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To film or not to film?


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#1 z_genie

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 09:16 PM

Hi guys I am enrolled at UT-Austin and I have the option of learning how to produce movies on film or digital equipment. Since I plan on doing my own movies and such I thought digital would be easier and cheaper thing to do. If I'm not mistaken digital has gotten pretty close to the look of film and thats what I yearn for! So what shall I take film or digital- I want to take what will be the best benefit? Thanks
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#2 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 09:33 PM

Hi guys I am enrolled at UT-Austin and I have the option of learning how to produce movies on film or digital equipment. Since I plan on doing my own movies and such I thought digital would be easier and cheaper thing to do. If I'm not mistaken digital has gotten pretty close to the look of film and thats what I yearn for! So what shall I take film or digital- I want to take what will be the best benefit? Thanks


Learn using both. Even with film, you will likely be editing digitally (except perhaps for a very "entry level" course using Super-8 or silent 16mm), and often video is the display medium. But you will get the real "film look", and learn to take advantage of film's latitude and aesthetic.

The "instant feedback" of digital can aid the learning process, and you also will learn its limitations.

If there are separate courses, take both. Any good program will ultimately include both technologies.

Here's more about the UT Austin film program:

http://www.kodak.com...d=0.1.4.5&lc=en

http://www.kodak.com/go/student
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#3 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 02:07 AM

Hi guys I am enrolled at UT-Austin and I have the option of learning how to produce movies on film or digital equipment. Since I plan on doing my own movies and such I thought digital would be easier and cheaper thing to do. If I'm not mistaken digital has gotten pretty close to the look of film and thats what I yearn for! So what shall I take film or digital- I want to take what will be the best benefit? Thanks


First of all,
Be an artist, study Art related things too.
An artist can draw and qualify under any media available.Later on you will find your preferences.
But you have to know all the media available, so you can compare them.Or make desicions.
All student filmakers prefer digital media cause it's easy and cheap.
That has nothing to do with cinematography studies (digital or film).
Find the qualities in you and be an artist I would say.
And if I was you that was having to choose, I would go for film studies.
Easy way is not always the right way.
Dimitrios Koukas
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#4 Seth Mondragon

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 03:18 AM

I agree with John_P_Pytlak.....learnusing both. When I started shooting, it was on video because I got a job at a video production company. Within the past couple years I have been much more passionate about actual film. The "making video look like film" topic has been run into the frickin' ground. I said this in another forum as well, If you want the look of film then shoot film. If you can't afford film, save more money, it's worth it. If you don't know enough about film to use it...learn how. Although I can produce some really great looking images with video, I get more satisfaction when I see the results on film.
But all my initial experience with lenses, viewfinders, f-stops, etc. was on video. Now I apply as much of that knowledge as is technically possible to the times that I shoot film. Video does have the attraction of instant gratification though.
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#5 Robert Hughes

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Posted 20 October 2005 - 02:16 PM

Why you should learn film first - because the skills you acquire will carry over into any video work you do. Film cameras require more manual operation and attention from the operator; you have to put enough care and attention into your process to make it worth the expense of developing the footage. Video cameras do a lot of the legwork for you, but the easiness of operation encourages lazy work patterns, in camera operation, editing, and engineering; just set the CCU to "auto" and it will do a pretty good job. But a lot of pretty mediocre video is produced that way; the way to get someone to recognize your efforts is to do a better job than everybody else. So even if you intend to work in video in the future it's a good idea to learn film shooting now.

My daughter's music teacher, when describing the differences between clarinet and saxophone, said, "If you learn clarinet you can play sax, but not vice versa". I think film & video enjoy a similar relationship.

Edited by Robert Hughes, 20 October 2005 - 02:18 PM.

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#6 Joe Lotuaco

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Posted 23 October 2005 - 12:57 PM

As a fellow film student and one who is just starting out I can only offer my few experiences.

I'm not yet into the my film courses yet so I think I'm in a similar position as you as I will have to make a similar decision soon, but recently I got to work on feature film that shot on super 16 and I was fortunate enough the DP and director were cool enough to allow me to work closely with them. The amount of work that went into lighting and the entirely different level of creativity that was involved (ie thinking of new ways to shoot a particular scene to achieve a specific look for the film stock they were using) was incredible. Film added the pressure that EVERYTHING had to be just right or else they'll waste precious (read 'expensive') film stock. After working on this job, video has lost a lot of it's appeal for me because I see how much more creative film allows you to be and even forces you to be sometimes. Video just seems like it does too much work for you (compared to film) which I guess can be a crutch at times. I'm also an amateur photographer and much of the principles of still photography regarding focal lengths, depth of field, and exposure relate more to shooting film than video, so that maybe another reason why i'm more biased towards film.


Joe

Edited by Joe Lotuaco, 23 October 2005 - 01:00 PM.

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#7 z_genie

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Posted 23 October 2005 - 08:19 PM

Well thanks to all that replied. I was leaning towards film to begin with, but when your around your peers of course everyone has an opinion and sometimes it makes me change my mind. But I shall go with my first decision- its true film is an art and I feel with technology on the rise having knowledge of old school film will be of a great value to me. Its the same with an actual camera- everyone is going digital, but damn as many pixels as one can get, it can never match up to the true art of taking a picture the original way-manually!
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#8 Algis Kemezys

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Posted 30 October 2005 - 05:19 PM

I would say film will always be the most poetic of the two mediums. It's got characteristics that will last and always feel good on the eyes. I think that after awhile the overly clean clear transmission of DV will leave you feeling slightly less ingrained with the whole process. When you look at film you will notice that on the emulsion side the image is actually etched on the film. This coupled with it's natural grain structure has a most subtle an appealing effect. Sure things are getting closer and closer between these two mediums but the raw film will always be a transmission of light through an etching of light on gelatin film, where the other will always be cool and flat. So my advice is shoot as much film as you can while the medium lasts . Therefore ones artistic desire will always have the miracle of nature when using film and the truth lies there within that option.
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Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post

The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

Opal

Tai Audio

CineLab

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

CineTape

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS