Jump to content




Photo

The Art Of Film Sundance Panel with Chris Nolan, Rachel Morrison, Colin Trevorrow & Alex Ross Perry

Sundance Film Christopher Nolan Rachel Morrison Film panel Colin Trevorrow Kodak Alex Ross Perry

  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 Manu Delpech

Manu Delpech
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 290 posts
  • Director

Posted 29 January 2016 - 09:11 AM

https://youtu.be/wr6NdyP4y-k?t=30m

 

Start at 30 min or a little before that (should be there already) and enjoy.

 

Poetry to my ears. They also mention the motion smoothing on TVs as default, film exhibition, ...........

 

"A super 16 tap into a monitor looks like scrambled pornography from the 80's" Best quote ever from Alex Ross Perry.


Edited by Manu Delpech, 29 January 2016 - 09:18 AM.

  • 0




#2 Carl Looper

Carl Looper
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1367 posts
  • Digital Image Technician
  • Melbourne, Australia

Posted 29 January 2016 - 05:31 PM

Great talk.

 

I completely get Nolan's take. But the flip side argument has merit too - how does one make work without a lot of money to spend on film? One might very well prefer to shoot on film (a Stradivarius), but the bank balance tells you otherwise. The problem with this counter position is the assumption that film is preferable (is a Stradivarius). For there are reasons to shoot digital that are not just a function of the amount of money available. The economic argument can easily eclipse what might otherwise be done with digital, which would be intrinsic to digital - that belongs to digital, and did not grow out of film.

 

But there are also other aspects of film making (or video making) that are not intrinsic to either technology.

 

For example, story telling did not grow out of film. Indeed a huge raft of things did not grow out of film. If digital (or lets just say video) connects with such things it's got nothing to do with film, other than the fact that historically, film got into these things before video did. And video owes a lot to film for this. As does every film made after a previous film! But it doesn't mean video must therefore relinquish it's particular take on such.

 

One of the problems with video is how much more difficult it is to intimately understand video, not least because much of it is boxed in. If film was moderately difficult to understand on a technological level, video is a whole lot more. And it changes faster. One can end up giving up on understanding video in any way whatsoever, other than as the way it is provided and expected to be used. This wipes out a huge amount of fundamental experimentation and innovation that could otherwise be done with video and/or it's computational backbone - not within the industrial system of course, but within the filmmaker or consumer that is the target of this boxed in system

 

C


  • 0

#3 Carl Looper

Carl Looper
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1367 posts
  • Digital Image Technician
  • Melbourne, Australia

Posted 29 January 2016 - 06:52 PM

For those on the film bandwagon (of which I'm a complete devotee myself) I think more work shot on Super8 would be a good idea. Not just work which exploits how it traditionally otherwise looks (as some sort of self referential special d'ffect, as Oliver Stone and others have tested) but as a proper film making format in it's own right. In other words, not to get too caught up in how it differs from other film gauges, but to exploit that which it shares in common with the other gauges - that aspect of film, in general, which differs from video.

 

Modern stock and film to digital pipelines are such that one can, with some extra care, get exceptional results with Super8 (in terms of traditional aesthetics). It is simply historical baggage that gets in the way of developing Super8 beyond it's particular niche or ghetto. Now when compared to other film gauges one can certainly argue that it might be lacking a certain something, but not in any way that needs to be a show stopper. The photochemical look of Super8 can easily make up for a whole lot that it might otherwise lack. For it is in how Super8 looks compared to digital/video that becomes the important difference - not how it looks compared to other film gauges.

 

I'm looking foward to seeing Super8 films, of modest means, that are just great works of cinema in their own right. In whatever way that might be done.

 

C


Edited by Carl Looper, 29 January 2016 - 06:54 PM.

  • 0

#4 Manu Delpech

Manu Delpech
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 290 posts
  • Director

Posted 30 January 2016 - 04:42 AM

I agree, I know that when I think super 8, it's not a format that appeals to me, since I only think of it as "it's good to use when the main character is like a 40 to 50 y old guy and find sold super 8 films from his childhood and plays them, or super 8 film as a piece of evidence in a case", that kind of thing, but then again, super 8 is super 8, I'll get one of those cameras (hoping the price of the camera is somewhere between 400 & 700 bucks tops, but maybe I'm deluding myself) but I kinda wish they'do that kind of thing for a super 16 camera for example, and maybe later 35mm. 

 

I'd be stunned if someone used the camera to do like a feature length super 8 film, then there's the aspect ratio, the softness of it, the grain, I don't know.


  • 0

#5 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4032 posts
  • Other
  • Right on the edge in London

Posted 30 January 2016 - 06:13 AM


I'd be stunned if someone used the camera to do like a feature length super 8 film, then there's the aspect ratio, the softness of it, the grain, I don't know.

 

The aspect ratio on the new camera you are talking about will be 16:9. It's going to use Max8 to get closer to that aspect ratio on the film itself.

 

The grain is one of those things where people really over egg the pudding. Tri-X is fantastically grainy of course but then so is double X in 16mm, and actually I love the grainyness of Tri-X in Super8. I think Tri-X looks best with plenty of grain. I wish I felt the same way about Double X which has an unpleasant grain structure for my taste.

 

However if you are talking about the Vision 3 Colour Negative film stocks then they are only as grainy as 16mm from yesteryear and if you want less grain then just shoot on a slower stock. Vision 3 50D for instance really isn't that grainy. It's the same stuff as used in 16mm cameras and 35mm cameras, just cut smaller.

 

If you want to try out Super 8 now then I suspect you can find a nice Super8 camera like a Canon for about $20. You can certainly find one for about £20 in the UK. Of course you may have to buy a couple before you find one that works! 

 

There's been loads of feature films made on Super 8 in the past and I suspect the new camera will be easier to work with as it's crystal sync and there is a chance that it might even be quiet! Even if it isn't, I bet someone will make a blimp for it!

Someone is almost certainly going to shoot a feature film on it at some point.

 

Freya


  • 0

#6 Brian Drysdale

Brian Drysdale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4745 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 30 January 2016 - 06:42 AM

There's little point in bringing out a low priced Super 16 camera these days, you can buy professional cameras for very little money at the moment.


  • 0

#7 Manu Delpech

Manu Delpech
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 290 posts
  • Director

Posted 30 January 2016 - 06:54 AM

True, but I like the idea of the onboard monitor and the ease of use of it. 

 

@ Freya: cool, didn't know that. I have two super 8 cameras lying around, but they're old, and not in working condition I think. Curious to see what will be done with it.


  • 0

#8 Carl Looper

Carl Looper
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1367 posts
  • Digital Image Technician
  • Melbourne, Australia

Posted 30 January 2016 - 10:39 PM

I agree, I know that when I think super 8, it's not a format that appeals to me, since I only think of it as "it's good to use when the main character is like a 40 to 50 y old guy and find sold super 8 films from his childhood and plays them, or super 8 film as a piece of evidence in a case", that kind of thing, but then again, super 8 is super 8, I'll get one of those cameras (hoping the price of the camera is somewhere between 400 & 700 bucks tops, but maybe I'm deluding myself) but I kinda wish they'do that kind of thing for a super 16 camera for example, and maybe later 35mm. 

 

I'd be stunned if someone used the camera to do like a feature length super 8 film, then there's the aspect ratio, the softness of it, the grain, I don't know.

 

 

Yes, this is how the use of Super8 is typically entertained: as something to be used in the context of work which will be shot in another format. The Super8 will be used as the exception (to the rule) and reframed by whatever the rule might be, such as a story of an old guy watching home movies. Exploited will be the beauty of Super8, but framed in terms of a narrative established outside the Super8 image (rather than from within it).

 

Wim Wenders will do something like this in Paris, Texas. A man walks out of the desert and watches a lost lover on a Super8 projector. There is established a context in which the Super8 can then fill the frame, and we can be drawn into such.

 

In Natural Born Killers, there is a somewhat different use, where there is not so much some master format for which the Super8 will be the exception, but where a number of varying formats will be used in concert with each other - to work off each other and create a play of textures. Interestingly the video usage is more self referential (referencing television) than the Super8 usage. But again, the understood short-comings of each format are quasi-neutralised by their otherwise effective power to contrast with whatever other format is used.

 

There is a certain fear in shooting a film entirely in Super8 - but a fear that children do not possess, but will eventually inherit later in life: that Super8 is not "professional". While the stars of the movie Super8 might try to add "production value" to their shots by exploiting "real world" events as a backdrop for their zombie movie, they are nevertheless still making a zombie movie. They are not making a movie in which the use of Super8 is some sort self referential gesture otherwise protecting them from accusations of un-professionalism. They do not care about such. More important is that the movie will work despite it's modest means. They will work around any constraints, by whatever means. A young Speilberg (if I have the story correct) will create laser beams in a film by directly scratching such into the emulsion of the film.

 

As one gets older it is not necessary to abandon this way of using Super8 (or any other format). One can instead alter the content of what one is otherwise shooting. So instead of a zombie movie, one might try another kind of movie. But keeping the same idea - of making a film that will work despite the constraints - and not by featuring such constraints (as a rule), but by working around such constraints (as a rule).

 

C


Edited by Carl Looper, 30 January 2016 - 10:47 PM.

  • 0

#9 Satsuki Murashige

Satsuki Murashige
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3081 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 31 January 2016 - 01:58 AM

There was a guy who wrote, shot*, and directed a self-funded feature on Super 8 Kodachrome about 15 years ago. It was a 1930's period film shot on location as well. His website is still up: http://www.mango-a-g...image/image.htm

I found this film quite inspirational as a student when most of us were shooting projects on 1/4" sensor standard def miniDV cameras. So there are no rules, really. Just make the films you want to make and use whatever tools work for you.

*Actually, looking at the credits, he did have a DP.
  • 0

#10 Tyler Purcell

Tyler Purcell
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2374 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 31 January 2016 - 02:45 AM

All modern digital content watched on your home television blends together. There is nothing really separating well made television from theatrical content. This is one of the huge points about the whole 120/240hz televisions which come from the factory with image smoothing turned on. People are use to that look today, they don't know it looks like crap.

I'll say this much... an old school analog Sony XBR television and laserdisc source, looked pretty darn good. It looked far better then a digital representation of standard definition. In fact, I've tried to copy laserdisc's to my computer and never once have gotten them to look anywhere near the quality of the ol' analog CRT. Until the last decade, CRT's were the industry standard in image quality and ya know what, I'd go so far as to say those HD broadcast monitors are probably the best looking analog viewing devices ever made. Today's monitors are so inferior, they have to rely on high definition sources to even look remotely acceptable due to the low-end scalers used to up-scale and convert analog to digital and display it on an HD set.

It's the same with film. It's superior to digital in so many ways, not just because it's an exact representation of the light on set, but it doesn't go through nearly the same translation/manipulation. As I've said may times, we're analog creatures, digital doesn't exist without specialized devices to convert analog to digital and back again. There is a great deal of loss in this process from light source through projection. Today's artists manipulate that loss into something that looks generally hyper reality, rather then a piece of art.

What's lacking is education, it's that simple. I personally could care less if people shoot film. I shoot most of my stuff digitally because nobody cares on broadcast television or video streaming. Television today is such a disposable product, there doesn't seem to be any logical reason to spend money on film unless the show is something that has serious social impact/meaning. What I care about is the ability for film to exist as a complete workflow from image capture through distribution without digital manipulation. This requires cameras, stock, labs and projectors, to exist indefinitely. The problem we have today is that filmmakers who would like to do a complete photochemical workflow and distribution, have no way to accomplish that. A good example of this was a recent conversation I had with Fotokem about shooting 2 perf and doing an optical to 4 perf anamorphic for projection. They had zero interest in getting me a budget on that. I asked three times, sent e-mails and even though I gave them all my numbers, they just ignored me. How is that a reliable workflow? Where is the online interactive worksheet where I can select my workflow and it spits out a number on the back end? Why did 'The Revenant' not shoot film? Because they didn't have a reliable lab. Why didn't 'Beasts of No Nation' shoot 16 like they were slated to? Because there was no lab. These are very easy problems to solve, but nobody is solving them. Nobody is standing with the filmmakers between them and the labs trying to work the deal/workflow to make it happen. Finally, film projectors should be a necessity and projectionists should be trained on their use. There is no excuse for film prints of movies made on film, shouldn't be projected on film.

These are just a few of the things I see and that's why I'm starting Celluloid Dreaming. We are going to solve these problems one by one and tackle the very difficult task of making a difference. First starting with education of young filmmakers. Teaching them the ropes of 16 and 35mm filmmaking on celluloid. The format in general needs to be a lot easier to deal with as well, there is no excuse for not getting back to someone on pricing. There are great labs out there, Cinelab in Boston for one of them. I call those guys and I get answers in 10 seconds with a huge smile on their faces loving the fact I still shoot film. I'm 2800 miles away and THEY care, yet here in California, nobody appears to give a shit. It's frustrating and I'm trying my best to make a difference.
  • 0

#11 J. Winfield Heckert

J. Winfield Heckert
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 51 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Wilmington Delaware

Posted 05 February 2016 - 12:42 AM

Bleak future is the only full length feature I know of shot entirely on super8. It was shot on sound film, and the original release was the on board super8 sound. Kodak actually stopped making sound film shortly before they finished shooting. The film was digitally remastered for DVD later on and dubbed. It was a great little film and I think the grainy reversal stock and low ifi audio helped sell the wasteland post apocalyptic feel they were going for.

http://www.bleakfuture.com

Sync sound and quiet cameras always made 16mm a better choice for a feature but I've found plenty of projects where super8 fit in real well.
  • 1

#12 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4032 posts
  • Other
  • Right on the edge in London

Posted 05 February 2016 - 05:54 AM

Bleak future is the only full length feature I know of shot entirely on super8.

 

There are tons of feature films shot entirely on Super8.

Kung Fu Rascals, Sleep Always, A Polish vampire in Burbank, The Last of England etc, etc, etc


  • 0

#13 John E Clark

John E Clark
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 780 posts
  • Other
  • San Diego

Posted 05 February 2016 - 02:31 PM

 

There are tons of feature films shot entirely on Super8.

Kung Fu Rascals, Sleep Always, A Polish vampire in Burbank, The Last of England etc, etc, etc

 

I'm wondering... at least in the case of Jarman... whether 'super8' was an aesthetic choice, or a budget choice... Given that Jarman was not a go to 70's/80's filmmaker for getting big budgets... I suspect that super8 was a compromise between wanting to get a visual work 'out'... uh... and having it better aesthetically than the then current 'cheap' medium of consumer video cameras... as well as the use of home/amateur editing capability that 8mm film provided, vs the non-existant 'quality' editing that consumer provided. (personal opinion time...) I consider 8mm to be a crappy image by almost any of my standards, but I will agree that for editing, and relative 'quality' of image for the same priced video equipment, one obtain superior results with 8mm... but for me it's a difference between shitty and shittier...

 

I suspect that Jarman would have jumped on the digital bandwagon with a DVX100... or the like...

 

Of course Jarman could have been a Film film aesthete...


  • 0

#14 Carl Looper

Carl Looper
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1367 posts
  • Digital Image Technician
  • Melbourne, Australia

Posted 05 February 2016 - 09:40 PM

 

I'm wondering... at least in the case of Jarman... whether 'super8' was an aesthetic choice, or a budget choice... Given that Jarman was not a go to 70's/80's filmmaker for getting big budgets... I suspect that super8 was a compromise between wanting to get a visual work 'out'... uh... and having it better aesthetically than the then current 'cheap' medium of consumer video cameras... as well as the use of home/amateur editing capability that 8mm film provided, vs the non-existant 'quality' editing that consumer provided. (personal opinion time...) I consider 8mm to be a crappy image by almost any of my standards, but I will agree that for editing, and relative 'quality' of image for the same priced video equipment, one obtain superior results with 8mm... but for me it's a difference between shitty and shittier...

 

I suspect that Jarman would have jumped on the digital bandwagon with a DVX100... or the like...

 

Of course Jarman could have been a Film film aesthete...

 

Jarman started on Super8 because the art scene which he inhabited had Super8 cameras around. He just started playing with them. And the times were such that Super8 fitted perfectly into the punk aesthetic of the day. The Super8 films were more experimental than the feature films he'd go on to make. But as Wikipedia will say - he never abandoned an experimental mode. We might say he just elaborated the experimentation to include narrative (which experimental films don't normally pursue).

 

C


Edited by Carl Looper, 05 February 2016 - 09:45 PM.

  • 0

#15 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4032 posts
  • Other
  • Right on the edge in London

Posted 06 February 2016 - 04:27 AM

 

The Super8 films were more experimental than the feature films he'd go on to make. But as Wikipedia will say - he never abandoned an experimental mode. We might say he just elaborated the experimentation to include narrative (which experimental films don't normally pursue).

 

Well both "The Last Of England" and "The Angelic Conversation" were feature films where Derek Jarman used Super8.

 

Even Derek Jarmans more experimental stuff tends to be fairly narrative by experimental film standards. He continued to do more experimental stuff alongside all the Channel 4 funded stuff too. It's not entirely a linear thing where he became more and more narrative either because films like "Blue" and "The Garden" that are much later films were also heading in the other direction in terms of how narrative they are.

 

I think he just tended to mix it up a bit.


Edited by Freya Black, 06 February 2016 - 04:29 AM.

  • 0

#16 Freya Black

Freya Black
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4032 posts
  • Other
  • Right on the edge in London

Posted 06 February 2016 - 04:43 AM

 

I'm wondering... at least in the case of Jarman... whether 'super8' was an aesthetic choice, or a budget choice... Given that Jarman was not a go to 70's/80's filmmaker for getting big budgets... I suspect that super8 was a compromise between wanting to get a visual work 'out'... uh... and having it better aesthetically than the then current 'cheap' medium of consumer video cameras... as well as the use of home/amateur editing capability that 8mm film provided, vs the non-existant 'quality' editing that consumer provided. (personal opinion time...) I consider 8mm to be a crappy image by almost any of my standards, but I will agree that for editing, and relative 'quality' of image for the same priced video equipment, one obtain superior results with 8mm... but for me it's a difference between shitty and shittier...

 

I suspect that Jarman would have jumped on the digital bandwagon with a DVX100... or the like...

 

Of course Jarman could have been a Film film aesthete...

 

 

Okay, not sure where to start with all this!

 

Derek jarman would definitely have loved a DVX100. He was already shooting lots of video. The Angelic conversation uses a lot of nasty looking old school video as a contrast to the Super8 video that makes up most of the movie. It works well and I'm sure he would have found interesting ways to use the more modern cameras. He didn't shoot Super8 because it looked better than the cheap video cameras at the time because he was also experimenting with those too! He also continued to shoot Super 8 long after he had much larger budgets for 16 and 35mm film. He was just really, really into Super8.

 

As for jumping on the digital bandwagon....hmm I'm not so sure. He was already really into video and I think he would have continued to work with video but there was a lot of digital stuff around at the time and I don't think that was quite his style.  It was Peter Greenaway who dived headfirst into that stuff at the first opportunity with films like "Prospero's Books"

 

I think there is a lot of stuff being written in this thread now about Derek Jarman which is less about what actually went on with erek Jarman and Super 8 but about people's own feelings about the format. People seem to be taking their own feelings about Super 8 and then trying to shape a narrative about Derek Jarmans work around that.

 

Derek jarman always did a lot of really creative things with Super8, some of which would be difficult to achieve in any other format.

 

I actually love the way that "The Angelic Conversation" looks and works. I think it would have been the poorer if it had been shot on 16mm or something. It is a very beautiful film.

 

Freya


  • 0

#17 Carl Looper

Carl Looper
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1367 posts
  • Digital Image Technician
  • Melbourne, Australia

Posted 06 February 2016 - 07:58 AM

It is only by pure coincidence I've been visiting Derek Jarman of late. He emerges in research for a work I've been developing over the last few months, centered on the relationship between John Dee and Edward Kelly in Elizabethan England, ie. the very history from which both Jubilee and The Angelic Conversation draw some inspiration. Prospero's Books also emerges in this research, as the film is based on The Tempest, which in turn, Shakespeare based on John Dee's story.

 

C


  • 0

#18 Carl Looper

Carl Looper
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1367 posts
  • Digital Image Technician
  • Melbourne, Australia

Posted 06 February 2016 - 08:09 AM

Interestingly Caravaggio is very different from Jarman's previous work. Caravaggio looks more like a Peter Greenaway film than a Derek Jarman film.

 

C


  • 0



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Sundance, Film, Christopher Nolan, Rachel Morrison, Film panel, Colin Trevorrow, Kodak, Alex Ross Perry

Abel Cine

rebotnix Technologies

Pro 8mm

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

Glidecam

Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

The Slider

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

Zylight

Rig Wheels Passport

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

rebotnix Technologies

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

Ritter Battery

The Slider

Technodolly

Pro 8mm

Tai Audio

Metropolis Post

CineTape

Zylight

Visual Products

CineLab

Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks