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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old June 20th, 2008, 12:41 PM   #1
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First Super8 of the year

We had the opportunity to shoot some super8 for this couple and did we ever have a blast. I am really excited to be offering and working with this medium as the look and feel of it is incredible and unlike anything that can be done digitally, although I really did miss my LCD viewfinder.

http://www.vimeo.com/1204598

Let me know what you guys think!

Thanks!
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Old June 20th, 2008, 02:30 PM   #2
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Hey Ryan,

Super8 certainly is addictive - plus, clients think it's cool, not just when they get it, but on the day of as you shoot!

Do you mind sharing a bit of your process - specifically, which camera(s) you used, film stocks, and how/where you had it processed.

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Old June 21st, 2008, 01:23 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Chris P. Jones View Post
Hey Ryan,

Super8 certainly is addictive - plus, clients think it's cool, not just when they get it, but on the day of as you shoot!

Do you mind sharing a bit of your process - specifically, which camera(s) you used, film stocks, and how/where you had it processed.

jones
We shot this with a Canon 814xls Camera (we like our Canon's even the 20+ yr old ones ;-) ) The film we shot with was ASA500/200. Overall I am really pleased with it. It has to be the most expensive 9 minutes of filming we have done though. It's a shame it costs so much to do, that has to be the biggest down fall.
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Old June 23rd, 2008, 11:33 PM   #4
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We shot this with a Canon 814xls Camera (we like our Canon's even the 20+ yr old ones ;-) ) The film we shot with was ASA500/200. Overall I am really pleased with it. It has to be the most expensive 9 minutes of filming we have done though. It's a shame it costs so much to do, that has to be the biggest down fall.
Nice work Ryan. We have the same camera and it fits our needs so far. I have a couple projects where we used Super 8...inspired by Chris Jones :) Used on a TTD shoot and it really gives it a unique organic look. Thanks for sharing.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 01:02 PM   #5
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Someone please enlighten me, as I've seen several people on these boards shooting 8mm film. Why?

I understand the look is different; low contrast, low saturation, low frame-rate, grainy. But aren't all of these things you can just do in post and save yourself the on-site hassle and expense? I recently did a section of a couple's video in an "old film look", and honestly it looked just like old film even though it was shot on a Canon GL2 on MiniDV. The difference is that I could also use that footage in the couple's highlights video as it was originally shot.

Am I missing something? What is the appeal?
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Old June 24th, 2008, 01:40 PM   #6
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Travis - I booked a couple requesting the same thing recently, although they just want the look, and they do not want me to use an actual Super 8 camera. What settings in post did you use? How about the settings on the GL2? I've experimented, but was not happy with the results.

They told me that wanted the 8mm because it felt more authentic to them. They hated the cheesy wedding videos and want something to reflect their personality. Retro is in - I guess.

Glad I saved by old VHS camera - in about 5 years, people will start requesting to use those....
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Old June 24th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #7
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Travis - I booked a couple requesting the same thing recently, although they just want the look, and they do not want me to use an actual Super 8 camera. What settings in post did you use? How about the settings on the GL2? I've experimented, but was not happy with the results.

They told me that wanted the 8mm because it felt more authentic to them. They hated the cheesy wedding videos and want something to reflect their personality. Retro is in - I guess.

Glad I saved by old VHS camera - in about 5 years, people will start requesting to use those....
I can't remember the exact settings, but I basically reduced the contrast and saturation, added some sepia-toning, reduced the framerate, added grain and blew out highlights. These filters were layered and it took some experimenting to get it right, but it looked great I think. For that section I also chose a song that had an old scratchy recording sound to it (it was a Van Morrison song), and that just sold the look perfectly.

I find it fascinating that, despite the awesomeness of HD and the skillfullness of many videographers, there are people who want that "amateurish" look to their video. I understand having a special section of the video to look that way, for fun, but I just don't get why someone would want their entire video from their wedding day to look like that. I know you guys are doing a special piece, but I've also seen a number of videographers that literally shoot and present the entire wedding like this.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 02:49 PM   #8
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I've got six super 8 cameras. Love to shoot with all of them, though I haven't shot anything in about a year. (I don't do weddings)

This forum has enough posts in it to fill a HUGE book about the best way to achieve a 'film look'. There are rabid, even heated, discussions about what the important elements are that constitute that look. Is it frame rate? Is it grain? Is it gamma? Is it lattitude? Is it depth of field? Well - obviously its all of this and more.

The term 'organic' comes up a lot. Film is an analogue medium with an organic base. The grain 'moves' from frame to frame, the minds senses this.

There are a number of reasons why people want the Super 8 footage. It's retro - it reminds them of their (or their parents) old home movies. So it has a 'nostalgic' factor to it - sure. But saying that the super 8 film look is 'blown out highlights', scratches, desaturated colors, (HELLO KODACHROME!!!), jitter and faster frame rate (even though you can shoot in 24fps with super 8) is not really accurate.

Shooting FILM and getting a good image is demanding, but rewarding. Doesn't matter if its Super 8, Regular 8, 16mm, Super16, or 35.

Show your client an example of your Super 8 post effects. If they are happy with them, then you're good to go. If your client WANTS the sequence shot on film, and you won't do it, they'll find someone who will.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 03:10 PM   #9
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But saying that the super 8 film look is 'blown out highlights', scratches, desaturated colors, (HELLO KODACHROME!!!), jitter and faster frame rate (even though you can shoot in 24fps with super 8) is not really accurate.
Well, I guess I say that because I just recently applied those "effects" (minus the scratches/hairs) to standard digital video and I honestly couldn't tell the difference between the two. I understand that shooting on film might be a very different experience, but if the look I create and the look you film are basically indistinguishable then my client isn't going to care if I shoot the look or create the look. Well, not entirely, the client will be happy to be saving money by me creating the look instead of shooting it, and I will be happy that I don't have to switch back and forth between cameras all day long.

It would make sense to me if there was no way to duplicate the look of 8mm film with digital video and post-processing, but that's not the case as far as I can tell.


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Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez View Post
Show your client an example of your Super 8 post effects. If they are happy with them, then you're good to go. If your client WANTS the sequence shot on film, and you won't do it, they'll find someone who will.
That's part of my confusion I guess. I've NEVER had a client inquire about shooting on film. I've had a few now ask about HD, but no one has EVER asked about film. Maybe it's a difference in markets or something.


EDIT: I would like to point out that I've never shot on film, so I can't relate to the experience at all. I just feel that I've been able to recreate the "old school" film look in post, so I don't see the need to shoot on film. That said, I don't feel I could recreate the film look of Hollywood in post with DV material, because Hollywood film has a very professional look to it, whereas the film samples I see posted here have an amateurish look (which is what is appealing to the couple).
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Old June 24th, 2008, 03:46 PM   #10
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Travis, you missed my point. Super 8 doesn't HAVE to look 'sped up', desaturated or scratchy - all those looks you apply in post.

Here's a nice example posted by a member on the forum.

www.jmagbanua.com/vids/hannah_rob_super8.wmv

Jason Magbunua did a very nice job with Super 8 negative stock on this piece.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 03:54 PM   #11
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My opinion is that you can usually tell the difference. There is a definite signature left by properly shot Super 8 and it is very difficult to replicate the color depth and the organic feel of film. There is a lot of color grading that you can do from a film negative that is rather difficult to do with digital without loosing quality. Check out this session that Chris Jones did: http://masonjarfilms.typepad.com/fil.../telecine.html

Yes its expensive and there is a certain level of risk but you are going to have clients that WANT something different and unique.

Plus its cool and I love the sound of the camera rolling. Its funny to watch the younger photogs look at it.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 03:59 PM   #12
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Okay, so you're saying that "look" is achieved through applying filters in post to the film that is shot? My point is that I can achieve that same look (as far as I can tell) by applying filters to the DV footage that I've shot. So why should I shoot film? I'm sure there's a reason I'm missing, since some of you are doing it, but I just don't see it.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 04:04 PM   #13
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My opinion is that you can usually tell the difference. There is a definite signature left by properly shot Super 8 and it is very difficult to replicate the color depth and the organic feel of film. There is a lot of color grading that you can do from a film negative that is rather difficult to do with digital without loosing quality. Check out this session that Chris Jones did: http://masonjarfilms.typepad.com/fil.../telecine.html

Yes its expensive and there is a certain level of risk but you are going to have clients that WANT something different and unique.

Plus its cool and I love the sound of the camera rolling. Its funny to watch the younger photogs look at it.
Yeah, I watched that a while back as well. I guess I'll just have to take your guys' word on it. I still feel like I can adequately simulate the look of that film, maybe not to a trained professional's examining eye who already knows that it isn't film in advance, but I really doubt my average client would EVER be able to tell the difference. And that's who pays my bills, lol!

Just as an example, if Jason had posted that clip and said it was his attempt at duplicating the film look with some DV footage, how many of you would have looked at it differently because you knew it was DV footage. What if he posted it and didn't specify if it was film or DV with effects? I just have a feeling that we as videographers are shooting on film because of how it makes US feel about the footage more than how the client actually receives it.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 01:29 AM   #14
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Nice work Ryan. We have the same camera and it fits our needs so far. I have a couple projects where we used Super 8...inspired by Chris Jones :) Used on a TTD shoot and it really gives it a unique organic look. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks John. It's a ton of fun shoot. I really enjoy the thrill of it. The camera itself is great, and works like a charm.

TTD=?
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Old June 25th, 2008, 01:38 AM   #15
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I can't remember the exact settings, but I basically reduced the contrast and saturation, added some sepia-toning, reduced the framerate, added grain and blew out highlights. These filters were layered and it took some experimenting to get it right, but it looked great I think. For that section I also chose a song that had an old scratchy recording sound to it (it was a Van Morrison song), and that just sold the look perfectly.

I find it fascinating that, despite the awesomeness of HD and the skillfullness of many videographers, there are people who want that "amateurish" look to their video. I understand having a special section of the video to look that way, for fun, but I just don't get why someone would want their entire video from their wedding day to look like that. I know you guys are doing a special piece, but I've also seen a number of videographers that literally shoot and present the entire wedding like this.
I find a lot of clients are really into the vintage style. They enjoy the fact that it looks something along the lines of their parents wedding video and is overall a unique way to capture the events of the day and retells the story in a much more real and simple style.

We use 8mm as an add on and do not shoot all 8mm. It is shot as an extra, with the sole purpose of building a piece like this at the end. I cannot attest to the people that are shooting exclusively 8mm but in my research when I was investigating the entire concept it appeared that the companies that were running 8mm exclusively were not going the amateur route.
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