Video: Cost of making a 35mm print from digital video files

| | Comments (1)

One of my buddies wanted to know how much it cost to make a 35mm exhibition print from his hi-def digital video files. He had just finished an ethnographic film and wanted to submit it to some film festivals that could take 35mm prints.

One of the major transfer houses charges $350/minute for video+sound to 35mm; $250 a minute if you're willing to go with 16mm.

So for his 45 minute film, it would be $15,750 for a 35mm print and $11,250 for 16mm.


Yikes. A few years ago there was a low-budget indie sci-fi called Primer, which was shot on Super 16mm:

The total budget was $7,000, which covered camera hire and actors and sandwiches and so forth. They planned and rehearsed everything meticulously, and ended up shooting eighty minutes of footage for a film that was edited to seventy-eight minutes. Apparently the cost of blowing it up to 35mm was more than the film's budget.

I shudder to think how much was spent on Lawrence of Arabia or Heaven's Gate and so forth, but perhaps in those days the studios had buy-in-bulk deals.

I wonder how much digital projector $15,750 would buy. Probably not much, I dunno.

Leave a comment

New!: You can sign in using your Facebook, Google, OpenID, mixi, Yahoo, MovableType, or other third-party authentication system.

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Monthly Archives

Sponsored Links

Powered by Movable Type 5.11

Sponsored by



Sponsored Links

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Karen Nakamura published on January 17, 2011 6:57 PM.

Photography: Vivian Maier - street photography was the previous entry in this blog.

DSLRs as video camcorders - pros and cons is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

August 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30