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#1 Michael Collier

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 02:59 PM

Ok, I shot my film. I am waiting for the film to come back, but something about the waiting has me nervous. I tried something a little out there for my tastes on this film. The rest of the film I was looking to nail exposure. just 1/3 overexposed consistently throughout the film....then we came to the apex of the film.

Here was my thinking: our charecter is about to die in a dream. The film progressivly works its way from cool blue, to even bluer, then to a dirty green color to emerge outside mysteriously. I wanted that scene BRIGHT. like I wanted it to hurt peoples eyes a tad in theater, and make them feel like they just walked through a door in a darkend room to an outside scene (as our charecter does)

I also sort of wanted a traffic look to it. I metered a 3 stop difference between shadow and highlight (it was a clear sky day, high contrast). This was supposed to be the first really warm scene, but I wanted a transition from the blue to warm in the first few shots.

I shot the first shot normal. This will be a short shot, and in the post (digital post) I will be able take it to blue and keyframe it to gradually warm up and brighten very quickly. Now the rest of the shots I exposed 2 2/3 stops over the direct suns readings and shot with the actors backlit (on top of the 1/3 over I rated everything else). I assume we will see detail in the face (on key, maybe a bit darker) and have the highlights blow out wildly. This is the sort of look I wanted, but will I just get a thin neg with nothing really visible? I worked it off my experience in video and still, assuming that vision2 will have more latitude than those stocks, but I didn't have the time or money to test. I am not too concerned with a REALLY over exposed neg (actualy thats what I want) but will it be too much to tell whats going on?

I guess my question is...can this look good (well its supposed to be REALLY crazy) but will it be unwatchable? Does anyone have an example or experience overexposing a backlit scene like this? I guess I am just nervous since I have not gotten footage back yet, and likely won't for some time...just want to put my mind at ease.

tech specs: 7217 200t, rated 16D (2/3stop compensation for the 85b, 1/3 general overexposure, 2 2/3s over exposure) direct sun: f8 ambient light f:2.8 (with meter at 16), shot at a 2.8-4 split (with only 85B filter, no ND). I think thats right. Let me know if I fudged any of the numbers, I don't have my camera reports with me.

So.....can anyone with authority say one way or another what to expect? I was told if your unsure and out on a ledge, that may be when your in for some good stuff, but maybe I just screwed up the neg.
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#2 Chance Shirley

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 04:04 PM

Here's an exposure example for 7217 from Kodak's website:

http://www.kodak.com...s....10.6&lc=en

Based on my limited experience, and this example, I'd say if you exposed the actors properly, they'll be visible, and the background will be blown out.

Unless the colorist pulls everything down in transfer, bringing detail to the background and leaving your actors in silhouette. Even at 3 stops overexposed, I'll bet there's enough detail on the negative to do it this way. Did you tell the colorist the way you want the scene to look (actors exposed "normal," background blown out)?
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#3 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 04:28 PM

Overexposing creates a denser neg, not a thinner one.

Your actor's face should be visible- you said it was at or slightly below key, correct?- and the rest will be extremely bright, though maybe with a little bit of detail remaining. I did a scene once where I purposely overexposed by 2 or 3 stops (can't remember), and was really happy with how it turned out. Sky was blown out completely, and the actor's face was very hot, but it's still totally watchable. A tip from my teacher was to use a bit of light diffusion on the lens when doing this; it helps to make it look like your overexposure was intentional rather than unintentional, and makes the highlights bleed over a little more.
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#4 timHealy

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 05:41 PM

In terms of overexposure I don't think it will look too bad. Film is really good latitude wise and you may find that if the background contained darker colors, you may not have overexposed enough. If it was a white snowy background I would think you would be on the verge of losing details on the direct sunlight areas. But some of this would depend on the steps you would take in the transfer or print.

Just my 2 cents

best

Tim
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#5 Michael Collier

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 07:21 PM

Overexposing creates a denser neg, not a thinner one.


Thanks for the info. I was under the impression that a thin neg referred to a neg that had little information, weather that be over or underexposed. I suppose thin really refers to the actual density of the neg (makes sense of course)


In terms of overexposure I don't think it will look too bad. Film is really good latitude wise and you may find that if the background contained darker colors, you may not have overexposed enough. If it was a white snowy background I would think you would be on the verge of losing details on the direct sunlight areas. But some of this would depend on the steps you would take in the transfer or print.


Thanks for that answer (and the other answers I got) thats what I am looking to hear. In planning it sounded like a good idea, on set it seemed a good idea, but now that I have to wait, you know how it is...butterflies. Its the end of the movie, which if it didn't look right, I wouldn't be able to complete the film until next summer, but I didn't want a bland middle of the road finnish to this one.

It was darker backgrounds (for the charecter I wanted to have a darker background) of a backlit mountain. her stalker had darker colors in the lower third of the screen where the coast was, but lighter colors as light fog/UV haze on the ocean created a lighter color (no reflection off the ocean, since the ocean sun was to his 2oclock (camera at about 10 oclock) he will be bright, she will be darker. Also the charecters were wearing dark colors. Now I am less worried, and can relax a bit.

Thanks again. Any other things I should expect just let me know! I haven't talked to the colorist yet, since we are proccessing, waiting for more money to do a one light telecine, then months down the road I will have a suppervised HD session. After the onelight I will be able to tell which way we need to go and be ready to talk with the colorist about what I want and what is possible.
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#6 timHealy

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 07:39 PM

If you can afford it ask about doing a supervised transfer. You'll be able to learn from the process in many ways. Occasionally ask the colorist to show you the image clean without any color correction so that you can see what you did to the negative.

You can learn something everyday!

Best

Tim
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#7 Michael Collier

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 07:55 PM

Well actually I can't afford a supervised transfer for the offline SD cut. I am getting the first as a one-light to save money. I can't even afford to fly down to be there for the supervised HD transfer. I just got to trust the colorist (part of the reason I chose a lab with a great reputation). I will be on the phone so that I can sort of describe what I want, and working from the one-light I will know aproximatley what is possible, though I understand a lot of the highlight detail will be absent in the one-light, but talking with the lab on the phone I will be able to get it right (if nothing else, have them transfer it a bit darker than I want and tweek it in the final HD conform)

I have lots of options to get this perfect (esp since I won't be printing, just doing an HD master of it) but just knowing something will be on the neg makes me feel good.

I may order a print of this one scene, just so I can put it up on a projector and see aproximatley what was there and learn. After all, thats why I spent so much money on film out of pocket...to learn.
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