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Ocher colors, grainy look


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#1 David Vecchio

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 01:50 PM

I have to shoot in a small town, very dry and barren, so I want to emphazise this features by making the image look "dirty", grainy and with an ocher/brownish dominant.
We´ll probably be using an ARRI SR II EVOLUTION MK4 camera (handheld), mostly with wide angle lenses. And the scenes are outdoors, using sunlight.
So, I'd appreciate some advice on techniques to achieve this purpose (what's the best film stock, filters, process, postproduction, etc)
(the film will be blown up to 35mm)

thanks a lot!
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#2 Dan Horstman

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 02:26 PM

Shoot a clean negative and "mess it up" in post.

If you want to establish the look in camera, however, shoot some tests with different filters, try push processing the film (to increase the grain and contrast), try different levels of under-exposure (give you more grain and make thinks more milky looking), or try cross processing color reversal film. With this route shoot tests, then shoot some more tests, and finally shoot some more tests.
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#3 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 03:12 PM

I have to shoot in a small town, very dry and barren, so I want to emphazise this features by making the image look "dirty", grainy and with an ocher/brownish dominant.
We´ll probably be using an ARRI SR II EVOLUTION MK4 camera (handheld), mostly with wide angle lenses. And the scenes are outdoors, using sunlight.
So, I'd appreciate some advice on techniques to achieve this purpose (what's the best film stock, filters, process, postproduction, etc)
(the film will be blown up to 35mm)

thanks a lot!


Several things to test:

1. Use a higher speed film (more graininess)
2. Underexpose (more graininess, less density and detail in the shadows)
3. Filtration (tobacco, coral, contrast reduction)
4. A bit of fog on the set.
5. Shoot into the sun to get lens flares and haze.
6. You might be tempted to actually blow some dust around -- watch out for the equipment.
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#4 Paul M. Sommers

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 02:55 PM

Several things to test:

1. Use a higher speed film (more graininess)
2. Underexpose (more graininess, less density and detail in the shadows)
3. Filtration (tobacco, coral, contrast reduction)
4. A bit of fog on the set.
5. Shoot into the sun to get lens flares and haze.
6. You might be tempted to actually blow some dust around -- watch out for the equipment.



Push 7279 3 stops and bleach bypass it 100%. Set your meter at 2000asa and you will get some really gritty footage. I like the antique suede and the tobacco filters. Your operator will curse you because there will be so much nd infront of the lens he won't be able to see anything, but it will look great.

Whatever you do don't let them do it in post. You should maintain as much control of the image as possible. What you put on the negative is yours. How well do you know the folks in post. Would you let them light the lead actress?

Paul M. Sommers
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#5 David Vecchio

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 09:57 PM

yes, I was trying not to do this kind of things on post... I was also leaning for the Antique Suede.
alright, then, thanks a lot for the advice! :D
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#6 Dominic Case

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 08:38 PM

Whatever you do don't let them do it in post. You should maintain as much control of the image as possible. What you put on the negative is yours.

The negative is only the first part of the story. The audience doesn't watch the negative.

Of course you shoot as much as you can into the negative. That way the final results are more controllable, more predictable, and usually . . . better!

But it has to go through some sort of process in post, whatever you want. In this case it will go through a blow-up which may or may not be digital, and it will have to be graded. If you don't have a close relationship with the grader/timer/colorist, then you won't see what you want to see on the screen.

I'd agree with a fast stock for the graininess, shooting into the sun to get underexposed shadows and lens flares (as John suggests), and probably a tobacco or similar filter.

I would be very cautious about a 3-stop push, let alone doing that with a bleach bypass on a high speed stock. Much too heavy-handed. Your job is to support the look and feel of the story, not to dominate it.
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#7 Jonathan Benny

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 09:40 PM

I have to shoot in a small town, very dry and barren, so I want to emphazise this features by making the image look "dirty", grainy and with an ocher/brownish dominant.


A cleaner image can actually emphasize a dry, barren location and feel. I personally would not add too much grain to the negative (particularly since this is a blowup). The location should already, through art dec (or its natural state), create a feel and you would have the option to seperate your characters from that feeling of dryness if you wanted to.

To enhance the location, blowing dust across set can work great (when done with restraint). I like using corals in such a situation. And also consider reducing saturation but maintaining/increasing contrast (a bleach bypass to the print can be an interesting choice - particularly with corals and if you want contrast - cleaner than if you bleach bypass the neg - but still "dirtier" and more contrasty than a normal print). I like contrast for this situation.

(Alternitavely, sometimes a lower-con image can bring out the dryness of a location as well - like a layer of dust on everything. If you like low-con, the old Fuji F400 was wonderful if you can get your hands on it. The new Eterna400, also good, but doesn't have as much of that "dusty" feel to it. You'll get your grain on the blowup.)

7201 if you don't want low-con. You'll get grain on your blowup but not too bad with this stock. If you're not liking the cleaner image idea, then a test with bleach bypass print from a blowup can give you some results that you might like if you want contrast - particularly if you experiment with different degrees of corals etc.

To much grain and you can start to lose a handle of what the location has to offer. Perhaps you don't want to paint the characters with the same brush as the location.

Check out how 7201 (+5 -5) looks on a blowup to 35 - and also have a print bleach bypassed. You might find that you don't need to push at all to get the dirty look you want.

AJB
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