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Film Camera for Shorts

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?

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!

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?

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.

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!!

Contributed by Glen Berry

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.

A) If you want to do independent shorts, you will be very limited in what you will be able to do if you don't have a crystal sync camera. Crystal sync means that the speed of the motor is precisely controlled via a crystal. This means that when you record sound on a DAT or Nagra they (the camera and the recorder) will run at consistent speeds. Crystal sync cameras such as the Eclair ACL and the Arri BL usually go for $2200 to $2500 and on up, depending on condition. We don't have any crystal sync cameras for sale on our page.

If you get a non sync (wild or ungoverned motor) camera then you will still get a beautiful quality image but it will start slipping and lose sync after about 5 or 6 seconds. You can shoot some wonderful images and if you are imaginative you can do shorts but forget trying to do anything but the briefest of dialogue. I have seen some really well done shorts with the Bolex H16 which is a popular and common 16mm camera. It has a turret mount that will accept the common C-mount lens, variable speeds and frame by frame option for animation and special FX cinematography. It has an auto load feature for the 100ft daylight spools which makes it fairly easy to load. It doesn't work right everytime so you will have to familiarize yourself with it to get it to work right. These cameras are also very durable and tough, another good feature for a beginning cinematographer. Another great camera is the Scoopic 16. It also had variable frame rates and the auto load works smoothly and perfectly everytime. The problem is that it has one fixed zoom lens and is more expensive because it is battery operated, unlike the H16. At this time we don't have any Scoopics but I recommend them if you can find one at a reasonable price. Any other specific questions, ask me.

B) To rent or buy all depends on how much money you have. If you can afford it, go for it. If money isn't coming out of your ears then you have to decide whether you can justify owning the equipment. How much money are you putting out? How many projects are you going to do? How much money are they going to net you back? Can you rent time to other people? If you plan on doing alot of projects and the price is good, go for it. If you're strapped for cash or don't foresee using it quickly, rent.

C) 16mm is going to be around for a while. The format will probably outlast any camera you buy. I'm surprised to see there is a resurgence in Super 8 and 8mm, BTW. It is very popular these days with low budget film makers. Film in general is on the way out but it will be quite a while before its gone.

Berry started his career as an editor and post production supervisor, having worked on documentaries for PBS and The Discovery Channel. Berry’s award-winning short fiction, documentary and experimental films have screened at festivals around the world. His first feature film secured a rare worldwide distribution deal and received a limited theatrical release.

The publisher of Film Underground and founder of Northwest Film School, Berry has taught production at Western Washington University and Whatcom Community College. Berry was awarded a Master of Arts in Production and Direction from the National University of Ireland and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Theatre Arts from Montana State University.

Berry’s academic work has been published in scholarly journals as well as trade publications such as MovieMaker Magazine, and as well as The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Filmmaking. He is the publisher of Film Underground and has served as an expert source for international newspaper and radio media outlets. Berry twice served as the Director of the Northwest Projections Film Festival and as a panel judge on numerous festivals and competitions.

Glen Berry is the Director of the Northwest Film School where he teaches directing, producing and editing. He has specialized in creative editing and post production techniques with independent film. His interests include the cognitive functions of the mind as it applies to motion picture editing as well as new forms of communications in the visual arts.

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