View Full Version : Feature film super 8?

02-24-2005, 11:45 AM
I'm going to direct a feature film next month My budget is really tight I'm trying to get a camera to shoot with dvx or sdx900 if I can find funding If not I have a really good super 8 camera should I go ahead and shoot on super 8? I never did before I'm thinking about ordering some stock and shooting around outside to get the look I might order a lense as well. And if I light the look I will rent a nice lighting kit dolly and tripod any thoughts.

02-24-2005, 01:19 PM
Do a short film before attempting a feature film.
What is your target for the final film? If you want to end up on video then that means you will need to transfer Super 8 to video. Not necessarily cheap.
If you want a theatrical film I wouldn't bother with Super 8. 16mm would be smallest film format.
The problems with super 8 (having shot a lot years ago) is you only have 3 minutes on a cartridge. (Was $20 for 3 minutes of film and process years ago. Not sure of cost now) There's no sound recorded so you'll need to do double system sound.

Bottom line is each provides a different look but cost factors and quality favor DVX100 or other high camera.

02-24-2005, 08:12 PM
If you mean for the experience I've done plenty of shorts,music videos etc... But if all I get is 3 minutes off of a catridge it's not worth it. I'll have to work overtime to rent or borrow we shoot in one month so I'll hustle my hardest to get a camera.

02-24-2005, 08:13 PM
I'd definitely not shoot a film on Super 8 unless I deliberately wanted a look that was very grainy, very soft, with very large dust and scratch artifacts. Even still, the quality is so low that a DVX is far better. The DVX is more comparable to 16mm film, which is considerably higher quality than Super 8 - and when you take the cost factor into it all, and the larger hassle of shooting film, I really don't see it being worth it.

02-24-2005, 08:50 PM
Dv it is unless I can get sponsors?

02-24-2005, 09:23 PM
Well, I'd say enough sponsors to shoot at least 16mm. Depending on your project, even 16mm may be less desireable (it has more grain in comparison with the DVX). 16 has much more latitude, though - the rolloff from the midtones to highlights is much more appealing IMHO. And 16mm is sharper, but only natively. If you were online editing it in SD for example, that resolution would be lost.

So it really comes down to an aesthetic choice. I'd never consider Super8 film for narrative storytelling, unless the considerably low quality was a part of the style. If you can afford with no issues 16mm, it's definitely a fine option. And if you *really* got the funding, then 35mm is the way to go :D

Jim Brennan
02-25-2005, 10:13 AM
Although there are some aesthetic advantages to 16mm, using a DVX or XL2 gives you an image that is roughly comparable in most areas. Plus you get the advantage of less outlay for stock and development, a simpler post process, and the primary advantage of video (IMHO) in that you see what you get, when you get it. For someone without years of experience (like me) it is comforting to be able to be sure of what I am getting with every take. I can't get that assurance with film.

02-25-2005, 06:21 PM
There is something magical about getting that developed work print back and seeing how it all turned out :D

I must say that I agree though, the WYSIWYG definitely makes things easier. Personally, I'd shoot with the DVX over 16mm 95% of the time. It's just easier.