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Popular Articles

1. Super 16 vs 16mm
a discussion of the technical specifics of 16mm and super16 formats; advantages and future of super16.


2. Film Storage
Handling, refrigeration and degradation of motion picture raw film stock over time.


3. Conforming from Video
Essential guidelines for match-back from video to film: cut list, video reel length, continuous time code, academy leader, effect duration, opticals and video EDL.


4. Sound Transfer
handling the production tracks after they have been recorded in field, from 1/4 inch audiotape, transfer to sprocketed mag (magnetic) stock, syncing of dailies, edge coding and screening.


5. KeyKode Prep
instructions for utilizing keykode numbers on Kodak film during the film transfer for later match-back to the negative


6. Camera Testing
The importance of and methods involved in testing your film camera for scratching, registration and light leaks.


7. Telecines
film telecines are described in technical detail, mainly the difference between flying spot and CCD telecines. Amiga, DaVinci, Dubner and Sunburst and Rank Cintel are brands addressed.


8. Tape-to-Film Transfer
Tape-to-film transfers from digital video to film. Issues addressed include shooting at 24fps, DV quality, avoiding video artifacts, DVE effects, rendering graphics, resizing video frames, titles and RGB values.


9. Online Film Editing
creating a film print from work print: negative cutting, first trial composite answer print and release print.


10. Choosing the Right Post Production Lab
questions to ask when choosing a film post production facility: personal service, turnaround, price, technical service and location.


11. Offline Film Editing
receiving rolls from lab, handling workprint, transferring sound to 16mm magstock, syncing workprint, edge coding and editing.


Recent Articles

1. Tape-to-Film Transfer
Tape-to-film transfers from digital video to film. Issues addressed include shooting at 24fps, DV quality, avoiding video artifacts, DVE effects, rendering graphics, resizing video frames, titles and RGB values.


2. Film Storage
Handling, refrigeration and degradation of motion picture raw film stock over time.


3. Conforming from Video
Essential guidelines for match-back from video to film: cut list, video reel length, continuous time code, academy leader, effect duration, opticals and video EDL.


4. KeyKode Prep
instructions for utilizing keykode numbers on Kodak film during the film transfer for later match-back to the negative


5. Camera Testing
The importance of and methods involved in testing your film camera for scratching, registration and light leaks.


6. Super 16 vs 16mm
a discussion of the technical specifics of 16mm and super16 formats; advantages and future of super16.


7. Sound Transfer
handling the production tracks after they have been recorded in field, from 1/4 inch audiotape, transfer to sprocketed mag (magnetic) stock, syncing of dailies, edge coding and screening.


8. Online Film Editing
creating a film print from work print: negative cutting, first trial composite answer print and release print.


9. Offline Film Editing
receiving rolls from lab, handling workprint, transferring sound to 16mm magstock, syncing workprint, edge coding and editing.


10. Choosing the Right Post Production Lab
questions to ask when choosing a film post production facility: personal service, turnaround, price, technical service and location.


11. Telecines
film telecines are described in technical detail, mainly the difference between flying spot and CCD telecines. Amiga, DaVinci, Dubner and Sunburst and Rank Cintel are brands addressed.


Knowledge Base

1. What to Do with Used Film Stock
I represent CACTUS FILMS, a Houston-based film production company. We recently switched from 35mm (Fuji Film) to HD 24 P after one week of shooting, and now have an extensive inventory of film stock remaining. Much of it is still factory sealed, some is recanned and some are short ends (in excess of 200 feet). Could you please advise who purchases unused film stock at a fair price?


2. 24fps-25fps
I was recently doing sound postproduction for the movie done with 16mm camera. the movie has been transferred on beta tape, than edited in PC computer PAL (which means 25fps). When I finished I transferred soundtrack on the TASCAM DA 20 and sent it to the laboratory. for editing and 35mm blow up. Because of the frame difference the sound was slightly (but noticeably) pitched down. Is there any way to avoid this without using expensive sync equipment?


3. Transferring Positive
I am a music video director, who has always gone from the negative straight to video in the telecine, and I am wondering how printing the film before the telecine would change the look of the image, in terms of slickness, contrast, and color?


4. Resolving Audio
I have a technical question - I want to shoot s16 - then dump it to Avid - create an EDL - then cut an answer print. I was told by the Post-Production house that I have to then transfer my s16 answer print back to avid - make the soundtrack on protools(myself - because of low budget) and synch it to the avid - and then they would create the 35mm optical track synched to the soundtrack(+timecode). I am concerned that there will be synchronization problems because of the difference in frame rates - and so blow my optical soundtrack...can you help?


5. C-mount Focus
It dawned on me recently that if a C-mount lens is screwed in too far or not far enough, even by a hair, the focus will probably be off. How can I optimize focus in a non-reflex 16mm camera?


6. Super16 Blowdown
I've made a short film that I'll be intering in festivals soon. One issue that's come up is that the film was shot on Super 16 and the festival we're entering first (U.S. Comedy Arts) only accepts 16 or 35. Blowing up to 35 is very expensive. But I heard that they can "blow down" super 16 to 16. Have you heard of anyone doing this? How's the quality?


7. Eclair ACL 16mm
I'm seriously interested in an Eclair ACL crystal sync camera. It seems to be a decent camera from what little info I can find about it. I really like the fact that I can upgrade it to super 16. It's also shoulder mount and in my price range.

Any input on this subject?


8. Short Ends and Recans
I found film for .14 cents a foot, it is short ends, do you forsee this causing problems?


9. Opticals and EFX
I've got a my first formal film project coming up in a few months and I'm trying to educate myself on the whole post-production process of the use of timecode, key code, and editing to conform the negative for a finish on film.

I have been using Premiere for years, I know it by heart and I have my own editing system. I can drastically save time and money by using my own computer. I believe that using a window-burn for timecode is my best bet. My question is, is it possible to use only a window-burn and still be able to conform my EDL for a film finish? Is there a generic EDL export that Premiere uses that a lab can work with?

What about compositing, titles or other opticals. After I have the production sound resolved to 29.97fps, how does it fit in with the conforming of the negative? Help!?


10. Editors vs. Splicers
I'm just getting started and I want to know more about editors. What is the difference between film editors and splicers? Can I edit with just a splicer? I need help!


11. ECN-II skip bleach
I'm shooting a feature and my DP wants to skip bleach in the negative processing. du art, cfi and the giants don't do it.

Know of a reliable one that does?


12. Film Camera for Shorts
My questions for you are...
A). What is a good, user friendly 16mm camera to start on for independant[sic] short films? I am interested in something flexible... variable speeds, attachment options, ect...
B). Is it worth while to purchace editing equip. or should I just use rental suites?
C). Is 16mm still a good format to use or is it going to become the dinosaur that 8mm has become?
I hope you can help me out with my novice questions, I am anxious to get started on using film cameras rather than video. From what little I know your prices look pretty good and maybe you have something I could use.


13. Buying Rawstock
I was looking for a good source for 16mm raw stock. I found your site but am not sure as to whether you sell raw stock or just have general information. Ordering information was mentioned on the production page, but I didn't see any additional information on how to order. Do you sell raw stock and if you do how do I order it?


14. Negative vs Reversal Stock
What is the difference between color neg. and color reversal film and which is better?


15. Film Editing Equipment
I'm looking to buy some 16mm editing equipment as it seems mush cheaper than renting time at an editing house. But, being rather new to this, I'm not sure exactly what I need. I'm assuming I need a splicer, a viewer, a sync block and a rewind. Is this all? You seem to have a wide range of splicers available; what are the differences? I see you also have a Zeiss Moviscope for sale. Is this just a viewer, or does it an all-in-one type thing? Thanks a lot for your help,


16. Testing Sync
I was browsing through your pages on camera testing and I was wondering if there was a way to test a camera for crystal sync accuracy? The only way I can think to do it is to shoot the film with sound, develop the film and see if the sync runs off. Do you know a better way?


17. Sound Mix ETA
...the film will be roughly 33 min long. A thesis. Dialogue, yes. We still haven't shot it. But as the small time producer I don't know what's a rough price for sound mix in post. As I'm budgeting it right now it will cost about $13,000 without answer prints or final mix. Help!


18. Flatbed Editing vs Avid
I am producing a 30-35 min showcase film. I've figured that I'll edit it the old way that is on a Moviola flatbed because rates are very cheap in NY for that. ($7-$8 / hr). I do want to send the film to festivals and a lot of them accept actual 16mm film (beside the VHS for preview)

The reason that I'm asking all these questions is because I'm trying to figure out how much will it cost me to post the film. So transfering the film to Betacam for Avid editing and then transfer it back is not much of an option for me due to the fact that I can only afford $13,000 budget for this movie. The shooting ratio is 5 to 1, the sound will be recorded on DAT. Any advice?


19. Wild Sound with the Arri S
I do not have a problem shooting with an arri s and recording sound "wild"-in fact if you transfer film to vhs you can do all sorts of things with sound while you edit-re record dialogue, add ambient sound, add music,etc-crystal sync is great but it is not the only way to go as i see it.


20. Post Syncing for Film
Again, thank you for the wealth of advice you've been giving me on my short film. I am two weeks away from shooting. Here in NY I'm thinking to process the film at DUART, because they do cater to NYU students by offering a discount. It's also good to introduce yourselves to a sales rep. I don't know how are they going to be taking care of my film when it moves to post. I'll let you know. But, meanwhile, burning question. I'm gonna be developing the film and transfer it to video dailies with Timecode for the eventual negative cutting. However, when it comes to syncing sound DUART will do it for video dailies at a rate of $110/hr. That is a lot!!!! Is there any other way beside syncing on a flatbed? I mean for 6000 ft of film at $110/hr that's gonna be about $1,100.00!!!!! Non-discountable!! Help!!


21. Negative Transfer
I´m an independent filmmaker in Mexico and I´ll be making a b/w 16mm short film. Some people have said to me that there are film labs that transfers the negative straight to video making a positive image on video without the extra cost of having to make a positive film print first. I´d like to know if this is correct and what the transfer quality would be. I hope you could help me.


22. 1st 16mm camera
I will be purchasing my first 16mm camera, and I had some questions. I have a budget of $15,000 through American Express Equipment Financing, and I am interested in getting the best package I can for the purpose of making 16 mm (or Super 16mm) indie films. I own a recording studio, so I knowledge about recording sound just not in terms of cameras (sync etc.) I know Arriflex, but I have little experience with the 16S, 16BL, and SR3. I have even less knowledge about Bolex. So ultimately my question is this ... can you suggest the best set up with these budget requirements?


23. Syncing without Timecode
I'm shooting a film, and wanted to know if I could record dialog on a non timecode dat or even a minidisc recorder, and rerecord the sound in bulk to a timecode dat, then sync up the video transfer of my film with the sound on an avid. Is that the way to do it cheaply but effectively? I've heard conflicting reports as to how well sound can be synced to a video transfered picture because of the change in frame rate. Also, when people refer to sound needing to be resolved, is that just aligning the sound speed to picture speed? We would really appreciate your consultation, so when we start filming next week everything will be fine, and we can shoot in confidence!


24. Storing Film Stock
If I use reversal film, contrast would decrease when I do push process. Is it true? I heard from a friend of mine he said he read contrast decreases. Please let me know the answer. I am sure I know the contrast increases when I use negative push process.

Second, usually, I think people keep raw stock in refrigerator if they don't have real stock place, stable humidity and temparature. I should do same thing? I really care about food and drink in refrigerator making film so bad. How can I keep raw stock? Do you have any recommendation?