Is the end near?

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jaxshooter
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Re: Is the end near?

Post by jaxshooter » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:57 am

wahiba wrote:Film is an old technology. It is also a relatively simple technology. current technologies can regularly reproduce older technologies. So why not the small scale manufacture of film? Old mechanical cameras are going to be around for a long time. My standard 8 metal cameras are certainly survivng better than electric super 8 machines.
Photography did not kill painting, so why should digital imaging kill film imaging?

There has to be enough of a niche market to continue justifying the manufacture of emulsions and packaging a reliable product. It would mean an operation running on a break even at best basis. Personally I think the labor of love thing only goes so far, so while photography didn't kill oil paintings, oil painting's didn't have film's overhead.
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Re: Is the end near?

Post by mr8mm » Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:34 am

Regarding the Wittner report. The plant that Wittner visited was the Windsor Colorado facility. That facility was shut down and all equipment moved to Rochester. Unfortunately not all of the employees moved to Rochester.

Just because 64T is not available as a 16mm product does not mean that it is not slit to 16mm then slit to S8 and loaded into carts.

J.S.

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Re: Is the end near?

Post by Juno » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:53 am

mr8mm wrote:
Just because 64T is not available as a 16mm product does not mean that it is not slit to 16mm then slit to S8 and loaded into carts.

J.S.
Then they should provide it in R8 along with 100D!

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Re: Is the end near?

Post by S8 Booster » Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:15 pm

in an earlier post regarding print (feature film copies) films there was shown a machine which slit 35mm unperf directly into 4x8mm but the 35mm was reperfed for 8mm prior to slit.

thus any film material may be avail in 8mm.

shoot.....
..tnx for reminding me Michael Lehnert.... or Santo or.... cinematography.com super8 - the forum of Rednex, Wannabees and Pretenders...

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Re: Is the end near?

Post by mr_x » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:39 pm

just for good measure - i read somewhere that all digital movie-makers were being urged to archive their work in film format for archiving and posterity; plus the fact digital big screen epics are apparently shot in photographic emulsion - but the colour emulsion negative is then digitalised - so the film positive never gets to see the light of day - bit like teleciné i guess?

there is something on film over digital longevity here:

http://carsonwilson.com/apples/index.ph ... mages.html

R

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Re: Is the end near?

Post by jaxshooter » Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:32 am

mr_x wrote:just for good measure - i read somewhere that all digital movie-makers were being urged to archive their work in film format for archiving and posterity; plus the fact digital big screen epics are apparently shot in photographic emulsion - but the colour emulsion negative is then digitalised - so the film positive never gets to see the light of day - bit like teleciné i guess?

there is something on film over digital longevity here:

http://carsonwilson.com/apples/index.ph ... mages.html

R

One of the big obstacles in the digital wprld has been projection. While great strides have been made in digital exhibition, the cost of the new equipment is still prohibitive for many theater chains at this time and all the bugs have not been completely worked out.
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Re: Is the end near?

Post by mr_x » Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:18 am

you mean digital projectors like in schools and conference centres? the lamps are almost as expensive as the projectors and the results up close were nothing to write home about from the ones i saw

whatever you do digitally you cannot escape the graphic pixel which gets you in the end, a square block, horrible thing, give me photo emulsion any day! ;)

they've been trying to re-invent oil paint for 600 years (and failed) presumably the same thing will be tried with photo emulsion :roll:

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Re: Is the end near?

Post by jaxshooter » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:06 am

mr_x wrote:you mean digital projectors like in schools and conference centres? the lamps are almost as expensive as the projectors and the results up close were nothing to write home about from the ones i saw

whatever you do digitally you cannot escape the graphic pixel which gets you in the end, a square block, horrible thing, give me photo emulsion any day! ;)

they've been trying to re-invent oil paint for 600 years (and failed) presumably the same thing will be tried with photo emulsion :roll:

I'm talking about theatrical digital projection. It's a slow conversion mainly due to the expense. The price tag I heard for one that can fill a 50 foot screen is around 90 grand which makes it currently too expensive for most theatre chains to covert all of their auditoriums. Plus, it's my understanding that one movie takes between 4 to 6 hours to download, however,film platter buildups and breakdowns are time consuming as well.Like you say, also, there's the problem of blocky artifacts, but I think that's something that will lessen as the technology progresses and no technology is without it's problems. Can you really say blocky artifacts are any less offensive than a dirty or serverely scratched print with multiple splices? I've had to endure such in cheaper theatres.

As much as I love film, though, I feel the electronic conversion of the industry to be ineveitable eventually. While we purists may appreciate the subtle nuances that film brings to the image, purists don't count for that much on the grand mass scale of consumers and that's unfortunately what will decide the future outcome of the moving image. Remember we live in a world that's run by banks and if you want to make a case for film, you're going to have to prove that those subtle nuances make the difference in bottom line profit, enough of a difference to justify half a million dollars at least in a movie's budget.

As far as keeping an addiction alive it's going to take the grass roots efforts of individuals to operate on a labour of love basis, just breaking even, if that ,to continue manufacturing film emulsions, loading them in reliable cartiridges (I've had my share of bad ones during my recent super 8 attempts, NOT something I ever experienced when I shot super 8 back in it;s heyday when it was a viable production and home movie format) Then you have processing to deal with and it seems like every year environmental regulations get stricter and another emulsion bites the dust because it's environmentally unfriendly to process and deal with the waste chemicals.

Also, an addiction isn't an art form, a means of expression and especially not a business, so while we're all mourning the inevitable,I feel we should try to look at the new electronic formats not as competition, but as an ineveitable next step in the evolution of the moving image. We may lose the sacrosanct pure film look, but we may gain a hell of a lot more in that the lack of expense (no more film stock or lab costs)has already made more small independent productions possible which would not have been possible with film. I've personally witnessed too many potential projects go down the tubes because the film makers insisted on attempting to do a feature in 35mm, 16mm or super 8 with no money.

Once back in the 90's I was shooting a commercial and my gaffer was commenting on the then new HD video formats he had been working with. I asked if it looked like film and he replied that it didn't llok like video and it didn't look like film to him, but something different. This to me is something positive.

The future doesn't have to be doom and gloom just because the Beaulieu 4008 ZM2 ends up in a museum display.
Marty Hamrick

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mr_x
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Re: Is the end near?

Post by mr_x » Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:51 pm

Hi Marty,

i like time-worn or ‘scratchy’ prints, i abhor digital filters which attempt to mimic this effect – this only serves to highlight the screaming insecurity which is digital video; analogue video looked a bit more creatively plastic than dv but ultimately i gave up on trying to get vhs video to do anything other than what it did anyway, unsatisfying texture in unsatisfying colour

Money talks: as long as there is a grass-roots call for analogue film technology there will always be small firms somewhere who can supply that requirement: the minus side of the equation is that we lose, for example, the seamless tech that was and still is Kodak movie cartridges: but hey, i’ve been breaking film out of Kodak carts and re-exposing it in Kaccema cartridges and they run sweet as saccharine, after you’ve sweated through the ‘try out’ stage. The biggest blow is the loss of ‘high street experts’ who laboured away in the back of local stores and could repair your ciné camera or projector – those guys have gone or have gone ‘mail order’ – i think the only firm who revamp ciné cameras is in the USA now, several of my battery motor cameras are showing signs of terminal age and need urgent repairs. mercifully Regular 8 is starting to come to the fore in this respect and i now have several Regular 8 cameras up and running.

Art is an addiction – and an expensive one at that – nothing is ever going to alter that.

I play with digital media in a creative way – it’s just another tool - so i’m not some retro-century Luddite when it comes to the movies, but then again i have played around with acrylic paints in the past which only underlined the quality and aesthetic depth of oil paint: look at 3D movie making – pretty cool, pretty cool – now take the finest Cézanne or Matisse painting you can find and film it in state-of-the-art 3D, what do you notice, not a great deal of change, these artists were abolishing ‘space’ in the early 20th century after the medieval Renaissance artists rediscovered 3D perspective from the subterranean wall paintings of ancient Rome, so we need to view the latest novel entertainments that technology can provide us with in some form of objective context i feel. Equally computer graphics are just that - graphics - this technology is coming from a different direction which is why the end result will always be vaguely unsatisfying, no matter how many billions are spent on it, fine art and graphics art are two separate disciplines which is presumably why 'silver screen' film-makers are still using a hybrid analogue-digital technique to achieve the richness of texture that digital media alone cannot provide?

kind thanks :wink:

R

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Re: Is the end near?

Post by jaxshooter » Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:39 am

I think what we really lost when film lost it's foothold is our craftsmans' exclusivity. I started out in 16mm's heyday and back then, a 15 minute film, what would be called an infomercial today would cost the client between 15 to 40 thousand dollars and would require an entire crew with a producer/director, cameraman, soundman,gaffer,grips, actors, etc. There was enough work then to keep cast and crew on a steady payroll, in many places these folks were union and made good livings. Then you had the lab that could employ between a dozen to more than a hundred folks,all making comfortable livings with benefits as these jobs required skilled professionals.

When video took over, small fly by night production companies began popping up, some being run by bored housewives and others when the ease of the technology brought out their needs to be Cecil B. DeMille or Felini wannabes. The same infomercial could now be done by virtually anyone for next to nothing, so many people lost jobs and careers.

Personally what I would like to see are more co op organizations where people interested can trade skills and resources and niche art forms can get new life. I have a few dreams of some new cameras being produced by enterprising and creative folks, perhaps modifications of old 16mm or regular 8 cameras into a single strand roll super 8 cameras with multiple crystal speeds, interchangeable lenses and at least a 200 foot capacity. If such could be produced for,say, under 3 grand, below the price of a comparable HDV camcorder, then I wouldn't be so weary from trying to revive now almost 40 year old cartridge cameras. A roll type camera would eliminate the plastic pressure plate issues and free the cameraman of those awful 2 minute loads.



I love film and the 8mm format, I hate the super 8 cartridge. Single 8 was definitely an improvement but having to ship film back and forth from Japan is impractical for me. DS8 is cool, but here again, the problems of stock and handling are discouraging. Single strand rolls could be bought in bulk and dowloaded into magazines much easier than carts can be loaded.

Now all I need is a project where the use of film could be economically justified. :(
Marty Hamrick

Cinematographer

Windsor, Ontario

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