Camera Report: Preparing and Using a Camera Report in 16mm Filmmaking

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Purpose of the Camera Report

In the context of 16mm motion film production, a camera report is used to communicate between the lab processing the film and the director of photography who shot it. With the camera report you essentially provide the important information that a person in this situation would need to properly develop and process the film in the way that you want. This means that the camera report serves to give the specifics of the film you are sending in for organizational purposes as well as anything you want the lab to do. Often times the film company itself will provide you with a camera report that you can fill out, but you can easily put together one if it is not provided.

Basic Camera Report Information

You are going to have to start out with locations for the basic information of the production. This is specifically going to start out with the name of the director and the director of photography, the production company producing the film, the name of the production itself, and who the assistant camera or second assistant camera person was that actually loaded the film. You are also going to list where you want the cost of the lab production sent to, the date that the film was exposed, and anything else that will identify this roll in the lab.

Specific Roll Information

You will need to identify the specific film roll as much as possible in terms of the item and specifics about it. First give the roll number and the number of the magazine. You will also want to indicate the film type, whether it is color or black and white, and the emulation number. You will then want to list what kind of development specifics you want such as a normal development, whether you want it pushed or pulled a specific number of stops, or if you want any chemical effects. You will also want to list how you want the film content delivered, such as if you want it on a digital format or not.

Content List

From here you are going to want to list the specifics about the content that is on there. This means listing all the scenes that are on the roll of film by number along with each specific take. For each take list where the dial was read, the number of feet of film had been used at this point, and any remarks you want to have listed. This part of the camera report should be with the assistant cameraperson during the production so this information can be kept track of. This is going to be especially important if you are using multiple rolls of film or several takes on a single roll, which will need direct communication with the lab otherwise there may be problems.

Attaching the Camera Report

Make sure that the camera report is secured to the film stock by taping it to the film canister with gaffers tape. You could also deliver it to the lab separately, but you will have to make sure that the camera report will be connected with the roll.