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Super16mm Aesthetics
  • I was doing a research to compare the image quality from digital mirrorless and dslr 4k and 1080p cameras versus cinema film cameras.

    So i found and watched three movies shot in Super16mm film: "Black Swan" , "Leaving Las Vegas" and "Cazuza: Time Doesn't Stop"

    To my eyes the less resolution compared to 35mm film and also compared to digital cameras was not bad. Contrariwise it was very pleasant and very cinematic feeling. When i got immersed in the history the image texture made me feel a real cinema sensation, much more verisimilitute and likelihood to real life, to be the reality filmed instead of a fiction.

    Also the directors does not worry so much with shoulder held camera shake, dynamic range, perfect focus, perfect exposure, perfect light, film grain. And this slight amateur feeling is also more close to real life being filmed. Also less shallow dof made possible to perceive where the characters was and it was better than isolate the person from the background with a very shallow dof.

    When I compared these films versus "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" which was filmed in Super35 with 4k digital intermediate and more tripod shots, and also more professional mise-en-scene, my feelings was less real life and more fiction, something prepared to be filmed, something written to be filmed instead of real life being filmed.

    So, my conclusion is: for storytelling there are lots of things much more important than the things that filmmakers are hungry for nowadays in terms of equipment and aesthetics...

    So there is an interesting challenge for the digital era: how to recriate this aesthetics without using film, just with digital cameras and digital post production, to keep things more simple, safe and cheaper compared to film ?

    Interesting article about Super16:

  • 1 Reply sorted by
  • It is all too individual, most people hate all this "real life" shaking.