The Art of 16mm Film

Being in the film industry, one of the most common and over-talked-about debates is whether or not using digital or film stock is better. Although, I see a benefit to both, it’s clear that they each have their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Personally, I love the aesthetic and texture that 16mm gives to its movie. This is what often makes film more popular, but there is a difference between 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm film. When you use 8mm film stock, it is almost too old and vintage-looking and when you use 35mm, the classic film look is too close to digital; that’s why using 16mm is the perfect middle ground of the two, giving the picture condensed colors and that grainy feel. The only problem is, that shooting film is much more expensive and complex compared to digital, making the use of something like a DSLR the perfect buy for most low-budget filmmakers. Having different benefits between both is obvious and you can read more about it here, on IndieWire.


Affonso Gonçalves


The other night, I got to listen to the editor of one of my favorite Oscar nominated movies, Carol, in Episode 182 of the “The Cutting Room”. Affonso Gonçalves has worked in post production on many other projects, from Winter’s Bone to the series True Detective. If you’ve never seen Carol, it’s a beautiful piece of cinema that shows the love between Carol (Cate Blanchett) and Therese (Rooney Mara) in those small in-between moments. With just one changing tilt of the head, chemistry is built, and the movie relies on Gonçalves to reveal this.

In the interview, Gonçalves talks a lot about “the look” the two main characters give each other. He praises his actors on their performance and has to decided when is the right moment to cut. Because of the performance, it is the editor’s job to enhance it. Finding the perfect moment of what and what not to show. He also tells of how important every little detail is. When Mara’s character sits down nervously, her chair squeaks – as a result the audio editors took it out. Gonçalves noticed it was missing, and demanded they put it back in because in just that tiny sound, it filled up the tension that Therese had toward Carol.