Super8 to HD?? Really??

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Super8 to HD?? Really??

Post by Nigel » Mon May 28, 2012 10:30 am

Seriously people...

Fuckin' stop with the bullshit.

Shoot some Super8 and have it Xfered to what ever works for you.

The fact is that no one is going to make the next great epic on Super8. That's a given. If you want to spend the money and shoot a feature on it great. Just be sure it doesn't look like "In My Image" or as I like to call it "Look No Image" and the story can't be worse than "Sleep Always" which says right in the title you will sleep always before you finish the dull ass piece of shit.

Super8 is great. We all love it. But, lets be real. It works for some things and not others. If you want to shoot a feature on it you are an idiot. If you want to shoot it because you love the way it looks great. But, lets just get things out on the table.

Super8 is not going to make every movie better.

In fact it may make things worse. If you understand that you will go a long way to helping it (Super8) as a whole.

The worst thing that can happen to Super8 is it looking like "In My Image" and "Sleep Always".

The best thing that can happen is a DP that has used it an understands it makes the effort to shoot it in a manner that puts all of its flaws and its attributes on the table. Then people will see the value in using it as a way to express themselves.

Because expression is not limited to film.

Good Luck

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Re: Super8 to HD?? Really??

Post by S8 Booster » Mon May 28, 2012 1:29 pm

did you really have to say that ;)

of course you are right. i dont think there will be many opponents to any of your views...

it is very important to differ between us hobbyists and enthusiasts and those who work with film for a living and who have to deliver - at a price and with some guarantee for the results.

S8/8mm is good great fun. lets enjoy it while available.

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

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Re: Super8 to HD?? Really??

Post by MovieStuff » Mon May 28, 2012 4:20 pm

Nigel wrote:....Just be sure it doesn't look like "In My Image" or as I like to call it "Look No Image" and the story can't be worse than "Sleep Always" which says right in the title you will sleep always before you finish the dull ass piece of shit....
Nice to have you back, as always.

Let me just say this: Like a painter, film makers work with what they have, both in terms of pallet and skill. As they learn, their skills and their pallet grows. I am sure that you are a fine film maker. But I would love to see your earliest work compared to what you are producing now, so posting some links to those efforts would be terrific. However, rather than judge whether you are doing it right or doing it wrong I, personally, will simply celebrate the fact that you are doing it.

And the title of this thread: "Super 8 to HD?? Really?" is really a misnomer. A better title would be "Super 8 for a Feature?" since any experienced film maker already knows that super 8 to HD looks better than super 8 to SD.

I'll keep subscribed to this thread. Can't wait to see the links. :)


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Re: Super8 to HD?? Really??

Post by etimh » Mon May 28, 2012 9:10 pm

Nigel wrote:Seriously people...
You are one cranky fucker.

Guy Maddin shoots some pretty killer features on Super 8. Of course there are many other things that factor in to him getting those films made and seen, and there is not that much concern with "traditional" aesthetics, but it can be done--successfully and effectively.

So go suck it, man. :wink:

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Re: Super8 to HD?? Really??

Post by Will2 » Tue May 29, 2012 2:46 am

Super 8 to HD? Yes.

I just finished editing some Super 8 footage that I had Dwayne's photo process and transfer (in SD) for me. They are nice folks and don't charge very much, but their transfer is really bad. Just trying to color correct a little brings out all sorts of bad video-like artifacts. Since I'm not a colorist, I prefer the careful color correction and higher-end equipment that a Cinelicous or Lightpress can offer. Massive difference in quality. I'm sending that reel back out for re-transfer now. I know there are great SD transfers to be had out there to be had, I just like to stick with what I know.

Super 8 for a feature? No.

...Unless you are just doing it for fun or to try it. I don't think I could sit through a Super 8 feature on a big screen even if Spielburg directed it. Just like I had trouble seeing a few of those DV shot "films" on the big screen. Small screen, sure. Big screen, not so much. Even though some were actually good stories, actors and direction; that DV thing just got in the way of me enjoying it...probably the same thing would happen on a Super 8 feature. Regular 16mm reversal film sure, but Super 8 for 90 minutes is pushing tolerances for me.

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Re: Super8 to HD?? Really??

Post by lightmachine » Tue May 29, 2012 3:06 am

I think it's a slap in the face to digital and I'd see it, buy it and support it just because.
A well done super 8mm film would be El mariachi ish and get notoriety I think. You could do a film out to 35 and combine separate shots, two for the back-round, one for each subject rotoscoped in. Keep the budget down with stills as back-rounds. I can see it. Hmmm. Just a thought.

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Re: Super8 to HD?? Really??

Post by David M. Leugers » Tue May 29, 2012 7:01 am

I don't think anyone here on this forum thinks S-8mm is the best film format to shoot a feature on. But, one certainly can create their own personal visions in a feature length film shot on S-8mm. Why not? Especially with the advances in transfer services including image stability it can look very good. Such films are aimed at internet and DVD release. Using the examples of S-8mm features shot and transferred years ago without benefit of what is available now, and to suggest the completed films would compete with Hollywood on the big screen is disingenuous. There can be no more difficult way of making a feature than to have no budget and very limited resources to accomplish a finished film. I have tremendous respect for anyone having the perseverance to accomplish creating a feature film on any film format. Being a critic is no accomplishment, opinions are like assholes = everybody's got one. I own a copy of "Sleep Always" and I enjoy it especially knowing what it took to get made and the low tech no-budget transfer it received. I have seen far worse "professional" art films in my time... oops, that's just my opinion. :)

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Re: Super8 to HD?? Really??

Post by Pj » Tue May 29, 2012 11:30 am

A transfer of Super 8 to HD is better, especially when watching films on a 50-inch TV screen, here an SD transfer won’t look as good, this topic has been widely discussed here. In my opinion a well done SD transfer of Super 8 can look very good, a HD transfer will look better, but when film is projected to a 50-inch screen with a Super 8 projector it looks better than both HD and SD.

The final success [I don’t mean commercial success] of any film depends on many factors, but essentially it’s all about the script-how the story is told. Actors, technicians and most crucially the DP all shape the process, but if the script, the blueprint is weak then no matter what format the end result will be poor. People are using Super 8 for features; their success is dependent on a variety of factors.

Super 8 is what it is and we should enjoy it while it’s with us. Some people use it to create a ‘look’, which is a combination of the colours, grain, blemishes, flicker and the speeds that are unique to Super 8. This ‘look’ can’t really be created digitally with ease. Then there are others [like me] who are attracted to Super 8 because it is film and it is incredibly portable, which means it's cheap, used with a 16mm mentality, by people who understand it and photography and very good transfers then the end result is amazing especially on television. I often recommend it for non-broadcast projects, like training videos and corporate videos, which are often shot digitall and by nature are quite dull, but filming them on Super 8 isn't expensive and gives such projects nore visual texture.


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Re: Super8 to HD?? Really??

Post by MitchPerkins » Tue May 29, 2012 7:45 pm

Nigel wrote: If you want to spend the money and shoot a feature on it great...

...If you want to shoot a feature on it you are an idiot.
Got it!


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Re: Super8 to HD?? Really??

Post by carllooper » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:35 am

What is a feature film?

At film school we were taught anything less than 60 minutes is a short film and anything more is a feature. That might sound like a rather minimalist definition but I think it's a good one precisely because it is so minimalist.

Based on this definition I could put together a feature film from all the Super8 I shot in the 70s, no problem. A personal document of teenage life. And it would be a feature film. I' could add a soundtrack with a voice over talking of my life back then. No problem.

But the idiot who started this thread - with some bee in his bonnet about what a "feature film" is, would probably look at it and say: that's not a feature film.

To which I'd ask: well then what is a feature film?

Is a feature film something that must meet certain technical criteria, for example, criteria that would exclude Super8? This would seem to be what is being implied - that Super8 has some "other" qualities that need to be explored (to which I certainly would agree) but for some perverse reason, the so called "professional" (at what?) seems to think it does not have qualities that lend themselves to feature films.

Perhaps the argument is against those who are experimenting in enhancing Super8, in the digital domain, to look better than it otherwise might, to compete on a purely technical level with 16mm, 35mm and digital feature films. To which I'd say: "why not?" Certainly there is more to film making than that, but that doesn't mean the technical is irrelevant. I certainly find enhancing small gauge film such as Super8 works for me, ie. in a way that is technically competitive with 16mm, 35mm and digital. It's a bit of a different look but it's entirely watchable on a big screen. For me it's even more than that. It's just incredibly beautiful. It adds a new and different dimension to how gauges such as Super8 mediate. But of course that isn't what will make the film. It's just a technical thing that can work in partnership with all the other stuff that goes into making a film.

But perhaps the best argument against the diatribe initiating this thread is that if the films mentioned are as bad as suggested then what is the author suggesting that has got to do with Super8 and it's transfer to HD?


ps. I saw Prometheus the other day and it was god awful. No amount of technical excellence can fool me into thinking a sketchy unconvincing plot and cliche ridden undeveloped characters is anything other than just that. In other words, give me a well considered thoughtful Super8 film any day.
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Re: Super8 to HD?? Really??

Post by carllooper » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:02 am

Just watched the interview with the director of In My Image. The film sounds really interesting. What exactly is Nigel's problem? That is was shot on Super8? I'm still puzzled.

I've re-read the post a number of times and I still don't get it. Looking at the stills for In my Image they do look a little on the flimsy side. Is that what Nigel is on about? One can certainly get more out of Super8 than the filmmaker has managed to achieve, but I wouldn't hold that against the film. If it's an interesting film (and it sounds interesting) then I imagine the technical quality need not be too much of an issue.

Or is Nigel pointing his finger at this film and saying that it's representative of what Super8 will always look like? I can't follow Nigels' diatribe. How does Nigel's reference to HD figure? From what I can tell at the film's site the film was transferred at SD.

Re-reading Nigels' diatribe I think he's mistaking the SD transfer as representative of Super8 in general - that no matter what rez you transfer Super8 it will always look like the stills from this particular film.

As everyone who has seen and experienced VideoFred's excellent work Super8 can look so much better. In other words, the stills from in My Image are not representative of what Super8 can look like. So I don't quite see how this film would demonstrate that making a feature on Super8 is idiotic. If this particular film is idiotic (but it certainly doesn't sound like it) that doesn't mean someone else, with a little creative and technical energy can't do better.

Looking at the site for Sleep Always that film looks really interesting as well. Hell, it won an award. So Nigel thinks it's a peice of shit. But once again - so what? Even if it was a piece of shit what has that got to do with Super8? Making a feature film on Super8 does not depend on whether others have succeeded or failed. Or whether you find someone elses work boring or not. It depends on what you as a filmmaker make.

Nigel is the one full of shit. The sooner he recognises that the better he'll sleep.


ps. I just watched Passolini's Theorem with a young Terence Stamp. I must admit I fell asleep during it but caught the second half. Now I can't get it out of my mind. Am watching it again, fully wake. What seemed "boring" when watching it the first time is now vivid and and riveting. It's somehow cleared a lot of cobwebs in my brain. I'm now more awake now than I've been in weeks. Excellent film.
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Re: Super8 to HD?? Really??

Post by grainy » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:19 am

Not sure if the point is "super 8 to HD" or "Super 8 as a feature format"... but, ah, Nigel, what's your point? To keep someone else from doing something different?
I thought you were transfixed by video anyway.

Man, the easiest, most tiresome thing in the world is to mock the outsider idea. That'll make you really popular among some 13 years olds.

But the outsider is often where new ideas come from, especially in the arts. In fact, the National Endowment of the Arts in the US was formed explicltly to support unpopular ideas (well... until recently).

And, everyone knows that if there is a technical problem that scares away filmgoers, it ain't picture, it's audio.
Bad audio makes people hate a movie as they watch it.

Lack of syncronized sound scares people away from trying it, but most people kinda like silent films when they can see them in the theater with live music.

I've never heard of anyone walking out of a film because the picture quality was too grainy.

As long as you don't swing the camera around in a sickness-inducing fashion, I see no reason to not make a film in Super 8 other than

1 - concern about the age/durability of consumer grade cameras
2 - concern that your film will look different than other films.

I honestly don't get what the appeal of this forum is to you, besides to get attention.
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Re: Super8 to HD?? Really??

Post by carllooper » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:58 am

I just realised that Scotness, on this forum, is the director of "In My Image".

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Re: Super8 to HD?? Really??

Post by Scotness » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:55 am

I had to laugh when I read these! Nigel's just stirring the possum I think (on the topic of which where's Mattias!!)

But look In My Image has it's good and bad points - and I learnt so much from it it was a very worthwhile exercise for me for that alone.

Bad points:
- crap sound
- staid direction
- some wooden acting
- some bad jitter
- some compression artefacting

Good points:
- Some great looking super 8
- Some really good acting
- A seriously good script and themes
- Great plane foreground miniatures

Some things some people seem to struggle with is some of the underexposed interior shots - but I think they look great. Much of the lighting could have been better but we didn't have much equipment to work with, so some of it was always going to be poor. Some of the outdoor shots are awesome though.

But anyway there it is - a piece of history now if you ask me - but one I've learnt from - pretty well all the mistakes were down to inexperience on our part (particularly mine) - this was after all my first film ever - and a period feature at that. I really believe in the script though and think it is quite good.

I've often thought of going back and transferring it to HD - I could really fix the compression artefacting on the DVD - and I'd redo the audio too ~ but I don't think I will - I'd end up with a great version of something that is average and so it's probably not worth doing, as much as I would like to. I'd have to get many different actors in for the voice overs - many have moved and Joseph Regione who played Jainantu has passed away.

If I ever make it into the big time I'd love to remake it - in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.

As a side note too we shot on Super 8 as I thought that would give us the best quality for our budget then (2001) - if I did it now no doubt it would have been HD - but the film stock added so much to it I think which we wouldn't have got with HD or any other video, and I'm really glad we did it on Super 8 - despite some of the difficulties we weren't prepared for.

I quite enjoyed Sleep Always too you know - I thought it was a better made film than IMI, but I enjoyed my story and themes more though. I really liked what they did with SA and how the shooting style and look really matted with the subject matter.

To just broaden this topic out a bit if I'm not getting too far off topic - I put a post on indieclub recently about the hardest thing I've found with low budget film making - this is it:
When you have little or no budget you are limited in so many things - especially the quality of people you can get and the time you can get them for. So if something goes wrong or just isn't developing as it should you have very little room to move to fix it - you can't reschedule everything because then other cast and crew won't be able to work on the new times and you end up in a situation where the focus is on just completing the work rather than the quality of it. So on one hand it's good it gets completed, but on the other hand its bad because you end up with an unsellable film and all that time and money blown. The only thing you get out of it then is the learning experience, and there's only so many times you need that.
I found this big time on my most recent feature It's Brisbane Tonight Wow! - and from now on I've decided only to do things within my means - I guess with In My Image I was so focussed on the micro issues I didn't really see this -- I mean a films fate is almost sealed right from before you start shooting. Once you have all the elements in place they will either play out to their best of their abilities (which still only be average if you can only get average people and gear) - or they will cause problems and you'll be more focussed on just fixing them regardless of the diminishing quality of the film.

I guess to make a good film - you need a lot of good resources - either actively employed or up your sleeve for if you need them.

But In My Image and Sleep Always were both definitely worth while endeavours in my opinion

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Re: Super8 to HD?? Really??

Post by carllooper » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:15 pm

Thanks Scott.

Working within one's means is the best lesson I ever learnt. Celebrating what one can do, rather than dreaming of or being fustrated by what one can't. We're continually being sold desires that are out of our reach, when the best we can do is actually right there in front of us, or around the corner. Whether it's on film or digital or in some other medium, it doesn't actually matter. You work with what you can.

If I were to do a feature film today I'd also shoot digital because I can't afford otherwise. But in that context I'd look at what digital itself is, or could be. What is the right philosophy for it? Not as a substitute for film but as something interesting in it's own right.

I'm currently working with film because I like it - for all sorts of reasons - not because I necessarily dislike video/digital (back in the 70s it was a different story) but it does mean I can only make short films (in my present circumstances). There isn't any money to be made in the process. I just pour money into it. I don't get nay money out of it. As a result it can be a slow process. But the cool thing is that I can make the film exactly the way I think it should be made - which includes a lot of input from others - but it's not at the mercy of stupid arguments such as: will an audience buy it or be bored, etc.

You can't second guess an audience. Or rather, you can try but it won't be a real audience you are guessing, it can only be some stupid corner of your brain making stupid assumptions about what an audience wants - while the rest of your brain - which has much better ideas - is left out of the process - contributing nothing.

An audience is ultimately whoever sees your work and what they think of it. Until then the audience is just some kind of mythological entity. The issue is what sort of mythological entity do you construct in advance of the real audience? What to use as a proxy? The best proxy, it seems to me, is yourself. A real person rather than a mythological construct. What would you, as a real person, like to see on the screen? Anything else is just imploding bullshit going nowhere.

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