Years before TV shows like Once Upon a Time and Grimm, GadZook Films made a short that brought fairy-tale characters to life in the real world. That short was called "Old Tricks". I wrote a bit about it when we premiered it at Local Sightings at the Northwest Film Forum back in 2007.
In that post I described how we shot the film, using a Cinevate Brevis 35mm adapter. They don't even make them anymore otherwise I'd link you to Cinevate's site. Due to the technicalities of getting the adapter to work on the camera, a Canon HV20, it left an inconsistent vignette around the image. As we were short on time my editor and I chose to add a full block vignette around the entire image. This made for a more consistent picture but chopped out about 10% of viewable area from the image. We knew going in there were potential downsides to the format, but overall it created a really dream-like image. Almost 16mm in it's effect.
Nowadays HDSLRs are all the rage and cost a fraction of what the adapter and HV20 cost and do the same job. And that's awesome! There are certainly other tools out there to enhance images; hacks for cameras, DIY steadicams, etc. The bootstrap appeal to indie filmmaking has kept me in the game.
Tell me about tips and tricks you use to get the look you're after! And please don't forget to rate the video on YouTube/Vimeo as well! Thanks!