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A few Basic 16mm questions


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#1 Joseph Ivey

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 08:44 PM

I am sorry for the stupid questions but I am more familiar with DV and the only 35mm film I have worked with was in my Canon SLR camera. I am wanting to shoot a music video for a local independent artist and I am wanting to shoot it on 16mm so we will have a shot (even if it's a small one) of getting it onto MTV or VH1 or MTV2. Ideally I would like to shoot the video completely outside in the day time. I am aware of basic rules that transcend just film shoots, namely don't shoot from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and shoot on overcast days as opposed to cloudless days.

All that said, my question is what amount of leniency do I get with 16mm film? With DV if you are a stop overexposed it can completely blow out the picture. I know that 35mm film runs at 24 fps, but as far as exposure what is the general guidelines that I need to follow. I plan on shooting this on a Bolex and want to use a really color saturated film so that it almost looks fake at how coloful it is.

I apologize for this being so long, but I am really trying to figure out what I can to accomplish this.
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#2 Nate Downes

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 11:08 PM

Well, if you want a super-saturated look, I'd highly recommend either Kodachrome or E100D filmstock. The thing is, they are reversal filmstocks, which means they have about as much play as your typical DV camera, but it is very difficult to overblow a shot. It can be done, but it is difficult. More worrysome is to underexpose too much. (altho I do good iwth slight underexposure on Kodachrome)

For similar saturated look, you could use a filmstock like EXR 50D or Vision2 100T under the right conditions, and then you'd have a lot of wiggle-room for exposures as well.

This might be a bit over your head for a first-time experience. You might want to get someone onboard to help. I'm sure someone around here with film experience could be had.
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#3 Louis

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 12:12 AM

Since you're shooting outdoors on a sunny day, the contrast may be too much for reversal film, so I'd say you go with the slower speed negative stock and worry about the color saturation in post. You can either saturate the picture in printing, or, since you want the video to be played on TV anyway, you can saturate the color more after you transfer to video on either Final Cut Pro or in a more professional DI suite if you have the budget. Also, as far as exposure goes, take a reading on your subject in the foreground, and if the background is especially bright, underexpose your subject by a stop to a stop and a half. You'll have plenty of information to work with in post this way.

Edited by Louis, 30 August 2005 - 12:15 AM.

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#4 Rik Andino

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 01:51 AM

I am aware of basic rules that transcend just film shoots, namely don't shoot from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and shoot on overcast days as opposed to cloudless days.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


What BASIC RULES are these?
Where did you get these set of BASIC RULES?

That's a bunch of BS baloney!
If it were true it'd mean most productions could only shoot
On cloudy days from 8AM-10AM and from 3PM to 6PM.
It be difficult to shoot any EXT. scenes (even in Seattle).

If you want saturated look like other said shoot with a slow stock
And you can overexpose slightly for better colors.
You can also add more saturation during the telecine transfer or in post

As for you first question the latitude of film is much better than video
You can be two and half stops overexpose before things start blowing out
Which is good when you're shooting outside and subject is in shadow
But the background is brighter than the subject.

Have fun shooting film, it's not that difficult to shoot with it
Just always use a lightmeter and have a trustworthy camera.
For years most film-students learned on 16mm film and not DV....
You gotta remember DV is only a few years old.
So if film students could shoot on film why can't you?


Good Luck
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#5 Joseph Ivey

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 09:25 AM

I didn't mean to offend anyone by making a comment about rules. All I meant was that assuming I won't have a $50,000 grip truck with all sorts of opal frosts and what not, that late morning to early afternoon is not a good time to shoot because the sun is directly over head and it is easier to shoot when the sun can act as a key light. I am not opposed to DV, I have a XL-2 and love it, but I want to use this as a way of learning how to shoot film. There is a film school here in Nashville that I plan on hiring a DP to help me, but I want to come into this with knowledge so I can contribute as much as I can.

That said, what kind of camera would you recommend I use. I am familiar with Eclair, and Aaton, and Arri, and Bolex, and I am looking to do a mostly handheld shoot. There will be some dolly work but not much.

I am aware of some give in film as I majored in Photography, but I am only familiar with still photography film.

Thanks for all of the helpful responses.
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#6 Michael Carter

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 09:33 AM

Basic rules I learned were:
keep the sun at your back,
shoot 2 hours after sunrise to 2 hours before sunset (1 hour is OKAY, too) but,
use a reflector to bounce light into eye socket shadows on sunny days,
use a tripod,
use one film stock 'till you know what is going on,
use only one film lab at first,
reversal is harder to expose properly but cheaper than negative which is easier to expose but more expensive,
using B&W film you expose for the shadows and print for the highlights,
color film is the reverse of that?
load in subdued light,
1800621film, (Kodak)
Bolex serial numbers must be over 100,401 to get the better claw,
and here is one that I never saw: bolex numbers of 76,471 and above have 1R wheels. From BOLEX 8/16 movie guide, by Dr. Kenneth S. Tydings.

Edited by Michael Carter, 30 August 2005 - 09:36 AM.

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#7 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 10:44 AM

Basic "rules":

1. Light to get the "look" YOU want. Add light, subtract light, use fill, use filtration to control scene contrast.

2. For "normal" exposure, expose normally:

http://www.kodak.com...t/h2/ilit.shtml (Incident light exposure table)

3. Match the film (tungsten or daylight) to the light with proper filtration for "normal" exposure. Match the film to the amount of light you have to work with (i.e., use a slower film when possible, since it usually is sharper and has finer grain).

4. Work closely with your lab or transfer house to achieve the "look" you want in the final production.

Modern films have the speed and latitude to allow production in a wide variety of conditions. They give YOU the flexibility to control the lighting and exposure to achieve the "look" YOU want.

http://www.kodak.com...ion/support/h2/ Kodak Cinematographer's Field Guide

http://www.kodak.com.../h2/h2intro.pdf

http://www.kodak.com...0.1.4.9.6&lc=en Kodak Student Filmmakers Handbook
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#8 Joseph Ivey

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 11:25 AM

Is there a good book that can help me learn some of the more techincal parts of shooting with film?

I don't mean to call them "Rules" because I know that most good directors and cinematographers are the ones that step outside the boundaries of conventional behavior. That was a misspeak.
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#9 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 12:23 PM

Is there a good book that can help me learn some of the more techincal parts of shooting with film?

I don't mean to call them "Rules" because I know that most good directors and cinematographers are the ones that step outside the boundaries of conventional behavior. That was a misspeak.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


The online Kodak publications are a good start on understanding the basic technology:

http://www.kodak.com...ion/support/h1/

http://www.kodak.com...ion/support/h2/

http://www.kodak.com...0.1.4.9.6&lc=en

Kodak also offers training workshops and materials:

http://www.kodak.com...0.1.4.9.4&lc=en

http://www.kodak.com...0.1.4.9.6&lc=en

The ASC is another excellent resource:

http://www.theasc.com

http://www.theasc.co...re/acsstore.cgi

As is the ICG:

http://www.cameraguild.com/
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#10 Joseph Ivey

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 02:07 PM

what is a website that can give me the different types of film and the look that I would get from each?
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#11 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 02:45 PM

what is a website that can give me the different types of film and the look that I would get from each?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Kodak has a comparison "tool":

http://www.kodak.com...omparison.jhtml

And technical data:

http://www.kodak.com...0.1.4.4.4&lc=en

But it's hard to convey "look" in website images and clips. Kodak does have demos, which you can view at your local sales office, or ask your sales rep for a DVD.

Also, "American Cinematographer" and other publications usually have production articles that cite the films used, and how a "look" was achieved:

http://www.theasc.co...azine/index.htm

http://www.cameraguild.com

http://www.kodak.com...d=0.1.4.7&lc=en

http://www.kodak.com...html?id=0.1.4.3

http://www.kodak.com....1.4.3.12&lc=en

http://www.kodak.com...dents/onCampus/
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#12 Dominic Case

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 05:42 PM

There are only two rules. They must be followed in this order.

1. Learn the rules, and how to follow them at all times.
2. Learn how to break them when it suits you.
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#13 David Sweetman

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 06:27 PM

Is there a good book that can help me learn some of the more techincal parts of shooting with film?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


"The Camera Assistant's Manual" helped me out a ton. It's got a lot of practical wisdom and will give you a very good picture of what a functional camera department looks like. It sounds like you'll kind of be running a one-man-show, so having a knowledge of the jobs of the 1st and 2nd ACs (and the ability to perform these jobs) will be invaluble.
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#14 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 08:42 PM

Rules, huh?

You'd get a kick out of Robert Rodriguez's 10-Minute Film School!

I also like the book Operating Cinematography. I don't know, there are a lot of good resources out there but experience is still your best bet. And it's a little more fun than reading.
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#15 Glenn Hanns

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 01:41 AM

I didn't mean to offend anyone by making a comment about rules. All I meant was that assuming I won't have a $50,000 grip truck with all sorts of opal frosts and what not, that late morning to early afternoon is not a good time to shoot because the sun is directly over head and it is easier to shoot when the sun can act as a key light. I am not opposed to DV, I have a XL-2 and love it, but I want to use this as a way of learning how to shoot film. There is a film school here in Nashville that I plan on hiring a DP to help me, but I want to come into this with knowledge so I can contribute as much as I can.

That said, what kind of camera would you recommend I use. I am familiar with Eclair, and Aaton, and Arri, and Bolex, and I am looking to do a mostly handheld shoot. There will be some dolly work but not much.

I am aware of some give in film as I majored in Photography, but I am only familiar with still photography film.

Thanks for all of the helpful responses.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Joseph
You didn't offend anyone here who has some sense of respect for peoples different levels of understanding.
:o)
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