Cinematography : Analog film camera by Jakub Micuch

Jakub Micuch

Analog film camera

Hi guys,

Is here anybody from the older generation? if i would like to create an analog film movie, what would i need to make it?

I found 1 old camera here (bolex h-16) and i would like to try some play with that. is here anybody with experiences with analog film? Already i am working with Canon AE-1 so i have some little experiences with film, but in video it is something different as in photo.

Do you know some good book about this theme?

I dont want use scanner and make it digital. I would like to make it all in analog way. I am sure I will need some projector, editor/splicer.. It could be really funny hobby I am sure. ;)

Thanks for any idea.

Dan MaxXx

You can edit old school with a flatbed 16mm & spicer but you still need to transfer it to a master edited film, or not. Skip the negative edited cut version. But your film colors are gonna look like shit. Dailies are timed 1 light. Should go digital for a color timing and print back to 16mm. And you still need to work on the audio tracks.
I think 16mm projectors can play spiced silent non-sound film dailies without jamming the sprocket reels.

Jakub Micuch

Hi, okey, audio will be level 2, now I will focus on video. I saw many articles and videos where guys were converting it to digital image. My basic question is, how to create possitive image from negative film in analog way? I never work with it before.

Lindbergh E Hollingsworth

Hi Jakub! I used the Bolex 16mm in college, and I do not remember the book we used. On and found the "Primer for Film Making: A Complete Guide to 16 Mm and 35 Mm Film Production" (1971). Feel free to reach out to me via the Stage 32 messenger/email, and I can address some of your specific questions. I see your in Slovakia. I worked on a movie years ago in Bratislava at Koliba Studios.

Jakub Micuch

Hi Lindbergh, thank you for book advice, i'll try it. Hey, it's nice to know, that they are at Koliba collaborating international! What was that movie? Our cinematography is just growing up now. The change from communism to democracy was difficult for filmmaking here. But now it is on good way i think. ;)

Lindbergh E Hollingsworth

"Behind Enemy Lines" (20th Century Fox). Really enjoyed visiting Bratislava. Most of the crew was picked from all over Europe.

Andrew Sobkovich

Jakub, there are 2 general types of film, negative and reversal. Negative creates a negative image on the original film stock. Reversal creates a positive image on the original film, like slide film.

To see the images correctly a negative film has to be printed to a print film which shows the images with the colour and exposure as shot. When working with negative, a “work print” is first made. The “work print” is the actual film that is handled and cut in the editing process. Editing can be done on flatbed editor like those made by Steenbeck or Kem, the classic upright Moviola, a simple film viewer with rewinds to be able to move the film through the viewer, or every just holding the film up to light and cutting it if you are just cleaning up flash frames. Flash frames are those frames at the beginning of each take that are overexposed as the camera comes up to speed. The work print will be made with one light. One light means there are no changes to compensate for exposure or colour. One light is based upon the correct exposure for the print film stock used. If what you shot needs exposure or colour correction, that will be added later. Working with the work print will entail viewing the film, marking where the cuts are to happen, physically cutting and taping the pieces of film together in a tape splicer. Once you are happy with the edit, the negative is then cut conforming the negative to the print film using edge numbers on the film. Negative cutting uses a hot splicer and glue to bond the film bases of two different shots together. This means that one of the negative will have a portion of the image scraped off to have clean base to glue to. These hot splices would be visible. To hide the splices the shot used is spliced to a black film , called black leader, which is scraped to provide the bonding surface. The negative is bonded to black in A-B rolls so one shot on one rolls the next on the other roll. Back and forth between the A and B roll until the end of the edited picture. These A and B rolls can then be printed onto one roll of print stock. This would be the time when there would be light changes to correct the exposure and colour correction would be added as well. If a few prints are to be made, then an intermediary negative or internet is made to protect the original images in the A-B rolls.

If you shoot reversal, then you can in fact cut using a tape splicer and run it through a projector a few times as was done to News film for television. Better is to make a work print of the reversal film and edit that the same way as described for negative. The types of print stock used and the process for making multiple release prints are different but follow the same general idea that is used for negative.

Shooting negative and reversal is very different in many areas, latitude being the biggest difference for shooting. Of course you will need a light meter to set the exposure although you might be using one now when shooting. There is nothing scary, and the magic of looking through the viewfinder of a reflex camera when it starts to roll and the image starts to flicker is one of the biggest things I miss about the process of shooting film.

good luck

Ken Hall

I did this back in film school. It’s an entire process bro. I don’t recommend it unless you 1) have a lot of money to waist & 2) a lot of time. One person cannot make a theatrical film alone in this way. The crew is 5 minimum. There are tons of books on this but no one does it anymore. Finding Mylar tape, acetate glue and a splicer might be difficult. Even the guys that shoot film in HWD telecine the reels and do the post in a computer. Don’t ruin yourself, keep it simple.

Jakub Micuch

Hi guys, really thanks for comments, especially Andrew, your detail explanation was really usefull. Now I am just finding how that camera works, I need to clean it up, cause it is a full of dust.. :) after i order some film and try something.

Ken, I dont want ruin myself, it should be just fun. ;) Yes I saw really easy ways, how to digitalize footage, maybe i will try that at first, who knows.

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