Cinematography : s16mm Film by J G Blodgett

J G Blodgett

s16mm Film

Hello all,

I recently posted a thread to ask what all the 4k hype was about, and more so to get some good info on what is best to shoot on this day in age in terms of final product and distribution.

Here's the link to the thread:

I got a ton of good info!! Very much appreciated. So on to the next question.

Why or why not shoot on s16mm film? I have decided I will likely shoot my film on s16mm film and am super excited about the idea!! But I would love any input that I can get on the subject. Pros. Cons. Etc.

Looking forward to some great comments.

Royce Allen Dudley

I made a living shooting S16mm in the 90's and into mid 2000's. Lots of it was indie narrative feature, but also broadcast, commercials, music videos...then it all changed virtually overnight, over 10 years ago. As much as I adore he aesthetic and the technical aspects of this particular color negative film format, I cannot imagine most producers allowing it in 2018. Someone like Aronofsky with his creative pull can get to use it, but it's otherwise a potentially crippling oddball format if you want to sell your narrative film to a distributor. It's not going to hold up for an audience that just bought a big 4K TV. Additionally, many crews today have no experience on a film-camera set at all and the workstyle ( no accurate monitor for reference, lighting by eye and meter, raw stock that actually costs money ) is different. Unless you crew with old codgers, people may find it very slow on set ( it isn't if you've done it enough- it's faster than shooting digital many times and I miss it). Personally, I will not shoot film again. Zero compelling reasons that counter the pluses of good digital, and too many downsides, especially on indie budgets and schedules.

Andrew Sobkovich

Why Super 16? What do you see as the strong points that swayed your decision in its favour for the specific picture you are doing? What were the negatives and how will you minimize the impact of those negatives. What planning are you doing to utilize the advantages and minimize the disadvantages of the format in shooting. If you’ve not shot S16 how sure are you of your answers to the questions?

J G Blodgett

The aesthetic of s16 will really lend to the story that I will be shooting, and appeal to my intended audience. Not a hundred percent sure of any of these answers, just getting opinions.

Andrew Sobkovich

JG could you be a little more specific? Which aspects of the esthetic appeal to you for this specific project? Opinions are fine, but it is your project so your opinion is the one that matters.

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