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    PCR #316  (Vol. 7, No. 15)  This edition is for the week of April 10--16, 2006.

Scary Movie 4  by Mike Smith
Why A New Column?....The Back Page  by Vinnie Blesi
On Tampa Indie Film....Fuji Eterna vs Kodak Vision II  by Mark Terry
Happy Easter....Read Any Good Movies Lately?....They Write The Songs....My Favorite Films -- Part 15: "Caddyshack"  by Mike Smith
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My Second Toe Is Longer Than Yours  

On Tampa Indie Film

There is a whole bunch going on for the Tampa local film community. A few weeks ago "Unearthed" premiered and recently the Guzzo's "99" premiered to a standing room only crowd. I know a bunch of different people that went to each premiere. What I heard from both was, "I wasn't expecting a whole lot but was pleasantly surprised." To me that means the films in the area are getting better. Both films were shot on a digital format and on two sides of the spectrum as far as local budgets are concerned.

At one time people used to say that the only thing that shot in Tampa was horror movies. From what I understand "Unearthed" sounds like a action/sci-fi movie where "99" is a straight up comedy.

I wish both parties the best of luck in getting their films sold.

The Guzzo brothers will be out here in Hollywood on Thursday night so I plan on catching up with them. I will have more about that next week.

Fuji Eterna vs Kodak Vision II

I am happy to say now that I have produced a film on each type of film stock. Eterna and Vision II are the high speed, night time/indoor film stocks that came out a few years ago that have everyone in the film world buzzing. I always hear Digital Video people boast about the advancements in DV to 24p to HD but how often does anyone talk about how film stocks are getting better as well?

Last year at this time I produced a film called "Hooligan's Valley" which we shot mostly on Kodak Vision II. Vision II is the Hollywood stock or most popular stock of the two. There is very little grain and the image is very hard, crisp, and sharp.

In our film "Hooligan's Valley" we wanted to bring a cartoon world to life. There were a lot of colorful characters involved with the story. I don't think that's the specific reason we chose to shoot on Vision II. I think it was kind of just the expected stock to shoot on. However, it was the right choice for that film.

Vision II you can find just about everywhere. That's the good thing about it. Since everyone seems to be using the Kodak stock there is a lot more left around in short ends and recan.

The price for factory sealed Vision II stock is about 8 cents higher than Fuji. The cheapest I remember finding factory sealed Vision II stock was .33 cents a foot out here. That's also considering I was buying film in low amounts because we were shooting a short.

The Fuji Eterna stock, on the other hand, is a great stock too, but for different reasons. Most of the people who hate Fuji are people who have never shot on it. I used to think that Fuji sucked but I honestly didn't know much about it except for what I read on the internet. I have found out in Hollywood that Eterna is the best kept secret for many of the DPs that I have met.

Fuji recently released Eterna as their competitive high speed film to go up against Vision II. The film I am producing now "Live Evil" had its opening scene shot on Fuji Eterna. In contrast to the Vision II stock, Eterna to my eye looks softer. The pastels come out in the Eterna stock. Where in Vision II hard reds and greens pop off the screen. I was always told the Fuji Eterna is the romantic comedy stock.

Fuji is a perfect pick for our desert vampire film. It really has that dirty feel. If you are going after that type of look this stock might be the best choice for you.

I have found factory sealed Eterna stock for .25 cents per foot. These are all 16mm prices by the way. Getting a can of 400' factory sealed film for $100.00 isn't bad at all. However, since Fuji has not caught on as much and/or is not used as much, there are not a whole lot of short ends and recans out there.

Let's say you shoot a 90 minute feature at a 10-1 ratio. That is 900 minutes of film. Which is 75 cans of 400' and each 400' can is approx 12 minutes. That is 30,000 feet of film. With the figures I have given above here is the price difference:

KODAK Vision II .33 per foot = $9,900

Fuji Eterna .25 per foot = $7,500

A savings of $2,400 which is a nice piece of change which could go to developing and transfer. These are very rough, ball park, estimates.

It is always nice to save a few bucks but depending on what stock you shoot really depends what your goals are for the film. I have met DPs that have even matched up both some how when on a tight budget.

My advice would be though before making a final decision on either of these stocks for your film, buy some ends and shoot test footage. See what works best for you. Either stock are great tools to tell your story.

"My Middle Toe Is Longer Than Yours" is ©2006 by Mark Terry.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2006 by Nolan B. Canova.