View Full Version : hi, new user here from australia

julien love love
09-27-2005, 09:24 AM
hello.. i have been racking my brains on what camera to buy (as i suppose most people do when they first begin) i want to specifically make films that have circa late 70s-mid80s feel filmwise, and i dont know what camera and type of film to invest in. should i get a 8mm or 16mm camera? and SLR? i dont really know, a little advice or abuse on the matter would'nt go astray :) thnx. j

09-27-2005, 11:24 AM
Not sure about your level experience, so my apologies if you are already beyond this...

My understanding is that film is expensive to purchase and process. Before spending that much money on a learning process, I would suggest you think about starting with a video camera. Learn as much as you can (through practice) about lighting, camera angles, movement--all while practicing on cheap, re-useable DV tapes. Then upgrade to a film camera when you feel ready. I have no experience with film cameras, but I know there are other members who do. Hopefully they will add their experiences for you.

julien love love
09-27-2005, 01:06 PM
thanks for the reply, i have used DV before, but i wasn't happy with the results, i guess you could relate it to mixing down music digitally, or on a reel2reel .. the analog just gives sincerely different results, i heard that 8mm films can be done on literally nothing, its just a matter of buying enough film, but do they give good output quality? does anyone know of any films that were shot in 8mm that went to production?

09-27-2005, 02:42 PM
Super-8 is :cool:

Many of the 35mm stocks are now available for S8, letting you get an excellent picture. (Assuming you have a camera with a rock-steady gate... which many S8's don't have, giving it that wobbly look).

On the flipside, those newer stocks don't really look "older". The K40 (Kodachrome) stock for S8 has been discontinued... that was one which sure had a distinctive period look to it. :tear:

i heard that 8mm films can be done on literally nothing, its just a matter of buying enough film

Well... "literally nothing" is probably not the best way to put it. :lol:

Let's say you want to make a 10-minute movie. (using K40 for rough numbers)


For $11 (roughly) you get a 50' cartridge of film, that last 2.5 minutes.

That makes $44 for ten minutes of raw footage. That's also assuming every single frame is used perfectly. (Which never happens). Say hello to shooting ratios. :)

Need to do a few takes over? Actors flub a line, or otherwise mess up? Boom-mic appears in frame a split second ruining an otherwise perfect take? Time to use more film. A ratio of 3:1 seems to be a fairly optimistic number (I've read here on the boards that 6:1 is more likely)... but we'll assume we kick ass at film... so we only get three times as much raw stock as the total length.

That makes $132 for our raw filmstock so far. 30 minutes of stock for our 10 minute film. 3:1

Cool beans! Time to shoot... day goes well and we get all our shots in. It's a wrap. Now to get the film developed.

Off to Dwayne's it goes... For the average Joe (unlike HTTK) it's $9 to develop each cartridge. Our twelve cartridges will run $108 to develop.

The running total (for the raw stock and developing) is now $240

We get our film back from Dwayne's... huzzah! It looks fantastic. Now to edit it.

Time to ship the developed film off to a lab to have it telecined to video, so we can edit it on the computer.

We'll use Yale Film & Video (not the cheapest, but I like 'em) to do the telecine. They run $250/hour for 'cining Super-8, with a half-hour minimum of $125. Ack, you might say. Luckily you only have 30 minutes of developed footage to run... you can live with $125, right?

Well... not quite that simple. The 'cine doesn't run in realtime (more like 3:1) so that 30 minutes of footage will take 90 minutes to run through the 'cine. That's a good $375 for a beautiful transfer.

Running total now is... $615

Excellent! We get our footage back on a mini-DV tape, load it into the camcorder and suck it into the computer to edit. A short time later we have finally finished our 10-minute film.

10-minute silent film

Add in whatever costs you like for arranging to record sound/dialogue to match the footage.


Compared to shooting on a mini-DV camera, with an investment of a single (and reuseable) $10 mini-DV tape... one option is certainly more viable than the other. My costs may be a bit on the high-end... it's a ballpark, though.

However, the S8 film version will still look a tonne better!

Maybe start off with a digital camera to get the knack of various aspects of filmmaking (for very little cost), then move to film when budget allows?

Film is awesome.

julien love love
09-27-2005, 11:18 PM
thanks! :) i dont have to worry about a budget at the moment. i just need to know how to create that early 80s/70s look. there is no way to create a sincere version of this on DV is there? super 8 sounds more appealing

09-28-2005, 05:48 AM
i just need to know how to create that early 80s/70s look. there is no way to create a sincere version of this on DV is there?

Many editing software programs will have a "film look" filter, or some old-film-effect plug in. I have Sony Vegas and have played around with that a bit, but I am not sure how convincing the film filters are. I think there is a program called "CineLook" that does a similar thing.

Again, you would just have to check out some samples to see if it looks the way you want.