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How to get this look?


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#1 Rob Wilton

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 09:04 AM

Dear all,

my director has given me some references for her film and it includes these two pictures by Jan Saudek.
How would one go about getting a look as similar as possible to these pictures? Especially the skin tones..
I imagine things colour and diffusion filters.........
Is something like this achievable in post-production, using for example secondary colour correction in post?

thanks so much!

regards

Rob Wilton

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[attachment=1857:attachment]
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 11:26 AM

Obviously the soft overhead lighting and painted backdrops are important -- it's almost like early Silent Era photography, use of skylights, etc.

To me, the photos look like hand-painted b&w -- don't know if that's the case. Assuming you don't want to shoot in b&w and colorize everything, then I'd say use a low-con stock, maybe even overexposed and pull-processed, transfer it on the desaturated side but be prepared to play around with areas in the frame.

As for diffusion, the shots don't look that diffused -- they remind me more of the softness that comes from flashing, hence why I recommend pull-processing. Maybe you could try something like a Tiffen Smoque filter or a Harrison Double Fog if you want.

The second example has a surface texture that feels more like a photo of a photo, or a color xerox. Could just be the reproduction though. You could try using some sort of software to add a surface texture, or try rephotographing the image off of a movie screen while it is being projected, although that may be too extreme.
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#3 John Holland

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 12:30 PM

I cant see any diffusion in the pics you have posted . They look to me as being lit with a large soft back / over headlight and some very soft fill .



the one with women on the dog is just lit from frame right with soft light . dont think anything done to enhance the pic , but whp knows .
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#4 Ken Cangi

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 12:34 PM

I agree with David. Unless this effect is available in a Photoshop type program, it is definitely b&w that has been hand hinted.
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#5 Nick Mulder

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 03:54 PM

I suspect they are done on photoshop but this kind of look was achievable with stills processes such as Gum Bichromate.

polaroid transfers also ...

Youd need a damn large neg or polaroid sheet to get that resolution though

Sorry it doesn't help you make yer film ...
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#6 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 05:18 PM

i'm pretty certain saudek used hand-tinting.

emulating this look is going to be very post-heavy. there are generally two ways to achieve this...
1. lots and lots of moderately skilled labor doing quick & dirty roto to give you the fields of color.
2. a moderate amount of work by a very very skilled colorist (using complicated conversions/extractions involving colorspaces that contain the luma & chroma in separate channels) working with thoroughly art-directed footage. it might help the colorist if you do a saturated/overexposed pass in telecine.

either one of those will require a healthy post budget.

but there are numerous ways that you can achieve results that are fairly similar (at least to the average person's eyes) to the saudek look, that will be easier and cheaper. it might be a good idea to ask the director specifically what it is about the saudek images that they like and hone in on recreating those attributes... like if they only really care about saturated pastel colors, soft-but-contrasty lighting, and some kind of diffusion, then that'll probably be obtainable with just the shoot and a lil' telecine work. but again, getting 95%+ to the look of hand-tinted b/w is going to need a lot of post work. hope this helps.
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