Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Back to Business

More of that Peace, Love and Understanding stuff later.

Before I get going I want to pose a question about the state of 16mm film. Arriflex just announced its new 416 camera. In Chicago you will be able to rent it at Fletcher Chicago www.fletcherchicago.com.

My question is this: Do we need a new 16mm camera? The Arri SR2 and SR3 seem pretty good to me. Who is going to use it and to do what?

Last week was Columbia's spring break and today I met with students. We screened pieces shot on 35mm, super 16mm and HD with P2 cards. None of my advanced students seemed to be clamoring for a new 16mm camera, no matter how good (and Arriflex makes the best).

What do you think?


Thursday a special piece about my friend Denny Dent on the third anniversary of his death.


Anonymous said...


I see your point. However, as someone who wants to see film survive the coming years I view companies releasing new film cameras as a positive thing. It shows that the format is still being used and in demand. Besides, what filmmaker doesn't enjoy a new toy to play with, regardless of its functional purposes?

Elliot D

PeterH said...


YOu are right about playing with toys- I am playing with the HD cameras next Thursday. But the SR2 and 3s seem pretty current. I don't know too many professionals in Chicago shooting 16mm these days.


peter s. said...

why not? The format is still alive. The new Arri looks more like my Aaton XTR. They needed a new design.
Europe is much more into the format than the U.S.,
However, I'm showing my clients how great and how worth it, and how price compettitive Super 16 with
an HD transfer can be. Not to mention, How fast camera dept. can move with a good 16 package.
Recently I convinced a client to shoot his Bank commercial on super16 over 2/3" HD. After seeing the footage, he called to thank me for recomending
the format. I've shot plenty of HD and I'm still not impressed with the lack of dynamic range compared to film. - Peter S.

PeterH said...

Peter S,

I think you make some very good points, and thank you for looking into my back pages.

I am all for more film, I just was curious as to Arris marketing plan. I know a lot of my students really like shooting Super 16. I think that looks great, when done well. The Aaton is a nice little camera, lots of TV spots have been shot with that.


Ted W said...

This is a pretty relevant question. I think that it's good to keep as many options as possible so you can choose the best tool for the job at hand. I just found out that the USA show "Monk" shoots on 16, and the HD broadcasts look stellar. Lost shoots a modified 3 perf 35 to get the 1.78 ratio without wasting film (sort of like Techniscope 2-perf) And of course there are those of us shooting a DVX because that's what we can get our hands on. I could see myself going back and shooting on an analog Beta Camcorder at 30i if it suited what I needed for a shot or scene or project. I think HD video is like steadicam you shouldn't use it because just because it's easy, but because it's the right tool for the job.