Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/customer/www/dannylaceyfilm.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/social-warfare/functions/social-networks/googlePlus.php on line 73
S16mm film Ready to send to labs

Shooting my FIRST major short film project on Super 16mm film really was like being thrown in at the deep-end, in a storm and without a life jacket.

But I’m glad I did it – and not for the reasons you might think.

Aesthetically speaking I couldn’t yet tell you if it was worth the pain shooting on S16mm. The high resolution rushes are currently sat on a HDCamSR tape or two. All I’ve seen are the low quality offline rushes that were TK’d (transferred from film to digital format) on to DVCam. This isn’t going to give me any clue as to the picture quality of the final film. Rather frustrating.

The major lesson learnt is, you don’t have much control over your film in post-production when working from a small budget. What I mean by this is, if you run out of cash too soon – if you’ve shot on film – you could be left with footage that is on a format you can’t use without it costing you an absolute fortune to transfer in to an accessible digital format. That’s film for you.

S16mm Film

If you shoot digitally (i.e. RED, Canon 5D etc) you have MUCH more control over your footage. It can sit on a high powered PC or Mac and be edited using various professional software set-ups. The key is, you’re in control of your film and less reliant on others.

And let’s be honest, the difference in picture quality between film and digital is fast approaching minimal proportions.

The mistake I made was requesting a TK of the high res rushes on to HDCamSR tapes, instead of having the lab TK onto a hard drive. Having the high resolution footage on a hard drive would have made things so much easier and more accessible.

At the moment I’m left with having to find a post-production house willing to do me a deal on transferring my HDCamSR tapes, matching up with the EDL of the offline edit, grading and delivering on a hard drive. Easier said than done.

Having said all that, shooting on film is quite an experience and one I won’t be forgetting in a hurry. It’s a nice discipline, as a film maker, to experience.

This experience however has lead me to stay away from celluloid on any future short film projects. I’m not saying I’ll never shoot on film again, what I am saying is I’ll only shoot film when the budget available is much (MUCH) bigger.

Arri SR3 Camera on Love Like Hers

The whole experience has made me a much wiser film maker that’s for sure.

Having said all that, there are many advantages of shooting on film – IF YOU HAVE THE BUDGET! And make sure you leave plenty for post-production.

UPDATE: I must stress that iLabs, who did the telecine on this film, were utterly amazing. They did me an INCREDIBLE deal, with Fuji, on supplying the film and then TK’ing. They’ve been incredibly supportive, for which I am very grateful. I made some mistakes that led to the complicated post-production process I’m having to go through right now, nothing to do with anyone else.  

Thanks for stopping by, don’t forget to join my mailing list for the odd exclusive update (maximum of two emails a month).


2 Responses

  1. acutmore

    Or you get hold of a splice and cut it by hand 😉

    On a more serious note: personally I do the opposite, I feel a lot safer having the original dev'd 16 than having a HDD.

    Each to their own, just the way the industry should be ey 🙂

    best of luck with the project!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.