Film is expensive. Nobody is more aware of this than somebody making a budget for a film project. Especially when that person is a college student.
You don’t just pay for the film itself, which costs substantially more than digital media, but you also pay for it to be developed. And THEN you pay for it to be transferred to a digital format for editing or showing to audiences.
Then there’s the fact that the cameras themselves are more expensive to rent, the logistics involved are more complicated, etc. etc. It’s a big deal.
Trust me when I say that I’m not making this decision lightly.
I have worked on projects with a lot of different cameras. Most filmmakers can agree that video cameras, even the higher end modern cameras, still look like video in their own way. The camera that has made the most strides in achieving the look of film is, of course, the Red camera. So I did sit back and think about using the Red instead of 16mm. Would it be cheaper? Probably. Would it be easier? Absolutely.
Would it have the look and feel that I want my film to have?
I want Pulaski, Virginia to itself become an indelible part of the film. The place where the events occur is as important as the events themselves. The time is also important, as half of the film takes place during the 1980’s. As part of my research for the film, I went through my parent’s old photo albums. There’s a look to those pictures that I want to capture. There’s a certain aspect of noise, visible texture, and even the way the colors are saturated. Film just looks the way my memories look.
And as the director of the film, that is the most important thing I can consider.