

 

welcome on board.

 
Here you will find some Wittner Chrome 200D 16mm examples.
 
more "modern / clean look":
 
 
 
 
 
 
more "retro / dirty look":
 
 
 
 
Merry x-Mas
Maik

Edited by Maik Lobborn, 25 December 2015 - 12:08 PM.

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#18 Oron Cohen

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Posted 27 December 2015 - 12:17 PM

I would definitely go for the reversal film stock, you can buy the Wittner in Europe from Andec Film lab I think, and in the US you can get it from Spectra Film and video under the name Agfachrome and probably there are other places that sell it. 


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#19 Chris Van Horn

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Posted 27 December 2015 - 03:19 PM

Wow guys, all of these replies have been SUPER helpful.

 

I'll keep you all updated on the process and what I end up with.


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#20 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 27 December 2015 - 03:26 PM

I would definitely go for the reversal film stock, you can buy the Wittner in Europe from Andec Film lab I think, and in the US you can get it from Spectra Film and video under the name Agfachrome and probably there are other places that sell it. 

 

While reversal may give you a more contrasty look, I would go with negative film for your first outing simply because you have more room for error.  It's more expensive, but worth it in the end since you have more latitude to play with and get the specific look you are going for.


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