With the new campaign, (which can’t be revealed yet), we knew upfront with the style and feel of these spots that we always wanted to have the “film look” as part of the visual pallet, but we weren’t sure quite how to approach it. We wanted the control that we knew we’d get by shooting 16mm with video assist, (also so we could have playback for the complicated set-ups)… and 35mm was just too clean of a look for this, and we even thought of trying to shoot on digital DSLR’s and create a film look in post, but in the end, we ended up with the new 16 X 9 Super 8mm format, even though no video assist was available.
But the 16 X 9 version of the Super 8mm format was what sold us on the idea. Super 8mm had the look we wanted, and the “square frame” didn’t sit well with us for broadcast on mostly 16 X 9 HD tv’s that are in most homes now, which would end up letter-boxed and pillar-boxed on a 16 X 9 tv… being that we wanted to use the wider frame for these images, so 16 X 9 Super 8mm was the answer.
The Classic Professional Camera is Pro8mm’s complete rebuild of the legendary Beaulieu 4008. With a new hammered steel finish, this camera includes newly added features such as the increased take-up torque to handle modern film stocks, removal of the internal 85 filter system for increased resolution and a new external power system. The camera comes with C-mount Angenieux 8-64mm lens, which is a great lens, but not super wide in this format… so we ended up just adapting to all of it and making it work. Part of the feel of this format is also the handheld hand made look, which is what we were after, and so far its been a great experience. Letting go of the video assist with no playback came easily to us and really causes a director and a DP to talk to each other and get inside each others heads, (instead of looking at a monitor), so in a weird way, its actually provided a benefit I feel. It was a good experience really… it made the work different somehow… especially in this format, where if its too crafted, it looks less spontaneous, which was another thing we were after.
The new spots are being photographed, on Vision 3 Kodak film stock. Cameras, film stock, processing and transfer are being provided by Pro8mm in Burbank, with Jeff Tillotson of LightPress in Seattle doing the final color pass. Jeff Miller of Vineyard Productions is producing.