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RE: Eclair Cameras: Digitizing/Reversal Film

i am interested in shooting down and dirty movies ... writing, filming editing, and mastering in a matter of 1-3 months. i want to shoot films using varrios film formats as part of the art/purpose itself. pi was tough, but for me it was the damn music and the actual story ... it tweeked my brain. also, much of the footage i have taken with plus and tri x does NOT look like that in pi. lighting and exposure play a large role as we all know. in fact, some of the reversal footage i have you would be hard pressed to to know it was processed that way and not originated from neg. but none the less, i have a screenplay that will go great with the b&w reversal stocks ... it is set over 100 years back, and is set in an old mission that was vacated 200 years ealier. a rich, well to do new yorker finding himself. a mexican side arm horse riding drifter who already knows who he is, but is not a very good person. and a beautiful spanish woman just come of age, all come to meet in circumstance at this beachside paradise with natural springs and cultivated confines, with tons of fruit trees and a complex irrigation system from the mountains to the ocean, built by the spainards and their tamed christianized indians, surrounded by hostile remote desert as far as the eye can see. a small clan of villagers on the other side of the mountain, around the point, are not very social ... and are often seen, but seldom heard or spoken with. as these three people find themselves at a point and place in their life that is seemingly paradise one moment, and all to harsh and realistic isolation the next, their plans to leave/get rescued/find salvation are met with their biggest challenge and greatest realization yet ... only to scare the living hell out of each one of them, or worse ...meet their finality in a way never imagined. it's a love story :)

so i the reversal plays it's part in this one particular story i want to tell. also, i really enjoy the tough limitaton associated with tri and plus x, as well as k40(i have another really cool story i want to shoot in k-40 using a s8 camera, to see if i can pull it off. it calls for bleeding and saturating colors, which i intend on acheiving both with the stock and with the computer. this will only be about 25 minutes worth fo a movie, but should be fun. i want to shoot it in a week, send the carts off to get processed and hopefully get the film in another week, edit it in a couple weeks, and master it to dvd. fr my first few down and dirty movies, i will have a local video freak/friend tape them all ... literally tape everythn we are doing. this way i can slipt screen or PIP on a special features cut, so that other new film makers can get an idea of what really took place in order to accomplish what is seen on screen. a behind the sceens that would only be of interest to a budding or wanna be film maker, like myself. i find i perosnally pick up alot of knowledge when i am able to see what actualy took place ... it plants mental seeds and creates benchmarks that i am usng during my own process to get to my first film shoot, and see it through to the final cut. i have made it a habit to watch a dvd once a day all day long while i am working in my studio or in front of my computer. i do not have any formal film schooling, so i am having to pick all this up on my own so to speak .. and the only way i cna learn is to study. even films i do not like, i watch and learn a wealth of information i seem to be applying in one form or another, even though i am still n the preperation stages. i am sure once i complete my first movie alot will change ... but for now it seems to be working and providing answers and solutions and is preventing me from loosing confidence or getting depressed with the process. some night i go to bed and feel rather depressed, becuase i feel i am so far away from being 'ready' to film. especially as it relates to specific equipment i have invested the majority of my money in, and placed in theservice of other people, only to be dissapointed thus far with their performance and integrety. all of my test footage is originating from camera i have serived and tweaked, etc. etc. i want to finally use my primary camera, fully equiped and knowing good an well it is working as it should, namely the lens collimation(i do not have the proper instruments, which i find are needed for specific cameras ... to adjust a lens for a beaulieu is not the same as adjusting one for a eclair ... measuring distances literally requires fabricating special tools specific for each camera, which i have not done. so my measurements, although close enough, and not 100% in my mind, so that bothers me, becuase when i view my test footage i always wonder if it could be better). and, when i do have to adjust or service or repair something it takes me a long time becuase i have not been doing it for 10-20 years ... so what would take a pro a matter of minutes or hours takes me days or weeks, and so i find myself working on a piece of equipment and spending days or weeks doing so, which then bums me out beciase i should be shooting my movie instead of messing with equipment ... ug. i am a perfect case study of a man torn between tinkering and exspressing. i like to create functioning devices protocols, etc., becuase that is hwat i have done most of my life. but i now want ot make movies, but i have never done that in my life. so pushing the old tendencies(comfort zone) out of the way to make room for the new lesons and experiences, seems to not move as fast i would like it to ... but it seems that even though i want it to be as such, in the end it is me that is preventing it. so talk about being torn at this point. so bernie, email me and tell me your sending my camera to azspectrum so he can then install my video tap and send it to lee so he can then install my barney so he can then send it to whomever s going to collmate those prime lenses so then he can send it to me so i can make my damn movies!!!

creatively frustrated.

As for Eric's desire to shoot on BW reversal film, that I don't understand. I suppose he's going for that "soot and chalk" look, but wouldn't that be easier to achieve - and more forgiving too - in the digital realm? I recently watched "Pi," which was shot on BW reversal film, and was again struck by how shitty it looked. The contrast is way too high, with almost no midtones. This look may have suited "Pi," but I found it painful to look at - too much information lost in the shadows, and the highlights all blown out to solid white. I think shooting BW negative and capturing the broadest possible range of image information would be better. Obviously, you "invert" the image in the computer to provide a positive, and set levels to compensate for the negative's base mask. From there, to get the "soot and chalk" look, one could just dial up the contrast digitally by adjusting the characteristic curve. Very easy in After Effects, and completely reversable too. Just my thoughts.
- Ian Marks

eric m jarvies
cabo san lucas, baja california sur.  mexico

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