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Speaking of Harris Savides...


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#1 John Herzog

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 08:34 PM

Does anyone out there know what film stock(s) Mr. Savides used for "Margot at the Wedding"? From the trailer I've seen, I really like the look of the movie (low contrast, desaturated pastels, somewhat dark overall).

Anyway, if someone could enlighten me, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks!
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#2 Richard Vialet

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 04:30 AM

Not sure about the specifics about Margot at the Wedding (sure there will be articles and stuff coming out soon), but Savides seems to usually stick to the lower contrast Kodak stocks like the Vision 320T when it was around (Gerry, Birth, The Yards?) and the 500T Expression stocks (Last Days), and supposedly likes some underexposure, so I'm guessing its the same for Margot.

I really interested in what he did on American Gangster and see the outcome in theaters, supposedly he used that new Technicolor desaturation process that they have (called "Oz" I think, silver retention maybe?). Maybe the great all-knowers can chime in?
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 08:29 AM

I'm sure "American Gangster" probably went through a D.I., in which case, desaturation is very easy to do.

Technicolor already has a silver retention print process called ENR; maybe they are now offering some sort of partial skip-bleach neg process, like Deakin's did at Deluxe for "Jarhead".
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#4 Collin Brink

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 01:19 PM

OZ is another silver-retention process, similar to ENR in that it's a redevelopment bath on the print.

The look is in the silver retention family too: desaturation, much denser blacks, etc. Like other forms of silver retention on the print, the highlights burn a little but the effect is much stronger in the shadows.

It differs from Technicolor's ENR in being all-or-nothing (no dialing in different IRE). It's also at the more extreme end in terms of desaturation and contrast: maybe it would be like having an ENR of 120-130 IRE, whereas I think the max Technicolor offers is 100. When I tested it I also noticed certain colors desaturated more than others--red in particular. The other difference I noticed is pretty subjective, but something about the OZ process and those blacks gave the image more snap, maybe more "apparent sharpness" than even the ENR.

It's not actually that new, having been around for 2-3 years. American Gangster is just the first major picture to commit to it--and it sounds like they will have a full run of release prints with OZ. I also seem to remember my friends at Technicolor saying that "Gangster" was all photochemical, but I could have this wrong.

Edited by Collin Brink, 22 August 2007 - 01:19 PM.

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#5 Ignacio Aguilar

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 04:22 PM

I also seem to remember my friends at Technicolor saying that "Gangster" was all photochemical, but I could have this wrong.


The HD trailer available online is framed in standard 1.85:1, which increases the chances for a photochemical finish. But if they shot it in Super-35 (either for a 1.85 or 2.35 release) then it will be a D.I. for sure. All that I can tell from the trailer is that they have used Cooke S4 lenses.
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#6 Jason Debus

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 10:49 AM

Does anyone out there know what film stock(s) Mr. Savides used for "Margot at the Wedding"? From the trailer I've seen, I really like the look of the movie (low contrast, desaturated pastels, somewhat dark overall).


I don't know if it's the crappy apple encoding or what but it really looks like it was shot on video. 'Squid and the Whale' was 16mm, perhaps the director used it again here. But it doesn't look like 35mm to me.
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#7 Byron Karl

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 10:56 AM

To follow-up on this... I heard from the man himself that it was finished photo-chemically. He made a comment that only Zodiac used the DI process and that everything else he has done feature wise was finished photo-chemically. He added that he was concerned, because on American Gangster he noticed that the infrastructure has shifted to expect a DI, despite that fact he feels he gets the best result photo-chemically.

My personal opinion on all this digital stuff is that I'm sick of hearing about how everything is switching to digital (and has been on the low-end moving up), despite it not being an improvement in quality.

But I'm sure you're more interested in the opinion of Mr. Savides. He mentioned also that this switch to expecting a DI means that the personnel are not going to be there for photochemical finishing in the future. Prior to working on a DI he had heard of a bunch of possible ways to tweak a DI image, but when he worked on Zodiac he found out that they all looked "glossy" which I assume was his work for "fake."




I'm sure "American Gangster" probably went through a D.I., in which case, desaturation is very easy to do.

Technicolor already has a silver retention print process called ENR; maybe they are now offering some sort of partial skip-bleach neg process, like Deakin's did at Deluxe for "Jarhead".


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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 11:11 AM

I'm concerned too that we will soon have a generation of lab people with very little experience in photochemical finishing, just neg development. Not to mention neg cutters.

Soon it will get to the point where a DP will have to fight for a photochemical finish, rather than fight for a D.I.

It's been interesting because I couldn't get a D.I. for "Akeelah and the Bee" and had to fight for one on "Astronaut Farmer", but more recent films have sort of not questioned doing a D.I., so I can imagine a reverse situation someday where I'll get a D.I. when I don't want one...

I do worry also a little bit about upcoming DP's who will have no experience with seeing their negatives printed directly. There's nothing like the discipline of dailies printed at one-light to teach you how to use your light meter (or even more so, shooting reversal.)
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#9 John Holland

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 11:33 AM

Both of those films you shot Panavision anamorphic still dont understand why you would want to go through a 2k DI apart from the tweaking you can do . Still dont get it sorry . [ boring fart in England ]
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 12:42 PM

For control over the color saturation -- I split "Akeelah and the Bee" between the first half shot on Expression 500T w/ no 85 filter and the second half shot on Vision-2, but I would have created a more gradual shift in look from cold and desaturated to warm and saturated if I could do it digitally.

For "Astronaut Farmer" it was more about creating a painterly feel to the colors, plus being able to convert trees from fall colors and back again to spring colors to show passage of time in the landscape. Plus integrate visual efx better. At least on "Astronaut Farmer" we were allowed to scan the negative at 4K.

For "Akeelah and the Bee" we did do some optical transitions, montages, and fixes digitally at 2K and there was a visible hit in resolution when cut into straight anamorphic negative. However, an optical dupe would have had the same problems, plus be grainier.

Actually my real goal would be to produce multiple printing negatives from a digital master and cut-out the IP/IN generations. That's where I think the D.I. process will really help in the future -- every print will be a show print.
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#11 John Holland

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 12:47 PM

I go with that have you spoken to anyone else there other DPs ,labs thats how i think it should be .
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#12 John Holland

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 12:50 PM

P.S see i dont mind a bit of grain looks like film .
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