First post on this forum. I must say, having never actually worked with film before, I'm glad I found this website. Very informative.
DISCLAIMER: Never having worked with film, my knowledge comes entirely from the internet, no hands on experience. So if I say anything that sounds absurd, just let me know.
Having always used digital cameras, I want to shoot a movie on Super 16mm film, and have it finished on 35mm film. I've been trying to work out the workflow to get from the exposed negatives to that final print. I want to have it photochemically color timed, preferably without ever having a Digital Intermediate.
Now, if I were shooting on 35mm, I would simply color time, make the inter negative, and make copies from there, all analog. But with super 16, there is the sticky problem of having to blow it up to 35mm, and from what I've read, there are many ways to go about this. There are several discussions already on this forum, but most of them are over 10 years old, and the technology seems to have changed rather significantly since then.
I have an idea for some possible workflows, but I don't know if they would actually work the way I want them to or not.
One of them is to edit the 16mm film together, have it color timed, then optically blown up to 35mm, but I'm not sure if the colors would translate well (I've read conflicting statements, but some say that an optical printer can't reliably transmit the colors, meaning it might have to be retimed.)
If that were the case, I could have it edited, optically blown up to 35mm, then color timed, but that adds the cost of working with more 35mm in the process.
For another option, and I wouldn't really mind this as long as I didn't have to digitally alter the colors, but I could edit the 16mm film, color time it, then data scan it at 4k(Not that much more expensive than 2k) then downscale it to 2k(or not, if printing 4k weren't much more expensive, but I don't know.) and have it printed to 35mm film. The problems with that, however, after it was scanned, I don't know if you would have to digitally alter the colors, or if the direct scan can be printed back without any processing.
If it were the case that I would have to mess with the colors digitally anyway, then another thought was that I could edit the 16mm film, scan it without color timing, print it back to 35mm film, then photochemically color time that copy. But, that might be absurd. I don't really know, but I feel like after it was scanned, then printed, there might be some information taken from the film that makes photochemical color timing less effective, since you're just working with what a digital printer put on it, not the original analog goodness.
That's a bit of a book, so I'll summarize my specific questions:
1. Assuming both processes were done properly, which would be less expensive, optical blow up, or scanning then printing back to film? (I have no reference for cost for digital printing or optical blow up. As far as I know, in this day and age, one could be far cheaper than another.)
2. Assuming both those processes were done properly, which do you think would give the best results? (Knowing that I want a photochemical timing done.)
3. Will an optical printer transfer the timed colors properly, or would it have to be timed again?
4. Will a scan of an already color timed print properly transfer the colors when printed back to film? Or would the colors still have to be digitally altered before printing.
5. Can and untimed scan that has been printed back to film still be photochemically color timed, or is that absurd?
6. Sort of related to the first question, but any reference as to how much printing 2k and 4k digital to film would cost? I can't find any information on the cost like you can with scanning. Also, specific costs of the optical blowup.
I feel like some people are going to ask, "Why not just use a digital intermediate, instead of photochemically color timing? it would give you much better results, and be cheaper", and they're probably right, but it's just a hands on artistic thing. I'm relatively young, and grew up in a world that is entirely digital. Watching actual 35mm films at a theater is like a distant childhood memory, as most theaters have long been digital. And making movies with digital cameras is all I have ever done, but quite frankly, I'm at a point where I would like to create movies the same way my favorite movies from decades past were created, even if it slightly compromises visual clarity.