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CSI miami look - with limitations


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#1 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 03:39 AM

hey hey,

hope you can help me out with this one :D
I've got a short coming up, set in the sunshine lit back yard
(same as the back yard scene from my feature film's preview)
Posted Image
you can view the preview here: http://www.translationthemovie.com

No lights have yet been booked (but can get anything I need - as long as the budget allows).
Got some short ends of 500T (around 600ft all up) and a can of 250D, 16mm Kodak.

The 'look' I'd like to achieve is that of CSI Miami.
I've been trying to find a photo that captures that look, but haven't found anything that hits the nail on the head. Basically, I am interested in utilizing what I already have (500T) in achieving that signature look... those saturated colours;

Any suggestions, tips on which lights to get? filters?

Thanks a bunch!
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#2 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 04:32 AM

hey

maybe 500 is a bit too fast for bright daylight use, especially if you wanna emulate the finer grain look of CSI. i would use 250 and rate it 200, and if you can afford it do skip bleach the film in the lab. i dont think they do it in CSI but that would definitely help you to get a overall higher contrast, saturated colors and crush the blacks. if youre in a tight budget you can always saturate the colors in post. remember that it also comes down to lighting, they use a lot of bright top backlight and soft keylight on the faces.

hope this helps

Freddie
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#3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 06:01 AM

hey

maybe 500 is a bit too fast for bright daylight use, especially if you wanna emulate the finer grain look of CSI. i would use 250 and rate it 200, and if you can afford it do skip bleach the film in the lab. i dont think they do it in CSI but that would definitely help you to get a overall higher contrast, saturated colors and crush the blacks. if youre in a tight budget you can always saturate the colors in post. remember that it also comes down to lighting, they use a lot of bright top backlight and soft keylight on the faces.

hope this helps

Freddie


Actually, Skip Bleach will desaturate the colours., and will look very different from the still. If you want saturated color and rich blacks, overexpose by 2/3 stop and print down.

The still that you've posted actually has a rather pastel quality to it, rather than highly saturated. Either way it's easily obtainable in telecine.
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#4 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 06:39 AM

Thanks for the input guys!

I agree with Stuart and think that skipping bleach wont do the 'signature' CSI Miami look that I am after, but Ill definitely take the lighting tip that Freddie mentions.
Overexposing by 2/3 of the stop and printing down makes sense, although I am still not certain that might be all that I need to achieve that 'signature' CSI Miami look. Plus, will I be able to pull it of with 500T?

The still above is not quite as saturated as most of their shots are, but as I mentioned in the original post, I just wasn't able to find any better once... here is another I tracked down.

Posted Image

Thanks guys!

just found this one... great background

Posted Image

and more of them here: http://www.kevingage...s/csi-miami.php

Edited by Lav Bodnaruk, 23 November 2006 - 06:41 AM.

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#5 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 06:52 AM

If you don't mind shooting reversal film, Ektachrome 100D should give you a contrasty, saturated look.
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#6 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 07:36 AM

mmmh, sorry if i gave a wrong tip! but when i skip bleached my negative, i used 200t, i definitely got more contrast and richer blacks. i was sure that happened with the bleach bypass process

Freddie
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#7 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 08:04 AM

mmmh, sorry if i gave a wrong tip! but when i skip bleached my negative, i used 200t, i definitely got more contrast and richer blacks. i was sure that happened with the bleach bypass process

Freddie


more contrast and richer blacks yes, but not more saturation; regardless of what stock you shoot on bleach bypass on the neg will desauturate your images.
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#8 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 08:07 AM

although it has a warm feeling, the picture of CSI you attached doesn't look very saturated to me. It's more the shallow DOF that's intriguing. As I remember CSI, they often use colored grades (maybe tobacco) for the sky on outdoor wide-shots... I haven't seen the show for a while, don't know If they still do that...
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#9 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 08:27 AM

you're right, i shouldnve said saturation...still unsure about these english terms!!! anyway i still wouldnt agree using 500...too fast for bright australian sunlight, but thats my humble opinion.

Freddie
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#10 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 08:58 AM

500...too fast for bright australian sunlight, but thats my humble opinion.


yep, heavy ND needed...

maybe something like a light chocolate, coral or tangerine filter for the warmth. To me some shots of CSI look like soft keylight and some diffusion (maybe Black Pro-Mist or Black Diff), but I can't really tell, I'm actually no DOP... :lol:
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#11 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 10:37 AM

havy ND to get that CSI depth of field on medium close ups, too...lots of glass
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#12 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 11:28 AM

I notice that most or all those shots were done in sunlight under large silks... then contrast added in post.
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#13 andres victorero

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 11:29 AM

If you shoot outdoor don´t forget about Pola filter, you archieve more saturated colors (sky) and less reflections. Go to a very wide iris to get shallow deep fied. study your background colors with lot of primary colors.
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#14 Keith Mottram

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 11:33 AM

and don't forget to get a good colourist! csi miami is heavilly graded, those shots don't look hi con in camera but do look heavilly 'posted'. so slow stock and a decent colourist is probably your best bet.
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#15 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 11:39 AM

Hm, I shoot constantly under the biggest "silk" in the world (horizon to horizon overcast) and my stuff doesn't come out looking anything like that!

Phil
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#16 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 11:55 AM

csi miami is heavilly graded

has anyone precise information what is done in post on CSI and what's done in camera? Grads, Diffs etc? just wondering...
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#17 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 09:09 PM

Thank you guys!

This has given me plenty to think about. I sort of see that my best option to getting that look is to change the stock I will be using, put a big silk over the scene and maybe see which filter (perhaps Pola filter as Andres mentioned or light Chocolate, Coral or Tangerine filter for warmth as Bernhard mentioned) might best suit the job... then leave it for heavy colour grade at the telecine.

I might see what my mate from Panavision suggests too, as far as the filters go;
Thanks!
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#18 Thomas Worth

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 12:07 PM

Keep in mind that CSI is shot for television. That means they could have shot it one way, and completely changed the look in post. Remember that shows meant for television, or films using a D.I. process for that matter, aren't limited to photochemically achieved looks. In fact, the whole concept of "achieving the look in camera" is obsolete, and in my humble opinion, very limiting. Of course, if you're worried about getting fired off a show and having the producer come up with the look in post, then be my guest -- bake it into the negative. However, for the most flexibility, you should shoot as low-contrast and "muddy" as possible, utilizing the high dynamic range of the negative to capture and store as much information about the scene as possible.

Here's an example of capturing all the information in the scene (the original is pretty muddy and ugly, huh?) and then extracting portions of that information to achieve your desired look. All in the comfort of an air-conditioned room without people bothering you. And by the way, you don't need a gimmicky tool like Magic Bullet to do this -- you can do the same thing in After Effects with its stock plugins:

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#19 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 08:36 PM

Thomas, that is a brilliant answer! I appreciate you posting! I am saving those pics, calling my post prod house and seeing that we can do exactly that! Thank you my friend

cheers from oz,
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#20 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 09:10 PM

Hi,

I'm not sure she'll thank you for the bleach bypass.

Phil
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