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Making the jump to 35mm


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#1 Matt Burton

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 08:46 PM

Well i knew the time would come when i would be offered 35mm work but i didn't think it would be so soon.
I have been battling away in low budget music videos and films for just under a year now.
Always shooting video, dv up to varicam, but never working on film 8mm, 16mm, or 35mm.
In the past i have been offered a few 16mm projects but i have always turned them away due to my lack of experience in this area.


Along comes a really really nice production company who love my work.
They say they only want to shoot 35mm and nothing else will do.
I mention i'm not at all experienced with film but they insist. I try to pull the old varicam argument v's 16mm, and on to mentioning something about star wars but to no avail :lol:
Anyhow it turns out they have loads of projects for me but their all on 35mm so i need to get up to speed.

I guess I need to hire a rig and know how to set it up for film !
Also how much insurance should i expect to have to cover for this ?
Many questions indeed.

As ever any info greatly appreciated.
Hope this could helpful to other up coming opps in the future.
Cheers
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#2 Anthony Graham

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 09:47 PM

Hi Matt

Now there is no more Optex rental for rigs is more limited. I know MK-V rent rigs and I think they just got some of Optex's rental rigs too so contact them. Plus Howard can answer any and all questions you may have and will be happy too I'm sure. They are fairly local to you so no major issus there. Plus they will be able to give you info on insurance etc. Tell em what camera it is and they'll sort you out with the correct power leads.

I think they also rent radio focus and iris gear too, the focus gear is something you will need as 35mm doesn't afford the depth of field of video.

Try and get 100% video taps as they are lighter. Get the production company to get the lightest camera they can for you. If you try to use say a BL4 on your first film shoot coming from a flyer, you will be a sticky mess on the floor by the end of the day.

Setting up a rig for film isn't all that different than video just bigger and heavier weights involved. As long as there is a D.P. or A.C. there who is experienced with film you shouldn't find it a major headache. The only thing you may notice that is different is the film moving around in the mags can feel odd at first as it can change the rig balance (depending in camera and mag type) during a shot, nothing major just something to be aware off.

If you have any concerns rent a rig for the day and see if the rental house the production company use will let you play at setting up the rig. Most will and there will be somebody there to help out normally.

As a final note if you still have concerns, Howard of MK-V does an advanced level training which would follow on nicely from your Optex course. More advanced shots and gear and He has some 35mm cameras also to use to train you with.

Ant

Disclaimer:- I DO NOT WORK FOR MK-V, NEITHER DO I EVEN OWN ANY MK-V GEAR! OR GET ANY FORM OF KICKBACKS!
They are just very local for us Northern UK folk and would happen fit the bill perfectly here for Matt too! Plus happen to make some good gear too!!!!
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#3 Erik Brul

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 02:26 AM

Well i knew the time would come when i would be offered 35mm work but i didn't think it would be so soon.
I have been battling away in low budget music videos and films for just under a year now.
Always shooting video, dv up to varicam, but never working on film 8mm, 16mm, or 35mm.
In the past i have been offered a few 16mm projects but i have always turned them away due to my lack of experience in this area.


Along comes a really really nice production company who love my work.
They say they only want to shoot 35mm and nothing else will do.
I mention i'm not at all experienced with film but they insist. I try to pull the old varicam argument v's 16mm, and on to mentioning something about star wars but to no avail :lol:
Anyhow it turns out they have loads of projects for me but their all on 35mm so i need to get up to speed.

I guess I need to hire a rig and know how to set it up for film !
Also how much insurance should i expect to have to cover for this ?
Many questions indeed.

As ever any info greatly appreciated.
Hope this could helpful to other up coming opps in the future.
Cheers


Just want to say, have a BLAST Matt :D
That is a very nice upgrade from flying video on flyer to full 35mm..

Best, Erik
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#4 John Steele

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 05:16 AM

Matt,

If you have any input on camera used you could use the arri 235 and still use the flyer, only problem would be powering from the rig if you don't have the 24v version, not sure if the 400ft of film limit of the 235 would be a problem though.

John.
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#5 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 06:08 AM

Hi Matt

Great news, good luck with it all. You've got some good advice there, just remember -
*Video Tap
*Remote follow focus (&iris where applicable)
*Plenty of batteries for the rig
*Video sender/transmitter

You'll also need to source a focus puller, or get the production company to find a decent puller. I know a couple, let me know if you need any details.

Cheers
Jason
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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 06:27 AM

Hi,

> That is a very nice upgrade from flying video on flyer to full 35mm..

For certain value of "nice", I guess. Because let's face it, over here, first 35 job, it's gonna be a BL4, you can see it coming over the horizon...

Phil
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#7 Imran Naqvi

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 07:50 AM

Well i knew the time would come when i would be offered 35mm work but i didn't think it would be so soon.
I have been battling away in low budget music videos and films for just under a year now.
Always shooting video, dv up to varicam, but never working on film 8mm, 16mm, or 35mm.
In the past i have been offered a few 16mm projects but i have always turned them away due to my lack of experience in this area.


Along comes a really really nice production company who love my work.
They say they only want to shoot 35mm and nothing else will do.
I mention i'm not at all experienced with film but they insist. I try to pull the old varicam argument v's 16mm, and on to mentioning something about star wars but to no avail :lol:
Anyhow it turns out they have loads of projects for me but their all on 35mm so i need to get up to speed.

I guess I need to hire a rig and know how to set it up for film !
Also how much insurance should i expect to have to cover for this ?
Many questions indeed.

As ever any info greatly appreciated.
Hope this could helpful to other up coming opps in the future.
Cheers


Apart from the kit (which will actually feel nicer than a video camera on a rig) the most important thing are the AC and Clapper/Loader.

Since this company know of your inexperience with film, have a chat with your DP and if they're amenable let them set everything up on the camera, so literally all you do is slap it on, balance and go. They should be familiar with videotaps, follow focus systems and should have worked with steadicam before.

My first film job I didn't touch the camera at all until it was ready to go on the rig, I didn't see the point in getting in their way.

In terms of insurance, production should be covering this, your only concern is whomever you rent the rig from needing you to have insurance.

As someone mentioned the film moving in the mag can feel weird and only becomes an issue if you have long takes, otherwise trim the rig on the arm between takes, it won't need much. Steadimags for the camera are great and take some of the issues with the change in balance out of the equation.

Good luck and have fun!
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#8 David George Ellis

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 08:52 AM

Hey Matt,

Everyone covered most of this, so just an expansion of what they wrote.

Yes, talk to the DP regarding all the shots he or she has planned for you. This will open up any forum for communication to make your transition to film easier. Chances are she or he'll have an AC that should be or will be familiar working w/ Steadicam.

Definitely get 100% video. If they bicker, let them know that YOU need it to see.

As far as the mags are concerned, be sure to request Steadi mags. They utilize a throat that allows the mag to be positioned vertically so you don't have to trim in b/t takes. That helps a lot unless they are using short rolls of film. Still helps, though. If they bicker, remember YOU need them.

Another overlooked point is to ask for Lo-Mode Brackets, where applicable. Depending on what they do in post, flipping the image may get sticky when they make the final cut back to film. If they bicker, you know what to say. Actually, tell them THEY need it. The Editor will thank you. Maybe not, but he won't curse you, either.

If you can, try to get either the Arri 235 or Moviecam SL. Both are lightweight 35mm and won't hurt so much on you first time.

Once you get the rig, try to be there for the camera prep. This gives you bonus "field service" time so you're not looking too silly on set trying to configure where to place camera on top stage and fiding a home for focus motors, balancing, etc. Plus it gives you a check system to make sure Production got what you needed.

As far as insurance, find out what the cost of the rig you're using will be if everything were to be destroyed. Depending on the setup, it could range upwards of $60-120K, USD. When Production signs off on your gear, make sure they list:

You are the additional insured
You are the Loss Payee, and
You will be compensated at a REPLACEMENT COST, not DEPRECIATED VALUE for any loss or damage

One last thing. Say no to a BL4 if possible. I've never flown one, but I've never been caned in Singapore, either. I just heard they both suck to endure. Stay calm, and you'll be alright. And remember, this is film. So much a sexier look and feel compared to video. If you're nervous to work with it, that's a good thing to a fault. Don't let that get to your head. It's a chance to become more versatile. If you know you're not ready, say you're already booked for something else.

For me, I always try to get a show to shoot film over video, not the other way around. It almost makes me chubby when I know I'll be working with film. Good luck and happy shooting.

David
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#9 John Steele

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 11:08 AM

For me, I always try to get a show to shoot film over video, not the other way around. It almost makes me chubby when I know I'll be working with film. Good luck and happy shooting.

David


lol, you need to get out more David, :D

John.
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#10 thomas-english

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 12:41 PM

Whether or not you are also covered by the production companies insurance. You ought to have your own public liability insurance as standard as well as insurance cover for the kit you are hiring. You can get around not having insurance for the kit your hiring if you get the prod. company to hire it direct. Most people in the UK have insurance for up to 200 000 or somethings worth of hired in kit at any one time.

You are covered by the production companies insurance in the UK under employers liability insurance so long as you get them to confirm in an email that you are being employed by them and that they have "employers liability insurance", it is the law for any employer to have this insurance. In cases of "negligence" your insurer and the prod. companies insurer will fight it out to see who will pay.
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#11 charlesneufeld

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 01:28 PM

Hey Matt,

My first film shoot was with the BL4, very hard day, but it flew beautifully due to its weight. Those oldies seem to be on many low-budgets and the like, so you will likely meet the mighty 4 at some point. On the plus side, going back to the 16 and DV is a walk in the park.

Good luck and have fun!
~C
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#12 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 04:28 PM

Since this company know of your inexperience with film, have a chat with your DP and if they're amenable let them set everything up on the camera, so literally all you do is slap it on, balance and go. They should be familiar with videotaps, follow focus systems and should have worked with steadicam before.

My first film job I didn't touch the camera at all until it was ready to go on the rig, I didn't see the point in getting in their way.

In my experience, not touching the camera before it's ready to go on the rig is standard operating procedure on all film jobs. The 1st A.C.'s job is to deal with the camera. All you have to do is power it, balance it, and hook up your accessories. Of course it helps to have as much knowledge as possible about the camera you're using, but it's not imperative. This may not be true in places outside of the U.S., but in my experience that's the way things work here. Is it different across the pond?
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#13 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 04:59 PM

Brad is absolutely correct - leave the camera to the 1st and 2nd AC. In an ideal situation the production will rent a dedicated camera body for steadicam which can be left permantly on the rig balanced and ready to shoot at a moments notice.
As was mentioned get to the rental company for the prep.
If its an MOS job ask for a 235 with steadi mags, and a low mode bracket. You may also be facing a 435 which is the most common camera in use in this part of the world for commericals and music videos: again ask for steadi mags, a 100% video top and if you dont own one a low mode bracket.
If its a sync job then you're looking for a Moviecam SL, Arricam LT, Panaflex LW2 or Millenium XL - all depending on whether its a Panavision job or not. everything else is a waste of your time and energy and their money.
Moviecam and Arricam all need steadi mags and 100% video top, plus low mode brackets. LW2 and XL dont.
Depending on where camera is coming from you may need to have your power cables rewired so ask what the wiring is like on the prep day and be sure its compatable with your kit before you plug it in.
Make sure you have plenty of mounting options for your focus motors especially if its 35mm anamorphic.
If you are shooting a 435 high speed be sure to test it turning over with film in it at high speed to make sure your rig can handle the massive amperage draw it requires.
Make sure there is a steadicam friendly (experienced) dolly grip on the job. He'll make your life so much easier! Hope this helps,
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#14 Matt Burton

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 05:21 PM

Just want to say, have a BLAST Matt :D
That is a very nice upgrade from flying video on flyer to full 35mm..

Best, Erik


Hey Erik Hows the flyer going ?
I'm sure it will start feeling apart of you just get it out every day ;)
Mine likes it when i play with her x

As a final note if you still have concerns, Howard of MK-V does an advanced level training which would follow on nicely from your Optex course. More advanced shots and gear and He has some 35mm cameras also to use to train you with.

Disclaimer:- I DO NOT WORK FOR MK-V, NEITHER DO I EVEN OWN ANY MK-V GEAR! OR GET ANY FORM OF KICKBACKS!
They are just very local for us Northern UK folk and would happen fit the bill perfectly here for Matt too! Plus happen to make some good gear too!!!!


Yes good advice Howard would be the obviouse choice due to location.
I've been looking for a good reason to go and pester him :D
Cheers

You'll also need to source a focus puller, or get the production company to find a decent puller. I know a couple, let me know if you need any details.

Cheers
Jason


That would be perfect, will be intouch.
thanks again.

Hi,

> That is a very nice upgrade from flying video on flyer to full 35mm..

For certain value of "nice", I guess. Because let's face it, over here, first 35 job, it's gonna be a BL4, you can see it coming over the horizon...

Phil


Howdy Phill,
I love your doom and gloom outlook.
If it is a BL4 i guess it's gona fly rock steadi, well untill my ankles break anyhows.
:o

Good luck and have fun!


Cheers mon.
Sound advice

It almost makes me chubby when I know I'll be working with film.
Good luck and happy shooting.

David


This has to be the quote of the century !

Thanks again.

Whether or not you are also covered by the production companies insurance. You ought to have your own public liability insurance as standard as well as insurance cover for the kit you are hiring. You can get around not having insurance for the kit your hiring if you get the prod. company to hire it direct. Most people in the UK have insurance for up to 200 000 or somethings worth of hired in kit at any one time.


What kinda figures should i be looking at for this kind of cover ?
I used to pay around £500 a year for £20.000 and P.L. ect.

I will post back after my meeting with the producers on sunday.
Will have alot more information about the job then.

cheers for all the imput, you guys never let me down.
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#15 Erik Brul

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 08:00 PM

Now you see Matt.. you have indeed a lot of homework to do :P
But to be honest, a little jealous overhere..

The Flyer performs very well, I have now three lovely ladies at home. Mine dear Wife, beautiful daughter of six and mine sexy steadicam. Flown last monday a DSR-570 on it. Flew very nice.. :)

Almost forgot.., Howard mentioned on a another forum that MK-V has bought all the Steadi Rig from Optex. So you should have enough options when needing a Rig to hire !

Best,

Erik
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