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help...shoot this weekend on 7218


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#1 John Sellar

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 11:24 PM

Hello,

I shot an NYU short last weekend on the 7218. Got the dailies back and was slightly disappointed. I lit mostly with 1k bounces and china-balls (what came in our kit). This was my first real DP gig; I'd only shot my own stuff up until now. I shot mostly b&w reversal last term, so I'm used to its contrast and latutude...but as you know, the 7218's latitude is WIDE, not what I'm used to lighting for...everything looks flat, bright and boring. The director seemed happy, but I wasn't.

I'm shooting another student short this weekend on the same stock. As far as exposure and timing, does anyone have suggestions for how I can get more saturation and depth? We're doing a best light transfer, I don't think the director will ever want to do anything more. no prints or supervised transfer.

Thanks for any help.

-John
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#2 John Sellar

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 11:45 PM

**more saturation and contrast I mean.

Edited by John Francis McCarthy, 07 March 2007 - 11:45 PM.

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#3 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 11:59 PM

Well overexposing 2/3 of a stop will help. But to get more contrast, simply light it with more contrast. Since you shot it last week you will have a better idea of what you are dealing with.

To be completely honest, I find that '18 when looking through a ground glass, the film records pretty much what my eye sees. I have yet to be surprised when seeing the results from any of the Vision 2 line I have worked with ('17, '18, '05), that is not necessarily a good thing to me, I'm prepping a show that I am testing '29 on, and maybe I will be more surprised with the results as its a low-con stock.

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#4 John Sellar

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 12:14 AM

yeah...what I saw IS what I got. What really ticks me off is that I took some 35mm slides on kodak elite chrome 400 just for fun, and they look exactly how I wanted (and thought) the actual film would look as far as contrast and depth. so I'll overexpose 2/3 a stop, how should I shoot my greycard?
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#5 Jarin Blaschke

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 12:40 AM

If you got video dailies, it's quite common for the transfer to be safe and flat for a one-light. You can simply ask for more contrast.

If it's film dailies you're responding to, give the film more exposure - rate it at 250 or 320 or for even more contrast, rate it at 500 or 640 and push it a stop. This will bring some more grain, though. The most effective thing to do, though, would be to put more contrast in the lighting.
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#6 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 12:46 AM

Shoot your gray card the same as you are shooting the scene (unless you want to "trick" the colorist into a certain look you want, such as warming the image up, etc.).

Lighting for more contrast is the best way to get more contrast, just use your eyes, that film is going to render what you see. If this is just going to live in video it should be really easy to dial in the look you want.

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#7 John Sellar

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 01:08 AM

Kevin:

I'd like to do as little tweaking in avid as possbile. I'm trying to not rely on post so much. I won't learn anything that way. I've just started shooting, I need to learn how to make it look the way I want in the can, before the telecine. You know?

Jarin:

I am going by the video dailes, so it might be more of a timing issue.

The director for this weekend doesn't want to push process.

thanks for your help guys.
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#8 Hal Smith

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 01:18 AM

yeah...what I saw IS what I got. What really ticks me off is that I took some 35mm slides on kodak elite chrome 400 just for fun, and they look exactly how I wanted (and thought) the actual film would look as far as contrast and depth. so I'll overexpose 2/3 a stop, how should I shoot my greycard?

Any possibility of shooting with 7285? That will give you a "look" like what your looking for. The Elite Chrome wouldn't be radically different from 5285/7585. I've run tests between Ektachrome E100VS and 5285, they look exactly the same. I'm not all that smart, I asked John Pytlak first if E100VS and 5285 wouldn't be real similar after I compared their technical data and he confirmed that were very similar films.
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#9 Jarin Blaschke

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 02:42 AM

Well, you virtually never get a 'normal' contrast transfer in dailies - they always give you low contrast in a one-light. I was just thinking, if you light for more contrast, they'll probably lift the blacks anyway. You should just ask for a snappy transfer.
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#10 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 03:14 AM

If you're getting best light dailies, then be sure to start your rolls with a nice 18% grey card, exposed the same as you will be shooting the rest of the roll. That way, at least it'll be timed correctly and closer to what you want.

7218 is kind of a high contrast stock anyways, so just light it for high contrast.

I just noticed I'm really just reiterating what Kevin said. So yeah, grey card is key since it's really not as subjective as say, a MacBeth color chart.
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#11 Chris Keth

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 04:46 AM

If you're getting best light dailies, then be sure to start your rolls with a nice 18% grey card, exposed the same as you will be shooting the rest of the roll. That way, at least it'll be timed correctly and closer to what you want.

7218 is kind of a high contrast stock anyways, so just light it for high contrast.

I just noticed I'm really just reiterating what Kevin said. So yeah, grey card is key since it's really not as subjective as say, a MacBeth color chart.


A macbeth color chart isn't subjective. Each of those patches has very exact CIEL*A*B* color coordinates associated with it. The first four are "memory" colors meant to approximate foliage, sky, light and dark skin tones. The rest of that row and the next are colors that are difficult to reproduce and are therefore useful when attempting to reproduce an entire color gamut. The third row are gamut colors, that is red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, and yellow. These help to take note of any differences in input and output gamuts to a good median can be reached. The last row is a neutral grey scale, which includes an 18% chip. There are also a range of techniques used to compare a reproduction of the scale to the original that would help you to get just the right output.

I would use a well-shot macbeth chart over a greycard every time. It has loads of useful information that most people never even take advantage of because they don't know it's there. Better to have excess information about your imaging system than not enough, right? (or this could be the scientist part of me talking)

I took too long to edit. This might help explain things.

Edited by Christopher D. Keth, 08 March 2007 - 04:47 AM.

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#12 John Sellar

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 09:46 AM

Hal: We've already bought the '18 stock; no going back.

So should simply light for contrast and tell postworks to give me more contrast in the transer? Or should I do those things and also overexpose by 2/3 of a stop?
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#13 Patrick McGowan

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 11:41 AM

I would do most of what is being said here rather than asking the colorist to give you more contrast. That could be hit or miss compared to the control you would have with a good color correction system. (unless you are getting a supervised transfer) Last time I shot that stock, I lit the scene a bit too flat and rated the stock at 400. I would rate the stock at 320, which should be the same as overexposing by 2/3 of a stop.
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#14 John Holland

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 12:17 PM

If you're getting best light dailies, then be sure to start your rolls with a nice 18% grey card, exposed the same as you will be shooting the rest of the roll. That way, at least it'll be timed correctly and closer to what you want.

7218 is kind of a high contrast stock anyways, so just light it for high contrast.

I just noticed I'm really just reiterating what Kevin said. So yeah, grey card is key since it's really not as subjective as say, a MacBeth color chart.


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#15 John Holland

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 12:27 PM

Sorry cock up there didnt mean to reply . :)
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#16 Hal Smith

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 12:33 PM

Hal: We've already bought the '18 stock; no going back.

Have you got a spot meter handy? Zone metering for contrast would be helpful.
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#17 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 12:36 PM

I would use a well-shot macbeth chart over a greycard every time. It has loads of useful information that most people never even take advantage of because they don't know it's there. Better to have excess information about your imaging system than not enough, right? (or this could be the scientist part of me talking)


Whether it's "better" or gives more information for each specific color isn't really the big issue. The majority of color timers prefer a large 18% grey with black and white elements (for example the Kodak grey card plus).

I don't know any timers who are so familiar with the Macbeth chart that they can judge by the colors themselves, not to mention the colors between MacBeth and say the Kodak or any other color chart do differ in pigment. Plus, colors fade over time easier than the elements of a good grey card.

You can basically judge any color shift or bias just by referencing the 18% grey.

I think for shooting tests, a MacBeth chart can work pretty well in getting an instant perspective of a stock's color range...but for the timer's sake, a large grey card is key.

btw, is it bad luck to refer to the MacBeth chart by its name? Shouldn't we call it the "Scottish Chart"? he he

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 08 March 2007 - 12:38 PM.

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#18 John Thomas

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 09:59 PM

John,

As Jarin said: A lot of colorists are trained to transfer your film in a flat/safe way so that you will have max control when you do a tape to tape color correct in the future. Call the transfer house and speak with the colorist.

Make sure that you are screening the video in the best possible situation. Your decent dailies can look like crap if the room is not dark and the monitor is poorly adjusted. Can you make your dailies look better by adjusting the monitor?

7218 is a great stock. If it is properly exposed and developed it will not make a handsomely lit scene look flat. As an NYU student, I'm sure that you can't afford to overpower the natural lighting in you locations. Sometimes it's easier to take some light away and build a little contrast. Thank you grips! Good luck
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#19 Chris Keth

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 11:57 PM

Whether it's "better" or gives more information for each specific color isn't really the big issue. The majority of color timers prefer a large 18% grey with black and white elements (for example the Kodak grey card plus).

I don't know any timers who are so familiar with the Macbeth chart that they can judge by the colors themselves, not to mention the colors between MacBeth and say the Kodak or any other color chart do differ in pigment. Plus, colors fade over time easier than the elements of a good grey card.

You can basically judge any color shift or bias just by referencing the 18% grey.

I think for shooting tests, a MacBeth chart can work pretty well in getting an instant perspective of a stock's color range...but for the timer's sake, a large grey card is key.

btw, is it bad luck to refer to the MacBeth chart by its name? Shouldn't we call it the "Scottish Chart"? he he


A macbeth chart does have black, white, and 18% grey references, plus a lot more. It's fine if a timer doesn't use it all but I think it's useful to have the rest to objectively judge transfer results.
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#20 Jon Kukla

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 11:26 AM

Christopher, I have to agree with what's been said above. Sometimes the easiest principle to follow is: minimize the potential for f***up. I always use a grayscale and Macbeth chart for my tests, but I never use the Macbeth during the actual shoot. I have no doubts about the capabilities of the chart - it's the capabilities of the colorist that I'm most concerned with. I want to make the colorist's job as straightforward as possible - that means the largest fields of reference I can provide, which I can safely assume that anyone decently trained can competently work with. I don't want to worry about whether or not smaller squares will appear large enough on the neg (or the monitor, for that matter) in order to be gauged. And I doubt that the average colorist will actually reference the individual squares' values against the charts - at least, not unless they already can tell that their system isn't working properly. Otherwise, I would imagine that most guys work as much by what their eyes are telling them as what the vectorscope/RGB values are displaying.

Keep it simple.
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