MINUTE AND NO NEGATIVE?
upside is the cost of
production. You could literally shoot the whole thing on a couple
hundred bucks of tape, edit it and have a finished video for what,
couple thousand? Then take that finished video in what ever format you
finish in (digital, Beta, hi 8) and hand it to a lab to turn into a
Beware. One of the medium prices quoted at a popular lab is 425$ per
minute of running time for projects longer than 60 minutes. They will
produce a negative and optical track. What you get back is a print and
that's it bub. They keep the negative and the optical track and you
have to pay extra
to extract it from them, if that's even possible. What they will
do is give you answer prints at whatever price they deem apropos for
answer prints. Be careful.
Also be sure that it's what you want. I recently screened all formats
transferred on this process at a lab and my feelings have not changed
last 10 years. It looked very good, for video. The process they use for
writes on the negative in a "warbling" (sic) format, which eliminates
the scan lines usually associated with video. I saw a number of formats
transferred both from original, digital and beta.
Looked the best.
16mm - Grainy, but good.
VHS - Had crummy smear lines, very grainy, some appeal.
Beta - Better.
Digital (all formats - miniDV, DV Cam & DVPro) - About the same as
High Definition - Very good.
Progressive - All video formats looked superior to interlaced
Truth is, none of the
formats, even transferred from high definition look nearly as good as
film and, for my purposes, the process looked too good; it did not look
like video with scan lines and the video artifacts usually
associated with same.
So, for the no budget film there seems to be very little difference
once it's transferred to film from a High 8 or a Digital format, unless
of course you are using a high end camera and a prime lens. Even then
you have to understand there is no real focus point in video, it's a
nebulous writing code on tape, digital or analog. The High Definition
stuff is much sharper than anything and may be just as sharp as film,
but everything else suffers from the same focus problem. Believe me, go
check it out at a lab first. On
top of that if you want the scan lines or to degrade the image it will
you an extra fee at most of the labs. Do it in editing and only bring
you have to the lab if that's the route you intend for your video.
The labs will all try to tell you to light your set in the lowest
contrast possible even for digital cameras. They are right, video does
not have the depth in the low light and highlights to retain an image,
however, lighting this way takes a lot of time, and time on the set is
money. If you have
and lighting to confine your project to waiting forever for lights,
film, screw the video bub.
The big advantage shooting consumer digital cameras over High 8
is the sound. All Video Tape sound sucks, Beta's about the best, but
sucks in comparison. If you can use a Nagra or buy a DatMan for $700
slap it on the side of your high 8, you're set. But, for convenience, a
bit sampling in mono for dialogue is passable, and you can get a good
use it with the camera, or get a boom man, or use radio mics and dump
whole thing onto a nonlinear system and use what comes out as your
Even better, rent a SMPTE DAT and dump all your sound from the camera
onto the SMPTE DAT as a back up, then use that as your prime and you
be able to rebuild any kind of original sound track from masters,
a dead sync Optical track for your 35mm prints.
If you have the ability,
shoot 720p or 1080p or any progressive scan format you can.
Progressive shoots whole frames rather than interlacing two scans
together, which is much more liable for degradation, especially in
movement. If you can shoot progressive, shoot it in 24p, the
transfer to film is then 1 to 1 and is the best because that's the
projected film rate. If you are shooting HiDef (720p or 1080p)
and you have an action shoot with a lot of camera movement - go test
out the camera in that situation first. HiDef does not like a lot
of camera movement, many people try to compare it to film, it is
not. In HiDef you get a very staccato image, much more
exaggerated than film and may not be suitable for your story.