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Eric Hansen
buying "used" 35mm and 16mm film
on Dec 8, 2010 at 6:21:39 pm

hey all

we recently did a shoot down in Chile and got a screaming deal on 35mm film because it was left over from another shoot. it was still new, sealed and refrigerated. is there a place in the US where we could find similar deals, other than eBay or Craigslist, which just seem too risky for this sort of thing?

thanks

e

Eric Hansen - http://www.erichansen.tv


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Todd Terry
Re: buying "used" 35mm and 16mm film
on Dec 8, 2010 at 6:42:30 pm

Sure, there are a number of places that sell short-ends (whatever is left over in a magazine) and re-cans (film that was loaded but the mag was never used at all). And a number of film brokers that handle such. The better resellers will usually only sell snip-tested film as well (they take the first and last foot from each roll and process it to make sure it hasn't been fogged or stored improperly, and you'll get a lab report for each roll).

In fact, that's almost ALL I use... I rarely buy film directly from Mother Kodak unless I have to.

Every now and then you'll find incredibly good deals. Several years ago I bought all the re-cans from the third season of The Sopranos... I bought 50,000 feet at 4ยข a foot. That means for a roll that would have cost me in the $275 neighborhood from Kodak or Fuji was only about 16 bucks a roll!

Unfortunately, one of the big players in the re-can business finally went under, so I don't have any specific recommendations for you. But head over to the Commiecam website (konvas.org, a website for users of Russian 35mm cine cameras, of which I am one). There are probably some resources there, or if not... join the discussion group and ask around. It's a small group of very good, talented, and friendly people.

Sometimes you can also find film brokers at cinematography.com

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Chris Wright
Re: buying "used" 35mm and 16mm film
on Dec 9, 2010 at 1:24:57 am

when you do buy short ends. don't buy from like 20 different places/dates. the grain will be all over the place.

http://technicolorsoftware.hostzi.com/


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Eric Hansen
Re: buying "used" 35mm and 16mm film
on Dec 14, 2010 at 6:30:01 pm

thanks for the insights guys. have you had any issues with film you've bought this way? i spoke with our cines here and they didn't like this idea due to possible bad stock. we did it in Chile because the stock was unopened, still in the can, and never left the fridge. one issue they brought up is the fact we shoot reality-style and don't do dailies. we might not know for over a month that a shot was bad and re-shooting isn't an option.

thanks

e

Eric Hansen - http://www.erichansen.tv


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Todd Terry
Re: buying "used" 35mm and 16mm film
on Dec 14, 2010 at 6:57:19 pm

I've never counted it up, but I'm betting I've shot several hundred thousand feet of re-cans and short-ends through the years. I've never once had any problem with the stock being bad.

I did one time after processing have the colorist say "Hmmm, this film is kinda old" (he could tell the manufacturing date by the edge numbers), but the stock was still fine. That was from a batch of one or two cans not from my usual source.

I've never really been worried about it, as we always bought film that was snip-tested and kept refrigerated. We used to buy bunches of it at once, so often the bulk of it was kept 0° frozen. Frozen film works just fine, as long as it is brought up to temperature correctly (move it to the refrigerator for a few days first, and then out of the fridge for a couple days before shooting).

I'd say at least 80% of the 35mm film I've shot through the years has been short-ends or recans. That's only for 35mm though, on the rarish instances that I shoot 16mm I just buy that from Fuji or Kodak. There's not much of a market for 16mm recans.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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