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The Movie North Country


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#1 Ronney Ross

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 10:21 PM

I got a chance to see this film in the theater a couple of weeks ago. The way it was lit it seemed to have a natural toned look. Anybody that has seen it know if it was shot using:

Available light in the outdoor sequences,

What do u think the film stock was?


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 11:10 PM

It was mostly shot on Fuji Eterna 500T in Super-35, then a DI was done to create a 35mm anamorphic IN. The look was supposed to resemble some of the softer colors in a William Eccleston photograph, but clearly there was a documentary aesthetic as well.

The Fuji newsletter article says that it was entirely shot on Eterna 500T, but when I was in New Mexico shooting last month (where parts of "North Country" was shot) a Fuji rep had mentioned that some F-64D and F-250D may have been used as well.

I hired the same gaffer, Steve Litecky, so he told me lots of stories about the "North Country" shoot; generally sets were only lit from the outside through windows, with practicals, and with hidden small lights. There were no lights on stands in rooms. He made some panels of multiple tiny lightbulbs (like Christmas tree lights or something) on a dimmer; it was rather warm (both in color and in heat) but it was very flat and could be mounted on ceilings and walls. He also said that daytime car scenes were never lit; Chris Menges would just drape white cloth in the car to catch the light.

Big difference in light levels with our shoot, with me shooting often at an f/5.6 in anamorphic and overexposing the stocks by 2/3's of a stop...

Edited by David Mullen, 20 November 2005 - 11:23 PM.

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#3 Ronney Ross

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 11:22 PM

Thanks David,

I was just wondering about it b/c it was a great looking film, Sad story though.

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#4 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 05:03 PM

Shoot on Fuji? Don't expect to read about it in ASC Magazine.

I know, I know - my old tired diatribe. But seriously, this is more than a coincidence. And on every "mingle-at-the-clubhouse" shoot, there's always a million Kodak rep's and Kodak Achievemnt award winners and whatnot. I've never seen a Fuji rep in one of those pictures.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 06:09 PM

Well, that's partly just the odds -- there is one Fuji rep for every five Kodak reps at any industry event. Even when I went to HD Expo, I ran into THREE Kodak reps right off the bat and no Fuji reps. They are well-represented.

The magazine is not particularly anti-Fuji. Just the other day, I ran into Richard Crudo, ASC, the president of the ASC, and he said "nice article about 'Shadowboxer' in the Fuji newsletter!"

It's just that since the magazine is primarily focused on big studio productions, and the majority of those are shot on Kodak, well...

The magazine has recently run feature articles on "War of the Worlds", "Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit", "Into the West", all part or totally shot on Fuji, and shorter articles on "Where the Truth Lies", "2046", "The Great Water", "The Dying Gaul".

I'd say that the magazine does not actively avoid Fuji so much as it reflects a certain attitude among cinematographers working in Hollywood who favor Kodak. In other words, they'd have to go out of their way and look for Fuji productions more actively if they wanted a higher representation of Fuji in the magazine. Last year, a Fuji-shot feature was even the cover article ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"). Now that wouldn't have happened if Kodak were secretly controlling editorial content, would it?

Truth is that, because they are aiming for wider readership outside of the industry, film stock is not a factor in what features the magazine decides to write about.
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#6 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 06:43 PM

Maybe, but some movies are so big, or so hyped up they couldn't really avoid writing about them. Like Eternal Sunshine or a film shot by Kaminski, for instance. Punch Drunk Love, Crash, Driven, Garden State, I Heart Huckabees, Solaris - these are not small or insignificant independent backyard movies.

And what about those insidious portraits of famous DP's all shot with well-publicised Kodak digital cameras? What's up with that? Fine, so it's a sponsorship, but it's presented as something out of the clubbouse. Also, is it me, or are Ron Garcia, ASC, Robbie Greenberg, ASC and many other DP's who endorsed Fuji publicly kind of never heard of again (editorially, of course)?

I'm not saying that maybe it's an active agenda, just that perhaps they have a little to comfy relationship with some manufacturers?

Edited by AdamFrisch, 21 November 2005 - 06:44 PM.

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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 07:53 PM

The magazine's "agenda" is to sell magazines -- they write about big movies because they think that's what people would like to read. They also favor the work of "big" DP's for the same reason.

Sure, Kodak has been a big supporter of the ASC for a long time, which has many ramifications, but not really one of editorial policy. I can list many significant KODAK features that they should have written about...

Edited by David Mullen, 21 November 2005 - 07:56 PM.

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#8 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 06:43 AM

I look at it like this: About 1 in 6 jobs I do, whether it's a feature, commercial, music video, or TV is Fuji. The rest are Kodak. And about 1 in 6 articles I read in AC involve Fuji. Seems to work out about right to me.
By the way, I believe I read about North Country in AC recently...although it may have been a different magazine. I can't remember at the moment.
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