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Tarkovsky's Stalker


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#1 Nick Mulder

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 05:35 PM

Just watched this...

and I should say watched, the images were too distracting from reading the speedy subtitles... Only a hint of an idea as to the plot but what really impressed me was the monochrome elements of the film.

Does anyone have any info as to how this particular look was achieved ?

Lighting, stock, processing - any info appreciated

I have a load or 20 of 16mm Plus X I'd like to make a short with that would have a similar look - wet, low-key, deep blacks etc... especially the indoor scenes - I know I can use sodium sulphide instead of the re-exposure and redevelop step for a sepia tone look but I'm yet to test this, in Stalker the tone of the black and white isn't always sepia, it hints on blue and straight B+W at times also, heck maybe even a subtle solarization effect in parts ?

.. I'm aware that a good supervised telecine session could yield near on anything I was after, but I'd like to try for in camera/home processing and maybe even a home edit - to hell with the scratches, I'll work them into the story :lol:

Any lighting, production design, stock/film processing advice would be greatly appreciated - But if I do go for a transfer for reasons out of my control any info regarding that route appreciated also

thanks~!

nick
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 05:38 PM

I believe the desaturated scenes in "The Sacrifice" were created in an optical printer, like "Sophie's Choice" did for the flashbacks -- basically a b&w positive copy of the color negative combined with a color IP to create a new desaturated dupe negative. So perhaps this was used for "Stalker" (don't know, haven't seen the movie.)
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#3 Max Jacoby

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 05:41 PM

I would kill for a look like in 'Stalker'. One of the best looking films ever in my opinion.

I'm sure they shot on real b&w, but because part of the film is in color, they had to print the b&w onto color intermediate and print stock, which explains the tint.

You know of course that after they first finished shooting the film, the lab screwed up all the footage and they had to reshoot everything.
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#4 Nick Mulder

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 06:48 PM

righto, yes I remember hearing about B+W being hard to get exact on color print stock (without a cast in one direction or another) - Intended or not, I certainly love it - It could be an option

and yep I read about the developing problem just earlier, soviet conspiracies even!

I'll experiment with my stock here - a push and I'll try the sulphide also but upon reflection I think a fair amount of the look is in lighting and the overall wetness of everything, its hard to tell but it looks like a heap of the set has been hosed down sometime prior to shooting, 'wet' even in the bar and bedroom scenes which youd think would be far removed from the derelict and yet in some ways similar Zone interiors

In trying to be as cheap'n'cheerful where I can be as I have the time (cheap'n'cheerful certainly isn't planned as the aesthetic). Because of this I'm keen to avoid the labs as much as possible and will be potentially cutting the actual +ve shot in camera and developed at home (like I said earlier, any large scratches, dust or damaged film will be written into the script ;) ) - However unless I want it to be home movie night at Nicks for a month I understand as a final product it will either need to be transfered and/or blown up to 35mm

When it comes to either process will the Plus-X reversal cause any problems or extra $teps in the process ? I was going to take advantage of Super16 but after having seen Stalker maybe the academy ratio would be the go ...
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