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Old 09-19-2004, 06:23 AM   #1
Zensteve
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So film is expensive...

That was my recent realisation after I bought my amazing new Super-8 camera.

So, with expense in mind, I started poking around the 'net to look for the cheapest way to buy, use, develop & edit my (probably crappy-looking) Super-8 footage.

I'm just going to post what I found (and why)... and I'm sure I will have many errors in my reasoning. Googling can be fun, but it's no certainty. Please poke holes in what I am thinking so far. I know absolutely nothing about real film apart from what I found on the 'net... and corrections to my delusions are most welcome.

If anything is plain incorrect, please add a correction. This is all based on 'net findings... and if the Internet is wrong, who can we really trust?

_______

Film is expensive, so buy from the manufacturer.

From what I can tell, Kodachrome-40 is the default film for Super-8. Buying direct from Kodak (using their online price guide) should avoid a middleman. That means (direct from manufacturer) that each K-40 Super-8 cartridge costs $10.83... although one has to buy at least 5 cartridges, if I read it correctly (We'll call that $11 a roll, for convenience. $55 minimum order)

Using film is expensive (due to waste)

Well, I had no love finding anything about conserving film. It seems like it's just a case of knowing when to film, for real. In DV, you just rewind & reuse if it's a lousy shoot. Over & over. Plus, you can cram roughly an hour onto a mini-DV, and it's no biggie if you have to change cassettes. What the heck does one do, on Super-8, which is limited to mere (un-redoable) minutes? I have an inkling of what may be required (not being a sloppy director?), but it's making me nervous.

Developing film is expensive, and few companies do

Best I can tell, Dwayne's Photo is the only American company that develops Super-8 film. (More specifically, no matter who you send your Super-8 film to... it ends up at Dwayne's) If one was to cut out the middleman and send the exposed cartridges direct to Dwayne's, their online order form quotes a $9 (per cartridge) processing fee.

That means... $20 total ($11 for the film, $9 for develop) for a less-than-4-minute straight footage, that may (or may not) have something useable on it!

Telecine is expensive

A few ways to do it, so I read.

From what I understand, a "rank transfer" is best. Apparently it involves a laser that scans each frame much more thoroughly than a simple "frame by frame" telecine capture. My own thinking is that my first lot of footage would be okay on one of those "mirror thingies"... where a projector bounces the film off a mirror, which is filmed by a DV camcorder for import. I understand that the quality will be less than even a regular frame-by-frame capture... but since seeing the prices for the above options, it doesn't seem so bad for what is basically test footage.

_______

Like I said, all of this was found through peeking through the 'net... so if anything is incorrect, please pipe up. I know nothing about film, aside from what I looked up

Last edited by Zensteve; 09-19-2004 at 06:28 AM.
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Old 09-19-2004, 08:39 AM   #2
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sounds like quite a situation Zen. I can see how when filming with film things can get stressful. Its kind of like the 16mm Snowboard films, the cameramen want you to land the tricks first try, because every time you try a trick its costing them money. But when you're putting you're health/life(sometiems) on the line...you wanna be careful, and you cant always land the trick first try...

Same with acting, better rehearse the crap out of those actors before even looking at your camera.

Question : Once you've filmed, do you HAVE to get it developed like a regular camera? Or can you take the film directly through a projector?
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Old 09-19-2004, 07:04 PM   #3
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Rizien--I sooo wish you could do that! But you're right, if you expose film to light before you develop it, bye bye footage. Unloading a spool of film from my bolex 16mm in the dark did manage to increase my love for my GL1 mini-dv. But when I got the 16mm footage back (several hundred bucks later), I thought it was still worth it. Such deep colors, almost edible. That said, my future projects are going to be pure digital to stay on the cheap.

And Zen- I found during Under Nor Cal production that the cost of purchasing film rolls and processing (for both super8and 16mm) are not bad compared to the cost of getting the footage transferred to tape (like a mini-dv). I needed to have everything on mini-dv cuz I edited the whole thing digitally on my eMac G4 FCP3, via the GL1 deck.
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Old 09-19-2004, 09:43 PM   #4
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Zen,

Your right film is pretty expensive. What I've learn from shooting Super 8 is to PLAN, PLAN, PLAN! It does take it as you don't want to waste anything. I'm going to PM you in a sec with something alittle "extra!"
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Old 09-20-2004, 12:15 PM   #5
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Zen, you can get Kodachrome 40 developed by KODAK for $5.99 per roll by buying PREPAID mailers from B&H PHoto.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...u=28267&is=REG


There's also Kodachrome 40 with prepaid mailer included for $17.20, no minimum
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=348529&is=USA

I have shot a lot of super 8 (even this past weekend) and it is expensive, but ony in comparison to mini DV and the texture & feel of film is unparalleled.

I've used (and am about to use again) FILM & VIDEO TRANSFERS for my rank transfer of super 8 film. www.thetransferstation.com ask for Doug. It's $150 for 1 hour of telecine (not an hour of film, but 4 or 5 to 1 transfer time). The results are broadcast quality and no mirror & box can compare to it.

We shot a short film as a camera "test" with 4 rolls of Pro8mm super 8 film. WAITING by Micah Jenkins, click here for 2 min short
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Old 09-20-2004, 12:29 PM   #6
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sonnyboo saves the day!
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Old 09-20-2004, 01:59 PM   #7
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FYI the new transfers from www.moviestuff.tv are also very good. It's a flat $20 per roll ro transfer to mini DV and it's about 80% the quality of a true telecine transfer (very good for more uses)
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Old 09-20-2004, 04:13 PM   #8
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I'm liking the look of those combined film & mailer things, Mr Boo! Will have to wait a few days to get some more, as they only have one left in stock according to the shopping cart.

Going to have to learn a lot of discipline with real film, especially with 'cine prices. I think I'll stick with a $30 mirror-box for now... at least 'til I get enough practice to get somewhat decent looking footage.

Last edited by Zensteve; 09-20-2004 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 09-21-2004, 08:17 AM   #9
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With my personal experience, I've found if you 'storyboard, storyboard, storyboard', you can cut out some of the expense of wasted rolls. Are you cutting film or editing on pc?

Last edited by bird; 09-21-2004 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 09-21-2004, 02:47 PM   #10
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For sure, storyboards are very useful. Best I can do is stickmen drawings, but they work

I'm assuming I'll be editing on the PC. But then... I don't know how it would get un-telecined and back to film. Hmmm.
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Old 09-21-2004, 03:12 PM   #11
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Pay for the transfer back ?
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Old 09-21-2004, 03:21 PM   #12
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I think I had that part figured out.

I meant more along the lines of how do they actually get the video back onto film.
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Old 09-21-2004, 03:55 PM   #13
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Is your final piece film? If so, why can't you just cut the Super-8? There are cheap viewers with small rewinds and splicer on ebay-I think I've seen some for 10-15 bucks.
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Old 09-21-2004, 04:20 PM   #14
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That's a good question. I'm not really sure.

I'm going to want sound & dialogue... so either way it would be hitting my PC at some point.

But then, if getting back to Super-8 for a finished reel... and they no longer make Super-8 with a sound stripe... how would that work?

Man, this film thing is tricky stuff!
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Old 09-21-2004, 08:01 PM   #15
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I've had very limited experience with Super-8 and t he
best I could come up with is a double system (we would just patch our sound into the auditorium/theaters system)and the best sync you'd be able to manage would be wild. That still leaves alot of room for some really interesting things to happen though. Lip-sync? Well...how do ya feel about 16mm?
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