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Kodak celluloid film saved by studios - oh and by the way - what's the point?

Andrew Reid

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By the way: 
this is a beautiful website to search for your personal preferences in view of film images:
A giant archive of filmstills.
Almost every day the author uploads new stills, sorted by Cinematographers, directors, years, aspect ratio, country, etc.
If I´am uncertain what kind of "look" I like the most - respectively what is the most desired look for my own filmmaking - this is really a helpful site!

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Andrew, I just couldn't let this post go.  I guess I would fall into the category of the "privileged few" having been a "film" director for over 35 years and having shot film almost exclusively.  Let

How do you shave? Do you do it oldschool? With a brush and a bit of soap? An actual fancy bladed razor like back in the day or at a barber? Do you do multiple passes? Listen to a bit of jazz music in

The more I think about it the more I think celluloid motion picture film really is an environmental disaster.  Leaving aside the chemicals required to make it, processing it requires huge amounts of a

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Currently shooting a Documentary on a mountain rescue team and locations have often been a day or more hike away from electricity with temperatures averaging -8 or 9 dipping to -14 and well into the -20's when factoring in windchill. When it came to testing and pre-produciton tested the Amira and Alexa as well as 2-perf 35mm on the Aaton Penelope, also had my BMCC which i had planned on using as a B-Cam. The BMCC and Arri's needed batteries changed constantly where as with the Penelope the 2 onboard batteries lasted a full 2 days and they still did not even start warning that they are low and even when low they will still shoot at least 800ft of film (2 mags) so practically in keeping the kit as lightweight as possible and not needing to lug block batteries up and over mountains in snow film became a really practical choice, also the batteries are pretty small iPhone with a rugged case size (a really rugged case) but pocketable which also keeps them warm and more juiced between takes during hikes. 

The images from testing even the BMCC all looked wonderful but film had a certain aesthetic that fitted the harsh environment and the snow perfectly and seemed to deal better with extreme highlights when the sun would glare and reflect in the distance of snow or get really bright due to spindrift in the air etc. also the subbtle grain of 50d really added a extra layer of texture to the thing snow flying everywhere infront of the lens and sticking to people and things.

Cost wise the camera package as well as zeiss primes and everything was given to us by the rental house at a absolute steal 1/3rd of the price of the cheapest Alexa package which would have had lesser lenses and then we would have had to factor in needing laptops etc. out in the middle of nowhere to somehow sort and transcode for us with no power so when factoring in this even with lab costs and stock which we got discounted as re-cans from Star Wars Episode VII we have actually come up under the price of a Alexa kit not by 1000s of pounds but enough to make it viable to shoot film obviously we are limited in that we have a certain ammount of stock meaning a much lower shooting ratio but this so far has been a beautiful limitation but it may bite us in the ass in the coming shoots etc. 

TL:DR its not as expensive as you might think, if it works for the benefit of the final image and for a smooth production workflow its worth it, it has a look that suits some things more then digital and vice versa do not discount it. 

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TL:DR its not as expensive as you might think, if it works for the benefit of the final image and for a smooth production workflow its worth it, it has a look that suits some things more then digital and vice versa do not discount it. 

​I'm glad there's some people shooting on the lovely Penelope still out there.

Penelope's probably my favourite camera to shoot on; it's too bad they could never get the whole Delta/interchangeable mags thing happening.

The battery life on the Alexa is frustratingly poor - especially when compared to film. You could easily shoot a week or more on four batteries - you'd struggle to get four hours in some cases with four batteries on an Alexa.



It's a totally different look to digital - IMO it gets silly comparing them anymore, they're totally different looks. I personally love the look of film, and don't believe there is anything in the digital realm that really matches it. Sure, there are cameras that come close in terms of colour, or dynamic range, or both - but they don't look the same and realistically it's a totally different process - you're not going to get even similar images when using a single bayer sensor.

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