Shoot Recans

By Greg Pak
Others may disagree, but for the low-budget 16mm short, I highly recommend using shortends and recans rather than fresh stock.
What are recans, you ask?
Occasionally productions will load film into magazines but end up not shooting it — these unexposed rolls of film make their way to vendors who test them and resell them at a hefty discount — usually $80 for a recan which would cost $120 fresh. Short ends are the same as recans — just shorter, since some of the film was shot during the original shoot.
I shot “Fighting Grandpa,” “Mouse,” and “Po Mo Knock Knock” with almost nothing but recans and short ends. I’ve had only one problem — the rim of one roll of “Mouse” dailies was fogged, resulting in the edge code being unreadable. This terrified me, of course, but I discussed it with my negative cutter and had the negative and workprint edge coded to match each other. Problem solved.
For a feature film with a budget, I’d shoot fresh stock. But as long as I’m strapped and I can find reputable dealers who test their stock, I’ll continue using recans for my shorts and docs.
����Shortend/recan dealers in NYC I’ve used:
����Raw Stock, 212-255-0445
����Steadisystems, 30 W. 21st, 212-647-0900
����Film Emporium, 212-681-6922