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Blowing up video to 35mm


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#1 Lars.Erik

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Posted 27 August 2005 - 06:30 AM

Hello there.

I'm a DoP who been mainly doing digital. Now I have a new documentary (90 mins) which is to be shot on different formats. It will all be blown up to 35mm.

50% shot on HDV, 35% on DVCPRO or HD, (all digital on progressive mode) and the remaining on S16. It will be cut with film clips (16 & 35), from Italian films from the 60's and 70's.

The HDV shooting will be done without any filters on the camera. Basically because we want to portrait the subjetc as he is without any diffusion. (He's got HIV and used to be a well known actor in Italy).

The S16 shooting will be done by another DoP. (Inserts)

The DVCPRO/HD will be done in Rome. Using a wide angle lens and a telephoto lens. (Haven't decided which yet. Budget is still being prepared.) I want this to be a look which is different from the HDV. Both picture wise and movement wise. I want to use a 1/4 Pro-Mist, add some Tiffen 812 and Polarizers, grads (SE) and maybe som Ultra constrast filters. I basically want the surroundings and the subject to look warmer and more healthy than in HDV.

The film will be in both natural surroundings and tungsten/HMI lit surroundings. Some of the HDV might be b&w (post). Will then use a yellow or orange filter for this probably.

My question is this: will the filters and menu settings be a not so wise choice when blowing up to film. I know that blowing up will make digital seem a little more soft than it is. So I won't be using any hard soft filters. But any menu settings I shouldn't use/or should use, when going to 35mm?

If you have any experience in this, any tips and tricks will be appreciated.

Edited by Lars.Erik, 27 August 2005 - 06:33 AM.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 August 2005 - 09:58 AM

It's not so much that you gain softness by going out to film -- since 35mm exceeds the resolution of HD and DV, it is a good "carrier" for the image -- but that when projecting the image on the big screen, you can more easily see the sub-35mm resolution. However, your eye also gets used to it if there is no 35mm reference for comparison.

Also, if the transfer and print does not have sufficient contrast and blacks, it will look softer, hence why people like to print film-outs on Fuji 3515 D.I. or Kodak Premier if possible.

When shooting HD for a film-out, the main thing is to reduce the Detail (edge enhancement) levels to a minimum (the people doing the film-out can always add some sharpening if needed, but you can't remove it if it's too much in the original.) If this were a 1080P camera, I'd even consider turning Detail off completely, but perhaps with a 720P camera, just turning it really low will be enough.

Compensate the old-fashioned way: use sharp lenses and lighting with some contrast, and try and keep the depth of field more shallow so that what's in-focus stands out better.

So diffusion should be light unless the film calls for a more obvious softness.

The best thing is to shoot a short test and get a minute or two transferred to 35mm so you can judge for yourself.
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#3 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 05:55 AM

You might check out Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 911", which was a similar mix of original material. The quality differences were often quiet noticeable, but fit the mood of this documentary production.
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