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What tests should I do pre-Film shoot


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#1 Jacqueline Donaldson

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 01:58 AM

HI guys,

I wanted to know if there are standard tests I should do with the film before I shoot?(over exposing / underexposing, I guess are the norm to get familiar with the films latitude, but what else should I be planning to do?)

How much film I should allow for this and is the processing is usually included in the agreed Lab price?

Thanks Jac...
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#2 Patrick Neary

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 03:16 PM

Howdy-

Test as much as you need to, and however much they'll let you. Last December I was able to shoot emulsion comparisons for a feature gearing up in New Mexico with 5205, 5218 and Fuji Eterna 500 and the new Eterna 250d, printed (both one-light and timed) to 2383 and Fuji's new XD print stock. These were basic, person-in-a-chair surrounded by chip charts, over and underexposed by half-stops, three stops both directions. I think we ended up with about 40 minutes worth of prints (which unfortunately I still haven't seen because the production lost a big chunk of their financing just before X-mas.)

I had never been allowed this amount of testing before, on any project, and leaned heavily on Gerald Hirschfeld's article in AC (Sept 2005 ) and Stephen Burum's chapter in the ACS's "Reflections" book for guidance, but really, the basic set-up is very simple.

As I understood the deal in this case, the lab (fotokem) charged for the printing, but would have applied those costs to the lab work on the actual feature. Which still may happen, I hope...

As for other tests, I've HEARD of other DP's getting to shoot make-up, wardrobe and other tests...
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#3 Mike Williamson

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 05:11 PM

Patrick is right, test as much as you can and push for money if it's not forthcoming. Depending on how much time you have, I'd break the testing up into two phases, A) trying different stocks with a given scene that represents sort of how you might be shooting, and once you've picked the stocks, B) doing latitude and contrast tests, wardrobe tests, etc. on the stocks you've chosen.

By doing two sets of tests, you can get a general idea of what's going to get the overall look you want, then try and figure out the particular characteristics of those stocks and see where they break down. Make sure you find out where things get ugly in testing so that you know exactly what each film can do. Part of your tests should look really terrible, otherwise how will you know you've gone far enough? Also, make sure you see your tests taken all the way through to the end of your work flow, whether that's a film print, HD telecine, whatever.
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#4 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 09:22 PM

If you are going to be shooting Kodak stocks; check out http://www.kodak.com...omparison.jhtml

I don't think you really need to test the stocks, after reading the great details on this chart. I'm not sure about Fuji stocks, since I haven't used them, but if you've got money in the production to test shoot, go for it.

Push that Kodak Vision 2 stock 4-7 stops in either direction. It's slated to handle that.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 11:27 PM

Push that Kodak Vision 2 stock 4-7 stops in either direction. It's slated to handle that.


You obviously don't mean "push" as in "push process". You mean over and underexpose 4 to 7 stops in either direction from normal to see when the image goes black or burns out to white. Obviously it would look pretty lousy shot 4 stops under or overexposed and printed to normal. And there isn't much reason to push process more than by two stops max.
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#6 Stephen Williams

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 03:39 AM

I don't think you really need to test the stocks, after reading the great details on this chart. I'm not sure about Fuji stocks, since I haven't used them, but if you've got money in the production to test shoot, go for it.

Push that Kodak Vision 2 stock 4-7 stops in either direction. It's slated to handle that.


Hi,

You have clearly never shot any film tests in your life.

Stephen
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#7 Patrick Neary

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 10:43 AM

Push that Kodak Vision 2 stock 4-7 stops in either direction. It's slated to handle that.


and when the negative comes back from the lab with nothing on it because you underexposed it 7 stops(!) you can triumphantly tell the producer that the stock was slated to handle that, based on an online chart.

not to be mean, just pointing out a possible flaw in technique here... ;)
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#8 Jacqueline Donaldson

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Posted 26 February 2006 - 07:28 AM

Thanks guys, that gives me something to go on.
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