December 4, 2015 at 9:31AM

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Someone Please Explain (8mm, 16mm, 35mm etc.)

I am having a really hard time understanding (8mm,16mm,35mm) what are these called collectively.

Someone, or many, please explain VERY SIMPLY what all of that means and how it translates to the look of a film. I have read probably 50 online explanations of this and still don't get it, OR it's simpler than I am aware of.

And while you're at it, please explain to me how you edit film. Is it possible to end up with actual film being edited on premiere? Or is it physically manipulated?

Thanks ahead of time.

7 Comments

And, for good measure, please explain the "super." And anything else that you think would be helpful for that matter. Thanks again.

December 4, 2015 at 9:36AM

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Nathan Karimi
Writer/ Director
245

These are film-stock formats designed for film cameras that shoot each format. Here's what the different film-stocks physically look like: http://goo.gl/o4MpO8

"Super" means a larger format than the standard format. This is done by either making smaller sprocket holes in the film ( Super 8mm ), or by only having sprocket holes on only one side of the film ( Super 16mm ), or by eliminating the audio track. ( Super 35mm )

35mm Film-stock Formats
https://goo.gl/GEZIbs

December 4, 2015 at 1:40PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30262

To actually edit images shot on film in Premiere, one must digitize the film media. Blackmagic Design make such a product: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/cintel

December 4, 2015 at 2:43PM

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So, what does that mean for the big screen? Does something shot on 8,16,35 etc. LOOK different. And is it just Aspect Ratio that's different? In my mind it's the letterboxes that show the difference. True?

2nd question, I am pretty broke right now but I am making movies as often as I can. Outside of nostalgia and the inherent value of film itself, is there anything that I'm missing by shooting digitally?

I keep on going back and forth between maybe getting an 8mm camera or even a 16 just to learn but I don't want to waste any of my precious $ on my tight budget.

Thanks everyone.

December 4, 2015 at 2:59PM

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Nathan Karimi
Writer/ Director
245

I could be wrong here, but I believe the different format of film stock is kind of relatable to the different sizes of digital sensors. So the size of the film stock will affect the depth of field mainly, and the type of lenses you can use. There are no "speedboosters" for film, so if you use 8mm, you'll be stuck with a harder time getting a shallow depth of field - I think.
Also, stock itself has different looks. One 8mm might not look like another 8mm.
Film has extremely accurate colors and a lively grain, which is sometimes hard to replicate using a digital sensor. That being said, it does not necessarily make your image "better," and certainly doesn't make your story better.
If you have the money and the time, I think it'd be a lot of fun to shoot on film and learn the process.
Tight budget? Not worth it. Buy or rent a nice digital camera, maybe download something like FilmConvert and learn grading, light well, tell a good story, and you won't notice the difference (and even if you do, you won't really care - it will still look great).

Ben Meredith

December 4, 2015 at 3:58PM

Making movies is about stories. The equipment is secondary or even tertiary. Digital is incredible for learning. You can make your digital work even better by following the same strict on-set rules for capturing with film (check your exposure, focus, know your color temp, don't plan to fix in post).

I've used super8 from these guys for short sequences in bigger projects before. It's a good place to learn about pricing / run times / looks: http://www.pro8mm.com

Zack Wallnau

December 6, 2015 at 8:10PM

>>>Does something shot on 8,16,35 etc. LOOK different.

The larger the shooting format the less grain and more detail you will see in your image. ( or the reverse: the smaller the shooting format the more grain and less detail you will see in your image )

>>>2nd question, I am pretty broke right now but I am making movies as often as I can. Outside of nostalgia and the inherent value of film itself, is there anything that I'm missing by shooting digitally?

It's easier to get the "film look" by shooting on film, where shooting digitally requires more work when shooting and more work in post production to get the "film look".

Digital is far cheaper to shoot, and as long as you are prepared for the amount of work involved ( when shooting and in post ) you can create the "film look" with an affordable camera.

December 4, 2015 at 6:28PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30262

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