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    Super8 test film
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    Senior Member 16mman's Avatar
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    I'm gearing up for a new short film, and I'm contemplating shooting it on Super8, so I bought a single cartridge to test and see if I like the result. Of course, I couldn't waste that film on just test footage, so I wrote a little script to shoot instead. Here it is in all it's lo-fi-ness.




    BTW: I decided against using Super8 film for my short. Too expensive : )


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    How did you transfer it?


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    Senior Member 16mman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_E View Post
    How did you transfer it?
    I used Pro8mm. I purchased the film from them, which includes the processing fee, and then I payed extra for the HD tranfer.


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    Senior Member Egg Born Son's Avatar
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    That was really good. I enjoyed it. Loved the audio, perfect. And the story was well suited to the medium. Pity to hear you're not going to do another on film.

    I recently shot super 8 for the first time and am really keen to make a longer short using it too. It costs me about 100AUD (~70USD) per reel for stock, processing and telecine. How does that compare to your experience?

    So if I can be efficient with takes (shooting 2:1/3:1) and fast with the slate I figure about 100AUD a minute of usable footage. Allowing for mistakes, overruns and the cutting room floor I guesstimate about 3 grand for something in the range of 20 minutes or so at final cut. An 8 minute film maybe as little as a grand for digitally editable footage.

    I figure I'll offset the cost by saving some money on costume and art direction because ordinary objects look so much more filmic on film. At the festival where mine was screened I was blown away by how otherworldly objects I've interacted with everyday of my life (like benches at the train station) looked on film.


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    Senior Member 16mman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Egg Born Son View Post
    That was really good. I enjoyed it. Loved the audio, perfect. And the story was well suited to the medium. Pity to hear you're not going to do another on film.
    Hi Egg Born Son, thanks for the compliment! Yeah, we decided to go full analog so the audio was recorded on a portable audio cassette recorder. Not micro cassette sadly. The micro cassette recorder featured in the film was mine from gradeschool--I used to record days worth of fake news interviews with my friends on that thing! But sadly it wasn't working anymore so we had to break out the bigger option.

    I do want to shoot more projects on film, but just really short stuff like this. Buying, processing and scanning this film cost me around $150, but I did opt for a couple luxuries that I probably could have done without. My favorite Super8 filmmaker, Steve Daniels, told me that he gets his footage developed at a Ma and Pop place and then scans his footage in SD, which saves him a wad, but I guess I'm just too much of a resolution hound to go that route. And actually, he told me that a couple years ago, and his most recent Super8 films are in HD, so maybe he's paying more now too.

    Have you shot anything on Super8 or 16mm? I'd love to check it out if you're willing to share it with me.
    Last edited by 16mman; 07-31-2015 at 08:42 AM.


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    Senior Member Egg Born Son's Avatar
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    Wow, $150? Stuff is never cheaper here. My $100 figure factors in bulk shipping and processing but still. Sweet.

    Here is my first (and so far only) film shot on super 8. And my first work I've seen projected in a cinema (I've seen corporate work projected at seminars and roadshows but it's not the same). Made for the Revel8 film festival we had to edit in camera and deliver the undeveloped cartridge as our entry. They then assigned composers to make the soundtracks. The filmmakers didn't get to see the film or meet the composer until the screening. We won best soundtrack (the only bit we didn't have direct involvement with, doh!). It is a fantastic score though, we'll definitely be looking to use her again in future projects.



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    Senior Member 16mman's Avatar
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    Wow, you got a lot out of one cartridge! I like your film, nice pacing, lighting and cinematography. It must be quite a challenge to edit in camera like that! Back in high school that's how I made all my films, but I was pretty crap at it : )

    The cartridge and development cost $45. The HD scan cost around $100 if I'm remembering right. I did it all through Pro8mm. How did you digitize your film?


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    If you are seriously going down this path, it might make sense to build a digitizer and maybe even develop your own stuff. You can find reels and tanks that will hold an entire cassette, actually most hold a couple of reels, and the processing isn't that difficult once you get the process down.

    I posted a link to the "DIY" digitizer in Egg Born Son's other thread, as someone who likes to make things, this is the only way I could go into a project like this. In the end it should save a bunch of money, processing at home would save a bunch more.


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    in LA a lot of spots are done on film..
    from a Producer standpoint also cheaper...vs Arri alexa rental..post..etc.
    you can also shoot with super 16mm..which is cheap and saves on the rental..post...etc..


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    Quote Originally Posted by 16mman View Post
    Wow, you got a lot out of one cartridge! I like your film, nice pacing, lighting and cinematography. It must be quite a challenge to edit in camera like that! Back in high school that's how I made all my films, but I was pretty crap at it : )
    It was nerve racking that's for sure. First leading up to the shoot, researching and buying gear and trying to understand exposure without digital tools. Then on the actual shoot. And then waiting 2 months to even see the result.

    On the day I felt I stopped too soon every shot but the edits seem pretty spot on. I was very pleased to see there is only one shot out of focus that wasn't meant to be. Scary to shoot not knowing if what you're seeing in the viewfinder is what is being captured! We used kinos and arris for the lighting. When we were setting up I had a 10 minute conversation with the gaffer about colour temp before I remembered we were shooting B+W!

    Halfway through I became convinced we weren't conveying the story as written so we were modifying it on the fly. As DP I had a bigger role in that than usual since I was the only one seeing it. Very much a partner to the director rather than the puppet I sometimes have to be. I've had this relationship with some directors shooting digital but in others (especially inexperienced directors) it is very clear I am subordinate, just a pair of hands and eyes to them.

    The composer really brought it together. It was like she read my mind. I had been thinking about Pi, the gamecube Metroid titles and Naked Lunch soundtracks separately. The blend of electronic and classical/jazz really nailed it. Compared to our intent, in the end result the narrative was weakened but the mood/poetry was strengthened which I think ultimately suits the single reel format. Even though I can only see the things I want to fix, I feel pretty good about it as a first effort. And it inspires me to take what I learnt and try to make a better one.

    Quote Originally Posted by 16mman View Post
    The cartridge and development cost $45. The HD scan cost around $100 if I'm remembering right. I did it all through Pro8mm. How did you digitize your film?
    Wow $100 just for telecine! My australian based processing house charges $30 for HD although he will only do it as an add on to processing. From what I gather it's a small operation so turnaround times might be slower than you're used to in the US. International shipping will probably wipe out most the savings and the thought that developed film may get x-rayed concerns me but if you're interested here's the url: http://www.nanolab.com.au/telecine.htm



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