September 6, 2014 at 8:07AM



Hi, very novice question but was wondering can you shoot a feature on digital then make celluloid prints via some sort of transfer from nle software etc?
Any clarity is much appreciated!


Yes. This is called a film-out and it has been done for decades now. It's not cheap though and you can't do it at home unless you grab a film camera and shoot your monitor. But I wouldn't recommend that even though I have heard of one indie production that did that.

September 6, 2014 at 8:18AM

Mike Tesh
Pro Video / Indie Filmmaker

Thanks man. And do you know if projected, the movie would look the same as if it were shot on celluloid?

Tom Smith

September 6, 2014 at 8:55AM

Hey Tom,

That's what was done on this film:

Getting a film out is very expensive, and if you were projecting in a theater, it's pretty much got to be digital now as most of them have changed over to digital projectors (though that's obviously not 100% the case).

September 6, 2014 at 9:06AM

Joe Marine
Camera Department

Thanks man that is an excellent link. That short film looks so beautiful. I really hope there is a post celluloid revival. Gonna watch the webinar now ;)

Tom Smith

September 6, 2014 at 9:34AM

By now the theaters are digital and it's easier to make a DCP for them to project your "Digital Print" as even movies shot on film are being projected digitally. That said, yes you can do a film print of your digitally acquired movie. It's called a "Film Out" and has been done on a few movies in the last few years that were shot digitally but projected via film reels.

Your above question to one response about whether it would look as if it were shot on celluloid it it was shot digitally but shown on a film print is a tougher question to answer based on variables. The movie may look like digital still because of the way that it was shot in the first place. There are a lot of great movies now shot on the ARRI ALEXA or RED EPIC DRAGON that look like film, and thus would look more film-like when projected on celluloid. However, that doesn't mean that it won't look like a digital movie being projected on film if it was shot in a way that proves to be digital looking. Soderbergh's The Girlfriend Experience comes to mind. I saw that in theaters projected in film, but it was shot on the RED ONE. It looked like digital still. Of course I hated the way that movie looked. However Che, which Soderbergh also shot on the RED ONE, looked more filmic. I can't remember if that was projected on film or digital.

Hope this helps.

September 7, 2014 at 11:06AM

Tim Buttner
Multi-Media Expert (writer, director, producer, D.O.P., etc)

Yeah, film-outs are great. I say go for it! Get in contact with labs. Maybe find a theatre that will show your print or scan the film-out like they did on Curfew. For a film I'm doing next year I'll be shooting on 16mm, scanning, and I'm going to have a film out made from the scan alongside the dcp because I know of a few theatres that still show film in my area that I want to show it at.

September 16, 2014 at 8:37PM

Peter Phillips

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