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The 70s look, color reversal, and VNF


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#1 Josh Huuuugggg

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 10:10 PM

We shot a short film on 7240 VNF reversal a couple of years ago and really loved the graininess and muted color. We stumbled on it quite by accident, and we're far from experts at this stuff. Now, we want to shoot another project with the same 70s feel, but 7240 VNF seems to have been discontinued.

Was the 70s feel from the fact that was VNF?

The only color reversal I can find is 7285. Is this the only color reversal being made? From what I can tell reading these forums, it was the fact that our 7240 was VNF, not that it was reversal, which made it grainy. Is that true?

Are we going to have to add the effect digitally [which seems duplicitous somehow], or are there 16mm film stocks still being produced which are similar? Is there a way that we can have the film processed to give it this look?

Edited by Josh Huuuugggg, 25 October 2006 - 10:13 PM.

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#2 Jon Kukla

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 04:08 PM

The 70s look wasn't really the result of one factor - it had to do with everything including film stocks, lab processing, intermediate and release print stocks, filtration, aesthetic trends in lighting, production design, and creative color palette choices.

However, as far as the film stocks themselves go, don't forget that the post-processing for many of those films included processes like CRI, which also added its own characteristics. There are also other things that you can do to modern stocks to match them more closely to what you're looking for...

If you're looking for graininess and muted color, then there are few things you can try - silver retention in conjunction with a low-con stock (in order to desaturate without overdoing the contrast too much), pull processing, underexposure, color grading, etc. Don't forget that it's much easier to create muted colors when you're shooting them to begin with - ie, planning this out with your production designer and wardrobe designer. Then you can concentrate on the stock and processing mainly for grain.

But as the advice always is, testing as much as you have the means to is probably best... :)
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#3 Will Montgomery

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 09:05 PM

Kodak Vision2 Expression 500T stock might be a start for you. I've noticed the lower contrast and slightly less vibrant colors while still a sharp stock and low grain for a 500T. Several Fuji stocks are also noted for this characteristic too, I think the 400T especially.

If you liked VNF, you may like the look of a reversal like the new Ektrachrome 100D but have the contrast lowered in post. A reversal film gives a slightly dated look almost automatically.
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#4 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 06:08 AM

In the movie 'The Life Aquatic' with Bill Murray, the (mock) vintage documentary footage within the film was shot with an Ektachrome reversal film stock.

Edited by Patrick Cooper, 31 October 2006 - 06:09 AM.

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#5 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 02:28 AM

"...it was the fact that our 7240 was VNF, not that it was reversal, which made it grainy. Is that true?"

Generally, reversal films are finer grained than negative films of the same speed. That is unless you're comparing a really old reversal film with a modern negative film.
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#6 Sir Alvin Ekarma

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 12:37 PM

I think another thing to keep in mind with the whole 70's look is how film/tv shows were presented for many years i.e. not the best way possible. I'm not an expert but local stations used 16mm film prints film chained to 3/4" tape for a lot of their programming; those set-ups weren't exactly state of the art and that was standard until at least the late 80s, and basically the same setups were used when the video boom hit in the early 80's with the first generation of rental tapes. But now with the telecine and color correction available today, most of them could have been shot yesterday and I'm not talking the big budget stuff-- even the kung-fu chop sockys look nice with the tech now available and using original negatives or interpositives.
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#7 K Borowski

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 01:00 PM

I'm still hoping Kodak is going to expand its selection of E6 available in cine films. E64T, a stock relatively unchanged since the late 70s would be a perfect match for VNF, either with tweaked processing or contrast lowered in post. It has a very very similar look to VNF unaltered, as they're both the same era film technology. All of the older Ektachrome films have remained unchanged at the insistance of magazine photographers who, working without digital, demanded a consistant look, and predicatable, easy shooting from year to year.

Regards,

~Karl Borowski
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#8 steve hyde

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 06:20 PM

If you are finishing on video, you might consider shooting super 8 color negatives and having a high quality transfer at a place like www.fsft.com It is a vintage look to be sure..... or shoot the color negatives on 16mm and ask the colorist to stylize the look for exactly what you want. It is probably best to dial in the look at the time of transfer rather than adding effects in the NLE..

Steve
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#9 Craig Bowman

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 12:57 AM

The reversal stocks I remember shooting in the 70's were 7252 and 7242.
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