Personal View site logo
Make sure to join PV Telegram channel! Perfect to keep up with community on your smartphone.
HD ProRes to Film Transfer?
  • Hey, all! I am heading into my final semester as an art student, and the culmination of all this is having artwork in several gallery exhibitions. Of course, I do film work with my GH2 in anamorphic, and I need to decide how I want to display it in the gallery.

    To be honest, I have yet to see a digitally projected image in a gallery setting that I've been pleased with aesthetically, which leads me to the question of this topic . . .

    What are my options for transferring my 2.5K ProRes files to film, and how best would I project this in a gallery setting?

    I have done some preliminary looking, and transfer services are available. 35mm transfer is more expensive, of course, and I do not know enough about 35mm projectors to know if "home use" projectors even exist. How high of quality is 16mm film? Will it do my GH2 footage justice in terms of resolution? It seems the easier route, as transfers are cheaper and good quality "home use" models are cheap too, even with sound.

    I will continue to research and post what I find on this topic for the benefit of others, but I just thought I'd ask some preliminary questions in case there is a P-Ver with more first-hand film experience.

  • 9 Replies sorted by
  • There are a few labs around that can do this. I haven't done it in several years, but I have made film elements from data files at Alpha Cine Labs in Seattle. I think that Duart in NY and a few places in LA do it as well. As about "Filmout" services.

  • Hey, unless there's some contextual or thematic reason to have film projected in your gallery showing I would advise against it. One, since you are exhibiting as a student, I'm assuming other graduating students will be exhibiting as well, which means you will have little say over the installation. If it was just you, then maybe you could arrange whatever you wanted. But if not, you may not have the support to get what you want.

    A 16mm print will cost you money and will be in mono sound. I am not sure about the services at Alpha Cine Labs, but Duart is expensive. I processed most of my first feature there, and they are great, but you pay for it. But the big labs do not maintain their baths for 16mm as well as their cash cow of 35mm. At least when I was there, you had to wait until they had enough volume of 16mm jobs to get processed. I had some pretty dirty negatives.

    There is also the problem that your first print will not be correct color-wise. If you don't care then you can just take the first print they give you and go with that. The projector's quality will be based on it's mechanical upkeep, the intensity/color of the bulb, and the rollers. Given that 16mm isn't used that much, you could get the film snagged and watch your exhibition become a live experimental visualization of destruction.

    My point is don't add an X-factor to your graduation project if you don't have to. Just enjoy the time with friends and family and have a drink. You don't want to miss it because of an old piece of technology that might cause you trouble.

    Oh, and you can't loop the playback.

  • You can just put FullHD projector under the table and place working film projector on visible place (with closed lens) :-)

  • Yup. Based on responses here I will be going digital. It is a shame, IMO. Digital projection still looks like crap up close as far as I am concerned. I may instead go with an LCD monitor. I would prefer a projected light source image over a backlit monitor one, but digital projector screen door effect just bugs the heck out of me, and at least a good monitor won't have so much of that going on. Also, while we (students) will personally be renovating the space and installing our own work, I Doubt i will be able to get a dark room/space. In a brightly lit gallery, a projector would tend to get washed out. An LCD monitor should look better in a lit room. Perhaps it is time to buy one of those off brand eBay U2711s.

  • Digital projection still looks like crap up close as far as I am concerned. I may instead go with an LCD monitor. I would prefer a projected light source image over a backlit monitor one, but digital projector screen door effect just bugs the heck out of me, and at least a good monitor won't have so much of that going on. Also, while we (students) will personally be renovating the space and installing our own work, I Doubt i will be able to get a dark room/space. In a brightly lit gallery, a projector would tend to get washed out.

    It seems like you have big myths in your head concerning projectors. First, on good FullHD LCD projector screen door effect is hard to spot. DLP and LCoS are usually best and you could not spot it.
    Second, just rent projector with proper maximum brightness and use proper screen if you have some light.

  • We are doing two separate shows that (back to back) will be up for almost a month. I will look at rental, but I really do not want to spend a large amount of money renting. The thing with renting is (obviously) it is money spent, no projector or screen to keep when it is over. I will talk to my college. Perhaps they might be willing to pay the rental in which case renting a good projector would be the way to go. But if I'm paying myself, I'll just buy a decent monitor or projector so that I don't waist too much of my money.

  • @B3Guy

    We are doing two separate shows that (back to back) will be up for almost a month...

    That right there answers the film-v-digital projection question.

    Of course there are technical issues that could happen with any solution, the digital one isn't eating itself a little with each run through the projector. With that kind of prolonged use it's not a question of whether your film will break, it's when and how often. You would need multiple "release print" copies where, last time I looked, the services providing digital->film only gave you a single answer print with your new negative.

    If nothing else, consider that and feel better about the decision you've likely already made and know it's the practical one.

  • Yes, I'm pretty set on digital at this point. It is still a shame, though. In the future, there is still a place for much better projectors. Hopefully in the future something more advanced than LCD comes around that more closely resembles an image projected through celluloid.