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The Man Who Wasn't There


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#1 Jamie McIntyre

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 09:39 PM

Just a simple question here.

What film stock was the Coen Brothers film 'The Man Who Wasn't There' shot on?

I know it was a color stock and printed B&W in the US. I can't find the actual stock information on the internet.

Thanks.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 10:00 PM

It was covered in the October 2001 issue of "American Cinematographer".

Lower-contrast 5277 (Kodak Vision 320T) color negative, printed directly to 5269 b&w title stock processed to a more manageable (lower) gamma -- for dailies and select prints. The rest of the release prints were made from a b&w intermediate (don't know whether the IP or IN) to color print stock.
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#3 Jamie McIntyre

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 10:08 PM

It was covered in the October 2001 issue of "American Cinematographer".

Lower-contrast 5277 (Kodak Vision 320T) color negative, printed directly to 5269 b&w title stock processed to a more manageable (lower) gamma -- for dailies and select prints. The rest of the release prints were made from a b&w intermediate (don't know whether the IP or IN) to color print stock.


Thank you very much David. That's really helpful.

How do I go about obtaining back issues of the ASC magazine. My subscription only started a year ago. Do you know if the ASC magazine has covered such films as 'The Big Combo', 'Citizen Kane', and 'Touch Of Evil'?

Thanks,

Jamie McIntyre.
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#4 David Sweetman

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 12:51 AM

How do I go about obtaining back issues of the ASC magazine.

http://www.theasc.co.....y=Back Issues
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 01:13 AM

Gregg Toland wrote an article himself on "Citizen Kane" in the Feb. 1941 issue of AC. It has been reprinted twice over the years, in the Apr. 1975 and Aug. 1991 issues of the magazine. But it is so heavily quoted that you can read snippets of it all over the internet if you search under Toland and Citizen Kane. For example:
http://en.wikipedia....ki/Gregg_Toland

Most of the info is well-incorporated into the cinematography chapter of Carringer's book "The Making of 'Citizen Kane'".

AC ran historical articles (without much cinematography details) on John Alton (Sept. 1996) and "Touch of Evil" (Sept. 1998).
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#6 Jamie McIntyre

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 08:24 PM

Thanks again David, your posts are always very informative.

I sent Roger Deakins ASC BSC an email and I received this reply today:

'The Man Who Wasn't There' was shot on a 300 ASA stock, Kodak 5277 negative stock as I remember. I used a colour negative for it's speed and also because I thought it gave me a smoother image than the Double X B/W negative stock. The negative was printed directly onto a B/W sound stock for show prints (I don't have the number of that stock to hand right now but I believe it was 5269) and duped onto a B/W IN intermediary for the rest of the release. There was some special processing used to retain the density and clarity of the blacks which do tend to wash out when normally duping a colour negative.
I used no filtration at all. Lighting was quite minimal really, primarily because of the budget and schedule. There was nothing unusual, a lot of practical work and just a variety of 'looks'. I used a great deal of direct light for which my favored light was a 1K fresnel but there were also times I used large soft sources as I would more usually for a colour production. The 'theatrical' scene in the jail cell was created using a 6K par onto a shaped mirror. The car work was primarily done as blue screen (an advantage of shooting in colour) with various revolving lighting rigs mimicking the shadow pattern of trees that were visible on the plate we had shot prior to shooting the actors. We had a playback of the backgrounds so that we could roughly match the speed and timing of the shadows.
I don't think we had the Cooke S4s at that time so it would still have been a 535B with the Zeiss super speeds and the Zeiss Planar lenses.
I have no idea about key to fill ratio. I don't work that way at all as I just judge the contrast I want for a particular scene by eye. I believe you can get caught up by becoming too attached to your meter and not trusting your eye.
As I said, I think the colour stock allowed me to shoot with less light, get a better depth of field when I wanted it, and produce a smooth more 'modern' looking result. Although 'Shadow of Doubt' was a guide to the mood we were going for we were most definitely trying to produce a modern film and not emulate a 'film noir' of the past.

You might find more in an old Cinematographer magazine or feel free if you have any other specifics.

best,
Roger
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#7 David Sweetman

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 02:14 AM

I sent Roger Deakins ASC BSC an email and I received this reply today:

awesome!
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#8 Joseph Zizzo

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 02:46 PM

wow, what a great thread...

my favorite greg toland quote is something he said about orson welles when they were first making contact: according to an article in "the new yorker' not too long ago, toland recognized welles' talent as welles was just arriving on the scene in hollywood. toland called welles, saying he wanted to work with him. when colleagues asked toland why he wanted to work with a young theatre director who knew nothing about film, toland replied, "well that's the only way to learn, from someone who doesn't know anything!"

great example of keeping that beginner's mind...
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#9 Tony Brown

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 05:31 PM

Hi David

Do you commit all this archival info to memory or have you some devious search software that gives forth the information with a mouse click or two? :blink:

I cant remember what stock I was using last week never mind what print stock someone else was using 10 years ago......

h
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#10 Max Jacoby

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 02:38 AM

I don't think we had the Cooke S4s at that time so it would still have been a 535B with the Zeiss super speeds and the Zeiss Planar lenses.

Actually I crosschecked in the AC article and he did use Cooke S4s already.
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