Shooting on 35

JZASMM

New member
Mr. Mullen,

For my next project, I was thinking about moving up to 35mm, and I was wondering what are some things I should be considering or taking note of (besides the cost, of course!) when I do so? What will differ from shooting on 16mm? I am planning to shoot on an Arriflex 235 with Kodak 5219. Also, I was wondering what a general workflow for finishing on film might. Thanks a lot.

Jacob
 
The first question is what is your final delivery format going to be? Is this a short film? If this is for 35mm sound print projection, do you want to finish by conforming the negative and striking a contact print? Or do you want to go through a digital intermediate process? Or is this for an HD finish?
 
IF you're sure you want to do a 2K D.I., you could consider shooting in 3-perf instead of 4-perf to save money on stock.

Otherwise, you should shoot in standard (not Super) 4-perf 35mm for matted 1.85 projection, or use anamorphic lenses for 2.40 scope projection. Then you could get the negative conformed and make a straight contact print for projection.

Almost all 35mm print projection is 1.85 matted widescreen or 2.40 anamorphic widescreen, so you need to pick one of those two for framing purposes.
 

JZASMM

New member
DI is definitely the route I'm going, since it will be cheaper than making so many prints. I have though about shooting 3-perf... any drawbacks to that? Oh, and any feelings about shooting recans? Thanks.
 
Depends on the recans... if they are tested, then they are generally fine 90% of the time. They can show signs of aging when they are on the borderline, which shows up as a bit of blue fogginess in the blacks, a bit more grain. Helps to rate the stock slower just in case.

3-perf only has a few issues, one is that your editor just has to be aware of the timecode/keycode issues for creating the final cut list, and since I'm not an editor, I'm not sure what they are exactly, but since 3-perf is now pretty common, I'm sure it's not a big deal. The other issue is that if you want to shoot tests and project them in a contact print, you have to find a lab with a 3-perf projector.

Since the 3-perf negative is Full Aperture (i.e. Super) and is roughly native 1.78 : 1 (16x9) it means that you use the entire negative for a 16x9 transfer and 16x9 display, and almost all of it for 1.85 images... so hairs in the gate are an issue, you have to keep the gate clean.

Make sure you shoot a framing chart that matches your viewfinder framelines to make sure everything is correct and that the post people know how you are framing the movie. That said, even if you are framing for 1.85, I'd probably just make the dailies 16x9 (1.78) full-frame rather than put a tiny letterbox for 1.85.

Obviously you have less depth of field with 35mm compared to 16mm and smaller formats, so focusing is more critical.

Other than that, in some ways, it's easier to shoot in 35mm than in 16mm -- exposure mistakes are less obvious because you have less grain to worry about. Getting a high-quality image is easier. Film negative has more latitude than any digital camera.

Workflow, roughly what is involved is that you make a cheap telecine transfer just for offline editing purposes, cut and then create an EDL (Edit Decision List)... then you take your camera rolls to the D.I. facility along with your EDL and they scan selects off of the camera roll at 2K or whatever, then conform the scans to match your EDL and create an edited 2K master, which is then color-corrected.

However, the other route is to take an all-HDTV path, transfer your film footage to HD (preferably the highest quality HD tape format, like 10-bit 4:4:4 HDCAM-SR). You'd probably make dubs from those HD tapes down to a lower-rez format for offline editing, create an EDL, and then take your HDCAM-SR tapes and your EDL and do an HD online to create an edited master, then color-correct, etc.

There isn't a big difference in quality between an HDCAM-SR D.I. and a 2K D.I.
 
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Tim Kolb

New member
From the post perspective...(I'm an interloper on David's forum...)

Are you part of a university or college program that has some sort of edit facility in place?

Some of the workflow advice could be targeted a bit more to your circumstances if you shared some of your probable logistic limitations and capabilities.
 

JZASMM

New member
I was thinking since I am going to do a DI I could shoot 3-perf Super for something around a 2.40:1? And I had one other quick question -- I just noticed that the Arri 235 is MOS, but I feel like I see it being used on a huge amount of productions... If you can't shoot sync with it, what would it be used for? Or can you shoot sync with it and I'm just having major brain-lapses?

And Yes, I am going to the University of Colorado where we essentially have nothing outside a steenbeck, though I am running a Mac Pro With FCPS2 Pro Tools, etc.
 
I was thinking since I am going to do a DI I could shoot 3-perf Super for something around a 2.40:1? And I had one other quick question -- I just noticed that the Arri 235 is MOS, but I feel like I see it being used on a huge amount of productions... If you can't shoot sync with it, what would it be used for? Or can you shoot sync with it and I'm just having major brain-lapses?

And Yes, I am going to the University of Colorado where we essentially have nothing outside a steenbeck, though I am running a Mac Pro With FCPS2 Pro Tools, etc.

Sure, you can compose for 2.40 on a 3-perf camera, it's done all the time. You're still recording a 1.78 negative and I'd protect all of it so it can be used too, and you'll have to make tape versions with a 2.40 letterbox.

An ARRI 235 is used for handheld, steadicam stuff -- it's crystal sync, it's just a bit loud for dialogue shooting, not super loud but for interior scenes, your soundman is going to complain. ARRI's sound cameras are the BL3, BL4, BL-Evolution, 535, Arricam LT and ST.
 
No one makes a hard blimp for an ARRI 235, sort of defeats the purpose of designing a small, lightweight handheld camera. You could try throwing a furniture pad over the camera and backing off an using a longer lens. I've only used the 235 once, outdoors, so I don't know how loud it is with film running through it. ARRI probably has the decibel levels of their cameras online somewhere.
 
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