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Shooting one stock for an entire film


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#1 Adam Cohen

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 12:40 AM

I'm shooting a small budget film on 16mm with the SR3 this weekend. I have both interior(Sound Stage) and exterior scenes, a majority of which is exterior. I want the film to have a certain look throughout the entire project so I bought some 7218 from Kodak. I was thinking for the day interiors(Metro Bus) and exteriors(Street) of throwing on an 85 filter and ND'ing it down, the lighting will be natural; maybe some tracing paper on the windows and foamcore. My main concern is the grain and the color being consistent; also I like picking a stock and sticking with it for the entire film. I still have time to restock but no time to test. Should I grab some 7201 or 7205 to be safe?

Thanks,

Adam Cohen
DP, Los Angeles
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#2 Trevor Greenfield

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 12:46 AM

My 2c would be if you want to shoot sunny ext with 7218 bring A LOT of ND if you want a low stop/shallower DOF.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 12:51 AM

There is a fallacy in believing that using one stock in all situations leads to a more consistent-looking image; we see grain more clearly in low-contrast situations with large areas of midtones, so the same stock will look sharper and less grainy in a high-contrast night exterior than a low-contrast day exterior. So if the reasons for using one stock is for consistency's sake, you won't necessarily achieve a more consistent image doing things that way.

Everytime I see a feature where the DP used one stock for the whole movie, what I notice is how the stock looks different in different lighting scenarios, plus different due to exposure variations. For example, "The English Patient" was all shot on one 500T stock, yet some scenes are grainier than others.

Consistency is as much a perception issue as it is a technical issue. Our eyes expect to see more detail in a wide shot in the daytime than in a close-up at night, for example.

A better approach would be to use two stocks that are close in speed and look, like 5217 and 5218, and then use 5217 in scenes with more midtones and 5218 in scenes with more contrast and large areas of darkness.
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#4 Adam Cohen

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 01:29 AM

Thanks guys. Just the info I was looking for. I'm going to Kodak tomorrow and picking up the '17 stock.
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