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Old 05-14-2017, 04:56 AM   #1
simo777
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Super 16mm questions

Hi all,
I'm looking to shoot my first serious short film later this year. The film will be based on a true story and set in the 1970's. The thing I really want to achieve with it is to have the whole look and feel of the 70's, not just with the costuming, set and props but I want it to look like it was filmed IN the 70's, hence why I'm not shooting in digital.

Now here is my real pickle: To achieve this 70's "look", what is the most important factor? A super 16 camera from the 70's, the film stock, the lenses or a combination of all three?

Or am I off the mark completely here....
Thanks
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:12 AM   #2
directorik
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It was the film stock. The current film stock is very different. But you can still
time it to get close. Using photochemical timing not digital color correction.

A period camera and lens will help. I own and shoot with a 70's Eclair and
a 1960's Bolex but the film stock is not the same. Nothing looks like Kodachrome...
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:39 PM   #3
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I know nothing about film tbh but wouldn't photochemical timing cost a lot more?

I looked up those cameras and maybe the bolex might be within my price range. Bearing in mind my total budget will be around €15,000 and I'll be making the funds myself - so in all likelihood it'll be next year :/ but I'm optimistic
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:11 AM   #4
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My recommendation is to find a DP who knows how to really shoot film and hire them to help you if you're really set on doing something like that.

I'd suggest also that perhaps shooting film isn't the most cost-effective solution for those on tiny budgets (we all have to make compromises), though it is more affordable than it has been in the past (especially 16mm(.

Film cameras don't affect the image at all. It's all about the stock and the lenses. You could make modern stock look like older stock (or close enough) with a couple of tricks and the right vintage lenses.

It's doable, but I'd definitely be looking for a DP with experience on film, and I'd also be considering compromising in the event that it's not achievable on your budget.
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Old 05-15-2017, 04:10 AM   #5
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I know what you mean but budget wise I'd be willing to stretch it to get it right. I'll be looking to shoot as efficiently as possible with a ratio of 1:3 and some scenes will only be done on one take. Though I'm not sure this will actually save me money in the end as it'll be extra time rehearsing I guess.

When you say theres a couple of trick to make modern stock look vintage, what exactly do you mean? Have you tried it before?
Thanks
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Old 05-15-2017, 04:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simo777 View Post
When you say theres a couple of trick to make modern stock look vintage, what exactly do you mean? Have you tried it before?
You could push the stock to bring the grain out more. You could shoot on a grainier stock. You could also quite easily grade it to look right.

To be honest, you could probably shoot Digi Bolex and treat it to look right...

I would personally prefer to shoot film, but depends on your budget...
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Old 05-15-2017, 05:25 PM   #7
directorik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simo777 View Post
I know nothing about film tbh but wouldn't photochemical timing cost a lot more?
Yes. Everything about shooting film costs a lot more. The less
experience you have the more testing you will need to do. And
that adds costs, too. The “tricks” usually come with experience.
Jax is correct in saying that what you need is an experienced DP
– one who knows film. And you need a good lab that is ready to
process the stock according to your needs. What you want isn't
something that is easy, or cheap.

Of course you CAN shoot digital and use color correcting tools to
get the look you want. That's much less expensive. I know from
experience that shooting modern film stock (even with the Bolex)
will not get you that 70's look. I also know from experience that
pushing or grading modern stock to get that look isn't easy.

If this is something you are passionate about then you are going
to have to buy stock, shoot some footage, work with the lab and
repeat. Of work with a DP and lab that knows what they're doing.
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:03 PM   #8
jax_rox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by directorik View Post
I know from
experience that shooting modern film stock (even with the Bolex)
will not get you that 70's look. I also know from experience that
pushing or grading modern stock to get that look isn't easy.
Depends whether you want to 100% emulate or get something that is close enough that you could sell it as such.

Treating digital is going to struggle to look exactly like it was shot in the 70s - but unless you also use the lighting fixtures from the 70s in addition to stocks, lenses etc. it's often easier/cheaper to approximate a look that's 'close enough' that sells the idea without being budget prohibitive....

But yes, whatever you do you're going to need to test, test, test. And that's not cheap either....

Get a DP who knows film. You'll still have to test, but at leas they'll know what they're testing for...
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