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Flash me!

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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Flash me!
on Oct 23, 2007 at 9:43:14 pm

Just curious... has anyone here ever flashed a negative?... I'm considering that in an upcoming project.

And if so... do you have an opinion as to which way you prefer, either flashing in the lab, or during shooting (although we prob won't be shooting Panavision, so it'd have to be VariCon rather than Panaflasher)?

I'm sure I can get some opinions at (probably more opinions that I want, really), but thought I'd ask here first... this forum is more tolerant of basic questions like that.



Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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Re: Flash me!
on Oct 24, 2007 at 4:24:41 am

What??? A question about FILM in a cinematography forum???

You will probably have to flash in camera-- it is hard to find a lab that will flash a neg anymore, either pre or post shoot. I suppose they didn't want to bear the responsibility if the results were not as expected, as well as the risks involved with the extra handling of the stock.

I always thought it would be cool if you could buy pre-flashed stock-- like maybe a 10% flash. I guess the manufacturers would not want to keep the latent flash on an undeveloped neg for an indeterminent length of time-- results might be unpredictible. I myself have had better luck flashing Fuji stocks but I cannot really say why I prefer them-- have flashed Eastman as well.

I like the Varicon a little better if only because you can fairly reliably see in the viewfinder or VA what is really happening. It is however somewhat a more cumbersome rig than the Panaflasher-- but I guess that is not an issue since you are probably not shooting Panavision.

I have not seen a Varicon in a while. You would think most Arri rental houses would stock them but I think they are actually a bit hard to come by now-- so I would track one down and book it well in advance. Be prepared for at least one actor or crew member to say "Something is wrong with the camera!" when they see the glowing lens-- it always happens.

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Rick Amundson
Re: Flash me!
on Oct 24, 2007 at 12:50:57 pm

With the trend in today's film stocks going toward less contrast for more manipulation in post, I would think that has rendered the Varicon obsolete. I've never used one, loved the idea of it but then they came out with Vision 320T. Doesn't get much less contrasty than that.

If you go this route, take photos! I want to see this thing at work.

Best of luck.

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