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coming back after 20 years


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#1 David Scott

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 07:02 PM

I've been lurking for a few months, reading, searching, watching a ton of video links. 20 years ago, I started to shoot a super 8 film I had originally intended to be about an hour and 10 minutes long. Main actor moved and I never got back to it. Bills and life got in the way of all my art related hobbies, painting, music, photography, writing, etc. So, the eclipse recently got me thinking about super 8 again. Dug my stuff out, nothing worked. Started researching only to find all the kodachrome I had was useless (for me, as I don't trust myself to hand develop after so long), my 2 sound cameras were trash, my projector melted it's belt, etc. I started by getting a new belt, watching old footage, testing my 2 silent cameras and buying a new (to me) one, selling a lot of my old stuff and trashing the rest. I got rededicated along the way to finishing my film, now rewritten to about 35 minutes. Problems in facing are- no PC, so, no negative film, and Agfa 200d is SOOOO grainy. I keep hearing Ektachrome 100d super 8 is coming, but I reeeeally wish I knew when. I've checked with Pro8mm, they aren't sure, and Kodak hasn't responded to my email (expected). I thought about tri-x, but I really want color. I thought about getting a computer and using negative films, and it's still an option, but manually editing before scanning will be more cost effective, I think. I'm also considering just using the Agfa. I'm still relearning, but if anyone has specific tips for me or suggestions, I'm all ears. Especially if someone has a more specific date for the release of that new Ektachrome.
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#2 Samuel Berger

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 07:22 PM

No PC of any kind? You can get cheap used laptops on Ebay that will do what you need. Prices have come down a lot in 20 years. Even yard sales can get you going. Eight years ago I was in a similar situation and got a free PC off of Craigslist, only thing it didn't have was a hard drive.

Ektachrome won't come out until next year, and it's possibly being purposely held back so its release coincides with the new Super 8 "pie in the sky" camera from Kodak. That was supposed to have come out last year.

 

What I hear about the Agfa is that you should overexpose by 2/3 stop to reduce the grain. I haven't tried that, myself.

 

If you don't want to try Wittner Chrome for reversal, you can go to Retro 8 Enterprises for Fuji reversal. I prefer the Retro 8 stuff, of course. They call it Provie 100D.

http://www.retro8.co...e8_film2003.htm

 

The good thing is you're in San Antonio, not in Seattle, so you are less likely to have rain interfere with your filming. It rains all the time here and I can't wait to leave and go back to L.A. someday.

 

I don't think it's a very cheap option but it's a real good filmstock option. It's about $38 per roll.


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#3 David Scott

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 07:31 PM

I do have a PC, but it crashed a while back and I haven't gotten around to replacing it since I have a smartphone and a tablet. I have looked at retro 8, but the website always says the film is out of stock. I'll try the 2/3 stop with my next roll of Agfa.
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#4 Samuel Berger

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 07:46 PM

I do have a PC, but it crashed a while back and I haven't gotten around to replacing it since I have a smartphone and a tablet. I have looked at retro 8, but the website always says the film is out of stock. I'll try the 2/3 stop with my next roll of Agfa.

 

It's possible that there are tablet apps that do what you want, I don't know, I never understood the appeal of tapping on glass, it generally scares the fish.

The Retro 8 English site is not updated often, only the Japanese page gets constant updates. But the film is in stock, you need to email Tak and ask him about it. His response is not always fast. The page I linked to shows the Provie buying options and they're available now.

 

I've found Super 8 videos of Agfa tests online and they seem to be shot by the same guy, with ND filters. The 16mm tests don't look as grainy.

 

I remember there being a piece of software called Neat Video that removed the grain. 

 

 

I can't say I like removing grain but I can see that there are times when it is useful.


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#5 David Scott

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 10:39 PM

Well, you got me thinking about the Provie again, sent them an email as to what's up with 40ft carts vs 50 and May go that route, I have seen some vids on YouTube filmed with it that looked really good, but we'll see.
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#6 David Scott

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 10:11 AM

Ps, this is my 20 year old footage, all shot on kodachrome 40, all with a bell & Howell 442 filmosound 8, using various filters and sunglass lenses held manually in place.

https://m.youtube.co...h?v=LDM16lHld2s
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#7 David Scott

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 10:16 AM

Can't edit that, so, re-replying... I called it "Artifact" in reference ONLY to the small idol in hand about 1/2 way though, not realizing the term was also used in reference to film anomalies and also not realizing it would be stored for 20 years and then rediscovered.
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#8 Samuel Berger

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 12:47 PM

I like what you have there, you have some interesting locations and shots, but that off-the-wall telecine is doing no good, you need something better. Don't use Pro8mm though, ever, for anything.

Contact Perry over at Gamma Ray Digital, ask him if he can scan it for you and for how much. They do amazing work.

 

What I would recommend is some stabilization of some shots and shortening some of the others. Are you planning to add sound? Good sound would take your footage to the next level and probably wouldn't be hard to do at all.

 

Best of luck!


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#9 David Scott

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 01:19 PM

Thanks for the info. I have already talked to both entities, pro8 and gamma ray. Gamma ray would be more expensive, but better quality. I keep seeing pro8 dis in here, but so far, the people I've emailed have been really cool, including Rhonda Vigeant. As far as locations, unfortunately, 20 years makes for a lot of changes, that old house is now a historical landmark and fully restored! So, completely uncreepy now. Not sure if you read the description on the lesser 720 copy on YouTube, but, all this footage was going to be used as flashbacks and visions in the primary story I was starting to shoot. When my actor moved away, I just cut up what I had and stuck it together and slapped a name on it. When I make the new version of my film (35 minutes vs 70-ish), I'm going to splice some of these scenes into it as was originally intended.
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#10 Samuel Berger

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 01:30 PM

Thanks for the info. I have already talked to both entities, pro8 and gamma ray. Gamma ray would be more expensive, but better quality. I keep seeing pro8 dis in here, but so far, the people I've emailed have been really cool, including Rhonda Vigeant. As far as locations, unfortunately, 20 years makes for a lot of changes, that old house is now a historical landmark and fully restored! So, completely uncreepy now. Not sure if you read the description on the lesser 720 copy on YouTube, but, all this footage was going to be used as flashbacks and visions in the primary story I was starting to shoot. When my actor moved away, I just cut up what I had and stuck it together and slapped a name on it. When I make the new version of my film (35 minutes vs 70-ish), I'm going to splice some of these scenes into it as was originally intended.

 

I kind of thought that was the case with regards to the footage, not that it doesn't stand on its own as good nightmare fuel.

 

It's not how nice the people you email are (until they get your business) that counts, it's the service and the overall bloodsucking vibe from a company that vastly overcharges for crappy cameras and service based only on the public's uninformed assumption that they are the only, possibily last, option out there. People who are really into the Super 8 hobby avoid them like the plague. They used to be okay back when they were in Cambridge and still called Super8 Sound and run by Bob Doyle. Now they're borderline predatory and technologically cannibalistic.

 

But let the scan results speak for themselves. Here, take a look at this.

 


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#11 David Scott

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 02:20 PM

Yeah, I've seen the comparison, but I've also seen really good scans from pro8, but the BEST I've seen on YouTube are, in order - Ocho Y Pico, Lightpress & Gamma Ray. Most of them use some de-noising, but I think that's appropriate for reaching a wider audience, where natural grain and frame jiggle is appreciated by a narrower group. Thanks for the praise on my footage, at least I took it that way, I can't wait to get started on the rest of the project. I'm busy drawing sketches of camera cranes and sliders I will be building, as well as scouring Craigslist for free materials to build at least one set, but maybe 2, if I can't find another sufficiently dilapidated house. Just waiting for any word on that new Ektachrome, but won't wait forever.
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#12 Samuel Berger

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 03:00 PM

Agreed on Ektachrome.

 

Posting this here for people interested in Gamma Ray:

 


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#13 David Scott

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 11:30 PM

Here's the ocho y pico footage, it's freakin awesome, BUT I did get a weird vibe from their website, could be language barrier as they are based in Spain, I think... Just the "we're the best" kinda thing...


Edited by David Scott, 29 November 2017 - 11:42 PM.

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#14 David Scott

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 11:33 PM

This is the scan by lightpress, it's impressive, AND they've done features, I am Zozo, for one...


Edited by David Scott, 29 November 2017 - 11:36 PM.

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#15 David Scott

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 11:41 PM

I would also like to add, one scan I've seen by Cinelab has made the cut...


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#16 Samuel Berger

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 01:55 AM

The secret to Ocho y Pico is Jose Luis Villar, who always shoots his videos very professionally. He also uses mostly 50D which will give very fine grain, and uses a lot of daylight along with ND filters. And of course, those cute models. With good preparation you could probably get similar results from Lightpress etc.

 

There was one guy called Omie Blue, he had some nice scans too.


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#17 Will Montgomery

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 10:05 AM

I keep seeing pro8 dis in here, but so far, the people I've emailed have been really cool, including Rhonda Vigeant.

 

Pro8mm can be just fine. From what I've seen over the years they seem to have an "A" team and a "B" team (maybe interns or the overnight crew?) so either your stuff comes out great or has big issues. Once you've been burned its hard to forgive, but honestly it would probably be fine to try Pro8mm. At least they can do the processing and transfer in one place.

 

If you're in LA I'd check out Spectra as well...they can process and transfer Super 8 negative and reversal in one place too.

 

Lightpress folks are great colorists. Their machine might not have the best specs but the result will be amazing.

 

Gamma Ray Digital will give you an amazing scan (probably the best machine available) at a reasonable price. They love what they do and it shows. Great company. My flat scans from the have been great and while not cheap, good price for the high quality you get.

 

I would suggest sending one roll to a place like Lightpress or Cinelicious to see what really good colorists can do for your film. Makes all the difference in the world but of course you pay for it.


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#18 David Scott

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 08:28 PM

Thanks for the info, I appreciate it.
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#19 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 07 December 2017 - 09:23 PM

Cinelab is also an option to think about because it's a one stop shop like Pro 8 and Spectra.
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