We had a blast at The Lone Star Film Festival this past week connecting with old friends and fellow filmmakers and meeting new ones. The local to Fort Worth festival is one of our favorites to attend. Previously in 2017, Josh's short film, 1917, was showcased at the festival. We've been attending each year since then.
This year the Fort Worth Film Commission asked us to come out and share on a panel about shooting on celluloid film. Our goal was to provide insight into the process and how it differed from digital workflows, explain the advantages and disadvantages of shooting on film, and ultimately, try to make it more accessible. The resources about how to shoot on film are dwindling - it's a bit of a mystery in this day and age.
Our first film shoot was in 2017, and it was all trial and error. By sharing the things that we've learned through mistakes we've made, we hope to make shooting on film more accessible and appealing.
Here's to shooting more celluloid film! Film on, friends.
Prelude is happy to introduce our newest teammate and good friend, Lizette Barrera. She has been one of our most trusted collaborators for years and is one of the most talented filmmakers we know. She will be joining Prelude as a producer.
Her film “Mosca” is currently licensed with HBO and was a finalist for the 2016 Latino Lens Festival & Showcase. She was awarded The Filmmaker to Watch Award at the Women Texas Film Festival and the EBW by Sandra Adair cash grant from the Austin Film Society for her latest film “Chicle,” which had its World Premiere at SXSW. Barrera’s film “Chicle” showcased during NALIP’s 20th Kick Off Event at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
On October 18th, Prelude Films had the privilege to host an event with Kodak in Fort Worth Texas called On Film. We covered the how and why to shoot on celluloid film. We answered questions like, “How do I process film?”, “How do I edit the film?", “Where do I rent a camera?”, and the big question, “How much does it cost?” I shoot on digital and film and I believe in both. More importantly, I believe that filmmakers should have the option to choose between the two and not default to one because it is more convenient. The goal of this event was to build a bridge for filmmakers to see the possibility of shooting on film and to understand the pros and cons behind it.
Whether producing a commercial or narrative, filmmakers are constantly searching after a way to make their art stand out from the rest, to be memorable. We spend thousands of dollars on the newest camera (4k, 8k, 11k?) and special accessories (gimbals, drones, hoverboards?) to help us produce a lasting image.
And then begins the game of constantly chasing the newest technology so we can be up to date with the look and feel of what's on Vimeo or YouTube. Don’t get me wrong, technology is wonderful and these tools coming out are pretty incredible. However, filmmakers are beginning to use these accessories as necessities for each and every project, slowly becoming dependent on the technology versus being dependent on the story and your creativity. I know this so well because I was one of those filmmakers in college. I believed a better camera would inherently make me a better cinematographer. Or a specific accessory would make me more marketable.
I shot my first short film on 16mm film in college and it opened up a door for creative storytelling that I had never experienced before. I ended up shooting two more short films on 16mm that year and have shot several projects on film since then. Shooting on film comes with an incredible amount of discipline. It forces the filmmaker to know the script on a deeper level. You have to know the emotional intent behind each moment so you can match the actor's performance with the best possible composition. It forces you to become dependent on the story and not your technology.
We are currently in pre-production for our next commercial and short film. One shot on 35mm and the other 16mm. Ultimately, we are shooting these specific projects on film because it felt right and fit the story and emotional feel of the projects.
Check out the links below for helpful tips/tools for shooting on film. We also attached the power points so feel free to go through them and email me if you have any questions.