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Eighties film look


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#1 batman12

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 04:22 AM

Hey guys (andor gals) I'd like to start by saying I really appreciate what you do. I am a director/writer and I appreciate your art. So I am going to come to the source of knowledge for this question. How can I achieve tthe look of an 80's film..... Ex. Ghostbusters,Beverly Hills Cop.... I think you guys of all ppl know what "look" I'm talking about. Older films like that have a distict look, at least to me. What would be the best film stock/camera to use? (Think of films with musical montages and horrible clothes)

THANKS IN ADVANCE GUYS
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 12:56 PM

Hey guys (andor gals) I'd like to start by saying I really appreciate what you do. I am a director/writer and I appreciate your art. So I am going to come to the source of knowledge for this question. How can I achieve tthe look of an 80's film..... Ex. Ghostbusters,Beverly Hills Cop.... I think you guys of all ppl know what "look" I'm talking about. Older films like that have a distict look, at least to me. What would be the best film stock/camera to use? (Think of films with musical montages and horrible clothes)

THANKS IN ADVANCE GUYS


"The Wedding Singer" sort of copied that style...

Technically, it depends on if you are shooting in 35mm or not, as these movies did. This was the early days of high-speed film and some films were somewhat grainy, but if you're shooting in Super-16, you don't want to do anything to exaggerate the grain since Super-16 is already grainier than 35mm.

I find that uncorrected HMI backlight (on tungsten stock) through smoke, especially for blue moonlight, is a typical bad 80's look... Also some use of 70's diffusion filters (like Fog or Double-Fog) which didn't mix well with the early 80's high-speed stocks, causing the grain to pop. And there was still some old-fashioned hard lighting being done at the time mixed into the more modern soft-light approach.

The stocks were a little more contrasty back then, so maybe push-process a slower-speed stock to match a high-speed stock of that period.

But this all depends on if you are matching the bad 80's look, because some stuff still looks pretty modern to my eyes, not dated that much. Other than the fashion on display, some of those films are lit in a modern style.
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#3 Richardson Leao

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 10:19 PM

Hi,

You could try to buy old stock. I recentely bought 2 rolls of 7247 and it looks very eighties. The person that sold me may have more rolls.


"The Wedding Singer" sort of copied that style...

Technically, it depends on if you are shooting in 35mm or not, as these movies did. This was the early days of high-speed film and some films were somewhat grainy, but if you're shooting in Super-16, you don't want to do anything to exaggerate the grain since Super-16 is already grainier than 35mm.

I find that uncorrected HMI backlight (on tungsten stock) through smoke, especially for blue moonlight, is a typical bad 80's look... Also some use of 70's diffusion filters (like Fog or Double-Fog) which didn't mix well with the early 80's high-speed stocks, causing the grain to pop. And there was still some old-fashioned hard lighting being done at the time mixed into the more modern soft-light approach.

The stocks were a little more contrasty back then, so maybe push-process a slower-speed stock to match a high-speed stock of that period.

But this all depends on if you are matching the bad 80's look, because some stuff still looks pretty modern to my eyes, not dated that much. Other than the fashion on display, some of those films are lit in a modern style.


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#4 John Carreon

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 10:44 PM

I find that uncorrected HMI backlight (on tungsten stock) through smoke, especially for blue moonlight, is a typical bad 80's look... Also some use of 70's diffusion filters (like Fog or Double-Fog) which didn't mix well with the early 80's high-speed stocks, causing the grain to pop. And there was still some old-fashioned hard lighting being done at the time mixed into the more modern soft-light approach.


I have an upcoming project that is asking for an exaggerated 80's look. However I am unsure if we'll be shooting on Super 16mm or HD. For shooting an "uncorrected HMI (on tungsten stock)" but on video would you want to white balance on a certain color to bring out that over-dramatized BLUE moonlight? Or do you think it would more easily done in post?

Also we were talking about making it look as if it was a recently "found" copy of some 80's movie...I was thinking about giving it some generation loss (planning to end on DVD). Do you think that dropping it down to an analog format, making a dupe and then mastering that out to HD would give it that look?

Yes, I know it seems a waste to shoot it pretty and then drag it through the mud...but hopefully it will help the product.

Thanks,

John Carreon
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#5 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 02:36 AM

Don't forget some of the poorly executed "day for night" effects that a lot of those 80's films did. Use "Caddyshack" as a point of reference.
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#6 Paul Bruening

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 04:55 PM

Hello,

I agree with David. Dirty Dancing is on Weas I write this. It looks like anything shot straight these days. Except for the change in film stock, the technology is roughly the same in 35mm production today as it was in the 80s. There are, however, some signature scenes that smell more like those times. Maybe, you might wish to ask the forum members, "What is your favorite example of an 80s signature shot?" and then ask how they did that scene. For me, it is the overly blue day-for-night scene in Ladyhawke.

Good luck with your projects.
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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FJS International, LLC

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The Slider

Opal

CineLab

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

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