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3 perf super 35, common top or center?


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#1 Bobby Shore

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 09:18 PM

anyone have any opinions on shooting common top or center when using 3 perf super 35, or 4 perf super 35 or that matter? Any thoughts, advice, etc. would be welcome. What are the main differences between the two (in both 3 and 4 perf)? Thanks for the help.


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 09:39 PM

I prefer common top but slightly shifted lower than the top frameline, for 3-perf, when shooting for 2.40 extraction. Panavision calls it the Fincher Groundglass (probably developed for "Panic Room", which was 3-perf). It's what I used for "Solstice". I have a pdf here:

FINCHER GG

I used a similar Arri GG for "The Sophomore" but I don't have the exact details.

This way, if you protect all of 16x9 3-perf, you can get both a decent 16x9 full-frame version and a 2.40 version with similar headrooms.

For 4-perf, I don't think it matters as much since you'll have to do some reframing anyway to get a decent 4x3 version from something framed for 2.40 on a 4-perf negative, and you have some vertical space to play around with.

Plus a semi-common top in 3-perf for 2.40 is not all that far-off or different from the center, whereas it is much farther off when you're talking about a 4-perf frame, so off-centered issues become more obvious (when zooming, etc.)
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#3 Bobby Shore

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 10:30 PM

I prefer common top but slightly shifted lower than the top frameline, for 3-perf, when shooting for 2.40 extraction. Panavision calls it the Fincher Groundglass (probably developed for "Panic Room", which was 3-perf). It's what I used for "Solstice". I have a pdf here:

FINCHER GG

I used a similar Arri GG for "The Sophomore" but I don't have the exact details.

This way, if you protect all of 16x9 3-perf, you can get both a decent 16x9 full-frame version and a 2.40 version with similar headrooms.

For 4-perf, I don't think it matters as much since you'll have to do some reframing anyway to get a decent 4x3 version from something framed for 2.40 on a 4-perf negative, and you have some vertical space to play around with.

Plus a semi-common top in 3-perf for 2.40 is not all that far-off or different from the center, whereas it is much farther off when you're talking about a 4-perf frame, so off-centered issues become more obvious (when zooming, etc.)


Hi David,

Thanks so much for the quick reply. What do you think about mixing super 35 in both 3 perf and 4 perf? I'll be shooting 2nd unit on a feature in a couple weeks, and from the conversations I've had with the DP, it sounds as though the b-cam/2nd unit cam. will be 4 perf and the a-cam. will be 3 perf. (not by his decision). Have you mixed these formats before? Is there any advice you can think of that I should know to make sure it doesn't become a problem when intercutting the footage? From what I understand, the project will be going through a DI.

I read a great thread posted by David Stump about this on CML, but I figure it can never hurt to know more. Thanks again.

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#4 Michael Nash

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 12:06 AM

What do you think about mixing super 35 in both 3 perf and 4 perf?... Is there any advice you can think of that I should know to make sure it doesn't become a problem when intercutting the footage? From what I understand, the project will be going through a DI.


3-perf by its nature has to go through a DI of some sort, since you can't easily contact print 3-perf. So as long as your transfer facility can handle both (which shouldn't be a problem), then I don't see any issue with mixing the two. The frame size on the negative is the same; the only difference should be in your rawstock consumption.

It's funny, that "Fincher GG" seems to be the same principle as what I called "common upper third" many years ago when trying to find a good way to get a 1.85:1 extraction out of 4:3. Since we often compose by the "rule of thirds" it makes sense to make the upper third the common reference "line," so actors' eye levels are consistent between aspect ratios.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 02:24 AM

I haven't had to mix 3 and 4-perf yet. It's mainly an editorial issue because of how it affects the EDL, so warn the editor in advance and label the slate, etc.
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#6 Dan Goulder

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 01:43 PM

This way, if you protect all of 16x9 3-perf, you can get both a decent 16x9 full-frame version and a 2.40 version with similar headrooms.

Hey David,
When you shoot super 35mm with dual format markings with the intention of "protecting" for 1.85/1, such as in the above example, do you in any way alter your 2.40/1 framing from how you would frame the same shot in anamorphic? Also, when shooting with the "Fincher GG", what aspect ratio do you have your dailies cropped to, or do you view the entire gate?
Thanks.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 02:37 PM

Dailies are matted to 2.40. So is the projection during the D.I. session. I only see the full neg if I need to reframe a shot during the D.I. -- otherwise, the colorist uses it to make the pan & scan transfers.

In theory, I only compose for 2.40 and protect 16x9 full-frame as much as possible.

In practice, I notice a tendency to frame a little tighter than I would in anamorphic, and to use longer lenses. In theory, you'd use something close to a 22mm to match a 40mm anamorphic in terms of view, but for some reason, I tend to reach for a 28mm instead. I think it's because when looking through a lens finder or eyepiece, you see a bigger picture around the 2.40 framelines, so it's hard to ignore that effect (though I tape-off the monitors to 2.40). It's psychological I guess. I find myself occasionally shooting close-ups that are too tight / cropped in Super-35, whereas in anamorphic, I tend to like "roomy" close-ups, not too tight. I think you tend to frame for "the big picture" more when you shoot with anamorphics, though there is no real reason why one should compose differently.

Maybe there is a deep-seated feeling that super wide-shots won't hold up as well in Super-35, and conversely, it would be too hard to hold focus on close-ups in anamorphic if they were too tight.
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