Production Diary

The latest goings on at Candle & Bell.

Analogue Film, Digital Cameras

The first film I ever shot was a 60 second, one take story, on an Arriflex 16mm camera. Using black and white film, you have yo be very careful. You need a light meter and colour charts to make sure the exposure and colour tones are correct, and gaffer tape for the sides of the camera to make sure no light leaks in. I was 17 years old and I was just getting started.

I seem to have started my career at a time of great change for the film industry. Final Cut Pro was just starting to make an impact and new courses such as 'digital filmmaking' were being offered at the film school I attended. The digital they were refferring to was of course Mini-DV (not my most preferred format). In the world of 'shooting films on film' I remember having to think hard about my choice of film and what notes I needed to send to the lab that processed my film. I remember one occasion I read the light meter incorrectly and was sent blank film and a note from the lab telling me to do better. A few years later everyone was talking about HD, and suddenly, no one at film shcool really cared about the ins and outs of film stock and processing. They just wanted to point the camera at something and shoot.

Nowadays there aren't many affordable options for independent filmmakers who want to shoot on film. In 2012 we produced a short experimental film, called 'My Mother's Son' and had plans to shoot the flash back scenes on film. We shelled out money on an old 8mm camera from ebay that was reportedly in 'good working condition' only to find that it wasn't. Luckily, our cinematographer Graham Vasey, whose expertise lies in fine art film photography, was on hand with the wonders of Lomography in the form of his Lomo Kino and we got some excellent footage - using camera film bought at Boots!

I'd love to make an entire short film using the Lomo Kino. I love the texture and ethereal qualities it gives to a story. Digital is great, it has revolutionised modern day filmmaking and made videos, commercials, and promos more affordable for our clients. But digital and analogue can coexist, even in the same production, so let's not dismiss analogue to the annals of filmmaking just yet, it still holds many wondrous possibilities.

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