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#1 Dominik Muench

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 10:10 AM

Hi guys,


last week i shot a music video on pretty short notice and preproduction in an old industrial bulding.
filmstock was Fuji Eterna 500T. normal processing. two days ago when we had telecine i had the worst day of my "career" so far, the footage looked pretty bad in my opinion, very dark and absolutely NO detail in darker image areas even though there was light there.

lenses were zeiss super speeds and i mostly shot betwen F 1,4 - F 2,2

here are some screenshots of the footage:

http://www.hereticarts.com/1.jpg
http://www.hereticarts.com/2.jpg
http://www.hereticarts.com/3.jpg
http://www.hereticarts.com/4.jpg

especially in image 2-4 you can see that everything around the actress is pitch black, even though there should have been enough light to get some detail in the negative.

could there have something happened during the development or did i just screw up big time lighting wise ?
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 10:26 AM

Hi guys,
last week i shot a music video on pretty short notice and preproduction in an old industrial bulding.
filmstock was Fuji Eterna 500T. normal processing. two days ago when we had telecine i had the worst day of my "career" so far, the footage looked pretty bad in my opinion, very dark and absolutely NO detail in darker image areas even though there was light there.

lenses were zeiss super speeds and i mostly shot betwen F 1,4 - F 2,2

here are some screenshots of the footage:

http://www.hereticarts.com/1.jpg
http://www.hereticarts.com/2.jpg
http://www.hereticarts.com/3.jpg
http://www.hereticarts.com/4.jpg

especially in image 2-4 you can see that everything around the actress is pitch black, even though there should have been enough light to get some detail in the negative.

could there have something happened during the development or did i just screw up big time lighting wise ?


Dominik,

2 questions, did the camera have an adjustable shutter and what was the telecine?

Stephen
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#3 John Holland

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 10:36 AM

Hi guys,
last week i shot a music video on pretty short notice and preproduction in an old industrial bulding.
filmstock was Fuji Eterna 500T. normal processing. two days ago when we had telecine i had the worst day of my "career" so far, the footage looked pretty bad in my opinion, very dark and absolutely NO detail in darker image areas even though there was light there.

lenses were zeiss super speeds and i mostly shot betwen F 1,4 - F 2,2

here are some screenshots of the footage:

http://www.hereticarts.com/1.jpg
http://www.hereticarts.com/2.jpg
http://www.hereticarts.com/3.jpg
http://www.hereticarts.com/4.jpg

especially in image 2-4 you can see that everything around the actress is pitch black, even though there should have been enough light to get some detail in the negative.

could there have something happened during the development or did i just screw up big time lighting wise ?



Hi guys,
last week i shot a music video on pretty short notice and preproduction in an old industrial bulding.
filmstock was Fuji Eterna 500T. normal processing. two days ago when we had telecine i had the worst day of my "career" so far, the footage looked pretty bad in my opinion, very dark and absolutely NO detail in darker image areas even though there was light there.

lenses were zeiss super speeds and i mostly shot betwen F 1,4 - F 2,2

here are some screenshots of the footage:

http://www.hereticarts.com/1.jpg
http://www.hereticarts.com/2.jpg
http://www.hereticarts.com/3.jpg
http://www.hereticarts.com/4.jpg

especially in image 2-4 you can see that everything around the actress is pitch black, even though there should have been enough light to get some detail in the negative.

could there have something happened during the development or did i just screw up big time lighting wise ?

Sorry apart from follow spot where was the lighting ? johnholland .
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#4 Dominik Muench

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 12:05 PM

stephen: no the camera was an arri srI.
telecine was on a davinci HD system.

john: no particular lighting for the clip but some ambient and practical lighting, it was actually quite bright around the "lit" stage areas, thats why im so surprised that these areas went so black.
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#5 Filip Plesha

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 01:06 PM

Sorry I'm just understimating your problem, but how did you meter it?
It looks to me as if you took a reading directly from your lightsource where it hits the surface strongest, and then exposed for that reading. Or as it is often said: "exposed for highlights"
And in this case, your light is more like backlight, and as far as I can see this kind of stuff is always exposed
so that the backlight is one or two stops over the key, even if the key is bounced.

But then, I don't shoot movies.
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#6 Dominik Muench

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 01:10 PM

well, i usually meter into the direction of the lens, plus the side where the light is coming from and then find a ballance between those readings. i often expose for highlights thats right, but usually i stay half a stop or so under the "highlight" reading.
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#7 Filip Plesha

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 01:23 PM

Yea but in case of such strong directional light, exposing for highlights will result in everything else being pretty dark.

You probably had several stops difference between your main light, and the bounce in the rest of the room. If you expose for the brightest part, the rest of the room is supose to be several stops below your mid gray, which in case of film (even negative) is pretty dark.


Did you see the film? IF this is how you metered the dark parts should be pretty thin, or pure base


Your eyes always avarage out the difference. Your eyes for example can see "in one take" both the interrior of a dark room with one window and the exterior after dusk drrn though a window. Both parts are within the range of the eye, and seem almost equally lit, but the difference is between 5 and 6 stops of light (I just metered it) and that is way more than any film can handle, the underexposure latitude is usually about 2 stops

Edited by Filip Plesha, 16 May 2006 - 01:24 PM.

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#8 Dominik Muench

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 01:42 PM

hi filip,


you might be right, that sort of metering in those particular circumstances really might have been wrong, i guess i relied too much on the wide exposure latitude, call me a T grain victim :/
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#9 Filip Plesha

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 02:05 PM

The advantage of imrpoved latitude is mostly visible in overexposure. That's where the big headroom is, and that's where you "trust" latitude to take care of the problem.

Modern films have certainly filled shadows with details, but the improvement is not such that you can underexpose film by two stops and pretend that nothing happened.
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#10 Dominik Muench

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 02:08 PM

damn :/ guess i was too much in "shooting with digital" mode, im usually pretty scared of overexposure, guess thats why i went for the highlights. oh boy :/ i go n hide for a month n hit myself with the lightmeter carry strap.

at least i have to tell something in the "Memorable Blunders" section at the last ASC Magazine page when they come to interview me :)

Edited by Dmuench, 16 May 2006 - 02:10 PM.

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#11 Canney

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 02:19 PM

In post production you can increase the brightness by doing a gamma and highlight correction. I would decrease the gamma to around .84 and it should improve the picture's visibilty and keep color deteroiration to a minimal. I'll do some test on your pics and get back to you. Due note when changeing the gama to a lower setting the picture will lose color and become B&W.

My recommendation however is if you can refilm then do it, keeping everything that the people above said in mind. Doing corrections for severe problems in post is only as a last resort because there is only so much you can do.
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#12 Dominik Muench

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 02:21 PM

hi canney, thanks for the help.

reshoot is not an option, the production was absolute low budget.
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#13 Olex Kalynychenko

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 03:40 PM

stephen: no the camera was an arri srI.
telecine was on a davinci HD system.


I hope, the film was fresh ?
You shoot test image with gray and color scale ?

What format of footages you received from Telecine ?
Possible, this was computer file of Dpx 10 bit log ? and you open by After Effects ?

You can make simply test.
Take cut of negative and print photos on photo lab.
The result can show you quality of negative.
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#14 Dominik Muench

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 03:43 PM

yep i got the film 3 days before the shoot from fuji.
nope, didnt have the time for film and camera tests :/

i got a digibeta tape and then a transfer from digibeta to miniDv...thats the only format the editor could accept easily.

as far as i know the editor is using after effects for all the effects stuff yes.
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#15 Dominic Case

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 05:42 PM

could there have something happened during the development or did i just screw up big time lighting wise ?

Forget all this chat about what sort of telecine, and meering and so on.

Filip has already asked this question: Did you see the film?

In other words, LOOK AT THE NEGATIVE. Not on the telecine. Open it up on a light bench. What is the image like? You will easily see if the image is there as you lit it (in which case go back to telecine and get them to do a proper transfer), or if it's thin - almost non-existent even. Is the dmin as it should be, or is it old, aged stock. Are you sure it was Eterna 500T? Any chance of a mistake there? What do the edge numbers tell you? As Olex asks - did you shoot a grey scale? What does that look like?
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#16 Jim Murdoch

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 08:41 PM

You know that the 35mm still camera format was originally developed in the 1920s as an inexpensive way of shooting on-set tests, using movie camera stock, to avoid this sort of problem.

Although there's no practical way of shooting a test still with 16mm film, nonetheless, by using a 35mm still film that at least approximates the speed of your motion picture stock, you get a rough idea of how it will behave lighting-wise, for not too much money. As Dominic has pointed out, when you're troubleshooting a bad take, the negative is the most important thing, and that's what you neeed to look at in a test.

A 24-shot roll of 35mm still film and a one-hour minilab charge is pretty cheap insurance if you're on a tight budget. It won't tell you everything, but it will serve to highlight possible problems.

Generally, there's a lot more that can be done to fix over-exposed negative film than under-exposed, which is pretty much the reverse of shooting with video cameras.
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#17 Dominik Muench

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 03:06 AM

Forget all this chat about what sort of telecine, and meering and so on.

Filip has already asked this question: Did you see the film?

In other words, LOOK AT THE NEGATIVE. Not on the telecine. Open it up on a light bench. What is the image like? You will easily see if the image is there as you lit it (in which case go back to telecine and get them to do a proper transfer), or if it's thin - almost non-existent even. Is the dmin as it should be, or is it old, aged stock. Are you sure it was Eterna 500T? Any chance of a mistake there? What do the edge numbers tell you? As Olex asks - did you shoot a grey scale? What does that look like?



hi dominic,

iu havent looked at the negative itself yet, i will try and do that this afternoon. whats dmin if you dont mind me asking ?
the stock is deff eterna 500T, i ordered it directly by Fuji Kine Films Germany and i loaded it personaly out of the original can. i will check teh edge number this afternoon as well.

no i didnt shoot a grayscale before the shoot.

You know that the 35mm still camera format was originally developed in the 1920s as an inexpensive way of shooting on-set tests, using movie camera stock, to avoid this sort of problem.

Although there's no practical way of shooting a test still with 16mm film, nonetheless, by using a 35mm still film that at least approximates the speed of your motion picture stock, you get a rough idea of how it will behave lighting-wise, for not too much money. As Dominic has pointed out, when you're troubleshooting a bad take, the negative is the most important thing, and that's what you neeed to look at in a test.

A 24-shot roll of 35mm still film and a one-hour minilab charge is pretty cheap insurance if you're on a tight budget. It won't tell you everything, but it will serve to highlight possible problems.

Generally, there's a lot more that can be done to fix over-exposed negative film than under-exposed, which is pretty much the reverse of shooting with video cameras.



jim, ive got a digital SLR which i often use for previsualization, however this shoot was on such a tigh schedule that i simply didnt think of using it :/
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#18 Stephen Williams

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 03:16 AM

hi dominic,

iu havent looked at the negative itself yet, i will try and do that this afternoon. whats dmin if you dont mind me asking ?
the stock is deff eterna 500T, i ordered it directly by Fuji Kine Films Germany and i loaded it personaly out of the original can. i will check teh edge number this afternoon as well.

no i didnt shoot a grayscale before the shoot.
jim, ive got a digital SLR which i often use for previsualization, however this shoot was on such a tigh schedule that i simply didnt think of using it :/


When in telecine I always look at the neg myself. If the pictures looks different to what I was expecting ask them to put up Kodak telecine test film. Then when the test film looks good swoop back your footage without changing any settings. There may be a colour cast but the exposure should be close.

If the telecine is say a FDL 90 slight underexposure looks terrible. An old telecine maybe connected to a new looking DaVinci

Stephen
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#19 Dominik Muench

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 03:23 AM

i try n have a look at the negative later,dont ahve a light bench but a pair of gloves and a flashlight should do the job :)

so you dont think i simply could have screwed up the metering ?
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#20 John Holland

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 03:43 AM

i try n have a look at the negative later,dont ahve a light bench but a pair of gloves and a flashlight should do the job :)

so you dont think i simply could have screwed up the metering ?

Yes afraid so , as said in earlier post , as the subject was mostly backlit should have exposed for the shadows , shouldnt worry about overexposure when shooting colour neg . In fact i always overexpose by about 1 stop . john holland.
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