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#1 Michael Nash

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 04:28 PM

I checked this out on DVD last night. Uneven film, but a really elegant look. Fred Elmes has always had a rather "classy" approach to his lighting, a delicate balance between naturalism and a more "classic" Hollywood approach.

I've hunted around but couldn't find too many technical details (if it was in AC I missed that issue). From what I have been able to find it was Hawk anamorphics and 5218. One website also listed "5247" which didn't sound right to me; I wonder if it was really '74.

What I noted on the DVD is that the color and contrast was just exceptionally smooth and natural -- almost to the point where highlights looked a little dull, and reds a little muted but very pleasing skin tones. Since I don't know if this film went through a DI, I was curious what filters or processes may have been used. Some of it looked like perhaps an Antique Suede #1, but with a DVD transfer you can't always tell.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 06:32 PM

There was a short article in the January 2005 issue of AC. He shot with JDC anamorphics, as he did on "Ride with the Devil". Vision 200T (5274) for the bulk of the movie; 5279 for low-light scenes, and Double-X b&w neg for the b&w scenes.

It was also covered in the November 2004 issue of ICG Magazine. That article mentions a little 5245 being used for some bright exterior scenes. It also says that the 50mm JDC anamorphic was the workhorse lens on the shoot, with the 100mm being used for close-ups.

Not mentioned in the articles, but it was clear to me that, like with "Ride with the Devil", he shot most of the movie at the same f-stop, probably a T/2.8-4 split. Don't know if he netted the lens as he has sometimes done in the past, but the movie had a somewhat softer texture in the theaters. Could be just the softness of the JDC lenses shot near wide-open; these lenses are based around Cooke S2 & S3 optics.
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#3 Michael Nash

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 12:39 AM

Thanks! Just goes to show you can't always trust everything you read on the internet (5218 and 5247 are not '79 and '74!) ;)

I'll have to brush up on the JDC lenses; I'm aware of them but don't know much about their character. I did notice a bit of barrel distortion in some scenes, but very few artifacts in others, beyond the shallow depth of some CU's.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 01:08 AM

JDC anamorphics were developed by Joe Dunton in the early 1980's after having worked on prepping Todd-AO anamorphics for DeLaurentis. They are similar to the Technovision anamorphics developed in the 1970's and used by Storaro -- basically converted Cooke S2/3 optics and Shiga anamorphic elements. Some Zeiss lenses were also adapted to create Super-Speed versions.

Some famous JDC anamorphic shoots early on after they were introduced were "Return of the Jedi" and "The Mission." More recently, they were used on "The Interpreter" (along with Technovision lenses.)

They are one of the more compact anamorphic lens series on the market, similar in size to C-Series Panavision lenses if not a little lighter. They have that Cooke look in terms of the contrast.

You can rent them through JDC Rentals in North Carolina or the U.K.
http://www.joedunton.co.uk/
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#5 Michael Nash

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 01:22 AM

They have that Cooke look in terms of the contrast.


That's it, I can see it now. I checked out The Interpreter after reading the AC article and noticed the same thing.
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#6 Matt Pacini

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 12:49 PM

I really enjoyed this movie, and I thought the look was great; it fit the time period, without being at all heavy handed to create the desired effect.

I'm guessing the B&W scenes were on 16mm?
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 01:08 PM

No, mostly 35mm anamorphic Double-X (which is pretty grainy). But some footage was duped a couple of times to make it look like archival footage, and there might have been a little 16mm Tri-X reversal shot for some classroom films, etc.
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