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super 16mm…poor man's Arri Alexa...


odie
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First mistake: talking to producers about cameras or technology.

 

There's some great Super-16mm stuff out there.  I really liked what Phil Parmet did with the format in Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects.  The AMC broadcast for The Walking Dead looks like ass but on BD it's also a good looking show.  But there's nothing about the look that says "Alexa".  For an unscientific but very interesting and aesthetically-oriented test of several cameras, including Arri Alexa and S16, see John Brawley's "Available Light" test:

 

 

...35mm (Aaton), Arri Alexa, RED MX, Sony F3 and Canon EOS 1DmkIV.

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But it's film.  And the digital camera that best mimics film is the Alexa.  So in effect it makes perfect sense.  Thing is, I imagine current film stock prices, and transfer costs probably bring shooting 16mm up to the same total cost as shooting on a hired Alexa?  

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@Burnett - I thought The Devils Rejects was shot on 35mm. Just checked imbd and sure enough it says 16mm.  The movie looks superb.  It looks more like how I consider 'Hollywood' than most big movies shot on Alexa.  

 

I think I'll watch it tonight actually.

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It's pretty soft and grainy, The Devil's Rejects, but I like that.  Zombie was going for a rough and vintage, grindhouse aesthetic without going kitschy and Tarantino/Rodriguez with it.  His Halloween remake was quite a bit more slick as far as photography goes with the first being 35mm and the sequel being perhaps the slickest 16mm film I've ever seen.  Perhaps that's what you're thinking of?  

 

And then you have the gorgeous Lords of Salem which, oddly enough, is RED but lensed with C-Series, E-Series and Primo anamorphics which is nice "usual suspects" of glass for pretty anamorphic films.

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But it's film.  And the digital camera that best mimics film is the Alexa.  So in effect it makes perfect sense.  Thing is, I imagine current film stock prices, and transfer costs probably bring shooting 16mm up to the same total cost as shooting on a hired Alexa?  

+1

 

this is something that was also said at the festival by dps and directors…I think they keep the cost down with shooting ratio..and owning the 16mm camera..no rentals

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