Back when I started, I spent an entire summer saving up cash to purchase an Arri BL 16mm camera. For those of you who have not shot film, the Arri BL represents the quintessential film student camera. It’s rugged, durable and with the right lens, can shoot a great picture. The camera was actually used by the news media back in the day – but when applied to creative narrative, it’s a fun, simple and (relatively quiet?) tool for shooting film.
But as a new filmmaker, I would suggest shooting HD video over film. While shooting film is cool – the added expense of film stock and film processing, not to mention eventual video transfer can greatly diminish your bank account – when that money could be reallocated to other cool equipment, like cranes and dollies. (Just sayin’).
In the end the format you choose to shoot on is up to you. I won’t deny there is a certain sense of ritual and rite of passage to loading a film camera. But I can also attest that it’s sure fun to call “action” and look at an HD monitor and know exactly what you’re going to get.