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El Mariachi


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#1 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 11:49 PM

I'm viewing El Mariachi on Cable right now, the print looks slightly contrasty, but very clean, I really don't see any grain. (by the way, the foley is not that good, and I seem to recall they spent a LOT of money getting this puppy ready for distribution, lol compared to what it cost to make.)

What 16mm film stock was the original shot on, and when conforming the negative to the video edit, how did they handle repeat shots, or were there no repeat shots in the film?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 12:06 AM

I've never read what stocks were used but judging by the print I saw in theaters, I'm not sure what stock WASN'T used -- it was clearly made using short ends. The quality was all over the map, grain-wise (although more consistent than "The Brothers McMullen"). Some shots were pretty good on the big screen -- one suspects 7245 (EXR 50D) or 7248 (EXR 100T) for those. Since most of the movie is in daylight, there wasn't a lot of scenes needing faster stocks (just the bar mainly.)

The home video version used a lot of noise reduction to fix shots (plus you are seeing it much smaller than in the theater.)

The film was blown-up to 35mm conventionally in an optical printer (this was pre-D.I. days). I don't know if shots were repeated, but one advantage of doing a blow-up is that you can make additional 35mm blow-ups of the same 16mm shot and then cut them into the 35mm dupe negative, so the repeat shots are the same generation as the original shots.

The original 16mm negative would just have to have blank slugs put in for the repeated shots (after the blow-up, some people would then dupe the 35mm opticals back down to 16mm just to cut them into the 16mm negative so there were no slugs for archiving.)
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#3 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 12:23 AM

It's interesting that you mention noise reduction.

I have found that the noise reduction boards that were put into some analog videotape machines are good enough to reduce grainy film transfers even after the "grainy" film has been transferred to video!

If anyone actually has film that has been transferred to video and looks "too grainy" I might be able to reduce the film grain as it appears on video while maintaining the picture quality.
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#4 Jordan Brade

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 04:11 PM

I own "Rebel Without a Crew" the that contains his diary entries from when he made "El Mariachi." He says that he ordered fresh stock from kodak, and recieved a few rolls every few days or so.

For all the interiors he said he used film rated at 320 ASA, and that's about all he mentions about the type of stock he used.
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#5 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 04:30 PM

I own "Rebel Without a Crew" the film that contains his diary entries from when he made "El Mariachi." He says that he ordered fresh stock from kodak, and recieved a few rolls every few days or so.

For all the interiors he said he used film rated at 320 ASA, and that's about all he mentions about the type of stock he used.

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Sounds like he was using the 500 ASA stock and overexposing it by rating it at 320. I'm surprised how grainless it looked when it was broadcast on television.
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#6 MiguelDelValle

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 02:37 PM

Sounds like he was using the 500 ASA stock and overexposing it by rating it at 320.  I'm surprised how grainless it looked when it was broadcast on television.

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If rodriguez used short ends or asked Kodak for stock and was bough in Mexico there is a strong chance that the stock is 7248. It was the typical stock for tv movies at that time and there was this under market for rolls that werent used by tv movies production companies.

Righ now the offer form kodak is about only 4 or 5 kind of stocks, if there is a need for another you have to ask for them with time so they can get it form elsewere, so the choices are no to wide.

On that time there should be only 3 or 4 choices, being 48 and 320 asa the most common.
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#7 Boone Hudgins

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 01:43 AM

I believe I remember him saying something about buying straight from Kodak. He said he could've gotten a student film discount if he bought the film all at once, but he didn't know if he would be able to finish the movie, so he bought more whenever he ran out.

The audio isn't great because he recorded all the dialog after each take. The camera he used was an old, broken, Arri S so he couldn't record any sound during the take. I think he recorded it onto a Radio Shack tape recorder. If the version you saw was in English, then of course the dubbing was bad. The movie's in Spanish. I know that most of the movie channels show an English dubbed version.
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#8 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 12:09 PM

I believe I remember him saying something about buying straight from Kodak.  He said he could've gotten a student film discount if he bought the film all at once, but he didn't know if he would be able to finish the movie, so he bought more whenever he ran out.

The audio isn't great because he recorded all the dialog after each take.  The camera he used was an old, broken, Arri S so he couldn't record any sound during the take.  I think he recorded it onto a Radio Shack tape recorder.  If the version you saw was in English, then of course the dubbing was bad.  The movie's in Spanish.  I know that most of the movie channels show an English dubbed version.

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I think I read that they spent a lot of money on the sound aspect of the film. The dubbing was incredibly flat sounding. Kind of surprising more of an effort wasn't put into making the dub sound sound more realistic.

I'm still surprised at how grain free the film looks.
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#9 Boone Hudgins

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 12:12 PM

You would imagine a lot of money would have to be put into it. But there's only so much you can do with anything.
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