Film cameras

Film cameras

  • I would shoot video

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    1

laurent.a

New member
Don't forget that film cameras are still most used in the short and feature lenghts industry.

Most of the theaters in the world won't be able to digital issue before ages !

Shooting in video is not always cheaper when one is concerned with good quality results.

Do you know that the broadcast video tapes shot 15 years ago have lost their quality ?

In France, and many other countries Super 16 is the most prefered indie and short films shooting format.

Don't be afraid of posting questions about this technology, we'll be happy helping you ! :)
 

MarkG

New member
I think you need to distinguish between what kind of film and what kind of video you're talking about here: personally I'm reluctant to shoot DV again, but equally I very much doubt that I'd shoot film rather than HD in future either.

Don't forget that film cameras are still most used in the short and feature lenghts industry.
Maybe in France, but 90+% of the shorts I see here in the UK are DV these days. Film is just way too expensive for most people who are starting out making shorts, unless they can get external funding (which generally means having friends in the government to funnel taxpayers' money to you).
 
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DerekEastham

Guest
I'm chiming in with a ditto for the USA on the Short Film industry & DV format. Sure shorts are still shot on film, and plenty of them... but many more than half of them are shot on DV... I'm including all of the indy's as well as the larger groups.

As for me... I voted for Video... but only because HD is technically a video format.

Do I want to shoot on super35mm someday with a full set of lenses from panavision... HECK YES!... but for now, it's fiscally irresponsible.

As for super16... I've seen super 16 results... it's pretty nice... but for price & quality as well as ease of editing, I'll stick with an HD source... or even a DV medium.

I love film... it's unique and HD will likely never really quite replicate the celluloid result... but HD is my main medium of choice for almost any film I wish to make... given a budget I'm still likely to stick with HD... unless there is an artistic reason to use film.


As for video tapes shot 15 years ago depreciating quality... well, yes. However, video quality & the ability of video mediums to last these days are much greater than video tape generated 15 years ago... also... Film deteriorates at it's own rate. Just think about the films they are attempting to digitally restore from their locked away master prints... Lucasfilm is lucky that George locked away his film prints under the best possible circumstances... they are some of the cleanest bits of film to ever undergo digital restoration... however, there was still some deterioration to compensate for with digital technology...
So, while the lasting images on film are better than most videotape sources... when you get into the higher quality tapes the quality and lifetime begin to ebb ever closer to film.


Interested to see what others think on the subject though.
 

laurent.a

New member
I really was meanig "if budget wasn't your problem" when saying "if you had the choice"

When you ask dops what they like to shoot best with, noyt many choose video...

About the safety of video, you know, I heard the same 10 years ago when we had problems with video shot in the 80's... "now it's okay". Today we know it wasn't. Who knows what video shot today will look like in 10, 15 or 20 years ?

Theer is a problem with the magnetic media. A physico-chimical problem.

Film is definetly safer, the image doesn't go in 10 or 20 years
 
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DerekEastham

Guest
I did mean to add to my post... though I forgot...
that even with a full budget... HD is my intended medium of photography.

I love the texture & play within the HD realm... and as a director it suites my style in a way that film dosen't sometimes...

However, like I said... I'd love to shoot one of my films in the future on super35 with a full set of lenses from panavision... it'll just have to fit the film I'm doing artistically in a way that HD wont... which I know will happen.

In the end... camera's are really just another tool for the artist... it's how the images are used, not necessarily what they were shot on... though, I admit, I am a stickler for quality.
 

laurent.a

New member
Hi David, nice to see you in this topic !

Say, even on a more "common side", don't you like better 35 mm than HD ?
 

MarkG

New member
If money was no object I'd probably shoot my shorts on IMAX-3D :).

Who knows what video shot today will look like in 10, 15 or 20 years ?
Underwhelming, I suspect, like video from 20 years ago now. But, at the same time, a lot of films from that period don't look too good now either.

One benefit of video today is that it's almost entirely gone digital, and therefore you can not only copy your master when the tape itself begins to decay, but you can make multiple master copies with exactly the same quality as the original footage. You can't do that with film negatives, so if your original negatives are buried in a landfill by mistake (as happened to 'The Wicker Man'), or eaten by rats (as happened to 'Babylon 5'), you're out of luck.
 
Most people who are experts in long-term archiving of moving images recommend film storage over digital storage, but the truth is that doing BOTH is the smartest idea. Besides, if we're talking about money being no object, then shoot on film, scan at full resolution, and store both, plus protection masters, etc. Cover all your bases. Who says you can't have a copy of a film negative that retains all the information of the original? Just scan it at sufficient resolution and then store it digitally PLUS record out b&w separations. Pacific Title has a new set-up to do just that.

As for the eternal film vs. video debate, it really depends on the needs of the project and the style of the production and how the director wants to work... BUT in the most broad sense, right now, I think it basically comes down to the fact that 35mm generally produces better results than current HD cameras can produce. However, there may be advantages to shooting in HD that make it more desirable than 35mm. But if we're mainly talking about photographic beauty, 35mm is generally better. I don't think we are going to see an Oscar for Best Cinematography going to an HD feature for a little while still. Even in the indie world like Sundance, Spirit Awards, etc. cinematography awards tend to go to DV material or 35mm, but rarely HD-shot material. This is because DV demands that it be taken on its own terms, while HD generally aspires to be 35mm-like but often falls a little short.

However, newer HD cameras like the Dalsa, Genesis, Arri-D20, Kinetta, all may bring enough of a technical leap in HD quality to allow it to compete more effectively with 35mm visually, given a good DP is involved with the shooting.

But with current commonly-used HD technology (i.e. the F900 and Varicam) the image falls just short of really being as good as 35mm (I'm speaking in generalizations -- of course one can find crappy 35mm that looks worse compared to great HD). This is one reason why I tell directors that one has to accept HD for what it can deliver and not expect it to be a replacement for 35mm. It may come CLOSE if well-shot, enough to fool a number of people, but you'll be happier if you think of it as the best-looking video format out there, not as if it were a 35mm equivalent.
 

Eric

New member
laurent.a said:
I really was meanig "if budget wasn't your problem" when saying "if you had the choice"
If I had a choice, I would shoot 35mm film if budget wasn't a problem. Right now I "don't have a choice" so I shoot in digital video. :)

Ahh..I still remember the days when I was stressing over shooting in Hi-8 or Super VHS-C.
 

deathxcold

New member
laurent.a said:
I really was meanig "if budget wasn't your problem" when saying "if you had the choice"

When you ask dops what they like to shoot best with, noyt many choose video...

About the safety of video, you know, I heard the same 10 years ago when we had problems with video shot in the 80's... "now it's okay". Today we know it wasn't. Who knows what video shot today will look like in 10, 15 or 20 years ?

Theer is a problem with the magnetic media. A physico-chimical problem.

Film is definetly safer, the image doesn't go in 10 or 20 years
When you say "if budget wasn't a problem"...

Thing is, with the whole digital vs. film controversy, one of the biggest arguments against using film is that it costs so much. This is both true and untrue depending on your situation really. With good planning (and I mean really good planning) and a strong script to work with, film is probably the better medium to work with. For one, you get the film look because that's exactly what film is. Secondly, costwise, though you spend more money up front, you actually don't save much money shooting digital if your goal is theater (unless you project everything digitally) since you have to transfer the footage to a film print anyways, which would end up costing you a load more than shooting film in the first place.

As you can probably tell, I'd shoot film over digital.
 

deathxcold

New member
David Mullen ASC said:
Most people who are experts in long-term archiving of moving images recommend film storage over digital storage, but the truth is that doing BOTH is the smartest idea. Besides, if we're talking about money being no object, then shoot on film, scan at full resolution, and store both, plus protection masters, etc. Cover all your bases. Who says you can't have a copy of a film negative that retains all the information of the original? Just scan it at sufficient resolution and then store it digitally PLUS record out b&w separations. Pacific Title has a new set-up to do just that.

As for the eternal film vs. video debate, it really depends on the needs of the project and the style of the production and how the director wants to work... BUT in the most broad sense, right now, I think it basically comes down to the fact that 35mm generally produces better results than current HD cameras can produce. However, there may be advantages to shooting in HD that make it more desirable than 35mm. But if we're mainly talking about photographic beauty, 35mm is generally better. I don't think we are going to see an Oscar for Best Cinematography going to an HD feature for a little while still. Even in the indie world like Sundance, Spirit Awards, etc. cinematography awards tend to go to DV material or 35mm, but rarely HD-shot material. This is because DV demands that it be taken on its own terms, while HD generally aspires to be 35mm-like but often falls a little short.

However, newer HD cameras like the Dalsa, Genesis, Arri-D20, Kinetta, all may bring enough of a technical leap in HD quality to allow it to compete more effectively with 35mm visually, given a good DP is involved with the shooting.

But with current commonly-used HD technology (i.e. the F900 and Varicam) the image falls just short of really being as good as 35mm (I'm speaking in generalizations -- of course one can find crappy 35mm that looks worse compared to great HD). This is one reason why I tell directors that one has to accept HD for what it can deliver and not expect it to be a replacement for 35mm. It may come CLOSE if well-shot, enough to fool a number of people, but you'll be happier if you think of it as the best-looking video format out there, not as if it were a 35mm equivalent.
I could not agree more. Another thing for all to keep in mind is that film is also the ONLY world-wide image distribution format, and it has been that way for around 100 years. You can take a 35mm (or even 16mm) print to any projector in the world and play it, whereas with digital, there are still format compatibility issues as well as compression to think about.

Digital definitely has it's advantages though. Like David said, it really depends on your situation. I've felt shooting film, with good planning and prepping, has never been as expensive as some people would exaggerate.

But I get the feeling digital technology becomes obsolete way too fast, whereas with film cameras, I'm using the same Eclair that was built more than 30 years ago, with some new lenses and the new kodak film stocks, and it's still producing wonderful stuff. I like the whole hands-on manual mechanical optical-image-capture operation feel of the film camera over the digital processing image capture of a dv cam.
 

laurent.a

New member
Welcome to the forums !

Would you fill in your profile a bit more so we know a little about you ?

Thanks for your contribution on this debate.

Anyone to join ?
 
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