B&W film stock choices

george78

New member
Hi there.

I am looking to shoot a short film in Black and White on 16mm. The film takes place at night and we are going to shoot on location in a flat, probably using a couple of 800w red heads and practicles/photo floods. There will also be an outside scene, possibly shot day for night. The look I am hoping for is slightly stylised Film Noir. Does anyone have any suggestions about the film stock I should go for? I know that some people shoot using colour stock and then turn it to b&W, would that help with the look in any way?

Cheers
 
E

element80

Guest
Depending on budget and release format, your best bet might be to shoot reversal (unless you're planning on a digital post and release) because it will save you money. I've used both Kodak's Tri-X and Plus-X and I like the results. Since you're shooting at night, you'll want to use the Tri-X, b/c it's the faster of the two. The only disadvantage to shooting reversal is that you need to be dead on with exposure, b/c it doens't have a lot of latitude. For a Noir look, you might want to even try under exposing and pushing it, which will give it some more contrast and bring out the grain. If you decide to push, do so with caution, because the low latitude might cause you to lose all of your shadow detail, which push processing won't be able to help. Pay close attention to where your highlights and shadows are, as far as light levels. These are the only two stocks I've worked with, so that's about the best I can do to help you.
 

george78

New member
Hi Element80,

Thanks for the info, it's very helpful. This is a side project that me and a couple of film school buddies are working on. We are gonna have the film telecinied and edit it in Avid, and then probably burn it to DVD for the time being. I think Reversal stock is right for us on this project, we'll just have to work extra hard on our exposures!

Cheers
 

illia

New member
I shot an unfinished movie a couple of years ago using reversal b/w stock, my experience with that sotck (we shot on super 8) was terrible, no details on shadows, very low latitude... in addition if you want to shoot with open faces lights, wich are strong (giving deep shadows) and not easy to control. I know you want a cine-noir look, but if I were you I would try to low the contrast of the scene to be able to register some information on shadows and in highlights... and use a film with more latitude... and try to use fresnel lamps instead of the red-heads if you can...
 

george78

New member
Hi Illia,

Thanks for the info on your experience with reversal stock.

The project has changed slightly, and we are now going to be shooting on 35mm, using a Camiflex converted to Technoscope (2 perf pulldown). After various different peices of advice, we have decided to go with 2 types of negative film stock, Kodak double X for the exterior night shots and Kodak Plus X for the interiors. Hopefully we should get some interesting footage!

Cheers

George
 
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