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Listen Up Philip (2014) The Squid and the Whale (2005) Half Nelson (2006) Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) The Squid and the Whale (2005) Steve Jobs (2015) Carol (2015) Steve Jobs (2015) Steve Jobs (2015) Listen Up Philip (2015) Slacker (1991) Carol (2015) Moonrise Kingdom (2012) Fruitvale Station (2013) Black Swan (2010) Jackie (2016) The Hurt Locker (2009) Certain Women (2016) The Conjuring (2013) Blue Valentine (2010) Wendy and Lucy (2008) Listen Up Philip (2014) The Wrestler (2008) Black Swan (2010) Fruitvale Station (2013)

54 thoughts on “In Praise of 16mm

  1. I'm not a filmmaker (more into photography), but why not just buy a Blackmagic camera or two for a fraction of your quoted film and digital costs? Is there such a big difference between that and a fancy Arri for productions with the budget you're talking about.
    A lighter camera would also allow you to use less heavy duty stabilizing methods (tripods, sliders, steadycam-like stuff), so even more cost savings. I think. (again, I'm not a filmmaker)

  2. I think one thing that can prove your point a little more is space on a hard drive / media can cost a lot ,especially with bigger cameras like red, and arri. that alone can add possibly another thousand dollars, depending on the length.

  3. I have filmed in Super8mm (a ton), in 16mm (quite a bit) and 35mm (luckily: little). Last 20 years, though, I filmed digitally. Last 2 years in 25Mb HD. I never look back. Never! And you don't mention all the limitations in 16mm editing. Or does it end up digitally? Hmmm …

  4. I shoot both a SLR Film Camera and the New Sony Mirrorless A7iii camera. There just something about the film that's better. It handles light so much better, as it doesn't capture light in a linear fashion like digital sensors. Plus it's True RGB and not like a digital sensor that is Bayor Pattern RGB.

  5. Digital looks like a glorified YouTube video. There's some inherent cheapness to it, I don't know how to describe it. And it seems like you need a really good DP to make digitial not look like shit. It's almost like an achivement when digital looks good.

  6. there is something more compelling about imagery that is one degree separated from reality than something 1:1 with reality. This is why film and other holdovers like 24 frames per second work while more true to life color science and frame rates don't.

  7. Never apologize.
    Leaving Las Vegas was shot in super 16 and won Oscars. It's still about content. The Story. I had an Arri 16 with Lenses for years. Sold the rig for almost what I paid for it. Kubrick had his own equipment and he did ok.

  8. Dude how do you not have 12 billion subs? Your work is so compelling, so interesting, your editing work alone is worth it’s own series of essays.

  9. I went to film school when we still used film – so fun! We used 16mm for some of our graduation films and it really does look good. Digital looks great today, too, but film seemed to have a special look and feel, and also made you think way more carefully about what you wanted to shoot. That stuff’s EXPENSIVE! But fear not, about 30% of Hollywood films are still shot on film, even in 2019.

  10. I do wonder about one thing.How much better can the quality of filmed images get?I mean you can't realistically see better than what your own eyesight is like.If you're borderline blind then it doen't matter if the image captured is highly detailed or expressive or whatever it will still be hard to discern anything.But even for a person with normal eyesight there is a limit right?You cannot see better than what you can see in the real world.So how much better can it be made?You cannot have better picture quality than what you can see in the real world.

  11. My solution to a common "I'd love to shoot on film, but I'm both unprepared and have no budget" is as idiosyncratic as it can possibly get: I own a cheap 35mm Nikon photo camera and for specific shots I stop-motion the actors in the shot. Or try and create an illusion of very slow camera movement for establishing shots. I knew from the start when I decided to make a feature film that I wanted at least something shot on film, so I decided on that crappy method very early on, but it took me at least three years to shoot the first shot that way.

  12. just buy a Black Magic Pocket Cinema 4k, 1300 dollars. A lens: extra 700, so that makes 2000$. SSD card: so looking around 2300$. Do post production in Davinci Resolve, some 16mm grain and done.

  13. I’m not sure how much it would move the needle, but regardless of how much one would spend on renting and operating a film camera vs a digital camera, shouldn’t you factor in the time it takes to load reel after reel of film into the camera, light meter and measure focal distance for every shot, not to mention developing costs (or the money for film developing materials, if you’re really crazy). I love shooting on film too, but all of that is more headache you don’t have to worry about with a digital camera.

  14. if everyone used 16 mm there would be no nuance and it wouldn't differentiate one film from the next. It would be the destruction of art.

  15. I like film too, and I'm a huge fan of that soft, grainy look, but saying it's "better" than digital is a bit of a fallacy. It's subjective to whatever project you want to work on. If I'm making a sleek and futuristic sci-fi, then digital may give that sterile clean look that's required, but if I make a horror movie then 16mm with it's grain and hairs would evoke the classic 70s look perfectly.

    Film is only desirable becasue we've had so much conditioning over the last hundred years or so. Trust me, if digital had come first then people would be wanting to replicate that look on film.

  16. It is not hte technology that makes the artist. It is so secondary…
    If you have nothing to say as an artist you start to talk about the gear.

  17. I mean, get a couple of old DVX-100s with animorphic lenses to get a proper aspect ratio and add a bit of post processing and with just a grand or two you could film a movie that looks almost as good as 16mm. Pretty sure you can still find miniDV tapes brand new even today.

  18. Super 16 like other film has a natural grit and depth. The digital filters developed to achive these effects lack soul.

  19. Well done. Now how about an episode on the glories of Kodak XX 16mm b&w film? I enter into evidence Charles Burnett's "Killer of Sheep".

  20. Buuuuut….for those of us who actually rent production equipment we know that most rental houses operate in a three day week.

    So a $2500/day camera body is not $12,500 for a 5 day week, it’s $7,500 for a three day week.

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