January 17, 2016

Ah, Film! This 70mm Projection Time-Lapse of 'The Hateful Eight' is Just Lovely

Anyone who knows at least a little bit about Quentin Tarantino knows that he prefers to shoot on film.

For his latest film The Hateful Eight, the director resurrected Ultra Panavision 70mm, a format that hasn't been utilized since 1966 (for Khartoum), and decided to take his film on the road to give his audiences the experience of a "grand film exhibition." Cinematography Andrew Walker was lucky enough to be one of the projectionists at one of these 59 exclusive screenings and decided to make a gorgeous time-lapse of The Hateful Eight's projection process using his Nikon D810 and a Kessler Second Shooter TLS system. Prepare to be wooed.

I love film -- celluloid. Love it.

I was the kid in the movie theater, turned backward in her seat, fixated on that little projection room window while the projectionist threaded the first reel of film. I loved everything about film: the flicker, the sound from the shutter, the little imperfections in the celluloid. Even though the film department at my university was 100% digital, I signed up to catalogue and maintain the vast collection of 16mm nontheatrical films at the U of O, because I just had this need to nurture my local celluloid culture. In fact, I was pretty heartbroken when Eugene's art house cinema, The Bijou, went digital, because I knew I wouldn't be able to experience the weird, nostalgic magic of film projection locally again. (Okay, I'm being a little dramatic.)

This short, little time-lapse was not only beautifully shot and interesting to watch, but it helped reignite in me that love of celluloid and film projection. It's a delicate and intricate process. It's very human, magical, and special. It's a bit of an event -- even a spectacle. This is something Tarantino seems to understand. He said this referring to The Hateful Eight 70mm roadshow:

The thing about the roadshows is that it made movies special. It wasn’t just a movie playing at your local theater. They would do these big musical productions before the normal release of the film. You would get a big colorful program. It was a presentation. They would play a Broadway show overture version of the soundtrack. If you’re going to shoot your movie and release it in 70mm, it’s really the way to go: twenty-four frames a second flickering through a projector, creating the illusion of movement.

Who else misses watching film on film? (I'm not talking about you lucky bastards who get to watch film projections all day, err day.) Let us know in the comments!     

Your Comment

28 Comments

It was shot on digital.

January 17, 2016 at 6:45PM, Edited January 17, 6:57PM

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Yeah, let's see if those celluloid lovers can afford to shoot timelapse on actual 35mm film stock, let alone 70mm.

Fucking wankers.

January 17, 2016 at 11:25PM, Edited January 17, 11:25PM

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Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor
1554

What is it exactly about loving celluloid that makes one a wanker?

For the record, I shot my senior thesis on anamorphic 35mm and I'm not rich, so yes, it is doable.

January 18, 2016 at 12:13PM

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Matthew Espenshade
Cinematographer
149

I think she was talking about time lapse on film.

January 18, 2016 at 9:10PM, Edited January 18, 9:10PM

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Either way, I think the vitriol is unfounded. Moreover, shooting film for a timelapse would probably be one of the more cost effective ways of shooting film.

January 19, 2016 at 6:11PM

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Matthew Espenshade
Cinematographer
149

Ron Fricke shoots time-lapse on 70mm film. And it looks beautiful.

January 21, 2016 at 11:06AM

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Mike Brown
Director of Photography, Camera Operator, Assistant Camera
166

Using celluloid for time lapse is too rare to promote it as a way for others to go. There is absolutely outstanding time lapse work being done in digital.

Here's some wonderful work from Rob Whitworth. He uses Nikon. His flow motion work, like what he did in "Barcelona GO!", is maybe the best in the world:

https://vimeo.com/robwhitworth/videos

January 21, 2016 at 11:42PM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1667

You can reminisce all you want. Film is on life support. Quentin Tarantino, Chris Nolan, Wally Pfister etc etc etc will not bring film back. Get over it, move on. It's what's in front of the camera that counts, not what's in it. The Revenant and Turner are proof it's time to pull the plug

January 17, 2016 at 7:49PM

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Steve chase
Director
181

"grand film exhibition."

So you set it in a cabin. Way to go Quintin.

"They would do these big musical productions before the normal release of the film. You would get a big colorful program. It was a presentation. They would play a Broadway show overture version of the soundtrack. If you’re going to shoot your movie and release it in 70mm, it’s really the way to go:"

So, after being filtered through the mind of Quintin Tarantino, that becomes a shallow, low grade, vulgarity charged, openly graphic ultra-violent, unconscionable blood bath.

After seeing it it was clear why Star Wars stayed in the Cinerama Dome on Christmas Day instead of Hateful 8 showing. Though it appears there was no last minute strong arming by Disney to have Star Wars shown there on Christmas Day:

"However, many sources tell Deadline that Disney secured the Dome months ago to play the Force Awakens through the holidays. This was further reflected in the fact that the Dome was an option to prospective Force Awakens ticket buyers when they went on sale on Oct. 19. Apparently, Tarantino only recently learned about the booking situation....."

http://deadline.com/2015/12/the-hateful-eight-star-wars-force-awakens-ar...

January 17, 2016 at 8:54PM, Edited January 17, 9:31PM

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I love film, and I hope that it never dies. I love the grain structure, color and dynamic range that it has. However digital sensors have caught up to film and in some cameras, surpassed it. Digital is now an acceptable and phenomenal format to tell great stories. That's what it's about right? The stories! The general audience doesn't care what you use to tell the story as long as the story is good. As filmmakers we have to get over ourselves about the tools we use. No one admires the carpenter's hammer, they admire what the carpenter builds... Analogue or digital is no longer an argument, use whatever tools you can get your hands on to tell the best story possible.

January 17, 2016 at 9:02PM

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Terrell Lamont
Director, Director of Photography
429

Anyone who knows at least a little bit about Quentin Tarantino knows that he's obsessed.

January 17, 2016 at 11:20PM, Edited January 17, 11:20PM

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Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor
1554

Pssssh, platter systems. Should've come to the Hollywood theater in Portland and filmed a reel-to-reel changeover system in action. That's legit projection work, there.

Granted it's a pretty tiny booth, not a lot of room to set up sliders n such.

January 18, 2016 at 12:12AM

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The early film roll from the late 1890s is apparently still playable in modern projectors, because of the standard film-size and holes. Pretty cool in my opinion. In 100 years a physical film might still exist.

Film is dead anyhow, but just saying-

January 18, 2016 at 5:36AM

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Joakim
319

All this fetishizing over image quality and the picture goes to hell for lack of a little Windex.

January 18, 2016 at 10:37AM

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Exactly what I was thinking!

January 18, 2016 at 5:14PM

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I'm not fond of this Film vs Digital culture. "It's human" is NOT a good argument for using a format.

In my opinion, use the best format FOR YOUR STORY. I prefer to mix within the same film and use each Format to the best of their ability.

January 18, 2016 at 10:48AM

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Reminds me of my days as an IMAX projectionist. Although I've come to accept digital projection as the norm, and, as a more consistent exhibition format, there is a magic to a pristine 70mm print that I still find transcendent.

January 18, 2016 at 11:39AM, Edited January 18, 11:39AM

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Matthew Espenshade
Cinematographer
149

There's always a lot of talk about Film vs. Digital. Well now you can see three shorts and compare them side by side. https://www.zhdk.ch/index.php?id=89942

The medium is never the most memorable part of the movie. Based on this study, the audience doesn't even care about the acquisition. Some do care about projection, most likely because it replicates a similar experience to vinyl. I personally don't care if the differences are so subtle that most people can't spot them/don't care.

January 18, 2016 at 4:58PM

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LukeP
225

" the differences are so subtle that most people can't spot them/don't care."

For this reason, those going on and on defending film don't make practical sense to me. They are the only ones caring about film being used. If for some reason film disappeared from the earth, all video work would carry on just fine in digital. And no one watching would be the wiser.

Yet I know some will go on, wasting good mental and physical strength, and good time, telling us how film must carry on.

January 21, 2016 at 11:50PM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1667

Even the DP of the next Star Wars (shooting on film) would prefer to shoot digitally, because he can make digital look exactly like film if that's what's required:
http://coudal.com/archives/2016/01/yedlin_film_v_d.php

January 18, 2016 at 7:53PM

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Like you point out, in the side by side you have to start with the position you want a 'filmic' look. More and more shooters are not caring about the filmic look. It's not what they want. It's nice to have it as an option in the settings of the camera, and in the post software. But, like has already been pointed out in this thread, the general population isn't thinking twice about what they are watching was shot on. They want good movies and tv shows. And, don't we all.

If you feel better about film than digital, USE IT.

But there's no stopping digital taking completely over. There just is no hope for film. Some day those who insist on using film will be gone. Or, they will switch to all digital. It will all be digital then. And digital is so much easier. At the point 8K becomes commonly available my be that turning point for those still sticking to film. 8K being commonly available will very likely be less than two years from now.

I think the only reason this 'debate' has life, is because those who want to stay with film can see the handwriting on the wall, and are sort of whistling past the cemetery.

January 18, 2016 at 9:41PM, Edited January 18, 9:48PM

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There are so many fools in this comment section whom evidently lack the skill, intelligence and discipline to shoot film, and it makes them angry that there are people out there who can produce better images in a more difficult medium than they could ever create with their digital, easy-bake-oven cameras. You have RAW, Log-C, and unlimited do-overs in case you couldn't be bothered to expose or focus properly the first take. Everything is provided for you and made as easy as possible by technology, to which you cling like an embarrassing and compromising addiction. Every year, some new technology emerges which promises to hold yet another part of your clean, pale hand and lead you safely through the filmmaking process. All the while, you come to falsely believe that the dumbing-down of every part of cinematography would help you to become better filmmakers, faster, when in reality these technologies do little more than stunt your intellectual growth. The struggle to master your control over the image is gone – it's been taken care of for you by a piece of software. You can now sit back, relax, and become ever-increasingly irrelevant as your job becomes ever-more accessible to hordes of other people, who, like you, would probably reconsider their careers if it weren’t that this one was so clearly becoming “easy” to get into and “master”.

Your unwarranted, unprovoked vitriol is embarrassing and you come off like climate-change deniers or Donald Trump supporters. In short, foolish, young, and naive.

God forbid it be difficult, that you have problems to solve or things to learn.

I can't wait until they come out with a camera that just does all of the work for me.

That being said, this short, shot on digital by a man who clearly loves and appreciates 70mm and everything it represents, is great. The Hateful Eight was supremely well shot and it was very special to see it projected in 70mm. Thanks for sharing this video.

January 19, 2016 at 10:11PM

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CW Smith
Director of Photography
81

Feel better?

Roger Deakins prefers digital to film. You can see him talk about it starting at 14:42 of this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hzlDmlE0wA

I'm guessing you're pretty young, CW.

January 20, 2016 at 1:30AM, Edited January 20, 1:43AM

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If CW is, in fact, young, he's wise beyond his years.

January 20, 2016 at 10:00AM

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Richard Krall
richardkrall.com
1654

So Roger Deakins "lack the skill, intelligence and discipline to shoot film", uses "easy-bake-oven cameras", and cameras that "do little more than stunt your intellectual growth", etc.?

CW is just ranting. Some people would call it trolling.

Film has no future, correct? Digital has a booming, vigorous, limitless future, doesn't it?

Richard, do you use digital or celluloid?

Also, I saw Hateful 8. It was not superb in any way. It is clear why it is not doing well in the box office. It was a vulgar movie, and I am not referring to just the language.

January 20, 2016 at 10:23AM, Edited January 20, 10:28AM

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Fools that use easy bake ovens. Well, I'm sure your right.

(You know, it's funny, that I have to make sure and say this comment is sarcasm, else some think I mean it)

January 21, 2016 at 11:53PM, Edited January 21, 11:54PM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1667

What does the medium have to do with the experience of art?

Did oil painting get worse ever since the introduction of the paint tube? Were the artists complaining that technology made their creative lives easier? Renoir said that without the paint tube there would be no Impressionism. The fact that it was easily accessible allowed them to experiment with color in ways that were never seen before.

Regardless of the medium, and the tools, the artistic principles ALWAYS HOLD. If you think that any sort of technology replaces the need for the study of: story, color, composition and lighting, then I think you're focusing on the wrong thing.

January 23, 2016 at 3:12PM, Edited January 23, 3:14PM

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LukeP
225

September 2, 2017 at 4:10AM

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sambhav
11