Could be a simple question but i've had no experience working with film. my next project will be shot on 16mm film so i've been curious how simple effects are done on those films ( cut to black, fade in/out, the credits). Are they entirely done by the negative cutting guy? (using optical printer?). How do filmmakers in the past achieve the credits when there's no video technology? And what is best and cheap way to achieve those now if you want to finish the movie on celluloid ( for me, if the film was shot on film, it has to be finished on film. Other digital version is simply the transformation of the original work). I also know about film recording but that might be expensive.
How are simple effects done on celluloid movies?
Posted 16 August 2016 - 06:27 PM
16mm negative is assembled in A-B "checkerboard" rolls -- the next cut in a sequence is on the opposite printing roll, with black leader in the gaps, so the first shot is on the A-roll, the next on the B-roll, with black leader filling in the gaps, etc. This way the two rolls can be exposed in two passes onto the same print and the splices all happen outside of the picture area. But this also means that when you are editing the movie, you have to account for a half-frame being lost on each side of your clip.
With an A-B roll conformed negative, you can institute some fades and dissolves as long as they are standard lengths that the lab offers (I don't know the numbers, but let's say it is a 12-frame fade-out, a 24-frame fade-out, etc.) So for a fade in or out, that shot is gradually darkened frame by frame as it is being printed onto the print stock. For a dissolve, the A-side is faded out and when they lay in the B-roll exposure pass, the B-side of the dissolve is faded in, with an overlap in the exposures between the two shots, so you get a dissolve. Again, in standardized lengths. Some editing systems can be set-up to flag those things so you only choose lab-approved lengths for fades and dissolves.
Less common in 16mm would have been do it in an optical printer. In that case, it's the same as doing it in 35mm -- you make a color-timed IP (positive) of the shot to be faded in or out, and that gets loaded into the projector side of the optical printer and the image is rephotographed onto a dupe negative stock with the effect added.
For doing titles over picture, you would have used an optical printer.
Today you could do those things digitally but the problem is finding a film recorder that will transfer the digital file to 16mm negative stock.
You can see some A and B (and C) rolls here:
Posted 20 August 2016 - 07:55 AM
I agree with you to want to finish on film and wanting optical titles. Even though you are shooting 16mm (is it regular or super??), you should finish on 35mm. So shoot your titles and transitions after you have blown up to 35mm. Even though there are fewer and fewer cinemas that can screen 35, there are far less than that which are able to screen 16mm. .......But, maybe this is a one off for a special event and you already have a projector and post path planned out. There are still labs that will print 16mm
Posted 20 August 2016 - 08:28 AM
regular 16mm. so the negative cutter is the person that does the effects? I'm not shooting 16mm for at least several months. just curious how it works. i grew up digitally. no one my age knows anything about film and the film schools don't really care. i think if i was to do it i'd create credits/titles digitally and the record to film.
Posted 20 August 2016 - 10:57 AM
You can create fades & dissolves of standard lengths by A/B roll cutting of the negative -- the lab does those effects when making the print. But titles over picture, unless you just wanted black letters burned into the image, have to be done in an optical printer using IP's going to dupe negatives in order to use hold-out mattes (or today would be done digitally.)
The one Super-16 movie I did actually had to do the titles in a 35mm optical printer -- so we made one Super-16 negative master where the finished 35mm opticals were reduced to Super-16 but for the blow-up to 35mm, we cut the 35mm opticals into the 35mm dupe negative for making prints.
Truth is today a 16mm project would probably go through a D.I. (all the footage scanned to a digital file) and if a film master was wanted, the results would be recorded out to a 35mm negative. I don't know if there are any 16mm film recorders out there, and if you recorded titles out to 35mm, you'd have to get them optically reduced to 16mm (and then need to find a lab that does 35mm-to-16mm optical printing, which is also rare.) At the time, late-1990's, I used Colorlab in Maryland for the work.
Of course, it may be possible to make something like your own 16mm film recorder, pointing the camera at a high-res computer monitor.
Posted 21 August 2016 - 12:02 PM
Yes we still do AB-roll printing, both contact and optical reduction/blowup or recentering from S16 to Std16 with optical soundtrack which we make in-house now. There is still a reasonable amount of Kodak black leader available in good hands, we can make lightstruck black leader if that runs out.
Posted 21 August 2016 - 02:42 PM
I've looked into a 35mm blow up/ film out of my 16mm feature. Would run about 15k for a 70-80 minute film. That's a film out from a 2k file. Roughly 250 a minute. I'm still waiting on a quote for a A/B negative cut, but it may not be worth going this route since I have many shots that need digital compositing.
If you wanted to have a film with non digitally generated titles you could shoot your own, simple titles by set up a black board and put white letters on it. If you want titles over pictures you could paint or use letters on glass and shoot your titles during the production. This would be technically challenging but simple shoots could be easily achieved.
Posted 21 August 2016 - 04:11 PM
Last I heard, Stan Sztaba is still cutting out of his house (in Connecticut, I think)...