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I am Cuba


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#1 Alexandre Lucena

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 11:54 AM

I watched this documentary Called Soy Cuba. Filmed by the russians back in the 50s. I highly
recommend it to anyone. A master piece. But the one thing that called my attention was the use of
very sensitive film stock in a sequence where the landscape was mainly a sugar cane field. The light
was very harsh indeed and most DPs would use a slow stock, I guess. But they used something
around 6400. The result was a low contrast soft scale of gray tones. Exactly the opposite result
I believed this stock would yeld. I learned that the russian army used this stock for surveilance
tasks. It was so sensitive that it required specialised chambers to load mags. Why does it
delivers low contrast images in hard sun light ? How would I be able to mimic it in video format ?


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#2 Hal Smith

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 12:45 PM

I watched this documentary Called Soy Cuba. Filmed by the russians back in the 50s. I highly
recommend it to anyone. A master piece. But the one thing that called my attention was the use of
very sensitive film stock in a sequence where the landscape was mainly a sugar cane field. The light
was very harsh indeed and most DPs would use a slow stock, I guess. But they used something
around 6400. The result was a low contrast soft scale of gray tones. Exactly the opposite result
I believed this stock would yeld. I learned that the russian army used this stock for surveilance
tasks. It was so sensitive that it required specialised chambers to load mags. Why does it
delivers low contrast images in hard sun light ? How would I be able to mimic it in video format ?
Alexandre Lucena

I don't think you can really call "Soy Cuba" a documentary, it was a very thoroughly thought out work of Soviet propaganda. There's nothing wrong with that, I'm also a big fan of Leni Reifenstahl's work for the Nazis.

Much of "Soy Cuba" was shot on infrared film, that's why, for instance, in the opening aerial shots foliage seems to glow. The propaganda can get a bit heavy handed but "Soy Cuba" is a great film. Where did you see the reference to use also of a super-high speed stock? I'd like to research that aspect of "Soy Cuba". It's a film we can all learn from.

I doubt if you could get video to look like "Soy Cuba" under the same lighting conditions - the closest in my experience was the Marconi MKVII's I used to own - they were four plumbicon cameras and had a very nice low contrast pastel sort of look. The early "Masterpiece Theatres" were shot with MKVII's, but of course they also had the BBC's Art and Costume Departments working on that look!
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#3 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 12:49 PM

. But the one thing that called my attention was the use of
very sensitive film stock in a sequence where the landscape was mainly a sugar cane field. The light
was very harsh indeed and most DPs would use a slow stock, I guess. But they used something
around 6400. The result was a low contrast soft scale of gray tones. Exactly the opposite result
I believed this stock would yeld. I learned that the russian army used this stock for surveilance
tasks. It was so sensitive that it required specialised chambers to load mags. Why does it
delivers low contrast images in hard sun light ? How would I be able to mimic it in video format ?


---The 'very sensitve filmstock' is infrared. The sensitivity is to wavelengths of non-visible light, not to levels of light.

I doubt that it is EI6400, though sensitivity to to wavelengths greater than 640 nm sounds right.
Chlorophyll reflects IR, which is why foliage is recorded as white.

The night vision setting in many camcorders is IR.
Using that with a deep red filter or an IR filter, which is visibly opaque, and ND filters ought to give something similar.

---LV
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#4 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 01:41 PM

Kodak makes infrared sensitive films, mostly for the aerial reconnaissance and scientific/medical markets:

http://www.kodak.com...pq-locale=en_US

http://www.kodak.com...hbx=sdrproducts

These films are not normally finished to motion-picture formats, and are not readily available for motion-picture use.
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#5 Olex Kalynychenko

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 02:45 PM

I watched this documentary Called Soy Cuba. Filmed by the russians back in the 50s. I highly
recommend it to anyone. A master piece. But the one thing that called my attention was the use of
very sensitive film stock in a sequence where the landscape was mainly a sugar cane field. The light
was very harsh indeed and most DPs would use a slow stock, I guess. But they used something
around 6400. The result was a low contrast soft scale of gray tones. Exactly the opposite result
I believed this stock would yeld. I learned that the russian army used this stock for surveilance
tasks. It was so sensitive that it required specialised chambers to load mags. Why does it
delivers low contrast images in hard sun light ? How would I be able to mimic it in video format ?
Alexandre Lucena


Hi.
I agree of yoru idea, what this is great film. This is one from films of great russian DOP's Mixail Kolatozov ( Kolotashvilli ) and Sergey Urusevsky.
I not supportof idea, what this is full propagandistic film.
The great work of DOPs not damage of any idea.

About technical side.
I have not full confirmed information about technical side of this film, but, a some supposition.
This is handheld style of shooting ( Sergey Urusevskiy used this style ) with Konvas-1 camera and super wide lenses 16 mm and other.

About films, i not think, what this is 6400 ASA. The 90 % of all russian films use Svema or Tasma films.
Svema had T42 1200 ASA films with sensitivity at IR zone.
Tasma had T17 film.
I had experience of use of T42 film and push film up to 1800..2000 ASA, but, not 6400.
This is film have a some sensitivity at IR zone and footages with red filters very good.
I have not any confirmation, what T42 film use on this film.
Possible , at 1960.,, Svema had film similar T42.

T42 film have high contrast and if you posh , the contrast increase.
If you use low contrast developer, the speed of film diminish on 300. 400 ASA.
Svema have very good cine films A2SH, 320 ASA. This is film can be push up to 700..800 ASA .
This is film can be processing with very low contrast and have speed 60..120 ASA.
The filters can cut volume of contrast too.
This was very popular film for shooting at USSR.
The other type of films ( Svema ) NK-2SH 100 ASA, ( Tasma ) KN-1, KN-2, KN-3, KN-4 .

Any case, this is great work of great DOPs.

About video. To edit on computer or film shooting .
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#6 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 03:13 PM

About technical side.
I have not full confirmed information about technical side of this film, but, a some supposition.
This is handheld style of shooting ( Sergey Urusevskiy used this style ) with Konvas-1 camera and super wide lenses 16 mm and other.


---According to The American Cinematographer article it was shot with an Eclair Cameflex which was owned by the cameraman. The Kinoptik 9.8mm lens was used for much of the film.

When the Russians went there they did present some Konvases and a Druzhba to the Cuban film studio.
But the Cubans were never able use the Druzhba because it had a %) Hz motor and Cuba used 60 Hz like the US.

The IR stock was made by a very small 'factory', maybe just two people there, which made the film for scientific research purposes. & it had a cellophane base instead of the usual acetate base.

---LV
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#7 Alexandre Lucena

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Posted 19 July 2006 - 03:34 PM

Mixail Kolatozov has been added to my top ten DPs list. The one shot funeral sequence, the hotel top
down to the swimming pool and the rebel fighting the water gun are sequences that are now
printed in my brain and I hope they will stay there for as long as I live.


Alexandre "brain washed" Lucena
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#8 Olex Kalynychenko

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 04:03 AM

---According to The American Cinematographer article it was shot with an Eclair Cameflex which was owned by the cameraman. The Kinoptik 9.8mm lens was used for much of the film.

When the Russians went there they did present some Konvases and a Druzhba to the Cuban film studio.
But the Cubans were never able use the Druzhba because it had a %) Hz motor and Cuba used 60 Hz like the US.

The IR stock was made by a very small 'factory', maybe just two people there, which made the film for scientific research purposes. & it had a cellophane base instead of the usual acetate base.

---LV


Yes, Druzba ( big weight studio cine camera ) have AC motor with 50 HZ main power.
But, Druzba can have DC motor too.
About special IR film on acetate base, this can be two color film with one IR layer and one " normal" layer for scientific reasearch purposes.
This film have two difference color pictures after processing. First IR picture, second " normal " picture.
This is very interesting information.


And other.
I think, you need check films of Sergey Urusevskiy too
http://www.peoples.r...cer/urusevskiy/

Movie " Letyat jyravli " 1957
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#9 Raffinator

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 03:47 AM

Mixail Kolatozov has been added to my top ten DPs list. The one shot funeral sequence, the hotel top
down to the swimming pool and the rebel fighting the water gun are sequences that are now
printed in my brain and I hope they will stay there for as long as I live.
Alexandre "brain washed" Lucena


I agree. That was one of the most breathtaking scenes that I've ever watched. Left me speechless.

No, I didn't agree with the politics, but who could argue with that kind of filmmaking? Amazing.
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Aerial Filmworks

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