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kodak film cheap a student's guide


odie
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Stock and cameras can sure be acquired these days at absolute bargain prices...but processing and Telecine?  

Would be very interested to know if you have found a source of affordable process and transfer rates for students (or general indie projects). Those costs seem to be the unavoidable sting that prevent many from shooting film over digital these days (sadly). Would be interested in knowing if any financially viable solutions anymore for students...or any indie filmmaker. It used to be possible to get bestlight transfers for a reasonable rate, but now with the decline of labs and facilities I'd shudder to think how much a wetgate to 10bit transfer of 5000 ft would cost these days, compared with shooting digital media.    

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digital age boys film is dead and only affordable to rich and big studios now and then

Not true. I will make a guide to s16mm for hobby use this winter. In it I will show how you can shoot a short on 16mm for free. Without being a student or having sponsors. Anybody can do it.

When I decided to start I was debating the a7sii (if it would have turned out better). Then I thought, why? For $3000 I can just keep what ever camera I have and shoot loads of film instead.

But remember. Shooting film doesnt mean that you will be killed if you shoot digital for the most part.

If one is a filmaker in short dramas. He/she can practise with their t2i and use the money for that years latest and greatest what ever just came from NAB, for film.

Use a phone or something for all the skits and such. And film for that one important short. No grading needed :)

IMO the reason not to shoot film is first and foremost if one doesnt like the look.

I will also start developing and processing myself. Ive done that for the last couple of years anyway with stills. Best and cheapest way to get good stills with high DR in medium format (the "Small picture" aka Fullframe can be limiting).

 

btw, just saw some BTS from a popular comercial in sweden. They used 35mm. so still used even by smaller production houses.

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How do you plan on developing film? The videos I have seen look like a huge pain in the ass with giant cilinders and gallons of developer,etc... ($$$).

And if scanning a single medium format negative already is a pain in the ass, I can't imagine how you would scan kilometers of film.

No huge tanks needed and only 1 litre of chemical. Same as today for stills.

Scanning is cheap to do in a lab. But I also plan to use reversal and a projector to scan it myself. 

A 16mm projector is easy to find for free.

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As much as I miss shooting 35 on my beloved Arri, what people tend to conveniently forget is the horrific ecological impact that film stock manufacture/development has. Having previously worked at Kodak processing plant I can remember it was pretty disgusting to see how much waste and pollution was caused by photochemical processing. Quality of 35mm film is still very relevant, and film format is still the gold standard but unless processing/transfer/print costs can be swallowed by production - shooting film has now become well out of reach to the average lower budget or indie production, when compared to digital media costs.

sadly it has become economically unviable for the 'little guy' on his own who wants to shoot indie features on 35mm film. Of course it CAN be done, but sadly - these days you need a damn good reason (in most cases) to justify shooting film over digital to a producer. Strangely, people seem to get nervous around 100+ year technology of analogue capture and the different costs that can be incurred over digital capture. The reality of course is that film is still the most reliable form of archival format.

It's not always a huge difference in shooting cost when for short form or commercial projects - but if wanting to shoot 35mm features, generally it is well out of reach for many projects to justify costs and over digital to budget. (I consider film formats sub 35mm as more aesthetic choices these days, not technical rivals to digital)

Does not make me happy one bit to say, but film has started to become an elitist format (as it kind of should be). The Cost implications in shooting anything higher than S16 for any project of long form length has become very expensive when compared to digital.

Ultimately budget often dictates format, regardless of the quality benefits of shooting larger gauge film over digital.

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No huge tanks needed and only 1 litre of chemical. Same as today for stills.

Scanning is cheap to do in a lab. But I also plan to use reversal and a projector to scan it myself. 

A 16mm projector is easy to find for free.

Right, messing with baths/tanks developing film and then painstakingly scanning one frame at a time is no problem. But letting a tool automatically convert H.265 to ProRes, now that's unacceptable! Not saying you feel that way, Mattias, but I've seen countless whining about H.265 as a deal-breaker "weakness" of NX1, and I had to say it.

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Right, messing with baths/tanks developing film and then painstakingly scanning one frame at a time is no problem. But letting a tool automatically convert H.265 to ProRes, now that's unacceptable! Not saying you feel that way, Mattias, but I've seen countless whining about H.265 as a deal-breaker "weakness" of NX1, and I had to say it.

There is no need to scan frame by frame. Motion film is scanned in real time and stills are scanned 12 at the time in my scanner.

Any who, the h.265 converters where ok imo. I often still convert Raw in after effects instead of Resolve. Its about planing imo.

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The reality of course is that film is still the most reliable form of archival format.

I think I understand what you are saying, but I am not sure that film is actually more archival than digital.

 

Film ages, and its colors fade.  Furthermore, every time an analog image is copied, generational loss occurs, so there is a practical limit to how long film can be maintained.

 

In contrast, one can keep making copies of a digital file on fresh medium, and the copies will be exactly the same as the original -- no generational loss and no aging nor fading.

 

The thing about film is that, when properly shot and handled, a film image can capture an incredibly vast, "fluid" color depth, unencumbered by the incremental bit depth limitations of digital imaging.  Having all of that color depth in the original image makes film a little more "future-proof" than digital.

 

So, film has a limited shelf life compared to digital, but a film image usually starts with more color information, which makes it more future proof.

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There is no need to scan frame by frame. Motion film is scanned in real time and stills are scanned 12 at the time in my scanner.

Come on, you know what I mean. A 90 minute film has 129,600 frames at 24fps, and this is not counting the footage that's discarded from the final cut. Even if you scan 12 frames in shot, we're talking 10,800 scans. Certainly not an option to do in-house, meaning extra effort and potential $$$ for engaging high end scanners. Even if you can find some other counter examples to what I'm saying, the point remains that this is a huge burden for indie filmmakers and bears absolutely no comparison to any digital format, including the much maligned H.265. You aren't opposed to digital or H.265 per se, so my address is more to the film enthusiasts and NX1/H.265 detractors.

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Come on, you know what I mean. A 90 minute film has 129,600 frames at 24fps, and this is not counting the footage that's discarded from the final cut. Even if you scan 12 frames in shot, we're talking 10,800 scans. Certainly not an option to do in-house, meaning extra effort and potential $$$ for engaging high end scanners. Even if you can find some other counter examples to what I'm saying, the point remains that this is a huge burden for indie filmmakers and bears absolutely no comparison to any digital format, including the much maligned H.265. You aren't opposed to digital or H.265 per se, so my address is more to the film enthusiasts and NX1/H.265 detractors.

I think you should comon and know what I mean. Just to be safe I will say it again.

Motion picture film is scanned in real time. Meaning 1h of footage takes 1h to scan.

Why on earth would you scan frame by frame or only 12? What crappy lab are you using that does that? I dont even believe you.

Stills on the other hand. You know photograps that doesnt move. Those I scan 12 and 12.

And it seems I have to point out another thing a second time since it seems you misssed that as well,

Shooting film does not mean that someone will break into your house and kill you if you also shoot alot of digital :)

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I think I understand what you are saying, but I am not sure that film is actually more archival than digital.

 

 

 

It is true that digital files can be copied/stored and archived with greater speed and lower cost than analogue tape or camera negative, but ultimately any hard drive is prone to either mechanical failure or corruption of data, solid state or otherwise. Analogue storage via LTO tape by banks and film companies are still a preferred method for archival digital data, being analogue tape-based it is virtually immune to the volatile nature of any digital storage. Camera negative or film print (properly stored) can preserve for 100 + years, I don't know of any digital drive that can promise that.

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I think you should comon and know what I mean. Just to be safe I will say it again.

Motion picture film is scanned in real time. Meaning 1h of footage takes 1h to scan.

Why on earth would you scan frame by frame or only 12? What crappy lab are you using that does that? I dont even believe you.

Stills on the other hand. You know photograps that doesnt move. Those I scan 12 and 12.

And it seems I have to point out another thing a second time since it seems you misssed that as well,

Shooting film does not mean that someone will break into your house and kill you if you also shoot alot of digital :)

Sure, whatever.

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It is true that digital files can be copied/stored and archived with greater speed and lower cost than analogue tape or camera negative, but ultimately any hard drive is prone to either mechanical failure or corruption of data, solid state or otherwise.

Not exactly.  If you keep a hard drive disconnected and in cold storage, the data on the discs should last a very long time, as should the mechanical components.  No one knows for sure how long a hard drive will last in this scenario, as we have not yet reached the point of failure in such a case.  With a stored, disconnected drive, I would imagine that the capacitors in the hard drive's circuitry will go bad sooner than a breakdown in the mechanics or with the info on the disk.

 

Analogue storage via LTO tape by banks and film companies are still a preferred method for archival digital data, being analogue tape-based it is virtually immune to the volatile nature of any digital storage.

Those tapes are digital, not analog.  And that tape suffers the same deterioration problems as regular audio tape -- the magnetic layer separates/flakes-off the base layer as the tape ages.

 

By the way, there used to be countless "digital/analog" computer tape systems.  I still have one.  The computer encodes digital files into analog audio beeps/tones (similar to modems) which can be recorded almost any audio tape recorder.  That system is different than the digital tape system that you mention.

 

Camera negative or film print (properly stored) can preserve for 100 + years, I don't know of any digital drive that can promise that.

With film, the image/dyes still progressively fade during that 100+ years (and the base becomes more and more brittle).  And, again, film cannot be copied without generational loss.

 

Actually, there exists digital media that have already lasted for centuries (and that still work!).  Music boxes using pins and spaces on cylinders (as their digital "ones" and "zeros") first appeared in the 1200s.  By 1800, music boxes using metal disks (with holes and lack of holes) started to appear and became popular in that century.  Metal discs from the 1800s are still being played by enthusiasts today, and they sound exactly as they did in the 1800s.  So, digital mediums can last for a very long time and not suffer any degradation of quality.  (It is also kind of cool that digital audio recording existed centuries prior to the arrival of analog audio recording.)

 

Certainly, it would be cumbersome and inefficient to try to encode video files to music box cylinders and disks.  On the other hand, there exist long-lasting digital media that can do so compactly and efficiently.  The Millenniata disk is expected to keep digital data up to 1000 years, as it uses microscopic engraved pits to record data, instead of dyes that can fade.

 

Likewise, "pressed" CDs/DVDs use physical pits to store data, in contrast to common "burned" CDs/DVDs which use dyes.  Pressed disks are projected to last up to 300 years.  Of course, the average eoshd.com poster won't have a disk press connected to their laptop. but some "burnt" optical disks have stable dyes that are estimated to last 100-250 years.

 

And again, it is difficult to know how long a hard drive will last stored and disconnected.

 

However, it is immaterial that all of these digital mediums have a superior lifespan to film, merely due to two facts:

1. digital files can be repeatedly copied with absolutely no generational loss;

2. there is no automatic, progressive fading/degradation of the information as a digital file sits in storage.

 

These two abilities allow digital files to last forever exactly as they were originally.  If the same could be done with film, then it could last forever, too.

 

 

 

 

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