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.
- Josh Gallas